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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Tangled Webs (Chapter 9)      Page
  • Tangled Webs(Black Jewels,Book 6)(9) by Anne Bishop
  • “We do,” Daemon replied. Of course, “sex” was a pale word to describe what they had been doing, but he wasn’t about to debate her choice of words. Especially since she was watching the hand holding the coffee cup. Had noted the tremors. “Of course we do.”

    The baffled look changed to something that was almost angry, almost hostile. “You said it didn’t matter. You said you could accept that I no longer wore Ebony Jewels, was no longer dominant.”

    Her quiet intensity alarmed him. He set the cup down. “Itdoesn’t matter. Ican accept it. What is this about?”

    “It’s about that.” She waved a hand to indicate his own. “It’s about pretending that you were with a witch who was stronger than you, and now acting all shaky and nervous.”

    Sweetheart, you didn’t see the look in your eyes when we were in bed.But he saw the problem now. Despite having gotten married twice—once in a private ceremony and again in a public ceremony a few weeks later—she still wasn’t certain he had accepted the choice she had made.

    After he’d dealt with the witches who had tried to stop the wedding by hurting her, Jaenelle had brought him to the Misty Place and shown him the truth. So heknew she could have been exactly the same as she had been before she’d sacrificed herself to save Kaeleer. She could have worn the Ebony Jewels again instead of Twilight’s Dawn, which had only a hint of Black. But she hadn’t wanted that much power, had never wanted to be so different and so distant from everyone else. And everyone around her, everyone who had loved her, was still adjusting to what they thought of as a loss.

    “I’ll agree with the part about my being shaky, but I’ll dispute the accusation that I’m pretending to be nervous.” He put enough punch in his voice to assure he’d have her attention.

    “Men pretend sometimes. You can’t tell me they don’t.”

    He acknowledged that fact with a nod. “Sometimes a man does pretend he’s a little intimidated by the woman he’s bedding, even if he’s the one wearing the darker Jewels.” And sometimes it wasn’t pretense; men just didn’t argue with women’s incorrect assessment—mostly because they figured women wouldn’t understand that the power that was sometimes being wielded had nothing whatsoever to do with the Jewels.

    To give himself a moment to collect his thoughts, he picked up the cup and took a sip of coffee.

    Damn. If he’d known they were going to havethis kind of discussion, he would have put a warming spell on the cup. He swallowed the cold coffee and set the cup down.

    “Would you say our enjoyment of each other this morning was intense?” he asked. “Because I would.”

    A blush stained Jaenelle’s cheeks. She nodded.

    Daemon sighed, a sound of strained patience. Or patient exasperation. “Sweetheart, sometimes the body reacts. Should I apologize for feeling weak in the knees and quivering? I’m your husband, and I’m your lover. Being both—beingable to be both—still takes my breath away.”

    She studied him a moment longer, then reached across the table. He clasped her hand, craving the touch.

    And that touch was enough to rekindle his arousal. He let his chained sexual heat wash over both of them, leaving her with no doubt that if they ended up in bed before the breakfast dishes were cleared,he would be the dominant partner.

    She offered him a small, embarrassed smile before she released his hand and picked up her fork, a clear signal that she wasn’t ready for another romp in bed.

    Then again, neither was he. Not really.

    Relieved they could change the subject, he poured more coffee and gave his attention to his own breakfast. Since he’d already had his exercise for the day—and more—he was ravenous.

    “What are you planning to do today?” he asked.

    “I’m meeting Marian. We’re going to walk through the building we’re going to transform into a spooky house.” Jaenelle gave him a bright smile that said,Ask me. Come on, ask me.

    No sane man with any kind of functioning brain would go near that statement. But he knew his duty as a husband, so he said, “Spooky house?”

    Jaenelle swallowed a bite of omelet. “I was visiting one of the landen villages that’s located near the family vineyards, and I got to talking to some of the boys. They had the strangest ideas of what the Blood are like—especially since common sense should tell them the things they think can’t be true.”

    “They’re boys,” he said. “They don’t have common sense.”

    “No doubt, but I thought it would be fun to create a house based on all the silly, spooky things they think we live with day to day. There are usually harvest festivals in the late autumn. We could have it ready by then as an entertainment.”

    “An entertainment.” Hell’s fire, Mother Night, and may the Darkness be merciful. “Where is this entertainment?”

    “We got a big old house in a landen village located in the central part of Dhemlan. Well, I bought it. It’s structurally sound, but it looks…” She shrugged.

    There was something stuck in his throat. He was pretty sure it was his heart. “You bought a house?”And didn’t tell me?

    “Yes.”

    She gave him an unsure but game smile—and he had a sudden understanding of the terror his father, the powerful, Black-Jeweled High Lord of Hell, must have felt during Jaenelle’s adolescence when greeted by that smile.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire