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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 95)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(95) by Anne Bishop
  • "I am a demon."

    Silence.

    Karla cocked a hip and crossed her arms. "What, there's some rule that says drawing has to be taught in the daytime? Besides, the sun's up now and you're here."

    "That's because the Hall retains enough dark power so that sunlight doesn't bother the demon-dead when they're inside," Jaenelle said.

    "So that's not a problem," Karla said.

    "And if you don't want to be here during the daylight hours, candle-lights or balls of witch light would make a room bright enough to work in," Gabrielle said.

    Dujae looked helplessly at Saetan. Saetan studied his other shoe.

    "Is your ego so puffed up that it's beneath you to teach a few little witches how to draw?" Karla asked with sweet malevolence.

    "Puffed up? No, no, Ladies, I would be honored but—"

    "But?" Jaenelle asked softly in her midnight voice.

    Dujae shuddered. Saetan shivered.

    "I am a demon."

    Silence.

    Finally Karla snorted. "If you don't want to teach us, just say so, but stop using a paltry excuse to weasel out of it."

    They left, closing the study door behind them.

    Dujae twisted his cap.

    Saetan stared at his shoe. "Dujae," he said quietly, "it takes a strong but sensitive personality to deal with these young Ladies, not to mention talent. If you decide to become their art instructor, I can either provide you with wages which, I admit, aren't much use in the Dark Realm, or you can add whatever you want for your own projects to the list of supplies you'll provide me for them. However, if you decide to decline"—he looked Dujae in the eye—"you can go out there and try to explain it to them."

    There was panic in Dujae's eyes. There was also only one door out of the study.

    "But, High Lord, I am a demon."

    "Didn't impress them, did it?"

    Dujae sagged. "No." Then he shrugged and smiled. "It has been a long time since I have done portraits, and they have interesting faces, yes? And too much fire to be wasted on polite, itsy-bitsy drawings."

    Saetan waited half an hour before strolling into the great hall. Staying well in the background, he watched the coven.

    The girls were sitting on the floor in a circle, busily sketching a still life of vase, apple, and trinket box. Dujae squatted next to Kalush, explaining something in a rumbling murmur before turning to Morghann, who had a stick of charcoal poised above her sketch pad.

    Jaenelle put down her pad, wiped her fingers on the towel she was sharing with Karla, and approached him, smiling, nothing more than a delightful, delighted woman-child enjoying a creative endeavor.

    Saetan slipped an arm around her waist. "The truth, witch-child," he said quietly. "Was the other one really a bad instructor?"

    Jaenelle ran her finger down the gold chain that held his Birthright Red Jewel. "He wasn't right for us, any of us, and—"

    He wouldn't let her duck her head, wouldn't let her hide the eyes he was learning to read so well, that told him so much. "And?"

    "He was afraid of me," she whispered. "Not just me," she quickly amended. "He didn't like being around Queens. Even Kalush made him uneasy. So he was always saying things like 'ladies' do this and 'ladies' don't do that. Hell's fire, Saetan, we aren't 'ladies,' we don't want to be 'ladies.' We're witches."

    He wrapped his arms around her. "Why didn't you tell me?" He seemed to be asking that a lot lately.

    Jaenelle shrugged. "We hadn't gotten around to telling you that the music instructor and the dancing instructor already bolted this week."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire