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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Tangled Webs (Chapter 107)      Page
  • Tangled Webs(Black Jewels,Book 6)(107) by Anne Bishop
  • It was a fool’s battle. Surreal knew it. So did Rainier. A man with a poker and a few years of training was no match for an Eyrien warrior and a war blade. Especially when the warrior was already demon-dead. It didn’t matter that the Eyrien wasn’t shielded, because a killing blow wouldn’t kill him.

    Might not even slow the bastard down.

    She held her position at the foot of the stairs, mostly because she was afraid she’d get in Rainier’s way. So far his Opal shield was holding—probably because the Eyrien wanted to stretch out the fight—but every blow the Warlord landed drained Rainier’s shield a little more. Soon there would be one blow too many.

    Rainier wouldn’t use Craft to save himself. Not anymore. Whatever Craft could be used would be reserved for her.

    Then something flew toward Rainier’s head from the sitting room doorway. A momentary distraction. He barely flinched, despite the instinct to duck.

    But barely was still too much. The Eyrien swung the war blade—and Rainier’s shield finally broke. It held long enough to prevent the blade from going all the way through Rainier’s left leg, but the wound still cut deep.

    Rainier slapped his left leg, and the gong sounded as a tight shield encased his thigh. He retreated, struggling to stay on his feet as the Eyrien raised the war blade again.

    “No!” Surreal drew the stiletto out of the boot sheath and threw it, a motion she had practiced for weeks until it was a single smooth move.

    The stiletto pierced the Eyrien’s neck. Should have been a killing blow. All it did was piss him off—and buy Rainier the few seconds he needed to reach the stairs.

    “Up,” she said. “All of you, go up.”

    “Surreal,” Rainier began.

    “Hop, crawl, I don’t care. Get up those stairs. I’m still shielded. You’re not.”

    Using the poker as a cane, he hobbled up the stairs as fast as he could.

    The Eyrien Warlord pulled out her stiletto and dropped it on the floor. The three-fingered witch came out of the sitting room. And half a witch floated out of the door on her right.

    “Surreal,” Rainier said. “Come on.”

    The three of them moved toward her, sure they’d have her, one way or another.

    She was sure too—until a blast of power shook the house.

    It was so damn frustrating, Daemon thought as he watched the spooky house. When it came to communicating with someone using a psychic thread, the Black gave him a long reach, and he and Lucivar were usually able to contact each other over fairly long distances. Now the tangled webs around that house separated them.

    Be patient, old son. He’ll get out. Lucivar has stood on worse killing fields and walked away. He’ll walk away from this one too.

    Then he felt the blast of Ebon-gray power. Even the spells around the house weren’t strong enough to completely muffle the temper behind that punch.

    “Lucivar,” Daemon whispered.

    “Daemon,” Jaenelle said, rushing from the Coach to join him.

    He touched her shoulder. “You check the point where he intended to come out. I’ll circle around the house in case he needed to choose another exit.”

    She trotted toward the far side of the house. He went in the other direction.

    And he tried not to think of what he’d tell Saetan if Lucivardidn’t come out of that house.

    Lucivar stood in what was left of the front hallway and listened. Waited. Then he frowned.

    No gong. If the last exit had closed, wouldn’t he sense something? Or…

    “Every time Craft is used,” he said softly. “Every timeCraft is used.” Craft, not power. Had the little writer-mouse made that distinction deliberately? Had the man even realized there was a difference? Probably not.

    Of course, it was a subtle distinction, one that hadn’t occurred to him when he’d heard the rules—and still wouldn’t have occurred to him if he hadn’t heard the gong confirm the use of Craft when he’d made the witchlight.

    “My apologies, Bastard. I guess you could have played this game after all.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire