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  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(124) by Anne Bishop
  • Another ripple of anger, this time directed at the bad winged males. Arcerians didn't have much use for humans, but they liked Lady Karla and adored the Lady. For them, they would hunt and return to the dens without meat.

    The wind shifted slightly, brought a different scent.

    *We will take the animals that belonged to the pale humans,* Kaelas said. *The humans do not need them now. It will be payment for work.* He was pleased that he remembered that peculiar human idea. If the Lady snarled at him for taking animals from a human village, he could use those words.

    *Payment for work?* a couple of males echoed. Then one of them asked, *This is a human thing?*

    *Yes. We kill these bad males, then we can take good meat back to the dens.*

    Satisfied, the Arcerians settled down to study their prey.

    Kaelas watched the winged males for a minute. *We must hunt fast... and silent.*

    *Fast kills,* the others agreed.

    Kaelas watched the Green-Jeweled Warlord Prince walk to a den near the Sanctuary.But not for that one.

    11 / Kaeleer

    Jaenelle was waiting for him by the time Daemon reached Khary and Morghann's house.

    "She's bleeding too much for this just to be moon's blood," he said abruptly as he rushed into the guest room, followed by Morghann, Khary, and Maeve, the village Healer. "And there's not much time left."

    Jaenelle placed a hand on Karla's chest, her eyes focusing on something only she could see. "There's enough," she said too calmly.

    Morghann laid a padding of towels on the bed.

    Daemon gave her a cold stare as he laid Karla on the bed. Was the woman more worried about her precious linens than about a friend who had been poisoned?

    "It'll disturb her less to change a towel than to change the linens," Morghann said quietly, her eyes clearly telling him she knew what he'd been thinking—and had been hurt by it.

    There was no time for an apology. Morghann and Maeve stripped off the bloody nightgown and robe, and quickly wiped the blood off Karla's skin. Jaenelle paid no attention to the physical ministrations, remaining focused on the healing.

    Daemon was about to tell her what he knew about the poison when he looked down at his blood-soaked sleeve. Memories of being soaked in Jaenelle's blood rushed at him. He ripped off the jacket, then the shirt. Khary took them and handed him a wet cloth.

    As he scrubbed the blood off his skin, Jaenelle said, "There were two poisons used. I don't know one of them."

    Handing the cloth back to Khary, Daemon moved to the bed. "One of them comes from a plant that only grows in southern Hayll."

    Jaenelle looked up, her eyes blank and iced. "Do you know an antidote?" she asked with an odd calm that scared him.

    "Yes. But the herbs I have are several years old. I don't know if they'll still be potent enough."

    "I can make them potent enough. Make the antidote, Daemon."

    "What about the other poison?" he asked as he started clearing a work space on the bedside table.

    "It's witchblood."

    A chill went through him. Witchblood only grew where a witch had been violently killed—or where she had been buried. Used as a poison, it was virulent and deadly—and usually undetectable.

    "You can detect it?" Daemon asked cautiously.

    "I can recognize witchblood in any of its forms," Jaenelle replied in her midnight voice.

    Another memory rushed at him. Jaenelle staring at the bed of witchblood she had planted in an alcove on the Angelline estate.Did you know that if you sing to them correctly, they'll tell you the names of the ones who have gone?

    Even dried into a poison, did the plants tell Witch the names of the ones who were gone?

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire