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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Queen of the Darkness (Chapter 88)      Page
  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(88) by Anne Bishop
  • "Let's get out of here," Saetan said, his voice rough with suppressed grief—and something that might have been fear.

    It was that fear—and his concern for the man—that made Daemon follow his father. But even those things weren't sufficient for him to swallow his own anger.

    As they slowly headed away from the courtyard, Daemon said, "I may not have Lucivar's talent with weapons, but I can deal with an enemy quite effectively."

    Saetan stopped walking. "Remember who you're talking to, Prince. If anyone can appreciate how effective you are as a predator, it's me."

    "Then why did you stop me?"

    "Lucivar doesn't need your help to handle whoever is waiting at the bridge for that bastard—especially not with the males who went with him. But Ido need you. Right now, I need every drop of strength and every grain of skill you've got in order to handle Jaenelle. Hell's fire, Daemon. Don't you realize what happened here?"

    With enormous effort, Daemon held on to his temper. "Alexandra played the bitch and arranged to have her own granddaughter abducted."

    Saetan slowly shook his head. "Alexandra was working with Dorothea and Hekatah in order to abduct her own granddaughter."

    Daemon absorbed the impact of the words—and realized what might happen once Jaenelle learnedthat. "Mother Night."

    "And may the Darkness be merciful," Saetan added. "We have an enraged Queen who, by now, has gone so deep into the abyss we have no chance of reaching her that way—and no way at all to deflect whatever she might unleash in her present emotional state."

    "What can I do?" Daemon asked, knowing with dread certainty where the conversation was leading.

    "It's whatwe can do as Steward and Consort, what Protocol gives us theright to do in situations like this."

    "Protocol didn't take into account dealing with a Queen who's twice as strong as a Black-Jeweled Warlord Prince!"

    Saetan's hand shook a little as he smoothed his hair back. "More like six times our combined strength."

    "What?" Daemon said weakly. He braced a hand against the wall.

    "There's no real way to measure Jaenelle's strength. But considering the number of Birthright Black Jewels that were transformed into Ebony when she made the Offering to the Darkness, my best guess is that, at her full strength, she's six times more powerful than our full strength combined."

    "Mother Night." Daemon concentrated on breathing for a minute. "Just when were you going to mention this to me? Or weren't you?"

    Saetan winced. "I wanted you to be... comfortable... with each other before I told you. But now—"

    A blast of power shook the Hall, tossing them to the floor.

    Daemon felt as if he were desperately holding on to a crumbling bank inches from a raging flood that would not only sweep him away but crush him in the process.

    He felt Saetan grab him, dig in, hold on.

    That rush of power vanished as quickly as it had struck— and that scared him more than the blast. For Jaenelle to unleash and reabsorb that much power that quickly...

    "Jaenelle," Daemon said, springing to his feet. He sent out a psychic probe, a quick, casting search for her, and brushed against a spot in the Hall that was burning cold. Despite his pulling back quickly, the lancing pain almost drove him to his knees. And that drove him forward.

    "Daemon, no!" Saetan said, struggling to get to his feet.

    Daemon ran through the corridors. He didn't need to search anymore. The corridors got colder and colder the closer he got to the room where she had unleashed that power.

    "Daemon!"

    He heard Saetan running to catch up to him, but by then he'd reached the door to the room. Using Craft, he opened the door, then stepped into the room.

    The cold had a jagged edge that was physically painful, but he barely noticed it because, as he looked around, he couldn't quite understand what he was seeing. It wasn't until he realized that the odd red speckles on the windows were frozen drops of blood that his mind identified the rest...

    "Daemon."

    ... and he understood what Lucivar had been telling him about Jaenelle's forced marriage.She splattered him all over the room.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire