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  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(137) by Anne Bishop
  • So she understood why the others were worried. A woman could easily become addicted to that touch, would be willing to do a great many things in order to prevent it from being withdrawn. And Jaenellehad been acting strange since the first attack. But she didn't think it had anything to do with Daemon.

    There was one other thing she knew about Daemon Sadi, something she had seen in the tangled web that had warned her about her own death: he was the friend who would become an enemy in order to remain a friend.

    3 / Kaeleer

    "What is it about Daemon that scares the shit out of Lucivar?" Andulvar asked as soon as the four men entered a small sitting room in the Keep.

    "I don't know," Saetan replied, avoiding their stares by warming a glass of yarbarah over a tongue of witchfire.

    Hedidn't know. Lucivar had always evaded talking about the times he and Daemon had tangled when they'd come together in Terreillean courts. Lucivar had said once that if he had a choice of going up against the Sadist or the High Lord, he would choose the High Lord because he would have some chance of winning.

    What was it about that smile of Daemon's that could shake Lucivar so badly? What was it about the Sadist that could make a man as aggressive as Lucivar back down? And what might Daemon's presence in the Keep mean to the rest of them?

    "High Lord!" Prothvar jerked Saetan's hand away from the tongue of witchfire just before the yarbarah began to boil.

    Saetan put the glass down. The yarbarah wouldn't be drinkable.

    "SaDiablo," Andulvar said quietly, "should we be watching our backs?"

    It didn't occur to him to offer a reassuring lie. "I don't know."

    4 / Kaeleer

    Ladvarian wearily trotted toward Halaway, responding to a gentle but insistent summons. Every so often, he snarled to vent his frustration and growing anger.

    How could a place as big as the Hall not have what he needed? Oh, he'd found plenty of things that werealmost right but nothing thatwas right. That accounted for his frustration. The anger...

    The kindred had waited so long for this living myth to come.This one. This special one. And now it was going to be spoiled by humans.

    No. Itwouldn't be spoiled. The kindred were gathering.

    As soon as the Weaver of Dreams told them what to do, they would act.

    When he reached the neat cottage in Halaway, he went to the back door and barked once, politely.

    Tersa opened an upstairs window. "Come inside, little Brother."

    Using Craft, he floated upward to the window and went in. Most of the kindred referred to Tersa as "the Strange One." They meant no disrespect. They recognized that she was a Black Widow who wandered roads most of the Blood would never see. She was special. She had that in common with the Lady.

    Even knowing all that didn't prevent his hackles from rising when he stepped into the room.

    A low, narrow bed—exactlythe kind he had searched for at the Hall. He approached it cautiously and opened his inner and outer senses. It had no smells. There should be human smells as well as a residual psychic scent from the humans who had made the bed, mattress, and bedcovers.

    "It has all been cleansed," Tersa said calmly. "There are no psychic scents to interfere with the weaving of dreams."

    *The weaving of dreams?* Ladvarian said cautiously.

    "That trunk will provide storage and can be used as a bedside table as well. Remember to bring clothing for warm weather as well as clothing for the spring. Favorite things. Clothes that will be strong with her scent, even if they've been cleaned."

    Ladvarian backed away. *Why should I bring clothing?*

    Tersa smiled and said gently, "Because Witch does not have fur." Her eyes looked into an inner distance, became unfocused and farseeing. "It is almost time for the debts to be paid. Those who survive will serve, but few will survive. The howling... Full of joy and pain, rage and celebration. She is coming." Her eyes focused on him again. "And the kindred will anchor the dream in flesh."

    *Yes, Lady,* Ladvarian said respectfully.

    Tersa picked up a cobalt-blue bowl from a nearby dresser. Using Craft, she rested the bowl on the air. "When you next see the Weaver of Dreams, tell her this is how to get the 'more' she needs."

    Ladvarian shifted his weight restlessly from one paw to the other. The Arachnian Queen had not mentioned Tersa. Why did Tersa know so much about the Arachnian Queen?

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