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  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(68) by Anne Bishop
  • There were no luxuriously furnished apartments in the south tower, no ornate beds, no elegant daybeds, no rugs, no drapes, no tables, no chairs. Room after room was empty and swept clean.

    Greer put his left hand over the black silk scarf around his throat and pushed down the panic.

    Swept clean and empty. Just like the secret staircase, which should have been thick with dust and cobwebs.

    Which meant it wasn't as much of a secret as Hekatah thought.

    He tried to tell himself it didn't matter since he was already dead, but he'd been in the Dark Realm long enough to have heard stories about what happened to demons who crossed the High Lord, and he didn't want to find out firsthand how much truth there was in those stories.

    He returned to the chamber that had once belonged to Hekatah and began a systematic search for the hidden rooms.

    They, too, were empty and clean. Either her spells had broken down over time or someone else had broken them.

    There had to be somewhere he could hide! The sun was too high now, and even with the quantity of fresh blood he'd been consuming, the daylight weakened him, drained him. If all the rooms had been found . . .

    At last he found a hidden room within a hidden room. More of a cubbyhole, really. Greer couldn't imagine what it had been used for, but it was disgustingly grimy and cobwebbed, and therefore safe.

    With his back pressed into a corner, Greer wrapped his arms around his knees and began to wait.

    3 / Kaeleer

    Andulvar rapped sharply on the study door and walked in before getting a response. Swinging toward the back of the room, he stopped as Saetan quickly—and rather guiltily— hid the book he'd been reading.

    Hell's fire, Andulvar thought as he settled into the chair facing the desk, when was the last time Saetan looked that relaxed? There he was, the High Lord of Hell, with his feet on the desk, wearing house slippers and a black sweater. Seeing him like that, Andulvar regretted that the days were long past when they could have gone to a tavern and wrangled over a couple of pitchers of ale.

    Amused by Saetan's discomfort, Andulvar said, "Beale told me you were in here—taking care of correspondence, I believe he said."

    "Ah, yes, the worthy Beale."

    "Not many houses can claim a Red-Jeweled Warlord for a butler."

    "Not many would want to," Saetan muttered, dropping his feet to the floor. "Yarbarah?"

    "Please." Andulvar waited until Saetan poured and warmed the blood wine. "Since you're not doing correspondence, what are you doing? Besides hiding from your intimidating staff?"

    "Reading," Saetan replied a bit stiffly.

    Always the patient hunter, Andulvar waited. And waited. "Reading what?" he finally asked. His eyes narrowed. Was Saetan blushing?

    "A novel." Saetan cleared his throat. "A rather . . . actually, a very erotic novel."

    "Reminiscing?" Andulvar asked blandly.

    Saetan growled. "Trying to anticipate. Adolescent girls ask the most terrifying questions."

    "Better you than me."

    "Coward."

    "No argument there," Andulvar said, refusing to rise to the bait. Then he paused. "How are things going?"

    "Why ask me?" Saetan propped his feet on the corner of the desk.

    "You're the High Lord."

    Saetan put a hand over his heart and sighed dramatically. "Ah, someone who remembers." He sipped the yarbarah. "Actually, if you want to know how things are going, you should ask Beale or Helene or Mrs. Beale. They're the triangle who run the Hall."

    "A Blood triangle always has a fourth side."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire