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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Queen of the Darkness (Chapter 116)      Page
  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(116) by Anne Bishop
  • *Make a den. Stay hidden,* Kaelas ordered.

    KaeAskavi snarled, but immediately rolled to a submissive posture when Kaelas stepped toward him.

    *I can fight,* KaeAskavi said defiantly.

    *You will hide until I call you.* Kaelas waited a moment. *What does the kitten's den look like?*

    From KaeAskavi's mind, he received an image of a small human den, open ground, and then a thick stand of trees where KaeAskavi had waited for his friend.

    *Stay here,* Kaelas said. *Make the den.*

    Kaelas didn't wait to see if KaeAskavi would obey him. Wrapping himself in a sight shield and air walking so that he left no prints in the snow, he headed for the village, his full, ground-eating stride covering the distance within minutes.

    The air near the village smelled of fear and desperation as well as blood and death. His sharp ears picked up the sounds of fighting, the clash of human weapons.

    He cautiously used Craft to probe the village and bared his fangs in a silent snarl as he detected a Green-Jeweled Warlord Prince. Something about that one's scent...

    Reaching a spot in the trees that looked directly on the back of the she-kitten's den, he heard a female scream and a male's roar. Then a window opened. A young human female climbed out the window and jumped into the snow. But when she tried to rise, she fell again, lame.

    Kaelas burst out of the trees, charging toward the spot where the she-kitten lay at the same time an Eyrien Warlord came around the corner of the house. Spotting the she-kitten, the Eyrien raised his bloody weapon and moved forward for the kill.

    The human male sensed no danger until eight hundred pounds of hatred slammed into him.

    Kaelas bit off the arm that held the weapon while his claws tore open the belly. One blast of psychic power burned out the human's mind, finishing the kill.

    He paused to bite some clean snow. Like its psychic scent, there was something about this human that tasted like bad meat.

    He shook his head, then turned toward the girl, who was staring at the dead .male. *Little one,* he growled.

    She pushed herself up and looked around desperately. "KaeAskavi?"

    *Kaelas,* he said. With the same gentleness he used with his own kitten, he seized her by the middle and loped off with her, heading for the shelter of the trees.

    She made no sound. She didn't struggle. He approved of her courage. And now she was an orphan, as he had once been.

    Choosing a spot where the snow had drifted deep, he set the girl down on air, quickly dug a small den, set the girl inside it, then covered up most of the entrance. *Stay,* he ordered.

    She curled up in a small, shivering ball.

    He loped back to the human den and passed through the wall next to the window the girl had come from. The room smelled of her—and other things, bad things.

    The door leading into the rest of the den was open. He could see a bloody female arm. Sensing no life, he didn't bother to go over and sniff her to be sure.

    He wished Ladvarian was there with him. Despite living almost all of his life among humans, he didn't understand them as well as the dog did. The dog would have known what the little female needed most.

    He thought for a moment. She would need human fur. Using Craft, he opened the drawers and wardrobe, and vanished everything inside them.

    What else would Ladvarian bring? Looking around the room, he vanished the puffy bedcovering that smelled of feathers. The kitten could be wrapped in that and kept warm. The urgent need to leave this place pushed at him, but he thought for a moment more.

    Kindred had little use for things, but...

    He saw it, lying next to the bed. At first, he felt blind hatred, but when he went over to sniff the white toy cat, he realized it had been made from fluffy cloth and not Arcerian fur as he'd first thought. It smelled strongly of the she-kitten—and, fainter, the she-cat's smell was there, too. And there was a psychic smell on it, a smell he associated with the Lady. The High Lord had called it love.

    Vanishing the toy, he moved cautiously toward the open door. The dead female had a knife still clutched in one hand. She had fought a stronger male in order to save her kitten—as his own dam had fought against the hunters so that he could escape.

    He thought, looking at her, that if she could know her kitten was safe and protected, she wouldn't mind the little female being among the Arcerian cats now.

    Passing through the back wall of the house, he stopped near the dead Eyrien male. Using Craft, he passed the remains through the first few inches of snow, then pushed them down deep. The snow was stained with blood and gore, but he didn't think anyone would be looking for this one right away. And until they dug up the body, they wouldn't know that the human hadn't been killed by one of his own kind.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire