• Home
  • Directory
  • Popular
  • Authors
  • Series
  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 7)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(7) by Anne Bishop
  • Since that night, Daemon was quick to hone his temper when anyone questioned his mental or emotional stability, so the subject had to be approached with caution.

    He understood that. When the witch Vulchera had tried to compromise Daemon’s honor by playing her particular brand of blackmail games, something had snapped inside ofhim, and he’d slid into the Twisted Kingdom where his rage had found an insane and terrible clarity. It wasn’t the snap and slide that had disturbed the family; it was the deliberate way he had executed the bitch that had scared them.

    So the whole family was still feeling a bit raw—and Lucivar going into rut so soon after didn’t help.

    “In what way?” he asked again.

    Daemon turned to face him. “I’m only seventeen hundred years old. I’ve been married for a year to the woman I love with everything in me—a woman I’ve waitedcenturies to be with. So when that woman indicates she wants to make love with me, I shouldnot be falling asleep between the thought and the deed!”

    Relief made Saetan’s knees weak—and he needed every drop of his fifty thousand years of self-discipline and control to keep a straight face.

    “Lucivar is in rut,” he said.

    “I know that,” Daemon replied, sounding as if he’d like to whack his brother’s head against a wall a few times because of it.

    “Who is looking after Daemonar?”

    Daemon frowned. “He’s staying at the Hall with us. I thought you knew that.”

    “I’m aware of where he’s staying. Who is looking after him?”

    Daemon shifted his weight from one foot to the other. In and of itself, it was an insignificant movement—except thatDaemon had done it, and Daemon rarely showed any sign of uncertainty.

    “I am, for the most part. Well, Hell’s fire, Jaenelle can’t hold the leash on that little beast.”

    Of course she could,Saetan thought. Even now, when she no longer had the abundance of physical energy she used to have, Jaenelle was probably one of the few people whocould keep up with a small Eyrien boy. Not to mention that Daemonar loved his Auntie J, sensed on some level that she couldn’t take rough play, and now had his young Warlord Prince instincts tugging at him to protect the Queen.

    “Holt is also taking shifts watching the boy,” Daemon added.

    “Holt?” Saetan wondered if the footman was writing out his resignation. Which would be a shame, because the man was an asset to the household.

    “He’s young, strong, and has the experience of having several nieces and nephews,” Daemon replied. “He also gets double wages for any day he assists in looking after the boy—and an extra day off with pay.”

    “Generous,” Saetan murmured. “If those are the terms you offered, you should have plenty of volunteers.”

    “Not after the first hour,” Daemon growled.

    Don’t laugh,he told himself.You know exactly what this is like, so do not laugh at him.

    But he wanted to laugh. So he gave himself a stern mental shake and cleared his throat.

    The rut wasn’t a laughing matter. Once or twice a year, the fierce sex drive that always simmered in a Warlord Prince intensified to a need that eclipsed sanity, and a man who could normally control his predatory nature became a danger to everyone except the woman he’d fixed his attention on—and sometimes, if she wasn’t careful around him, even she wasn’t safe from a temper that had no leash.

    It changed when a Warlord Prince had a strong relationship with a woman, particularly when that woman was his lover. She, at least, could usually penetrate the sexual madness and provide a little control during those three days. And a Warlord Prince who was a father could usually tolerate his own children’s presence when they were infants or toddlers, as long as he didn’t have to interact with them.

    But Daemonar had begun the transition from toddler to boy last autumn and now had the unmistakable psychic scent of a Warlord Prince. Now Lucivar saw a rival instead of a son. So the boy could no longer stay in the eyrie when his father was in rut. Which meant Daemon took Daemonar for those days in the same way Saetan had taken Andulvar’s son, Ravenar, and Andulvar had taken Mephis and Peyton.

    “You’re taking care of a small boy who is in motion almost every moment he’s awake, and you think there is something wrong with you because you fell asleep before making love to Jaenelle?”

    “Well . . .”

    “When he goes down for an afternoon nap, do you have sense enough to take an hour of that time to get some sleep yourself?”

    Daemon’s gold eyes flashed with annoyance. “I do have work to do.”

    “Meaning you haven’t taken that hour.”

    His son snarled softly. “Lucivar doesn’t take naps.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire