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  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(146) by Anne Bishop
  • No. Wait. Maybe shecould say the most important thing, the thing that had been chewing at her ever since Surreal had lashed out at her.

    She gathered everything that was left of her strength, shaped it into a bubble to hold one thought, then pushed it upward, upward, upward until it rested just outside her inner barriers.

    Lucivar would find it. She knew he would.

    No anchor. Nothing to hold on to. Filled with regrets tempered by one bubble of acknowledged love, she faded away and returned to the Darkness.

    10 / Kaeleer

    Palanar knocked reluctantly on the kitchen door. He supposed being asked to escort Lady Luthvian to the Keep was an honor, but she had made it very clear that she didn't like Eyrien males. So he wasn't really sure if this was Hallevar's way of showing confidence in him or a subtle punishment for something he'd done.

    He opened the door and cautiously poked his head into the kitchen. "Lady Luthvian?"

    She was there, standing near the table, staring at him. Then she smiled and said, "No balls, little warrior?"

    Stung, he stepped into the kitchen. "Are you ready?" he asked, striving to put the same arrogance into his voice that Falonar or Lucivar would have had.

    She looked at the traveling bag next to her, then at him.

    Since when did Luthvian expect a male to carry anything? The last time he'd tried, she'd almost dented his head. Hallevar had been right when he'd said, "Best resign yourself to the fact that a female can change her mind faster than you can fart."

    He took a couple of steps toward her, then stopped again.

    "What's wrong?" she asked suspiciously.

    She stank. That's what was wrong. Reallystank. But he wasn't about to saythat. Then he noticed she looked a little... strange.

    "What's wrong?" she asked again, taking a step toward him.

    He took two steps back.

    Her face shifted, wavered. For a moment, he thought he saw someone else. Someone he didn't know—and didn'twant to know.

    And he remembered something else Hallevar had told him: sometimes running was the smartest thing an inexperienced warrior could do.

    He ran for the door.

    He didn't reach it. Power blasted through his inner barriers. Needles stabbed into his mind, grew hooks and dug deeper, tore out little bits of his Self. His body vibrated from the fierce tug-of-war as he tried to get out the door while she drew him back into the room.

    Helpless, he felt himself turn around—and saw the witch who held him captive. He screamed.

    "You will go exactly where I tell you to go," she said. "Say exactly what I tell you to say."

    "N-n-no."

    Gold eyes glittered in her decayed face, and pain seared him.

    "It's a small task, puppy. And when it's done, I'll set you free."

    She held out a small crystal. It floated through the air. His left hand reached out and took it.

    She told him exactly where to go, exactly what to say, exactly what to do with the spell in the crystal. Then he was turned around again, like a marionette with knotted strings. He walked out the door.

    A warrior would not do this, no matter the price. A warrior would not do this.

    He tried to bring his right hand up to reach his knife. He could cut his throat, cut his wrists, dosomething to get away from her.

    His hand closed on the hilt.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire