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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Queen of the Darkness (Chapter 166)      Page
  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(166) by Anne Bishop
  • She shuddered.

    Hekatah braced her hands on the table. "Do you still think he'll buckle if we threaten Lucivar?" she asked in a shaky voice.

    "No," Dorothea replied in a voice just as shaky. "I don't know what he'll do anymore." For centuries, the Blood in Terreille had called him the Sadist. Now she finally understood why.

    2 / Kaeleer

    Karla watched Tersa build strange creations with brown wooden building blocks. She was grateful for the older woman's presence, and knew Gabrielle felt the same way.

    Jaenelle had disappeared shortly after she had talked to them. They, in turn, had talked to the rest of the coven, only telling them that the boyos needed to be held back for a few more days. They hadn't told the others about Witch's intention of going to war with Terreille—alone. They had understood the unspoken command when Jaenelle had finally shown them the dream that lived beneath the human skin.

    So the coven, unhappy but united, had rounded up the boyos before any of them could slip the leash. It hadn't been easy, and the males' hostility toward what they considered a betrayal had been vicious enough to make Karla wonder if any of the marriages in the First Circle would survive. Some of those marriagesmight have been destroyed right there and then if Tersa hadn't come along and scolded the boyos for their lack of courtesy. Since the males weren't willing to attackher, they had given in.

    Almost twenty-four hours of enforced togetherness hadn't made things any easier, but it was the only way to ensure the males' continued presence. Even by the Keep's standards, the sitting room the coven had chosen as a place of confinement was a large room with several clusters of furniture and lots of pacing room—and it wasn't big enough. The coven mostly kept to the chairs and couches to avoid being snarled at by a pacing male. And when the boyos weren't pacing, they were huddled together, muttering.

    "How many days are we going to have to do this?" Karla muttered to herself.

    "As many as it takes," Tersa replied quietly. She studied her newest creation for a minute, then knocked it down.

    The wooden blocks clattered on the long table in front of the couch, but no one jumped this time, having gotten used to the noise. No one even paid much attention to Tersa's odd creations. The boyos, in an attempt to prove theycould be courteous, had admired and inquired about the first few... structures... but when Tersa's replies became more and more confusing, they finally backed off and left her alone.

    In fact, Karla would have bet they weren't paying attention to much of anything going on in the room—until Ladvarian came in and trotted over to her.

    The Sceltie looked unbearably weary, and there was a deep sadness in his brown eyes—and just a bit of an accusation.

    *Karla?* Ladvarian said.

    "Little Brother," Karla replied.

    Two bowls appeared on the small table next to Karla's chair. One was filled with...

    Karla carefully picked one up, studied it.

    ... bubbles of water that had protective shields around them to form a kind of skin. The other bowl had one red bubble.

    *I need a drop of blood from each of you,* Ladvarian said.

    "Why?" Karla asked as she studied the bubble. It was a brilliant little piece of Craft.

    *For Jaenelle.*

    Hearing that, Chaosti jumped in. "If Jaenelle wants something from us right now, she can ask us herself."

    "Chaosti,"Gabrielle hissed.

    Chaosti snarled at her.

    Ladvarian cringed at the anger in the room, but his eyes never left Karla.

    "Why?" Karla asked.

    "Why why why," Tersa said irritably as she knocked over the building blocks. "Humans can't even give a little gift without asking why why why. It is for your Queen. What more do you need to know?" Then, as if the outburst had never happened, she began arranging blocks again.

    Karla shivered as she stared at Ladvarian. There were two ways to interpret "for Jaenelle." Either the dog was just the courier and was bringing these drops of blood to Jaenelle becauseshe needed them for something ... or Ladvarian wanted themfor Jaenelle. But how to ask the right questions and get something more than an evasive answer. Because she was certain Ladvarian would become evasive if she pushed too hard.

    "I'm not sure I can give you a drop of blood, little Brother," Karla said carefully. "My blood is still a bit tainted from the poison."

    "That will have no effect on this," Tersa said absently as she used Craft to hold blocks in the air. "But what is in yourheart... Yes, thatwill affect a great deal."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire