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  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(77) by Anne Bishop
  • Still smiling, she shook her head.

    "A new skill requires concentration."

    "So do some old skills ... if you want to do them right."

    His blush deepened while his interest sharpened.

    Surreal stood up. "Let's go concentrate on a new skill."

    "And discuss the possibility of practicing old skills?"

    "Oh, definitely."

    In charity with each other, they hurried to escape the growing fury that filled the Hall.

    8 / Kaeleer

    Daemon paused outside Jaenelle's sitting room. He took a deep breath, straightened his shoulders, and knocked on the door.

    No answer.

    She was there. He could feel the fury swirling in the room. And he could feel the cold.

    He knocked again, then went into the room, ignoring the fact that he hadn't been invited.

    Jaenelle prowled the sitting room, her arms wrapped around her middle. She glared at him, and snarled, "Go away, Daemon."

    She should have been resting today, Daemon thought as his temper sharpened. Probably had been before that scene in the dining room.

    "Since I'm the only male in the First Circle who isn't the recipient of your displeasure, I thought I'd check and see if you needed anything. Why is that, by the way?" Despite his efforts to keep his tone mild, his voice had an edge to it. Rationally, he knew he should be grateful to have escaped the verbal lashing the others had received. Instead, he resented the exclusion—until he got the full thrust of that frozen sapphire stare.

    "Did you know you should have reported Vania's stalking of Aaron?" Jaenelle asked too quietly.

    "No, I didn't. Even if I had known, I wouldn't have reported it."

    "Why in the name of Hell not?" Jaenelle shouted.

    Heat. Daemon felt his legs weaken as relief washed through him. Thank the Darkness, this was no longer cold rage but hot anger. He could work around hot anger. "Because shewas stalking him. Aaron wasn't casting any lures or making any unspoken invitations. She was trying to push him into her bed because she wanted the conquest. She didn't give a damn what it would do to him."

    "Exactly."

    She still didn't understand. Daemon raked his fingers through his hair. "Hell's fire, woman, the man has a wife and an infant daughter. If he had said anything, would Kalush really believe he was innocent?"

    "Of course she would!" Jaenelle shouted. "But if he didn't feel he could tell Kalush, he could have told me or Karla or Gabrielle."

    "How would that have helped?" Daemon shouted back. "You would have told Kalush, and he'd still be under suspicion for something he didn't do, didn't evenwant to do."

    "Why do you keep harping about suspicion? This—"

    "I am not harping."

    "—has nothing to do with suspicion."

    "Then why are you so furious with him?" Daemon roared.

    "BECAUSE HE GOT HURT AND HE SHOULDN'T HAVE!" Jaenelle's eyes suddenly filled with tears. "I'm mad at him because he got hurt. Don't you think I know how ecstatic and terrified he's been since Kalush got pregnant? How much she and Arianna mean to him? How vulnerable he feels about another woman showing interest in him?" She swiped at a tear that rolled down her face. "But you all hid it so well, we weren't picking up anything but the edginess the boyos have felt since those... people... came to the Hall. If we'd known, the coven would have done something before now."

    Hearing something underneath the words, Daemon narrowed his gold eyes. "What else?"

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire