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  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(100) by Anne Bishop
  • Jorval smiled at him. "I thought it was time you met the Dark Priestess."

    2 / Kaeleer

    "Is something wrong?" Daemon asked Saetan. He glanced at Lucivar, who was intently studying their father.

    Saetan finally looked up from the sheet of paper lying in the middle of his desk. "I received a letter from Lord Jorval, informing me that Lord Magstrom was brutally killed last night."

    Daemon let his breath out slowly while Lucivar swore. "I met Magstrom briefly at the service fair. He seemed to be a decent man."

    "He was," Saetan replied. "And he was the only member of the Dark Council Jaenelle was willing to deal with."

    "How did he die?" Lucivar asked bluntly.

    Saetan hesitated. "He was found in an alleyway in the Goth slums. The body was so torn up that speculation is running wild that Magstrom was killed by kindred."

    Daemon said, "Why would they suspect the kindred?" at the same time Lucivar snarled, "It was a full death?"

    "Yes, it was a full death," Saetan said grimly, answering Lucivar's question first. "So there's not even a chance of Magstrom being a ghost in the Dark Realm long enough to tell someone what really happened to him. There are feral dog packs, and theycan be a danger, but a Craft shield would have protected Magstrom from them. Only a pack of kindred, or one who wore darker Jewels than Magstrom, could have drained his psychic power to finish the kill."

    "Is that likely?" Daemon asked.

    "If an unknown human wanders into one of the kindred Territories, it's almost a given. But in Goth? No."

    "So he was mutilated in order to hide the real death wounds."

    "So it would seem."

    "Does Jorval want to postpone the healing?" Lucivar asked.

    Saetan shook his head. "The meeting is still set for late this afternoon. Is everything ready?" Lucivar nodded. "We'll be leaving within the hour."

    "The place you're taking Jaenelle to is secure?" Saetan asked.

    "It's a guardhouse in Dea al Mon," Lucivar said. "Chaosti will come with us, and the Dea al Mon guards will supply the added physical protection. Cat said she has a few errands to run in Amdarh, so we'll go directly there afterward, and probably stay for a day or two. Chaosti will return here and report."

    With effort, Daemon caged the jealousy that was chewing him up inside. There was no reason for Lucivar to think twice about making plans to spend a couple of days with Jaenelle, despite the Eyriens still waiting to be settled in Askavi before winter set in, despite his having a wife and child. Jaenelle was not only his sister but his Queen. There was no question that he would go with her whenever or wherever she needed him.

    Putting those thoughts aside, Daemon concentrated on the timetable. He hadn't really been aware of the journey from Goth to the Hall, but it had to have taken a couple of hours at the least. Going to this secret location in Dea al Mon would probably take even more time. If Lucivar was planning to leave within the hour to reach the guardhouse, he was planning to arrive so that there would be just enough time for Jaenelle to rest and eat a late midday meal before doing whatever she was going to do. Just enough time...

    The Sadist in him woke up. He looked at Saetan and saw his own suspicions reflected in his father's eyes. "When was the body found?" he asked too softly.

    Lucivar jerked to attention, then swore viciously.

    Saetan returned his stare for a moment. "If Jorval had been informed immediately, there would have been just enough time to pen a hasty note and send it here by courier."

    "Wasit hastily written?"

    "No, I wouldn't say so."

    Which meant Jorval had known about Magstrom's death before the body had been found. And Jorval was the one who had made these arrangements for Jaenelle to come to Little Terreille.

    As soon as he and Lucivar were away from Saetan's study, Daemon settled one hand on Lucivar's shoulder, his long, black-tinted nails providing just enough bite to ensure that he had his brother's undivided attention. "You will do anything you have to in order to keep her safe and take care of her, won't you?"

    "I'll keep her safe, Bastard. You can count on that." Then Lucivar smiled that lazy, arrogant smile. "But you're the one who's going to take care of her. You've got less than an hour to get packed, old son. Bring enough to get you through a couple of days in Amdarh as well."

    Daemon stared at Lucivar, then stepped back and slipped his hands into his trouser pockets. "She's not comfortable with me, Prick." Not even to Lucivar would he admit how Jaenelle had practically fled her own rooms in order to get away from him after he had spent the night with her. "My being there would only distress her."

    "You're her Consort," Lucivar said sharply. "Stand your ground."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire