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  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(117) by Anne Bishop
  • Hurrying back to the trees, Kaelas summoned KaeAskavi. *Come quickly... and silently.*

    Reaching the makeshift den, he dug out the entrance. Calling in the puffy bedcovering, he laid it on the snow, using two spells he had learned from the Lady—a warming spell on the inside and a spell to keep the covering dry on the outside. Lifting out the she-kitten, he awkwardly wrapped her in the covering.

    She just stared.

    Feeling uneasy, he sniffed her carefully. She wasn't dead, but he knew those staring, unseeing eyes weren't good.

    Sensing KaeAskavi's approach, he lifted his head. He could detect the faint shadowing of the lighter-Jeweled sight shield, and softly growled approval.

    *Della!* KaeAskavi sniffed the bundled female.

    *Take the she-kitten to my mate,* Kaelas said. *Use the Winds as soon as you reach a thread you can ride. The little one needs help quickly.*

    *My dam will not accept a human kitten in her den,* KaeAskavi protested.

    *Tell her the human she-cat fought against hunters to save the kitten—and died.*

    KaeAskavi stood perfectly still for a moment, then said sadly, *I will tell her.* Carefully gripping the covering with his teeth, he trotted off with the she-kitten.

    Kaelas waited, keeping track of them through a psychic thread. When he felt KaeAskavi catch the Wind that would take the young cat closest to the home den, he turned back to the village.

    3 / Kaeleer

    The Green-Jeweled Eyrien Warlord Prince looked upon the carnage with satisfaction. This Gate was now secured for the Dark Priestess's use. She had already selected the sixty pale-skinned, fair-haired people who would replace the ones he and his men had just slaughtered—people she had acquired at the last couple of service fairs. As long as the village looked inhabited and the people appeared to be going about their usual business, he doubted anyone would give any of them a second look. And if a visitorshould know the village well enough to realize that the people were all strangers, what was one more corpse?

    He turned as the Warlord who was his second-in-command approached. "Did that old bitch Priestess send the message?"

    The Warlord nodded. "Sent to Lord Morton, the Glacian Queen's cousin and First Escort."

    "And he usually responds to those messages?"

    "Yes. And he usually comes alone."

    "Then we'd better figure on having company soon. Assign five men with longbows to take up a position behind the landing web."

    The Warlord studied the carnage. "If Morton sees this, he might just catch the Winds again and go back to report."

    "Then I'll just have to make sure I provide a strong enough lure to get him off the landing web but still within easy range of the bowmen," the Warlord Prince said. "The old Priestess is dead?"

    "Yes, Prince."

    He heard a faint, pain-filled cry. "And the young Priestess?"

    The Warlord smiled viciously. "She's getting the appropriate reward for betraying her own people."

    4 / Kaeleer

    Daemon followed Khardeen into the house. "It was kind of you to invite me to dinner."

    "Kindness has nothing to do with it," Khary replied.

    "There's no sense having you rattle around by yourself while you're waiting for Jaenelle."

    He'd accompanied her for much of the Spring visit to the Kaeleer Territories, but when it came time to visit the kindred, she had gently but firmly suggested that he go on to Scelt, where she would meet him. They would spend a few days here before visiting the rest of the Territories on this side of the Realm. "Well, you didn't have to give up an afternoon to show me around Maghre. I could have wandered about the village by myself."

    "That wasn't kindness either," Khary said after requesting coffee and cakes. He settled into a comfortable chair by the fire. "It got me out of the house. As for dinner, it'll be a pleasure talking to someone who isn't going to snarl at me because of a queasy stomach."

    "Is Morghann feeling all right otherwise?" Daemon asked, taking the other chair.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire