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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Tangled Webs (Chapter 115)      Page
  • Tangled Webs(Black Jewels,Book 6)(115) by Anne Bishop
  • He stared at his arms, which disappeared into Sadi’s chest. He felt the wall under his hands. He looked at those sleepy eyes.

    Daemon smiled a cold, cruel smile.

    “A sophisticated shadow,” Daemon said. “All part of the new game. You can’t touch me, but I”—a nail flicked, slicing Jarvis’s cheek—“can touch you.”

    Jarvis backed away. One arm cradled his ruined belly, while the other hand touched his cheek. He looked at his fingers.

    No blood.

    He dared to look down.

    No wound.

    “Feels real enough, doesn’t it?” Daemon said pleasantly. “But it’s all illusion. Well, the pain is real. The wounds are not.”

    “What’s the point of that?” Jarvis asked.

    Daemon looked surprised. “I did guarantee that nothing in this house would kill you. The predators you brought into this place might hurt you if they catch you, but I’ll prevent them from killing you.”

    “Lucivar killed them all.”

    “Oh, no. Most likely, he ripped them up enough to take them out of that fight. Since his main interest was getting Surreal and Rainier out of the house, he wouldn’t have bothered to finish the kill.”

    “But they’re all still…”In pieces, Jarvis finished silently.

    Daemon sighed and gave him an amused smile. “Jarvis, darling, a demon-dead witch who was beheaded will have to use Craft to float on air, but as long as there is some power still burning within her, she can hunt. And she does have teeth.”

    Jarvis shuddered. How was he supposed to survive something likethat ? He’d hole up in the protected passageways. He had food and water, a mattress and blankets, even a few chamber pots. He could hold out for the seventy-two hours required, and then he would be free. Debt paid.

    “About those things we need to discuss,” Daemon said. “Since most of the original webs were destroyed when Lucivar punched free of the house, I’ve replaced them with my own illusion spells. You won’t find my tangled webs, so don’t waste your time searching. But I will tell you that one of them feeds into the hidden passageways. Yes, Lucivar did tell me about the writer-mouse’s hidey-holes. So in our new game, those passageways will still keep you safe from your own predators, but not from mine. Not from me.”

    “Yours won’t kill me?”

    “I demonstrated what mine are going to do.”

    Another shudder went through him. Would the pain be any less because he knew the wounds weren’t real? Or would it be worse when he knew that no attack would kill him, no matter how vicious?

    “My darling, I think you’re beginning to understand.” Daemon drifted toward the sitting room door. “The next thing you should know is that using my tangled webs to fuel the game shuffled the exits. There are still thirty of them, although only two remain open, and they’re still where they were. But the order in which they open was shuffled.”

    “But that means…”

    “You’re going to have to check every one of them in order to find the two that are still open.”

    He’d have to travel through the whole house—all three buildings—with the demon-dead hunting him, and Sadi…

    “You wanted to dance with the Sadist,” Daemon said too softly. “Now you will.”

    He’d wanted toobserve the Sadist, which was altogether different.

    “What else?” Daemon tapped a finger against his lips. “Ah, yes. My mother wanted me to tell you that she made some changes to her illusions. They’re connected to my webs, and her little surprises are now more in keeping with your intentions for this house.”

    “And that means…?”

    “They all have teeth.” Daemon smiled. “You wanted to play games with my family. Now we’ll play, you and me.” As the shadow Daemon faded, he added, “Watch out for the cat. He doesn’t like humans—except when he’s using them for a toy or having them for dinner.”

    Jarvis stood in the hallway, uncertain what to do or where to go. If he went into the sitting room, would the shadow Daemon still be there, waiting to play another round of the game? There was an exit in the sitting room. Maybe he should check the exits at the back of the house first. Or…

    A rumble on the stairs, a sound that vibrated in his bones.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire