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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Queen of the Darkness (Chapter 18)      Page
  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(18) by Anne Bishop
  • Daemon glanced around. "My servants aren't here yet."

    "I'll look for them. Get in."

    Looking at Lucivar's still-glazed eyes, and picking up a strained urgency in his brother's psychic scent, Daemon obeyed.

    Surreal, Wilhelmina, and Andrew quickly came in behind him, followed by several Eyriens. A minute later, Daemon breathed a sigh of relief as Jazen helped Manny up the steps into the Coach. A couple more Eyriens came in, and then an Ebon-gray shield snapped up around the Coach, effectively locking everyone but Daemon inside, since he was the only one who wore a Jewel darker than Lucivar's.

    A Web Coach this size could usually accommodate thirty people, but Eyriens required more room because of their wings. Noticing the lack of seats, Daemon wondered if the Coach was usually used for conveying something other than humans, or if Lucivar, intending to bring Eyriens, had had the usual seats removed. The only thing that could be used for seats were a few sturdy wooden boxes pushed up against the walls, with cushions on top of them and an open front for storage.

    After studying the people packed against the walls in order to leave a narrow aisle in the center, Daemon turned his attention to the Coach. At the front was a door that led to the driver's compartment. Maybe one other person could sit with the driver, giving the rest a little breathing room. Moving carefully, Daemon made his way to the short, narrow corridor at the back of the Coach. On the left was a small private room that held a narrow desk and a straight chair, an easy chair and hassock, and a single bed. The room on the right held a sink and toilet.

    Daemon was about to step back into the main compartment when he heard Lucivar's voice just outside the Coach's open door.

    "I don't give a damn what that sniveling little maggot says," Lucivar snarled.

    "Lord Friall's conduct is not in question here," said a voice Daemon recognized as Lord Jorval's. "This will be brought before the Dark Council, and I can assure you we will not be intimidated into ignoring your vicious conduct."

    "You have a problem with me, you can take it up with the Steward, the Master of the Guard, or my Queen."

    "Your Queen fears you," Jorval sneered. "Everyone knows that. She can't control you properly, and the Steward and Master of the Guard certainly aren't going to demand any restraints on your temper since it suits their purpose so well."

    Lucivar's voice lowered to a malevolent hiss. "Just remember, Lord Jorval, that while you and Friall are whining to the Council, I'm going to make the Territory Queens aware that there are some members of the Council who blatantly ignore their own rules about the service fair."

    "That is an outright lie!"

    "Then Friall is incompetent and shouldn't be given the task."

    "Friall is one of the finest members of the Council!"

    "In that case, was he just pissed because he'd expected to get his percentage of the bribes at the table and didn't realize you'd already pocketed them?"

    "How dare you!" A long pause followed. "Perhaps Lord Friall was partly responsible for this unfortunate incident, but the Council will stand firm about this other matter."

    "And what matter is that?" Lucivar crooned.

    "We cannot allow you to have in your service a male who wears Jewels darker than yours."

    "The Queens in Little Terreille do it all the time."

    "They're Queens. They know how to control males."

    "So do I."

    "The Council forbids it."

    "The Council can go to the bowels of Hell."

    Lucivar suddenly filled the Coach's doorway.

    "You can't do this!" Jorval yelled from behind him.

    Lucivar turned and gave Jorval a lazy, arrogant smile. "I'm an Ebon-gray Warlord Prince. I can do anything I damn well want to." He shut the door in Jorval's face, then glanced at the driver's compartment at the front of the Coach, sending an order on a psychic thread. The Coach immediately lifted.

    When Daemon took a step to reenter the main compartment, Lucivar shifted in front of him, effectively blocking the mouth of the corridor. Accepting the unspoken order, Daemon slipped his hands into his trouser pockets and leaned against the wall.

    When he felt sure that Lucivar was through giving his silent instructions to whoever was driving the Coaches, he used an Ebon-gray spear thread to ask, *Will this get you into trouble?*

    *No,* Lucivar replied. He looked over the immigrants. Every one of them quickly looked away in order to avoid meeting his eyes.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire