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  • Tangled Webs(Black Jewels,Book 6)(118) by Anne Bishop
  • Jaenelle rolled her eyes. “Yuli said the puppy looked like he was wearing white socks, so the puppy announced that that was his name—Socks.”

    “He’s a Warlord, yes?”

    “Yes, and that one will definitely wear a Jewel of sufficient rank when he goes through the Birthright Ceremony—and that means he’ll most likely wear a dark Jewel at maturity.”

    The frown deepened. “LordSocks ? What was his name originally?”

    A blush stained Jaenelle’s cheeks. “I couldn’t remember, and the puppy won’t say. When I asked Ladvarian, he said, ‘Socks is an easy name for humans to remember.’”

    “The little prick,” Daemon muttered.

    She laughed.

    Then she looked at him in a way that filled his stomach with butterflies.Nervous butterflies.

    Everything has a price, old son. You made a promise. It’s time to pay the debt. Time to pay off all the debts, actually.

    “I have an appointment this evening,” Daemon said. “I was waiting for you to return home before I left.”

    A subtle change in her eyes, in her psychic scent.

    “An appointment,” Witch said.

    Not a question. Seventy-two hours had passed since he’d set his little game in motion. He had no doubt the first half of the debt had been paid in full. Now it was time to end it.

    And Witch knew it.

    “I’ve already informed Mrs. Beale that I won’t be home for dinner.” Informed Beale, actually. He’d hadn’t wanted to be the one to tell Mrs. Beale—and her meat cleaver—just in case she’d already begun preparations for the evening meal. “After I return, I’m available for whatever help you want with your spooky house.”

    Her smile was female. Feline. More than a little bit terrifying.

    “I’ll look forward to it,” she said.

    Hell’s fire, Mother Night, and may the Darkness be merciful.

    After Jaenelle walked out of the study, he sat there for several minutes, giving himself time to grow some bone back into his legs and strap some steel to his spine.

    He’d made a promise to his Queen. To his wife. And he would keep it.

    But he had another promise to keep first.

    Pressed into a corner, Jarvis Jenkell curled up a little tighter.

    Her little surprises are now more in keeping with your intentions for this house. They all have teeth.That’s what Sadi had said about Tersa’s illusions. And he’d been right.

    The beetles. The spiders. Even the skeleton mice.

    The beetles were the worst. Swarming all over him whenever he tried to rest, swelling up, and then…Thoseteeth ! Biting through his clothes. Biting through his skin. Chewing their way into him. Then gone, leaving no marks, no trace. But his flesh remembered the sensation, the pain. Just like the flesh remembered…

    No scuff of shoe on wood. No sound at all. But he knew he was no longer alone. Knew what was going to happen. Again. Knew the pleasure would be as cold-blooded and merciless as the pain.

    And no longer knew which was worse to endure.

    The Sadist had arrived.

    “Let this end,” Jarvis whispered. “I’m begging you. Let this end.”

    The Sadist stared at him, a measuring regard.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire