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  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(187) by Anne Bishop
  • He was here because Marian had ripped into him that morning, giving him the full thrust of the temper that lived beneath her quiet nature. She'd told him that, yes, he'd been hurt, but he'd been hurtto save them. She'd asked him if he would have preferred losing a wife or son in truth in order for his feelings to be spared. And she'd told him that the man she had married would have the courage to forgive.

    That had brought him here.

    But now...

    When they'd both been slaves in Terreille, he and Daemon had played games before, had used each other, had hurt each other. Sometimes they'd done it to relieve their own pain, sometimes it had been for a better reason. But they'd always been able to look past those games and forgive the hurtbecause there had been no one else. They'd fought with each other, but they'd also foughtfor each other.

    He had other people now, a wider circle to love. A wife, a son. Maybe that had made the difference. He didn'tneed Daemon. But, Hell's fire, Daemon neededhim right now.

    But it was more than that. Thirteen years ago, he had wrongfully accused Daemon of killing Jaenelle. That had been the first hard shove that had ended with Daemon spending eight years in the Twisted Kingdom, lost in madness. And Daemon had forgiven him because, he'd said, he'd already grieved for a brother once and didn't want to do it again.

    Daemon had believed a painful lie for thirteen years.He'd believed one for a couple of days. Marian had been right to rip into him.

    So he would do what he could to mend things, for his own sake as well as for Daemon's. Because, during those long centuries of slavery when they'd had no one but each other, their anger had sometimes flared to moments of hate, but underneath there had always been love.

    Pushing away from the wall, Lucivar walked down the steps, knelt in the grass beside Daemon. He touched his brother's shoulder.

    Daemon looked at him out of a face devastated by grief before lunging into the open arms.

    "I want her back," Daemon cried. "Oh, Lucivar,I want her back."

    Lucivar held on tight as his own tears fell. "I know, old son. I know."

    2 / Kaeleer

    "You're leaving!" Lucivar leaped to his feet and stared at Saetan. "What do you mean, 'leaving'? To go where?" Pacing behind the two chairs in front of the blackwood desk, he pointed an accusing finger at his father. "You are not going to the Dark Realm. There's no one left there. And you are not going to be alone."

    "Lucivar," Saetan said quietly. "Lucivar, please listen."

    "When the sun shines in Hell."

    *Prick,* Daemon said on an Ebon-gray spear thread.

    *And why in the name of Hell are you just sitting there?* Lucivar demanded. *He's your father, too.*

    Daemon bit back exasperation. *Let him talk, Prick. If we don't like what we hear, then we'll do something about it.* "You're leaving because of Sylvia?" he asked Saetan.

    Lucivar froze, swore softly, then settled back into the chair.

    "That's part of it," Saetan said. "A Guardian isn't meant to be among the living. Not that way." He hesitated, then added, "If I stay... I can't stay and be a friend and encourage her to... She deserves to be with someone who can give her more than I can now."

    "You could come to Ebon Rih and live with us," Lucivar said.

    "Thank you, Lucivar, but no. I've..." Saetan took a deep breath. "I've been offered a position at the Keep as assistant historian/librarian. Geoffrey says he's starting to feel his years, and it's my fault that he's had more work now than he's ever had because I'm the one who introduced the coven to the Keep's library, and it's time I started making myself useful."

    "The Keep is only a mountain away from our eyrie," Lucivar said.

    "You will not bring Daemonar to the library."

    Lucivar gave Saetan a sharp smile. "Did you bring me there when I was his age?"

    "Once," Saetan said dryly. "And Geoffrey still reminds me of that little adventure on occasion." He glanced at Daemon. "I'll come and visit both of you, just to find out how much trouble you're causing."

    Daemon felt a tension ease. He wanted to see his father, but not at Ebon Askavi. He would never again set foot in the Keep.

    "The family owns three counties in Dhemlan," Saetan said. "I've divided them between you. Daemon, I'm giving you the Hall and all the land and titles that go with it. Lucivar, you'll have the land that's near the Askavi border. The other property you'll own together."

    "I don't need land," Lucivar protested.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire