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  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(33) by Anne Bishop
  • She would have gotten lost twice without him, although she noticed there were footmen in all the major corridors. Each man rose from his chair, glanced at Graysfang, smiled at her, and said nothing. So she followed the wolf until, with a sigh, she was safely in her room.

    When he left her a minute later to take care of his own nightly business, she quickly undressed and pulled on a pair of long-sleeved pajamas. She still preferred silky nightgowns most of the time, but there were times—like tonight—when she wanted to wear something that looked and felt asexual.

    Dumping her soiled clothes into a basket in the bathroom, she hurried through her nighttime ritual, slipped into bed, and turned off the candle-light on the bedside table.

    Someone had put a light warming spell on the sheets. Probably the maid. Silently thanking the woman, Surreal snuggled under the covers.

    She was just starting to doze off when a shape passed through the glass door. She tensed, waiting, until a body landed lightly on the bed, circled three times, then settled next to her with a content sigh.

    Twisting her upper body slightly, she looked at Graysfang. Feeling that odd psychic brush again, she followed it, too tired to think about what she was doing and more concerned with whether or not she was going to end up with fleas in the morning.

    *No fleas,* said a sleepy male voice on a psychic thread. *Kindred know spells for fleas and other itchies.*

    With a yelp, Surreal shot into a sitting position.

    Graysfang leaped up, his teeth bared and hackles raised. *Where is the danger?* he demanded. *I smell no danger.*

    "You can talk!"

    Slowly, Graysfang's hackles smoothed. He covered his teeth. *I am kindred. We do not alwayswant to talk to humans, but we can talk.*

    Mother Night, Mother Night, Mother Night.

    Wagging his tail, he leaned forward and licked her cheek. *You heard me!* he said happily. *You are not even trained yet and you can hear kindred!* He raised his head and howled.

    Surreal grabbed his muzzle. "Hush. You'll wake everyone."

    *Ladvarian will be pleased.*

    "Great. I'm delighted."Who in the name of Hell is Ladvarian? "Let's just go to sleep now, all right?" And since she didn't know how she had made this link in the first place, how was she going to sever it so that her thoughts were private again?

    She felt a gentle mental push, then, that odd brush again.

    "Rrrf."

    "Thank you," Surreal said weakly. In the morning, she thought as she snuggled back under the covers and felt Graysfang settle himself against her back. She'd think about this in the morn

    Chapter Three

    1 / Kaeleer

    Daemon carefully adjusted the cuffs of his shirt and jacket. He felt steadier that morning, but not rested. His sleep had been broken by vague dreams and flashes of memory, by the knowledge that nothing but a door separated his bedroom from Jaenelle's, and by an aroused, restless body that knew quite fiercely what it wanted.

    Slipping his hands into his trouser pockets made him aware of the Consort's ring on his left hand. As if he hadn't been aware of it from the moment he'd woken up. It wasn't just the unfamiliar feel of a ring on that hand; it was the duties and responsibilities that came with that ring that made him uneasy. Oh, his body would perform its duties eagerly enough. At least, he thought it would. And that was the point, wasn't it? He really didn't know how he would respond when he met Jaenelle again. And he didn't know how she would respond to him.

    Finally aware that Jazen, his valet, was still dawdling through the morning tasks, Daemon studied the man.

    "Did you get settled in all right last night?" Daemon asked.

    Jazen made an effort to smile but didn't look at him. "The servants' quarters here are very generous."

    "And the servants?"

    "They're... polite."

    Daemon felt the beginning chill of temper and reined it in, hard. Jazen had already endured enough. If he had to shake the Hall down to its foundation, he'd make sure the man's life wasn't made more difficult by servants who had no understanding of the brutality men faced in the Terreillean Territories under Dorothea's control.

    "I'm not sure what's going to be required of me today."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire