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  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(120) by Anne Bishop
  • "All you'll be is some man's whore," Karla said flatly.

    Ulka's face became ugly. "And you'll be dead! And don't think they won't finish the kill to make sure they're rid ofall of you!"

    The ring Jaenelle had given her produced a sharp, warning tingle seconds before Morton's warning cry filled her mind.

    *KARLA!*

    *Morton?Morton!*

    Nothing. An emptiness where someone had been for as long as she could remember.

    Another kind of cold filled Karla—a cold that fed her body, gave her strength. "You killed Morton," she said too quietly.

    "Ididn't," Ulka replied. "But he's dead by now."

    The bladed Eyrien stick Lucivar had given her was in her hands and whistling through the air before Ulka had time to realize the danger. The blades, honed to a killing edge, swept through Ulka's leg bones as easily as they swept through the woman's wool dress.

    Blood gushed. Ulka fell, screaming.

    Karla staggered, braced herself. She couldn't use her body this way and fight the poison long enough for ...

    For what? With Morton dead, who would be able to reach her fast enough? No matter. She would fight to live for as long as she could. And she had more power at her disposal than her enemies had imagined since she didn't have to use her Gray Jewels to shield herself.

    Looking down at Ulka, Karla raised the bladed stick. "Well, bitch, I may not be able to finish the kill, but I can make damn sure you're of no use to anyone when you become demon-dead."

    She cut off Ulka's hands, then her head. The last stroke tore through the belly and severed the spine.

    Karla staggered back a few steps, away from the growing pool of blood. Sinking to the floor, she carefully stretched out, her right arm wrapped around her belly, her left hand clamped around the bladed stick.

    She had seen her own death in her tangled web, and she'd done what she could to change that part of the vision. But if she had to die now, she would accept it.

    Dark power washed over her, warming icy limbs. She felt a tendril of power wrap around her and recognized a healing thread helping her fight against the poison.

    Cradled by Jaenelle's strength, she turned inward to concentrate on the battlefield her body had become.

    7 / Kaeleer

    Daemon snarled in frustration when he felt the tingling coming from Jaenelle's Ring of Honor. He hadn't yet learned how to interpret all the information that could be absorbed from the Ring. He recognized this particular sensation as a call for help, but had no idea where the call was coming from. "Do you—" he said, turning toward Khardeen.

    The intense blankness in Khary's eyes, the sense of focused listening, stopped him from saying anything more.

    "Morton," Khary said quietly. "AndKarla." He lunged for the door.

    Daemon grabbed him. "No. You're needed here."

    "That's not the way it works," Khary said sharply. "When one of us needs help—"

    "You all take the bait?" Daemon asked just as sharply. "You have a pregnant Queen who can't defend herself without risking a miscarriage. Your place is here. I'll take care of Karla—and Morton." He studied Khary. "Who else will have heard that call for help?"

    "Everyone in the First Circle who lives in the western part of Kaeleer. The Ring has more of a range than if we were trying to reach someone on our own, but the alert wouldn't be felt beyond that. However, every male who felt that call for help will relay a warning through a communication thread to the First Circle withinhis range."

    "Then relay this message to the First Circle as fast as you can: 'Stay put. Stand guard.' " Daemon paused. "And locate Jaenelle."

    "Yes," Khary said grimly. "The Queens need to be protected. Especially her."

    Satisfied, Daemon rushed out of the house and swore. He couldn't reach any of the Winds from here.

    He started to run down the drive, then turned toward the sound of pounding hooves. Sundancer slid to a stop beside him.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire