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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Queen of the Darkness (Chapter 55)      Page
  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(55) by Anne Bishop
  • A sharp command by Hallevar had the youths stepping back and then going through a move again slowly.

    "I'll bet the warriors weren't pleased when you told them," Daemon said, watching the moves.

    "They bitched about it. Most of the women didn't look happy about it either. I don't expect them to become warriors, but they'll be able to defend themselves long enough for a warrior to reach them."

    Daemon eyed Lucivar thoughtfully. "Is that why you taught Marian?"

    Lucivar nodded. "She kept resisting because Eyrien females traditionally didn't touch a warrior's weapons. I told her if a male hurt her because she was too stubborn to learn how to defend herself, I'd beat the shit out of her. And she told me if I ever raised a hand to her, she'd gut me. I figured we were making progress."

    Daemon laughed. The laughter backed up into his lungs when he saw Jaenelle striding over the lawn, heading toward them. His senses sharpened to a razor's edge, the heat of desire washed through him, and the smell of other males became a declaration of rivalry.

    'Rein it in, old son," Lucivar murmured, glancing over his shoulder and then at Daemon.

    Palanar and Tamnar finished their routine, and Hallevar and Kohlvar stepped into the practice circle.

    Palanar shifted his mouth into a sneer. "Here comes a chirpy, trying to grow some balls."

    Daemon whipped around, his eyes filmed with the red haze of fury.

    Hallevar pivoted and smacked Palanar on the bu**ocks with his stick hard enough to make the boy jump.

    "That's my sister, boyo," Lucivar said too quietly.

    Palanar looked sick. Someone else muttered a vicious curse.

    "Now, I'm going to forget you said that," Lucivar continued just as quietly, "as long as I never hear it again. But if I do, there will come a morning when you step into the practice circle, and I'll be waiting for you."

    "Y-yes, sir," Palanar stammered. "I'm sorry, sir."

    Hallevar cuffed the boy on the back of the head. "Go get something to eat," he growled. "Maybe with some food in you, you'll use more of your head than just your mouth."

    Palanar slunk away, Tamnar trailing behind him.

    Hallevar eyed the distance between them and Jaenelle, figured she was close enough to have heard, and swore softly. "I taught him better than that."

    Lucivar rolled a shoulder. "He's old enough to want his c**k admired. That makes him stupid." He looked at the older Warlord. "He can't afford to be stupid. What the Queens in this court may be willing to overlook from a youngster, the males in the court won't—at least, not a second time."

    "I'll blister his ears to make sure he gets the message," Hallevar promised. "Might as well blister Tamnar's while I'm at it." He went back to the circle and began the warmup routine with Kohlvar.

    Daemon turned toward Jaenelle, Palanar already forgotten. When he saw the feral look in her eyes, his smile died before it formed.

    Lucivar simply raised his left arm.

    With one wild-shy glance at him and a murmured greeting he could barely hear, Jaenelle ducked under Lucivar's arm.

    Lucivar lowered his arm, and the hand that settled at her waist tucked her tight against his side. Her right arm rested against his back, her hand curled over his bare shoulder.

    They stand that way often,Daemon thought as he fought to rein in his jealousy—and the hurt—because she had barely spared him a glance.

    But he suspected that Lucivar was better prepared to deal with the feral look in her eyes than he was. That hurt, too.

    "Do you want the introductions now?" Lucivar asked quietly.

    Jaenelle shook her head. "I want to warm up first."

    "When you're ready, I'll go a round with you."

    She glanced at Lucivar's bare chest. "I would have thought you'd already done your workout."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire