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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Queen of the Darkness (Chapter 190)      Page
  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(190) by Anne Bishop
  • It was early autumn, almost a year since he'd first come to Kaeleer.

    Daemon carefully landed the small Coach in the meadow and stepped out. At the edge of the meadow, Ladvarian waited for him.

    For weeks, he had raged and pleaded, begged and sworn. It hadn't done any good. Draca had insisted that she didn't know exactly where the kindred had hidden Jaenelle. She had also insisted that the healing was still very delicate and a strong presence—and difficult emotions—could easily interfere. Finally, exasperated, she had suggested that he make himself useful.

    So he'd thrown himself into work. And every evening he had written a letter to Jaenelle, telling her about his day, pouring out his love. Two or three times a week, he went to the Keep and annoyed Draca.

    Now, finally, the message had come. The kindred had done all they could. The healing wasn't complete, but the rest would take time, and she should be in a warm human den now.

    So he'd been told where to bring the Coach that would take Jaenelle back to the Hall.

    He crossed the meadow, stopped a few feet in front of Ladvarian. The Sceltie looked too thin, but there was joy— and wariness—in the brown eyes.

    "Ladvarian," Daemon said quietly, respectfully.

    *Daemon.* Ladvarian shifted uneasily. *Human males... Some human males pay too much attention to the outside.*

    He understood the warning, heard the fear. And now he understood why they hadn't let him come sooner—they'd been afraid he wouldn't be able to stand what he saw. They were still afraid.

    "It doesn't matter, Ladvarian," he said gently. "It doesn't matter."

    The Sceltie studied him. *She is very fragile.*

    "I know." Draca had drummed that into him before she'd let him come.

    *She sleeps a lot.*

    He smiled dryly. "I've hardly slept at all."

    Satisfied, Ladvarian turned. *This way. Be careful. There are many guard webs.*

    Looking around, he saw the tangled webs that could ensnare a person's mind and draw him into peculiar dreams— or hideous nightmares.

    He walked carefully.

    They walked for several minutes before they came to a path that led to a sheltered cove. A large tent was set up well back from the waterline. The colored fabric would keep out most of the sun but seemed loosely woven enough to let in air.

    Closer to the water were several poorly made sand casties. Watching Kaelas trying to pack sand with one of those huge paws made him smile.

    The front flaps of the tent were pulled back, revealing the woman sleeping inside. She wore a long skirt of swirling colors. The amethyst-colored shirt was unbuttoned and had slid to her sides, displaying her from the waist up.

    Daemon took one look at her and bolted away from the tent.

    He stopped a few yards away and just tried to draw a normal breath while his stomach twisted wildly.

    The kindred had done their very best. They had given months of focused, single-minded devotion to produce this much healing. He never ever wanted to know what she had looked like when they had brought her here.

    He felt Ladvarian come up behind him. Since the Sceltie had seen what she had looked like, the dog probably couldn't understand his reaction. "Ladvarian..."

    *She rose from the healing webs too soon,* Ladvarian said in a voice that was bitter and accusing. *Because of you.*

    Daemon turned slowly, his heart bleeding from the verbal wound.

    *We tried to tell her you weren't hurt. We tried to tell her that she had to stay down in the healing webs longer. We tried to tell her that the Stra—that Tersa would tell you that she was coming back, that the High Lord would take care of his pup. But she kept saying that you were hurting and that she had promised. She stayed in the webs long enough for her insides to heal and then she rose. But when she saw...*

    Daemon closed his eyes. No. Sweet Darkness, no. She would have been in pain, would have suffered. And she wouldn't have if she'd stayed down in the healing webs.

    "Tersa did tell me," he said in a broken voice. "Over and over again. But... all I knew for certain was that Jaenelle had promised to marry me and then had left me, and..." He couldn't go on.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire