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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 59)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(59) by Anne Bishop
  • Continuing his massage, Saetan said quietly, "So tell me."

    "Where do you want me to start?"

    Good question. "Do any of those packages contain clothes?" He couldn't keep the wistful note out of his voice.

    Mephis's eyes gleamed wickedly. "One. She bought you a sweater." Then he yelped.

    "Sorry," Saetan muttered, gently rubbing the just-squeezed toes while the mutter turned into a snarl. "I don't wear sweaters. I also don't wear nightshirts." He flinched as the words released more memories. Carefully setting Mephis's right foot down, he stripped off the left shoe and sock and began massaging that foot.

    "It was difficult, wasn't it?" Mephis asked softly.

    "It was difficult. But the debt's been paid." Saetan worked silently for another minute. "Why a sweater?"

    Mephis sipped the yarbarah, letting the question hang. "She said you needed to slouch more, both physically and mentally."

    Saetan's eyebrow snapped up.

    "She said you'd never sprawl on the couch and take a nap if you were always dressed so formally."

    Oh, Mother Night. "I'm not sure I know how to sprawl."

    "Well, I heartily suggest you learn." Mephis sent the empty glass skimming through the air until it slid neatly onto a nearby table.

    "You've got a mean streak in your nature, Mephis," Saetan growled. "What's in the damn packages?"

    "Mostly books."

    Saetan remembered not to squeeze the toes. "Books? Perhaps my old wits have gone begging, but I was under the impression we have a very large room full of books. Several, in fact. They're called libraries."

    "Apparently not these kinds of books."

    Saetan's stomach was full of butterflies. "What kind?"

    "How should I know?" Mephis grumbled. "I didn'tsee most of them. I just paid for them. However . . ."

    Saetan groaned.

    ". . . at every bookseller's shop—and we went to every one in Amdarh—the waif would ask for books about Tigrelan or Sceval or Pandar or Centauran, and when the booksellers showed her legends and myths about those places that were written by Dhemlan authors, she would politely—she was always polite, by the way—tell them she wasn't interested in books of legends unless they came directly from those people. Naturally the booksellers, and the crowd of customers that gathered during these discussions, would explain that those Territories were inaccessible places no one traded with. She would thank them for their help, and they, wanting to stay in her good graces and have continued access to my bank account, would say, 'Who is to say what is real and what is not? Who has seen these places?' And she would say, 'I have,' and pick up the books she'd already purchased and be out the door before the bookseller and customers could pick their jaws up from the floor."

    Saetan groaned again.

    "Want to hear about the music?"

    Saetan released Mephis's foot and braced his head in his hands. "What about the music?"

    "Dhemlan music stores don't have Scelt folk music or Pandar pipe music or . . ."

    "Enough, Mephis." Saetan moaned. "They're all going to be on my doorstep wanting to know what kind of trade agreements might be possible with those Territories, aren't they?"

    Mephis sighed, content. "I'm surprised we beat them here."

    Saetan glared at his eldest son. "Didanything go as expected?"

    "We had a delightful time at the theater. At least I'll be able to go backthere without being snarled at." Mephis leaned forward. "One other thing. About music." He clasped his hands and hesitated. "Have you ever heard Jaenelle sing?"

    Saetan probed his memory and finally shook his head. "She's got a lovely speaking voice so I just assumed. . . . Don't tell me she's tone-deaf or sings off-key."

    "No." There was a strange expression in Mephis's eyes. "She doesn't sing off-key. She. . . . When you hear her, you'll understand."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire