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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 5)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(5) by Anne Bishop
  • Lying facedown on the large bed, Daemon Sadi groaned with relief as his wife’s skilled hands coaxed his back muscles to relax. The warming spell Jaenelle was using to ease the tightness didn’t hurt either.

    “Tell me again how you did this,” Jaenelle said.

    A typical wife question, particularly when said inthat tone of voice.

    “Daemonar was stuck in a tree,” Daemon mumbled. Then, “Oh. Right there.”

    “Uh-huh. That is a very nasty knot.” She said nothing for a minute while she worked on that part of his back. “So we’re talking about Daemonar Yaslana. Your nephew.”

    “He’s your nephew too.”

    “Yes, he is. And he’s Eyrien. Which means he has wings.”

    “He’s just a little boy.”

    “Who has wings.”

    Damn. She was going to hold on to that little detail like a Sceltie herding a single sheep.

    “Since he is little,” Jaenelle continued. “How did he get up in the tree? He wouldn’t be able to reach the lower branches to climb up like you did.”

    Oh, no. He knew a trick question when he heard one.

    “He flew up, didn’t he?” Jaenelle said. “Using his wings.”

    “Darling, you’re starting to sound like a Harpy,” Daemon said. “Ow!” That because she dug her thumbs into his back—which he deserved for the Harpy comment.

    “Why don’t you just admit that climbing a tree in those shoes you usually wear instead of using Craft to float up to the branch where your erring nephew was waiting for you, and most likely giggling, was a dumb idea?”

    He wasn’t about to admit to anything. Especially when ithad been a dumb idea. He’d known that when he was doing it. He’d known it even better when he watched Daemonar flutter down to find out what he was doing flat on the ground. But it had been a matter of pride. Jaenelle understood about male pride. She might find it amusing or irritating, depending on the consequences, but she understood it. So she should understand that, at that moment when the boy was looking down at him, he saw himself as the uncle who used Craft instead of muscle, who didn’t participate in the physical world the way his brother Lucivar did. In that moment, he didn’t want to be seen asless by a boy who wasn’t old enough to appreciate the power and skills hedid have.

    So he’d climbed the damn tree.


    “At least I didn’t actually hit the ground,” Daemon muttered. “I did remember to create a shield and use the air walking spell.” Which saved him from serious injury since he landed on a cushion of air instead of hard ground, but it didn’t spare him from having the wind knocked out of him—or having a back full of tight, aching muscles.

    “Good for you,” Jaenelle said, her voice so dry there was no question she was not impressed.

    “All right. Fine. I was an idiot.” Which was a story he was sure the servants at SaDiablo Hall would share for many years to come, since a couple of them had witnessed the little drama. They wouldn’t share the story with outsiders, because anyone who worked at the Hall knew the private lives of the SaDiablo family remainedprivate. But he could see someone like the footman Holt taking a young servant aside and telling him that story as an assurance that the powerful, dangerous,lethal Black-Jeweled Warlord Prince of Dhemlan could also be a man who acted like a bumbling uncle with good intentions and a shortage of brains.

    “Shit.” He couldfeel her smile, and the fact that she didn’t need to comment was more than sufficient comment.

    She kissed him between the shoulder blades, and that simple contact between lips and skin warmed him in other ways, and the next stroke of her hands down his back had him purring instead of groaning.

    “Just relax,” Jaenelle said. “I’m almost done. By tomorrow you’ll be your usual wonderful self, and if you can remember that you’re a grown-up, you should be able to get through the last day of your nephew’s visit without doing any more damage to yourself.”

    Her hands glided over his back, more a caress than a Healer’s touch.

    “You’re not relaxing,” she said.

    “I’m very relaxed,” Daemon purred. Most of him, anyway. He’d been sore enough that he hadn’t focused on anything besides not hurting. Now he was aware of a few other things.

    “No, you’re not.”

    He heard the concern in her voice. That meant she was looking at him as a Healer and not a woman—and he wanted the woman’s attention.

    “Sweetheart, you’re sitting on my ass. There are parts of me that find that very interesting and don’t want to relax yet.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire