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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Queen of the Darkness (Chapter 122)      Page
  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(122) by Anne Bishop
  • 9 / Kaeleer

    Ignoring the official landing web, Daemon dropped from the Winds as close as he could get to Karla's home. The moment he appeared on a street, he wrapped a Black sight shield, psychic shield, and protective shield around himself. He ran a couple of blocks, turned a corner, and stopped.

    The street was full of struggling, fighting men. Blasts of Jeweled power made the air smell like lightning. Those who had already drained their Jewels, or had never worn them, were fighting with mundane weapons. He spotted some women, fighting desperately but ineffectively.

    So familiar. He didn't need the whiff of rot present in some of the psychic scents to recognize Dorothea's hand in this. He'd seen it too many times in Terreille. Those whose ambition far outstripped their ability would sell their own people for Hayll's "assistance." The fighting would eliminate the strongest males and females, the ones best able to oppose Dorothea, and the ones who were left...

    This time he didn't have to be subtle. This time he didn't have to dance around the agony Dorothea would inflict on him if she suspected his interference. But being subtle had become ingrained in him. Besides, a silent predator was the most feared.

    Smiling a cold, cruel smile, Daemon slipped his hands into his trouser pockets and glided between clumps of fighters—invisible, undetectable—and left devastation in his wake.

    He entered Karla's mansion. The fighting must have started here and spread into the street. He stepped over corpses, homed in on the psychic scents that had a flavor he associated with Dorothea, and killed those fighters so swiftly, so cleanly their opponents froze for a moment, stunned and confused.

    A Warlord Prince wearing the badge of the Master of the Guard was fighting off other males near the staircase, using the last of his Jeweled strength to shield himself against three men who were still fresh.

    Three flicks of Black power. Three men fell.

    As he started up the stairs, Daemon saw the sharp hunter's look in the other Warlord Prince's eyes, saw the moment the man guessed something dangerous was climbing the stairs.

    A White-Jeweled Warlord rushed at the Warlord Prince, forcing him to turn toward the enemy who was attacking.

    Daemon climbed the stairs. Even exhausted, the Warlord Prince would have no trouble with the Warlord, and it would keep him occupied a little while longer.

    No need to hunt for Karla's room. The Ring of Honor led him unerringly, the throbbing against his organ irritating him enough to hone a temper that had already risen to the killing edge.

    The door stood open. He saw a hacked-up woman lying on a blood-soaked carpet. He saw five men sending blast after blast of power against the shield surrounding another woman. Karla.

    He didn't know who the men were—and didn't care.

    Reaching up from the depth of the Black, he slipped under the men's inner barriers and unleashed iced rage, turning their brains into gray dust and consuming their psychic strength, finishing the kill.

    He was across the room before they fell. Kneeling beside Karla, he dropped the sight shield and reached out cautiously.

    The shield around her held a feral, deadly hunger.

    Not sure how to get through the shield, and wondering what he might unleash if he did it incorrectly, Daemon took a deep breath and brought his hand a little closer.

    A flick of power against his palm. A tasting. An acceptance.

    His hand passed, unharmed, through the shield.

    "Karla," he said as his hand closed on her arm."Karla." Her rasping effort to breathe told him she was still alive. But if she'd gone so deep into a healing sleep that she couldn't hear him...

    "Kiss kiss," Karla rasped.

    Relief washed through him. He leaned over her so that she could see him without trying to move her head. "Kiss kiss."

    "Poisoned," she said. "Can't identify. Bad."

    Pushing her robe aside, Daemon laid his left hand on her chest and sent out a careful psychic probe. His knowledge of healing Craft was limited, but he knew about poisons. And he recognized at least part of this one.

    "Get your hand ... off my ... tit," Karla said.

    "Don't be bitchy," Daemon replied mildly, probing a little more. Her body was fighting it far better than he would have thought possible, but she wouldn't survive without more help than he could give her. He hesitated. "Karla ..."

    "About... three hours left. Body... can't fight more..."

    Riding the Black Winds, it had taken him almost two hours to get there from Scelt. Pandar and Centauran were closer, but he didn't know Jonah or Sceron as well as he knew Khardeen, and he didn't know if the satyr or centaur Healers could deal with this poison.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire