• Home
  • Directory
  • Popular
  • Authors
  • Series
  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Queen of the Darkness (Chapter 73)      Page
  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(73) by Anne Bishop
  • "Do they?" Daemon asked too softly.

    "And, I confess, so do I."Or would, if I could be certain you weren't going to go for my throat before I finish this.

    Daemon's gold eyes held a bored, sleepy look Saetan knew too well—because there had been times when he had looked into a mirror and seen it in his own eyes.

    "Do you?" Daemon asked.

    "A couple of days ago, Jaenelle asked for my opinion about the dress she was wearing for dinner."

    "I remember it. It's a lovely gown."

    "I’m delighted that you appreciated it." Saetan paused. "Can you also appreciate that, in the thirteen years she's lived here, Jaenelle has never been concerned enough about clothes to ask for my opinion about something she was wearing. And can you appreciate that she wasn't asking for my opinion as her Steward or her father but as a man. And I admit that, considering the way that dress fit her, my opinion of it as a father would have differed considerably from my opinion as a man."

    Daemon almost smiled.

    "She sees you as a man, Daemon. Aman, not a male friend. For the first time in her life, she's trying to deal with her own lust. So she's running."

    "She's not the only one trying to deal with it," Daemon muttered, but the sleepy look had changed to sharp interest. "Iam her Consort. She could just—"

    Saetan shook his head. "Do you really think Jaenelle would demand that from you?"

    "No." Daemon raked his fingers through his hair. "What can I do?"

    "You don't need to do anything more than you're already doing." Saetan thought for a moment. "Do you know how to make a brew to ease moontime discomfort?"

    "I know how to make a few of them."

    Saetan smiled. "In that case, I suggest that the Consort prepare one for his Lady. I don't think even Jaenelle would disagree about that falling into the category of 'reasonable fussing.' "

    7 / Kaeleer

    Surreal paused in the dining room doorway and swore under her breath. The only people in the room were Alexandra and her entourage.

    Hell's fire. Why couldn't Jaenelle have left well enough alone? The meals had certainly been more relaxed and the conversation more interesting when Alexandra and her people had been taking their meals separately. When she had pointed that out to Saetan, he had informed her it had been Jaenelle's idea to have Alexandra and the others join the rest of them for meals, in the hope that they might acquire some understanding about Kaeleer.

    The intention might have been good, Surreal thought crossly as she strode to the table, but the reality was a miserable failure. Not one of them, from Alexandra right down to the least-ranking escort, wanted to understandanything about the Blood in Kaeleer. And the midday meals were the, worst since Saetan didn't preside over them.

    As she reached the table, the two Province Queens, Vania and Nyselle, gave her looks that mingled smug superiority with disgust. She might have taken it personally if she hadn't known that they looked atall the witches there in exactly the same way—including the Queens who far outranked them.

    Then Vania looked at the doorway, and her expression changed to predatory delight.

    Glancing over, Surreal saw Aaron pause in the doorway—and decided that a man who had been told the date of his execution looked pretty much the same way. Figuring that he didn't need another woman staring at him, she turned her attention to the table.

    The first point of interest was the way this group had split. Alexandra, Philip, and Leland were sitting at one end of the table. Nyselle was sitting at the other end, her Consort and the escorts ranged around her. Vania's Consort sat on his Lady's left, looking unhappy. The chair on Vania's right was empty, as were the ones across from her.

    The second point of interest was the serving dishes on the table. Breakfast and the midday meal were usually set out on the huge sideboard so that everyone could fill a plate and take a seat as they pleased. Dinner was the only meal that had a set starting time, and was the only meal where the footmen served the food.This midday meal had been set out family-style, as if only a small number of people were expected.

    That was fine, Surreal thought as she began filling her plate from the closest serving dishes. That was justfine — as long as everyone else was going hungry to avoid eating with the guests. But if she found out that another midday meal was being quietly served elsewhere, she was going to have a few things to say tosomeone about not being told.

    "May I sit with you?" Aaron asked quietly as he joined her.

    She was about to make a tart reply about there being plenty of chairs when she saw the hunted look in his eyes.

    As if her noticing him had given him some kind of permission, he shifted closer to her. Close enough for her to feel the way his muscles quivered with the strain of keeping strong emotions tightly leashed.

    "Why don't you sit over here, Aaron?" Vania said, giving him a coy smile while she patted the chair on her right.

    Well, that more than explained the hunted look.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire