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  • Queen of the Darkness(Black Jewels,Book 3)(89) by Anne Bishop
  • "Daemon."

    He heard the plea in Saetan's voice, but couldn't respond to it. A peculiar numbness had settled over his emotions ... and without being able to feel, he could think.

    He knew why Saetan hadn't wanted him to see this room. By the very nature of his duties, a Consort couldn't be inhibited when dealing with his Queen. A Consort knowingly and willingly made himself physically vulnerable to her in ways no other male in the court had to. A Consort who feared his Queen couldn't function in the bed.

    But he'd seen this side of her before. Oh, it had been only a faint glimpse, but he'd known that this was another facet of Witch.

    And this was the side of her that would be drawn to the surface by intense arousal as well as intense rage. Could he live with that? Could he lead the sexual dance once he brought out this side of her?

    The heat of the sexual hunger inside him, the driving need to mate with Witch that suddenly engulfed him, burned away the emotional numbness. And left in its place a chilling approval of what he saw.

    He stepped out of the room and closed the door.

    "Daemon," Saetan said softly, watching him.

    Daemon smiled. "It's a pity about the wallpaper. It was a lovely design."

    4 / Kaeleer

    "Well," Surreal said as she pushed her hair away from her face, "I don't think any of the 'guests' are going to be eager to leave their rooms right now, do you?"

    "No," Falonar replied, sounding a bit queasy, "I don't."

    "Yeah." Surreal leaned against the wall and closed her eyes. "Shit."

    "Were you hurt by ...that?" Falonar asked, meaning the blast of power that had shaken the Hall. He briefly touched her shoulder before stepping back.

    Surreal shook her head.Hurt? No. Scared shitless? Oh, yes.

    But the people who lived with Jaenelledidn't live in constant fear. In fact, thinking about how Karla and Lucivar had acted in the courtyard, she would have called their behavior cautious rather than fearful—and that caution wasn't usually in evidence either.

    Putting those thoughts aside for the moment, she scowled at Falonar and decided to tackle something easier—like the arrogant Way he had been tossing out orders after they reached the courtyard. "I could have handled that bastard."

    Falonar looked insulted. "It's a male's right to defend and protect."

    Surreal bared her teeth. "I've heard that song before, and—"

    "Then you should heed that song, Lady—and respect it."

    "Why? Because poor little me isn't capable of handling myself in a fight?" she said with venom-laced sweetness.

    "Because you're deadlier," he snarled. He paced a few steps away from her, swore, paced back."That's why males defend, Lady Surreal. Because you females are deadlier when you're roused—and you're merciless when you're riding the killing edge. At least if I go down first in a fight, I don't have to deal with you afterward."

    Not sure if she'd just been complimented or insulted, Surreal said nothing. She was about to concede that hemight have a point when he growled at her, "You've picked a lousy time to play the bitch. It's going to be hard enough facing Yaslana without having to dance with you right now."

    Now thatwas an insult. "Since you feel like that, sugar, I'll just get out of your way." She pushed away from the wall.

    Falonar reached out, touched her arm. "Surreal... You were right. I should have killed that bastard. Now I'll have to accept the consequences for that error." He hesitated, and added quietly, "He could have killed you or Lady Benedict with that poisoned knife."

    She shrugged. "You couldn't have known about the knife, and he didn't kill either one of us, so—"

    "What difference does that make?" Falonar said harshly. "My error gave him the chance."

    Surreal studied him. "You think you're going to be punished?"

    "That's a certainty. The only question is how severe it will be."

    "Well, I have a few things to say about that. When Lucivar gets around to discussing this—"

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire