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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 79)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(79) by Anne Bishop
  • Someone else needed that kind of comfort. Someone else needed their strength. But she was still in the garden with the kindred and, like the kindred, was not yet able to accept what they offered.

    "Is that all?" Saetan asked when Prothvar finally stopped talking.

    "No, High Lord." Prothvar swallowed, choked. "Jaenelle disappeared for several hours before we left. She wouldn't tell me where she'd been or why she'd gone. When I pushed, she said, 'If they want pelts, they'll have pelts.' "

    Saetan squeezed Prothvar's shoulders, not sure if he was giving comfort or taking it. "I understand."

    Andulvar pulled Prothvar to his feet. "Come on, boyo. You need clean air beneath your wings."

    When the Eyriens were gone, Mephis said, "You understand what the waif meant?"

    Saetan stared at nothing. "Do you have commitments this evening?"

    "No."

    "Find some."

    Mephis hesitated, then bowed. "As you wish, High Lord."

    Silence. Brittle, brittle silence.

    Oh, he understood exactly what she'd meant. Beware the golden spider who spins a tangled web. The Black Widow's web. Arachna's web. Beware the fair-haired Lady when she glides through the abyss clothed in spilled blood.

    If the hunters never returned, nothing would happen. But they would return. Whoever they were, wherever they'd come from, they would return, and one kindred wolf would die and awaken the tangled web.

    The hunters would still get their harvest, would still do the killing and the cutting and the skinning. Only one, confused and frightened, would leave with the bounty, and once he'd returned to wherever he'd come from, then, and only then, would the web release him and show him that the pelts he'd harvested didn't belong to wolf-kind.

    4 / Kaeleer

    Lord Jorval rubbed his hands gleefully. It was almost too good to be true. A scandal of this magnitude could topple anyone, even someone so firmly entrenched as the High Lord.

    Remembering his new responsibilities, Jorval altered his expression to one more suitable to a member of the Dark Council.

    This was a very serious charge, and the stranger with the maimed hands had admitted that he had no evidence except what he'd seen. After what the High Lord had done to the man's hands before dismissing him from service, it was understandable why he refused to stand before the Dark Council and testify against the High Lord in person. Still, something should be done about the girl.

    A strong young Queen, the stranger had said. A Queen who could, with proper guidance, be a great asset to the Realm. All that glorious potential was being twisted by the High Lord's perversions, being forced to submit to ...

    Jorval jerked his thoughts away from those kinds of images.

    The girl needed someone who could advise her and channel that power in the right direction. She needed someone she could depend on. And since she wasn'tthat young, maybe she needed more than that from her legal guardian. She might even expect,want, that kind of behavior . . .

    But getting the girl away from Saetan would require a delicate touch. And the stranger had warned him about moving too quickly. A Dhemlan Queen could officially protest the High Lord's treatment of the girl, but Jorval didn't know any of them except by name or reputation. No, somehow the Dark Council itself had to be pressured into calling the High Lord to account.

    And they could, couldn't they? After all, the Dark Council had granted the High Lord guardianship, and no one had forgotten what he'd done to gain that guardianship. It wouldn't be unusual for the Council to express concern about the girl's welfare.

    A few words here. A hesitant question there. Strenuous protests that it was only a foul, unsubstantiated rumor. By the time it finally reached Dhemlan and the High Lord, no one would have any idea where the rumor started. Then they would see if even Saetan could withstand the rage of all the Queens in Kaeleer.

    And he, Lord Jorval of Goth, the capital of Little Terreille, would be ready to assume his new and greater responsibilities.

    5 / Kaeleer

    The pushing turned into a shove. "Wake up, SaDiablo."

    Saetan tried to pull the covers over his bare shoulder and pushed his head deeper into the pillows. "Go away."

    A fist punched his shoulder.

    Snarling, he braced himself on one elbow as Andulvar tossed a pair of trousers and a dressing robe onto the bed.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire