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  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(136) by Anne Bishop
  • "Cat, you're not thinking—"

    "Remember to whom you speak."

    Lucivar looked into her eyes and paled. Finally, reluctantly, he said, "My apologies, Lady."

    Jaenelle rose. "If there's time to retreat before the attack, do it. If not, keep the fighting to a minimum.Defend for as long as it takes to retreat, but don't attack. And get the Queens and Warlord Princes to the Keep. There will be no exceptions, and I'll accept no excuses."

    A long silence filled the room after Jaenelle left.

    "She's not thinking clearly," Kalush said reluctantly.

    "She's been acting strange since the first attack," Gabrielle snapped, then looked apologetically at Karla. '

    "It's all right," Karla said slowly, with obvious effort. "Shehas been acting strange. I've wondered if healing me affected her somehow."

    "What's affected her is her aversion to killing," Lucivar snarled. "But she's usually clear-sighted enough to be able to see the obvious. We're at war. Dancing around the word isn't going to change the fact."

    "You would defy your Queen?" Daemon asked mildly, almost lazily.

    Lucivar's instant, razor-edged tension startled all of them.

    What's happening between them?Saetan wondered as Daemon and Lucivar just stared at each other. Seeing the sleepy look in Daemon's eyes, he felt ice wrap around his spine.

    "I don't think the Lady understands the repercussions of her order," Lucivar said carefully.

    "Oh," Daemon purred, "I think she understands them quite well. You just don't agree with her. That's not sufficient reason to disobey her."

    "Considering what you've done in other courts, you're not exactly a model of obedience," Lucivar said with a little heat.

    "That's irrelevant. We're talking about you and this court. And I'm telling you, Yaslana, that you will not distress her with defiance or disobedience. If you do..." Daemon merely smiled.

    Lucivar shuddered.

    After Daemon glided out of the room, Saetan asked, "Is he bluffing?" He became uneasy when Lucivar just stared at the table. "Lucivar?"

    "The Sadist doesn't bluff," Lucivar said roughly. "He doesn't need to." He strode out of the room.

    "It would seem there's nothing more to discuss," Saetan said, rising from the table. A flick of a glance brought Andulvar, Prothvar, and Mephis to their feet.

    Letting the other men precede him, he had almost shut the door when he heard Aaron say, "What do we really know about Daemon Sadi?"

    He closed the door silently. When he turned toward the other men, he saw the same question in Andulvar's eyes— and he was no longer sure he had an answer.

    2 / Kaeleer

    "What do we really know about Daemon Sadi?" Aaron said.

    Karla let the murmurs of opinion and conversation become a wash of sound as she sank deeper into her own thoughts.

    What did they really know about Daemon Sadi?

    He was a Black-Jeweled Warlord Prince and a natural Black Widow—an explosively dangerous, beautiful-looking man.

    He was the High Lord's mirror, but not a perfect reflection.

    He was a man who, for most of his life, had been chained in one way or another to Dorothea SaDiablo, Kaeleer's enemy.

    He was a man who understood women. Unable to stand the pity in the servants' eyes when they had helped her into the bath the first few days after the healing, she had insisted that she didn't need help. Using Craft, she was able to undress and get herself into the tub but wasn't able to wash herself well enough, especially because the reaction to the poisons was causing her skin to slough off at a grotesque rate. One evening, Daemon had shown up to assist her. She had snapped at him, had told him to go away. His answer, spoken in such a pleasant voice it had taken her a few seconds to comprehend the words, was so creatively obscene she was in the tub being gently, but thoroughly, washed before she could think again. His touch hadn't been impersonal, nor had it been sexual, but by the time he'd started massaging her scalp, she'd been awash in sensual pleasure like she'd never experienced before.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire