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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Queen of the Darkness (Chapter 23)      Page
  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(23) by Anne Bishop
  • "Oh, shit."

    The ground spun under Daemon's feet. He flung out an arm. Lucivar grabbed him, steadied him. "I can't," he whispered. "Lucivar, I can't."

    "Yes, you can." Holding his arm, Lucivar led him to the double front doors. "It'll be easier than you think. Besides, Ladvarian's been waiting to meet you."

    Daemon didn't have the energy to wonder, much less care, why this Ladvarian wanted to meet him, not when the next step might bring him face-to-face with the High Lord again—or Jaenelle.

    Lucivar pushed the doors open. Daemon followed him into the great hall, the rest of the immigrants crowding behind him. They'd only gone a few steps when Lucivar stopped suddenly and swore under his breath.

    Daemon glanced around, trying to understand the flash of wariness he'd picked up from Lucivar. At the far end of the hall, a maid knelt under one of the crystal chandeliers, wiping the floor. A few feet away from them stood a large Red-Jeweled Warlord dressed in a butler's uniform. His expression was more icy than stoic.

    Eyeing the butler, Lucivar said cautiously, "Beale."

    "Prince Yaslana," Beale replied with stiff formality.

    Lucivar winced. "What—"

    Someone giggled. They all looked up.

    High overhead, a naked Eyrien boy, barely more than a toddler, balanced precariously on the nearest chandelier.

    Lucivar glanced at Beale, sighed, and took a couple of steps forward. "What are you doing up there, boyo?"

    "Flyin'," the toddler said.

    "Take a guess," the maid growled as she dropped her cloth into a bucket and got to her feet.

    "Slipped past your keepers, did you?" Lucivar muttered.

    The toddler giggled again and then made a very rude noise.

    "Come down, Daemonar," Lucivar said sternly.

    "No!"

    Tears stung Daemon's eyes as he stared at the boy. He swallowed hard to get his heart out of his throat.

    Lucivar took another step forward and slowly spread his dark, membranous wings. "If you don't come down, I'll come up and get you."

    Daemonar spread his little wings. "No!"

    Lucivar shot into the air. As he passed the chandelier, he made a grab for Daemonar, who ducked and dove. The boy flew like a drunken bumblebee trying to elude a hawk, but he managed to stay out of reach.

    "Boy's got some good moves," Hallevar said approvingly, moving to the front of the crowd.

    Surreal glanced at the older Eyrien Warlord. "He seems to be getting the better of Yaslana."

    Hallevar snorted as Lucivar swept past Daemonar and tickled his foot, making the boy squeal and dodge. "He could have caught him on the first pass. The young one will have to concede the battle, but it'll stay in his mind that he put up a good fight. No, Lucivar understands how to train an Eyrien warrior."

    Daemon barely heard them. Hell's fire! Couldn't Lucivar see the boy was getting tired? Was he going to push until the baby fell to the floor?

    As the toddler headed toward him, he stepped forward, reached up, and grabbed one chubby leg.

    Daemonar shrieked and furiously flapped his little wings.

    Pulling down gently, Daemon wrapped his other arm around Daemonar, drawing the boy against his chest.

    A small fist smacked his chin. The other small hand grabbed a handful of his hair and yanked, making his eyes water. An indignant shriek lanced his ear and made his head vibrate.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire