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  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(118) by Anne Bishop
  • "Oh, she's doing fine for a dark-Jeweled witch in the early stages of pregnancy. Or so Maeve tells me often enough." Khary's smile was a bit rueful.

    "But a Territory Queen who's suddenly restricted to basic Craft while she carries a babe is not a Lady with a smooth temper."

    "Since you both had to stop drinking the contraceptive brew for this to happen, you're not entirely to blame," Daemon said with a smile.

    "Ah, but I'm not the one who loses my breakfast. That seems to make a difference. And there are other—frustrations—for her at the moment. You didn't hear the tussle this morning? I'm surprised since your house is barely a half mile from ours. I was sure all of Maghre heard her shouting this morning."

    "At you?"

    "No, thank the Darkness. At Sundancer." After thanking the maid who brought the tray, Khary poured the coffee. "Morghann wanted to go riding this morning. Maeve, who's the Healer in Maghre, had said it was fine.Jaenelle had said it was fine as long as Morghann felt well enough."

    "But?" Daemon said, the coffee cup halfway to his lips.

    "Sundancer didn't think it was fine. He said that since mares in foal weren't ridden, he didn't think a human mare in foal should ride."

    "Oh, dear," Daemon said—and then laughed. "No wonder you wanted to get out of the house."

    The door opened. Morghann scowled at the tray, then at Khary. But she smiled at Daemon.

    Setting his cup down, he rose to give her a kiss. In the months since he'd come to Kaeleer, he'd learned the value of these little gestures of affection—and he'd learned to take pleasure in them.

    Khary, he noticed with some amusement and a good dollop of sympathy, had also risen but had wisely not tried to approach his wife.

    A maid appeared at the door. "Would you be wanting a cup of that herbal tea Maeve made up for you, Lady Morghann?"

    "I suppose," Morghann growled.

    Giving Khary a quick glance, Daemon put on his best smile. "Darling," he said to Morghann, "I'm so glad you joined us."

    "Why?" Morghann said darkly as she took a seat.

    "Because Jaenelle's birthday is in a couple of months, and I wanted your advice about a gift."

    As they discussed ideas, Morghann became involved enough not to notice she was drinking a Healer's tea instead of coffee. She even nibbled a little piece of nutcake— which meant the men could have some without having the tray dumped over their heads.

    At the end of an hour, Morghann rose. "I have some correspondence to take care of. I'll see you at dinner?"

    "I look forward to it," Daemon replied.

    She kissed his cheek—and then gave Khary a more generous kiss.

    Khary waited a minute after the door had closed behind her. He lifted his coffee cup in a salute. "That was very well done, Prince Sadi. My thanks."

    Daemon lifted his cup in response. "It was my pleasure, Lord Khardeen."

    5 / Kaeleer

    Morton took a couple of steps away from the landing web and froze, unable to take his eyes off the bodies lying in the snow.

    What in the name of Hell had happened?

    He felt a mild hum from his Ring of Honor, almost like a question. That snapped him out of his shock enough to create an Opal shield. He almost activated the shield in the Ring, then hesitated. That would summon the other boyos—and alarm Karla. He didn't want to do either of those things. Not yet.

    He tried probing the area, but didn't pick up anything that would lead him to believe he was in danger. But hedid sense the presence of several living people.

    His first reaction was to rush forward to help the survivors. Then his training kicked in. Whatever had happened here was more than he could handle alone. And now that he'd been here for a minute, something more than the slaughter feltwrong about this place.

    He took a step back, intending to catch the Winds, head for the nearest village, and bring back help.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire