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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Queen of the Darkness (Chapter 42)      Page
  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(42) by Anne Bishop
  • "I don't want to know," Saetan said quietly but firmly.

    "You have to know. You're the Steward."

    "Exactly. And if this court has some rules that I have been blissfully ignorant of for the five years that I've been the Steward, I do not want to know about them now."

    "But—" Daemon said. The implacable look in Saetan's eyes stopped him. "That's a prissy attitude for you to take."

    "From where you're standing, I suppose it is. From where I'm standing, it makes a world of sense. You're younger. Deal with it."

    Before he could make a comment he might regret, a small brown-and-white dog raced up to them and stopped a few feet away, his tail wagging in effusive greeting.

    *He's here! Jaenelle's mate is finally here!*

    Daemon felt as if the wind had been knocked out of him, not only because he had heard the dog but because he'd seen the Red Jewel hidden in the white ruff.

    "Daemon, this is Lord Ladvarian," Saetan said. "Ladvarian, this—"

    *A Black-Jeweled Warlord Prince,* Ladvarian said as he danced around in front of them. *He's a Black-Jeweled Warlord Prince. I have to tell Kaelas.* The dog dashed down the corridor and disappeared.

    "Mother Night," Saetan said under his breath. "Come on. Let's get out of here before you meet anyone else. You've already had a sufficient amount of education for your first day in the court."

    "He's kindred," Daemon said weakly as he followed Saetan. "When Lucivar said someone named Ladvarian would be pleased to see me, I thought... Unless he meant someone else?"

    "No, that's Ladvarian. He would have gone to the service fair to look for you himself, but kindred aren't well received in Little Terreille, and I wasn't willing to risk him. His ability to explain kindred behavior to humans and human behavior to the kindred makes him unique. And his influence on Prince Kaelas is not to be taken lightly."

    "Who's Kaelas?"

    Saetan gave him an odd look. "Let's save Kaelas for another day."

    Daemon studied the well-kept cottage and neat yard. "I'd always wanted Tersa to live in a place like this."

    "She's comfortable here," Saetan said, opening the front door. "A journeymaid Black Widow lives with her as a companion. And then there's Mikal," he added as they followed the sound of voices to the kitchen.

    Daemon stepped into the kitchen, gave the boy sitting at the kitchen table a quick glance, and then focused on Tersa, who was muttering to herself as she busily arranged an assortment of food.

    Her black hair was as tangled as he remembered it, but the dark-green dress was clean and looked warm.

    The boy hastily swallowed a mouthful of nutcake before saying in a suspicious voice, "Who's he?"

    Tersa looked up. Joy brightened her gold eyes and made her smile radiant. "It's the boy," she said as she rushed into Daemon's arms.

    "Hello, sweetheart," Daemon said, feeling swamped by the pleasure of seeing her again.

    "He'snot aboy," the boy said.

    "Mikal," Saetan said sternly.

    Leaning away from Daemon, Tersa looked at Mikal, then back at Daemon. "He is a large boy," she said firmly. She pulled Daemon toward the table. "Sit down. Sit. There is food. You should eat."

    Daemon sat across from the boy, who openly regarded him as an unwelcome rival. "Shouldn't you be in school?"

    Mikal rolled his eyes. "It's not a school day."

    "But you did finish the chores your mother assigned to youbefore you came here," Saetan said mildly, accepting the glass of red wine Tersa offered him while his eyes never left Mikal.

    Mikal squirmed under that knowing stare, and finally muttered, "Most of them."

    "In that case, after we've eaten, I'll escort you home and you can finish them," Saetan said.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire