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  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(105) by Anne Bishop
  • "Not this time," Lucivar said, then added after a long, possibly thoughtful, pause, "I've been this drunk."

    "Really? When?"

    "Last time I went on a crawl with Jaenelle. Big mistake. Should have remembered it. Would have, too, if I'd been sober when Idid remember it."

    After a minute's painful effort, Daemon gave up trying to decipher that comment and found something else to think about. "I've never been thrown out of a city before."

    "Sure you have," Lucivar said in a hearty voice that made them both whimper.

    Daemon shook his head and realized his error a bit too late. Even when he managed to stop, the room continued moving back and forth, and what was left of his brain sloshed noisily inside his skull. He swallowed carefully. "I've been thrown out of courts and wasn't allowed back into the city because that was the Queen's territory, but that's different."

    "It’s all right," Lucivar said. "In a few weeks, Zhara will welcome you with open arms."

    "She didn't seem like a foolish woman. Why would she do that?"

    "Because we provide a restraining influence on Jaenelle."

    "We do?"

    They just stared at each other until the dining room door opened.

    Daemon braced himself, absolutely certain that hearing the door slam would kill him.

    "Mother Night," Surreal said, choking back laughter. "They're pathetic."

    "Aren't they?" There was no laughter in Saetan's reply.

    The soft footsteps approaching the table made the room vibrate.

    "Please don't yell," Daemon whimpered.

    "I wouldn't dream of yelling," Saetan replied in a voice that, nonetheless, rattled Daemon's bones. "There would be no point in yelling. You'd both be on the floor, insensible, after the first word. So I'll save the lecture until you're sober enough to listen to it, because I intend to deliver it with considerable volume. The only question I want answered right now is what in the name of Hell did you two pour down your throats to get in this condition?"

    "Gravediggers," Lucivar mumbled.

    "How many?" Saetan asked ominously.

    Lucivar took a couple of careful breaths. "Not sure. Things got a bit blurry after the seventh one."

    "After the—" Long pause. "Are either of you capable of walking to your rooms?"

    "Sure," Lucivar said. It took him a couple of tries, but he got to his feet.

    Not to be outdone, Daemon stood up, too—and regretted it.

    "You take Lucivar," Saetan said to Surreal. "He isn't listing quite as much."

    "That's because I didn't finish the drinks." Lucivar pointed at Daemon, tipped, and almost flattened Surreal against the table. "That's whyyou're so drunk. Itold you not to finish them."

    Daemon tried to make a rude noise and ended up spitting on Saetan.

    Without further comment, he was hauled out of the room and up a terrifyingly steep set of stairs. Once he reached his bed, he tried to lie down, but was hauled upright and undressed while his father's ire made the room pulse.

    "Do you need a basin?" Saetan asked with no sympathy whatsoever.

    "No," Daemon replied meekly.

    Finally, he was allowed to lie down. The last thing he was aware of was Saetan's hand brushing his hair back in a gentle caress.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire