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  • Tangled Webs(Black Jewels,Book 6)(105) by Anne Bishop
  • “No.” His voice sounded odd, strangely hollow, and…yes, therewas a slight echo. And something was goinggong inside her head.

    “Surreal!”

    “Wha?”

    “I gave you a general healing tonic. I’m hoping it will help enough so you can think clearly for a while longer.”

    The floor swished. Swishy, swishy, swish. She watched it until Rainier bent over so they were face-to-face. She didn’t like the worry and fear in his eyes. She would rather watch the floor swish.

    He grabbed her shoulders. She tried to pull back. It made her side hurt—and she felt like she was suddenly standing on a patch of clear ground surrounded by fog.

    “We have to get out of here,” he said.

    “Sugar, we figured that out yesterday when we realized this place was a trap.”

    “We have to try harder,” he said. “Surreal…I think you were poisoned after all.”

    Lucivar had shown such promise—and was such a disappointment. He was just wandering around the cellar, all woeful and lost. He wasn’t eventrying to get out.

    At least the Surreal bitch was finally doing something interesting.

    Death scenes were always gripping moments in a story.

    Somewhere in the house, a gong sounded.

    And overhead, a floorboard creaked.

    The gong indicated Craft had been used. He remembered that from the rules of the game—and he’d heard it when he made the witchlight. The floorboard creaking…Might be real, might be illusion. No way to tell in this house.

    Lucivar stared at the ceiling, waiting for another sound.

    No staircases except the one he came down. There had to be others.

    He took a sandwich out of the pack and ate while he prowled through the cellar again, looking for some indication of where Surreal and Rainier had gone.

    The cellar under the two sight-shielded houses was connected, but it was split into a warren of small rooms that made it feel bigger and smaller at the same time, confusing a person’s sense of where he was in relation to the ground floor. The cellar of the first house—the house that had been the lure—was closed off from the rest. And held something dangerous enough that Jenkell didn’t want the thing roaming freely.

    But there was nothingtruly dangerous here. Not by his standards. On the other hand, there were plenty of things here that could do some damage if a person walked in unaware—or unprepared.

    He washed the sandwich down with a long drink of water, then returned the water jug to the pack.

    “Enough,” he said as he walked back to the staircase. Most likely, the predators that were loose in this house were hunting Surreal and Rainier. It was time to give the predators a reason to come hunting him instead.

    And it was time to remind them that they were also prey.

    Enough? Yes, he’d spent more than enough time on the SaDiablo family, who were nowhere near as interesting as he’d been led to believe. They hadn’t provided him with nearly enough material to justify the risks he had taken. Still, hehad acquired a few good scenes, and he would flesh out the rest of the story.

    Now it was time to unleash all the surprises and record the last moments of desperation before he got rid of the props.

    A door creaked.

    Lucivar turned away from the stairs and set the pack down.

    Something had entered this part of the cellar.

    Moving away from the stairs to the area that had the most open ground, he took the ball of witchlight off the end of his war blade, raised his arm, and left the witchlight floating above him.

    A rank smell. Shuffling feet.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire