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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 80)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(80) by Anne Bishop
  • "Hurry," Andulvar said. "Before it's gone."

    Before what was gone?

    Rubbing his eyes, Saetan wondered if he might be allowed to splash some water on his face to wake up, but he had the distinct impression that if he didn't dress quickly, Andulvar would drag him through the corridors wearing nothing but his skin.

    "The sun's up," Saetan muttered as he pulled on his clothes. "You should have retired by now."

    "You were the one who pointed out that Jaenelle's presence has altered the Hall so that demons aren't affected by daylight as long as we stay inside," Andulvar said as he led Saetan through the corridors.

    "That's the last time I tell you anything," Saetan growled.

    When they reached a second floor room at the front of the Hall, Andulvar cautiously parted the drapes. "Stop grumbling and look."

    Giving his eyes a final rub, Saetan braced one hand against the window frame and peered through the opening in the drapes.

    Early morning. Clear, sunny. The gravel drive was partially raked. The landing web was swept. But the work looked interrupted, as if something had caused the outdoor staff to withdraw. They were still outside, and he picked up their excitement despite their shields. It was as if they were trying, almost hopefully, to go undetected.

    Frowning, Saetan looked toward the left and saw a white stallion grazing on the front lawn, its hindquarters facing the windows. Not plain white, Saetan decided. Cream, with a milk-white mane and tail.

    "Where did he come from?" Saetan looked inquiringly at Andulvar.

    Andulvar snorted softly. "Probably from Sceval."

    "What?" Saetan looked outside again at the same moment the stallion raised his head and turned toward the Hall. "Mother Night," he whispered, clutching the drapes. "Mother Night."

    The ivory horn rose from the majestic head. Around the horn's base, glinting in the morning sun, was a gold ring. Attached to the ring was an Opal Jewel.

    "That's a Warlord Prince having breakfast on your front lawn," Andulvar said in a neutral voice.

    Saetan stared at his friend in disbelief. True, Andulvar had seen the stallion first and had time to take in the wonder of it, but was he really so jaded that the wonder could pass so quickly? There was aunicorn on the front lawn! A ... kindred Warlord Prince.

    Saetan braced himself against the wall. "Hell's fire, Mother Night, and may the Darkness be merciful."

    "Think the waif knows about him?" Andulvar asked.

    The question was answered by a wild, joyous whoop as Jaenelle sprinted across the gravel drive and slid to a stop a foot away from that magnificent, deadly horn.

    The stallion arched his neck, raised his tail like a white silk banner, and danced around Jaenelle for a minute. Then he lowered his head and nuzzled her palms.

    Saetan watched them, hoping nothing would disturb the lovely picture of a girl and unicorn meeting on a clear summer morning.

    The picture shattered when Smoke streaked across the lawn.

    The stallion knocked Jaenelle aside, laid his ears back, lowered that deadly horn, and began pawing the ground. Smoke skidded to a stop and bared his teeth in challenge.

    Jaenelle grabbed a handful of the unicorn's mane and thrust out her other hand to stop Smoke. Whatever she said made the animals hesitate.

    Finally, Smoke took a cautious step forward. The unicorn did the same. Muzzle touched muzzle.

    Looking amused but exasperated, Jaenelle mounted the unicorn—and then scrambled to keep her seat when he took off at a gallop.

    He stopped abruptly and looked back at her.

    Jaenelle fluffed her hair and said something.

    The stallion shook his head.

    She became more emphatic.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire