• Home
  • Directory
  • Popular
  • Authors
  • Series
  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Queen of the Darkness (Chapter 72)      Page
  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(72) by Anne Bishop
  • It didn't help that Jaenelle was acting like a rabbit to Daemon's fox. With any other man, Saetan might have found this chase amusing. He knew the boyos certainly did, and he understood why they were delighted by her reaction to Daemon. But he didn't think Daemon found it the least bit amusing, and he wondered what would happen when his son's temper finally snapped—and who would suffer because of it.

    When Jaenelle entered the study, Saetan put aside the problem that hadn't arrived yet in order to deal with the one already at the door.

    "High Lord," Jaenelle said formally.

    "Lady," Saetan replied, equally formal.

    She took a deep breath and turned to Lucivar. "Prince Yaslana, as First Escort, I want you to arrange for accommodations somewhere along the border of Little Terreille for myself and a limited escort. Not an inn. A private house or a guard station. Somewhere that ensures discretion. Inn can be in whichever Territory you choose. You can decide the time of the meeting—although not within the next three days."

    He wasn't standing close enough to her to catch the scent, but he could tell by the sudden blaze in Daemon's eyes and the sharpness in Lucivar's that her moon's blood had started. He wanted to sigh. Hell's fire, how was he supposed to channel Daemon's instinctive aggression while fighting to control his own? Witches were vulnerable during the first three days of their moontimes because they couldn't wear their Jewels or do more than basic Craft without causing themselves physical pain. And when it was his Queen who was vulnerable, a Warlord Prince's temper rode the killing edge during those days.

    "You don't have to tell anyone about the arrangements you've made," Jaenelle continued. "Although, out of courtesy, you should inform the Steward, the Master of the Guard, and the Consort. The Steward will contact Lord Jorval to confirm the meeting place in Little Terreille."

    "What's the point of setting up a secure place if you're going to go to Little Terreille?" Lucivar asked, but Saetan noticed he was keeping his tone carefully respectful.

    "Because I'm going to go to Little Terreille withoutgoing to Little Terreille. That will satisfy the court's concerns about my well-being and still allow me to meet with this person."

    Lucivar narrowed his eyes, considering. "You could just refuse."

    "I have my own reasons for doing this," Jaenelle replied in her midnight voice.

    And that, Saetan knew, would decide the matter for Lucivar.

    Except Lucivar was still studying her. "If I agree to this, do we get to fuss for the next three days without getting snarled at?"

    That's all it took to change the Queen back into a stuttering, snarling younger sister. "Who is 'we'?" she asked ominously.

    "The family."

    Saetan wondered if anyone else had noticed that the look Daemon gave his brother should have left Lucivar bleeding. And he wondered if Lucivar even realized that, whether he had included or excluded Daemon under the term "family," it wasn't sitting well with the Queen's Consort. "Papa!" Jaenelle said, whirling around to face him. "Witch-child?" he replied mildly, but he could feel beads of sweat forming on his forehead as Daemon's face shifted into a cold, unreadable mask.

    She stared at him for a moment, then whirled back to Lucivar. "Within reason," she snapped. "And I get to decide what's reasonable."

    When Lucivar just grinned at her, she stomped out of the study. The grin faded when he looked at Andulvar. "Since you're the Master of the Guard, she should have asked you to make the arrangements."

    Andulvar shrugged. "My ego's not bruised, puppy. She's too good a Queen not to understand the needs of the males who serve her. Right now, you need to make the arrangements more than I do." His smile had sharp edges. "But if you don't inform me of your arrangements, Iwill be insulted."

    "If you have time now, we could take a look at a map," Lucivar said.

    "You're learning, puppy," Andulvar said as he draped an arm over Lucivar's shoulders and led him out of the study. "You're learning."

    When Daemon made no move to leave, Saetan leaned against the blackwood desk. "Something on your mind, Prince?"

    "I don't give a damn what familial ties you and Lucivar claim to have with her, I amnot her brother," Daemon said too quietly.

    "No one said you were. The fact that I'm her adopted father and you happen to be my son is irrelevant. You've never thought of her as a sister, and she's never thought of you as a brother. That hasn't changed."

    The chill in Daemon's eyes thawed to bleakness. "She may not think of me as a brother, but she also doesn't want me to be anything else."

    Saetan snapped to attention. "That isn't true."

    Daemon's soft laugh held bitterness and grief. "It usually takes me less than an hour to seduce a woman when I'm trying. And usually not more than two when I'm not. I can't even get close enough to talk to her most of the time."

    Daemon's acknowledged ability to seduce chilled Saetan. Because the people telling the tales didn't know they were talking about his son, he'd heard enough stories about the Sadist to feel uneasy. Those bedroom skills, like the man who wielded them, were a double-edged sword.

    If Daemon felt driven enough to use those skills prematurely...

    Saetan crossed his arms to hide the slight tremor in his hands. "The boyos find this little chase between you and Jaenelle amusing."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire