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  • Tangled Webs(Black Jewels,Book 6)(102) by Anne Bishop
  • “The lady witch was screaming and I got scared. So I didn’t talk to them.”

    “I guess she saw the beetles.”

    A quick, boyish grin. “They pop real good.”

    Lucivar hesitated. “If there’s a way, we’ll get you out of this house.” Then he went down the stairs.

    Oh, this wasn’t good. This wasn’t good at all. If Lucivar caught up to the Surreal bitch and her companion, it would spoil the big battle at the end of the story. Justspoil it. And that boy! What was he doing? He should beattacking people, nottalking to them.

    Of course, he hadn’t anticipated any of his “guests” coming in with bottles of blood to use as bribes.

    Good idea, though. Probably have to give that idea to the witch in the story. Landry couldn’t haveall the good ideas. And she would be carrying blood because she always did—ever since her encounter with…

    Well, he’d figure that out later.

    Right now he had to provide his “guests” with the way out of the cellar and up to the final act.

    And he wasn’t going to think about that phrase Lucivar used: “walking carrion.”

    TWENTY-TWO

    One minute there was nothing but a pile of storage boxes and broken furniture; the next, there was a set of stairs leading up to a door.

    Surreal didn’t much care where the stairs led as long as it got them out of the cellar, which was a warren of little rooms piled with debris—or barren in a way that made her think the space had been used to cage something. It went on too long, was toobig for the house above them—and it also felt like it was shrinking around them.

    Rainier looked at her. "The Black Widows who made the illusion spells were good at their Craft. The illusion that hid these stairs didn’t stop working by chance."

    "I know," she replied.

    "It feels like a grave down here. It feels like we’re buried alive."

    She wished he hadn’t said that, since it matched her sense of the place closing in on them.

    "Do we go up?" Rainier asked.

    She nodded. Whatever was on the other side of the door would be easier to face than staying here.

    They went up the stairs, Rainier leading while she guarded his and the children’s backs. The door opened with a dramatic creak—and they were back in the kitchen.

    And somewhere in the house, a gong sounded.

    Good. Good. One problem solved. As soon as Surreal closed the cellar door, he reengaged the illusion spell that hid the stairs.

    Now they would see how well Lucivar fared in the cellar.

    The ball of witchlight floated on the end of his war blade, challenging the smothering darkness.

    Lucivar hated the cellar. Too dark, too damp, too closed in for a man who belonged to a winged race.

    Too much of a reminder of the salt mines of Pruul.

    This Jenkell bastard. This writer. How much did he know about the SaDiablo family? Was he choosing some of the things in this house because heknew they would provoke memories, or was it all just chance? Did he know enough about Eyriens to understand the difference between living within a mountain and being trapped under the ground?

    Didn’t matter. There was a punch of fear that came from memories, so he let fear fuel temper. He’d gotten out of the salt mines of Pruul. He would get out of this house too.

    The kitchen looked exactly the same—except for one thing.

    “The bowl of peaches is gone,” Surreal said, turning slowly as she looked more carefully at the room. “Did the ‘caretaker’ remove the bowl or are we in a different room despite how this looks?”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire