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  • Tangled Webs(Black Jewels,Book 6)(3) by Anne Bishop
  • “He is, but not because he’s telling a good story anymore.” Daemon lifted his glass in a salute. “His portrayal of the Blood is so bad it’s hysterically funny. At least, a good number of people have thought so.”

    Apparently Daemon wasn’t one of them. “Does he know the Blood are buying the books to laugh at the characters? That must be biting his ass.” She riffled a few pages until she got to the next chapter.

    “I imagine it is. What are you doing?”

    “I wanted to see what other Blood things he’s doing wrong.”

    “The point of one of these stories is to read it in order to see the clues as they’re revealed.”

    He was getting that bossy tone in his voice. She wasn’t sure if it was family bossy or Warlord Prince bossy, but he’d stare her down if she tried to ignore him. Once he went home, she could…


    She glanced at the clock on the mantel, considered the man now studying her, and decided not to waste time being subtle.

    “You have to go home now.”


    She hadn’t thought giving him an order would work, but he didn’t have to sound so politely unyielding about it. Now the only way to get rid of him was to tell him why he had to go.

    “Rainier will be here soon,” she said.


    Something under the pleasant tone made her think of a cat sharpening its claws before it went out to play with the mouse.

    “You like Rainier,” she said. “Heworks for you.”

    Daemon settled back on the sofa, making himself more comfortable. “I’m aware of that.” He waited a beat. “Why is he coming here this evening?”

    For the same reason you’ve got your ass snuggled into the sofa.Which was not something a witch said to any male relative who was bigger than she was and wore darker Jewels than she did.

    “Doesn’t he have family of his own to fuss over?”

    Hell’s fire. He was going to get pissy about this.

    “Actually,” she said, “he doesn’t.” A flicker in Daemon’s eyes warned her he was aware of the lie within the words—he knew perfectly well Rainier had family living in Dharo—but he didn’t know why the words were also true. And she wasn’t looking forward to being the one to tell him. “His family prefers that he stay away.”

    “Because he prefers to warm a man’s bed rather than a woman’s?”

    It was like seeing a storm coming and knowing you couldn’t get out of the way in time.

    “No,” she said softly, “it’s because he’s a Warlord Prince.”

    A heartbeat. That’s all it took. Daemon, the amused male relative, was gone. The Warlord Prince who looked at her…Not the Sadist, who could be so elegantly vicious. Thank the Darkness, it wasn’tthat facet of Daemon’s personality that had surfaced. No, this was Prince Sadi, ruler of Dhemlan, who was considering the depth of the insult contained within her words.

    “They aren’t like our family,” she said hurriedly.

    A moment of silence. Then, too softly, he said, “Explain.”

    She didn’t dare look at the clock to see how much time was left. It didn’t matter. This discussion had to be over, done,fast.

    “Most of the males in the SaDiablo-Yaslana family are, or were, Warlord Princes. So none of you are different from the rest. You know how to live with a Warlord Prince. The women in this family know how to live with a Warlord Prince. But Rainier…From what I gathered, there had been a couple of Warlord Princes in the family bloodlines over the generations, but they’d worn lighter Jewels, so the more aggressive, predatory nature”—Shit! Don’t remind him of that!—“of a Warlord Prince was balanced by not having as much power. But Rainier wears an Opal Jewel that’s considered a dark Jewel. His family didn’t know what to do with him when he was young and wore Purple Dusk as his Birthright, and as sure as the sun doesn’t shine in Hell, they don’t know what to do with him now.”

    “So they turn away from him.”

    Oh, yeah. This was turning into afun discussion.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire