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  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(109) by Anne Bishop
  • "I don't want him to laugh at me!"

    "I doubt laughing would be his first response. As a matter of fact, I don't think it would even occur to him." Surreal paused.Hell's fire, this is as bad as talking to an adolescent girl.

    She let that thought sink in and settle. If she put age aside and only considered experience,wasn't she talking to an adolescent girl? There had to be some key she could turn, some way to make it seem like Daemon desperately needed help. If he needed help, Jaenelle would...

    "You know, sugar, Daemon is as nervous as you are."

    "Why would Daemon be nervous?" Jaenelle asked warily. "Heknows how to kiss, and he's—"

    "A virgin."

    Jaenelle's mouth fell open. "But... But he's—"

    "A virgin. Granted, he may know a bit about kissing, but there's a whole lot he only knows in theory."

    "But... Surreal, hecan't be."

    "Trust me, he is."


    "So you can see why he'd be nervous," Surreal said, feeling a little nervous herself. If Daemon ever found out about this little chat, she could end up the main ingredient in a carnivore's stew. "Frankly, sugar, if push comes to shove, all you have to do is lie there. But ifhe's nervous about his ability to perform well..." Cocking her elbow, Surreal stiffened her hand and fingers, then let them droop.

    Jaenelle studied the drooping hand long enough for Surreal to start to sweat before saying, "Oh." Her eyes widened. "Oooh." Then she shook her head. "No, that wouldn't happen to Daemon."

    That naive assurance of Daemon's ability was touching. Scary, but touching. And not something she was going to introduce to reality.

    "Let's sit down," Surreal said, heading for a couch. "Thirty minutes ought to be enough, but we might as well be comfortable."

    "Enough for what?" Jaenelle said, settling on the other end of the couch.

    "I'm going to explain the basics of kissing." There was a slight edge to Surreal's smile. "You would agree that I know a few things about kissing?"

    "All right," Jaenelle replied cautiously.

    "And you never thought to ask me about it in the month that I've been in Kaeleer?" Andthat rankled.

    "I thought about it," Jaenelle muttered. "It didn't seem polite."

    Oh, Mother Night. Well,that would explain the glazed look she sometimes noticed in the High Lord's eyes. How many nights had he sat in his study totally flummoxed by dealing with a Queen this powerful who still worried about being polite?

    "I thank you for your concern, but, since we're family, I wouldn't have been offended by a little girl talk."

    There was speculation in Jaenelle's eyes. Surreal could almost see the questions piling up.

    "For today, let's just stick to basic kissing."

    "Should I take notes?" Jaenelle asked earnestly.

    "No," Surreal replied slowly, "but I think you should try some hands-on practice as soon as possible."

    Surreal quietly closed the door and hurried down the corridor. She wasn't sure that look of intense concentration that had been on Jaenelle's face boded well for the man on the receiving end of that attention, but she'd done her best. Any further instructions would have to come from Daemon—and good luck to him. For a woman who had grown up around some of the most sensual males Surreal had ever met, Jaenelle was appallingly dense about sex. Maybe it had taken Daemon's arrival to wake her up sexually, but you would think she would have picked upsome clues.

    How in the name of Hell did two inexperienced lovers ever figure out how to do anything? Surreal wondered. Which made her think about how many things could go wrong once Daemon and Jaenelle got past kissing.

    Which made her think that, maybe, she should tell the High Lord about this little chat. Maybe she should. Just in case.

    She turned a corner and almost ran into the very last person she wanted to see right now.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire