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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Queen of the Darkness (Chapter 152)      Page
  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(152) by Anne Bishop
  • Well, it was to be expected that she would be drained by unleashing the amount of power needed to stop Dorothea and Hekatahcompletely. The fact that it would take her three months to recover worried him. And now that she was so close to finishing... whatever it was ... he was also worried that the boyos might finally slip the leash and throw themselves into battle.

    They were feeling too hostile toward him just then to listen to anything he might say, but he hoped Saetan would still be reasonable. He was fairly sure he could say enough for the High Lord to understand that Jaenelle's evasion had a purpose, that all they needed was a few more days. A few more days and the threat to Kaeleer would end, the threat Dorothea and Hekatah had always been to the Blood would end.

    He knocked on Saetan's door, then went in cautiously when it was Surreal who said, "Come in."

    She was standing behind the small desk. Falonar stood beside her, looking tired and angry. Surreal didn't look tired, and she was a long way past angry. "Look at this," she said.

    Even from where he stood, he could see the pendant and the Steward's ring. Slipping his hands into his trouser pockets, he walked around the desk, silently acknowledging the emotional cut when she deliberately moved away from him. He read the message and felt a claw-sharp chill rip down his back.

    "Noware you finally going to do something?" Surreal asked, slamming her hands on the desk. "They're not killing strangers anymore. You can't keep your distance anymore.Those bitches have your father and brother."

    It cost him dearly, but he managed to get that bored tone in his voice. "Lucivar and Saetan chose to take the risk when they disobeyed orders. It doesn't change anything."Couldn't change anything. Not if Jaenelle was going to save Kaeleer.

    "They've also got Marian and Daemonar."

    Of course they did. He felt concerned about Marian, but not really worried. If Marian were raped or harmed in any way, not even a Ring of Obedience would stop Lucivar from starting a full-scale slaughter. So he wasn't really worried about Marian, but just the thought of Daemonar in those bitches' hands for even an hour... "There's bound to be some kind of ransom demand," he said dismissively. "We'll see what we can accommodate."

    "Accommodate?" Surreal said."Accommodate? Don't you know what Dorothea and Hekatah will do to them?"

    Of course he knew, far better than she did.

    Surreal's voice filled with venom. "Are you at least going to tell Jaenelle?"

    "Yes, I suppose the Lady will have to be told about this inconvenience." He walked out of the room while Surreal was still sputtering curses.

    He wished she had cried. He wished she had shouted, screamed, raged, swore, wept bitterly. He didn't know what to do with this still woman he had cradled on his lap for the past hour.

    He had told her as gently as he could. She had said nothing. Just put her head on his shoulder and turned inward, going down so deep into the abyss he couldn't even feel her.

    So he held her. Sometimes his hands stroked, caressed— not to arouse her but to relax her. Hecould have drawn her back with sex, but it would have violated the trust she had in him, andthat he wouldn't do. When his hand had rested on her chest, it was to reassure himself that her heart was still beating. Each warm breath against his throat was an unspoken promise that she would return to him.

    Finally, after almost two hours had passed, she stirred. "What do you think will happen now?" she asked as if there had been no time at all between the question and his news.

    "Even riding the Black Winds, it would have taken Saetan a couple of hours or more to get to Hayll. We don't know when he left—"

    "But he would have gotten there by now."

    "Yes." He paused, thought it through again. "Lucivar and Saetan aren't the prize. They're the bait. And bait becomes less valuable if it's damaged. So I think they're safe enough for the moment."

    "Dorothea and Hekatah expect me to surrender Kaeleer in order to get Lucivar and Papa back, don't they?" When he didn't answer, Jaenelle raised her head and studied him. "No. That would never do, would it? In order to hold on to Kaeteer, they have to be able to control me, use my strength to rule."

    "Yes. Lucivar and Saetan are the bait. You're the prize." Daemon brushed her hair away from her face. "How close are you to finishing your... spell?" He knew it was far more than that, but it was as good a word as any.

    "A few more hours." She stirred a little more. "I should get back to it."

    His hold on her tightened. "Not yet. Sit with me a little while longer. Please."

    She relaxed against him. "We'll get them back, Daemon."

    Father. Brother. He closed his eyes and pressed his cheek against her head, needing the warmth and contact. "Yes," he murmured, "we'll get them back."

    17 / Kaeleer

    Ladvarian studied the chamber that would be Witch's home for a while. An old carpet that he had brought from the Hall covered the stone floor. He had also taken a couple of lamps that used candle-lights and lots of scented candles. The narrow bed Tersa had given him was in the center of the chamber. The trunk was beside it and held a few changes of clothes, a couple of the books Jaenelle liked to read when she needed to snuggle up and rest for a day, her favorite music crystals, and some grooming things.

    He had brought no pictures because three walls and the ceiling of the chamber were covered with layers of healing webs. The back of the chamber was filled with the tangled web of dreams and visions that had shaped the living myth, dreams made flesh, Witch.

    *Is it ready?* he respectfully asked the large golden spider who was the Weaver of Dreams.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire