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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 60)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(60) by Anne Bishop
  • "Please, Mephis, no more surprises tonight."

    Mephis sighed. "She sings witch songs ... in the Old Tongue."

    Saetan raised his head. "Authentic witch songs?"

    Mephis's eyes were teary bright. "Not like I've ever heard them sung before, but yes, authentic witch songs."

    "But how—" Pointless to ask how Jaenelle knew what she knew. "I think it's time I went up to see our wayward child."

    Mephis rose stiffly. He yawned and stretched. "If you find out what all that stuff is that I paid for, I'd like to know."

    Saetan rubbed his temples and sighed.

    "I bought you something. Did Mephis warn you?" "He mentioned something," Saetan replied cautiously. Her sapphire eyes twinkled as she solemnly handed him the box. Saetan opened it and held up the sweater. Soft, thick,

    black with deep pockets. He stripped off his jacket and shrugged into the sweater.

    "Thank you, witch-child." He vanished the box and sank gracefully to the floor, finally stretching out his legs and propping himself up on one elbow. "Sufficiently slouched?"

    Jaenelle laughed and plopped down beside him. "Quite sufficient."

    "What else did you get?"

    She didn't quite look him in the eye. "I bought some books."

    Saetan eyed the piles of neatly stacked books that formed a large half-circle around her. "So I see." Reading the nearest spines, he recognized most of the Craft books. Copies were either in the family library or in his own private library. Same with the books on history, art, and music. They were the beginning of a young witch's library.

    "I know the family has most of these, but I wanted copies of my own. It's hard to make notes in someone else's book."

    Saetan experienced a hitch in his breathing. Notes. Handwritten guides that would help explain those breathtaking leaps she made when she was creating a spell. And he wouldn't have access to them. He gave himself a mental shake.Fool. Just borrow the damn book.

    It hit him then, a bittersweet sadness. She would want a collection of her own to take with her when she was ready to establish her own household. So few years to savor before the Hall was empty again.

    He pushed those thoughts aside and turned to the other stacks, the fiction. These were more interesting since a perusal of her choices would tell him a lot about Jaenelle's tastes and immediate interests. Trying to find a common thread was too bewildering, so he simply filed away the information. He considered himself an eclectic reader. He had no idea how to describe her. Some books struck him as being too young for her, some too gritty. Some he passed over with little interest, others reminded him of how long it had been since he'd browsed through a bookseller's shop for his own amusement. Lots of books about animals.

    "Quite a collection," he finally said, placing the last book

    carefully on its stack. "What are those?" He pointed to the three books half-hidden under brown paper.

    Blushing, Jaenelle mumbled, "Just books."

    Saetan raised an eyebrow and waited.

    With a resigned sigh, Jaenelle reached under the brown paper and thrust a book at him.

    Odd. Sylvia had reacted much the same way when he'd called unexpectedly one evening and found her reading the same book. She hadn't heard him come in, and when she finally did glance up and notice him, she immediately stuffed the book behind a pillow and gave him the strong impression it would take an army to pull her away from her book-hiding pillow and nothing less would make her surrender it.

    "It's a romantic novel," Jaenelle said in a small voice as he called in his half-moon glasses and started idly flipping the pages. "A couple of women in a bookseller's shop kept talking about it."

    Romance. Passion. Sex.

    He suppressed—barely—the urge to leap to his feet and twirl her around the room. A sign of emotional healing? Please, sweet Darkness, please let it be a sign of healing.

    "You think it's silly." Her tone was defensive.

    "Romance is never silly, witch-child. Well, sometimes it's silly, but notsilly." He flipped more pages. "Besides, I used to read things like this. They were an important part of my education."

    Jaenelle gaped at him. "Really?"

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire