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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Queen of the Darkness (Chapter 82)      Page
  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(82) by Anne Bishop
  • "As Steward of the Court, I'm formally requesting that you remain with the Queen tonight," Saetan said quietly."All night."

    Daemon tensed. This evening was the first time since Jaenelle had finished healing his mind that she'd been willing to spend time with him, and he'd hoped playing a few hands of cards would remind her that he was a friend, which was the first step toward her accepting him as her lover. But if he told her he was going to spend the night in her bed, she'd start running from him again. Didn't Saetan understand that?

    Yes, he realized as he studied that controlled neutrality, Saetan understood. But the Steward of the Court, while sympathizing with the Consort's hesitation and feelings, felt compelled to dismiss them.

    "I'm making this request to all the Consorts and First Escorts," Saetan added.

    Daemon nodded as he considered that bit of information. A formal request like that, in this court, was equal to a call to battle. Every Warlord Prince at the Hall would be riding the killing edge that night. "Will Lucivar be with Marian?"

    "No," Saetan said, "Prothvar will stay with Marian and Daemonar. Lucivar will... tour... the Hall tonight."

    "Where will Kaelas be?" Daemon asked. Suddenly that feline strength and temper were a comfort.

    "Kaelas will be in the garden. It will give him more flexibility."

    "Then I'll wish you a good night—and good hunting," Daemon added too softly. "High Lord. Lady."

    "Is there a problem?" Jaenelle asked when he returned to the sitting room.

    Daemon hesitated but couldn't think of any other way to say it. "The Steward has formally requested that I remain with you tonight."

    The flicker of panic in her eyes hurt him, but it was the knife-edged way she focused on the sitting room door that made him wary—especially when that focus shifted to him.

    "Is that request being made of all the Consorts and First Escorts?" Witch asked in her midnight voice.

    "Yes, Lady, it is."

    A long silence. Then Jaenelle wrinkled her nose. "Aformal request seems a bit much just to get the boyos off the couches tonight."

    Daemon suppressed a sigh of relief. She was willing to pretend that that's all the request meant. Most likely, she just wanted a few more hours before admitting that Alexandra or one of her entourage had done something serious that would have to be dealt with.

    "Would you like to play another round?" he asked, taking his seat.

    She narrowed her eyes. "Whose deal is it?"

    He smiled at her. "Mine."

    "Why didn't you tell him about the tainted male?" Titian asked.

    "I can't count on Daemon's control right now," Saetan replied after a long pause. "A Warlord Prince who's focused on being accepted as a Consort has an extremely volatile temper."

    After a moment, Titian shook her head. "Even if everyone else didn't sense the spells Dorothea and Hekatah created, I don't understand why Jaenelle didn't notice them."

    "Nor do I. But as I said, Dorothea and Hekatah knew exactly who they had to hide him from," Saetan replied, feeling his heartbeat thicken until he could feel each thump like a blow.

    "Even so, Jaenelle always takes a careful look at the people who intend to stay in Kaeleer."

    "But she would have no reason to look that closely at someone whowasn't intending to stay, especially if emotional and personal issues were being used as a blind to hide a different purpose."

    Titian frowned. "Who else is staying at the Hall?"

    "Jaenelle's Chaillot relatives and their companions." He saw his own hatred reflected in Titian's face.

    "And you haven't done anything about them?"

    "My formal request for execution was denied," Saetan replied, doing his best not to respond to the accusation in her voice. "I'll choke on it, but I'll abide by it. Besides, there will be another time and another place to settle those debts," he added softly.

    Titian nodded. "If I slip into their rooms, maybe I can sense something. Then we could quietly take care of the tainted male tonight."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire