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  • Tangled Webs(Black Jewels,Book 6)(122) by Anne Bishop
  • “You don’t have to go,” Daemon said gently. “We’ll understand.”

    “I’ve seen worse, I’ve lived through worse, and I’ve done worse. I’d like to see what Jaenelle and Marian had intended. Maybe that will help erase the perversion of the other one.”

    She hadn’t been sure she’d say anything, but as soon as she returned to Amdarh, she’d made it her business to find out everything she could about Jarvis Jenkell and the trap he had set for the SaDiablo family.

    “I heard the house burned,” she said, trying to sound casual—and hoping she was the only one who could hear the thunder of her heart beating. “Witchfire, wasn’t it?”

    He said nothing. Just looked at her with eyes that were suddenly a little glazed, a little sleepy.

    “Was Jenkell still alive when the fire took the house?” she asked.

    Still nothing. Then, “Why do you think I would know?”

    “You’d know, Sadi. You would know.”

    He studied her for a long moment. Then he took that last step, bringing him right next to her chair. He leaned over. One hand cupped her face while his lips lightly brushed her cheek.

    The Sadist whispered in her ear, “He was grateful when I let him die.”

    She shivered—and knew he felt the shiver.

    Daemon stepped back. “I’ll tell Jaenelle you’ll be there for opening night. Rainier is planning to attend too.”

    He walked out of the room.

    She set the box and invitation aside, then got up, wincing as her left side twinged in protest. Her main objection to this required training with Lucivar was that she didn’t want her male relatives to know how weak she still was. Well, she had a few weeks before Winsol. If she could keep her relatives at bay until then, she’d be able to convince them that they had been fussing over nothing.

    Although, come to think of it, they were probably getting daily reports from the Healer Sadi had hired to look in on her every day, and knew her condition better than she did. And Jaenelle would have understood every nuance of what the poison had done to her and how long it would take her to heal. While Daemon had been tucking her into the town house and giving Helton instructions about meals and visitors, Jaenelle had probably given the Healer explicit instructions of what to watch for to assure that the healing was progressing as it should.

    So maybe it had been foolish stubbornness that had made her argue against having the finest Healer in Kaeleer keeping an eye on her, but Jaenelle was family. Right now Surreal would have felt smothered if she’d been fussed over too much by family. She considered it sufficient punishment that Helton was fussing over her. At least he was restrained by his position as the town house’s butler and had to back off if she snarled at him.

    Unfortunately, herrelatives thought being snarled at meant her health was improving and that only encouraged them to be bigger pains in the ass.

    They had her well and truly chained. Oh, they were giving her breathing room and the illusion of independence, but until she was fully healed, Lucivar and Daemon would continue circling, would continue to keep watch—and anything that was perceived as a threat would disappear before it got close enough for her to be aware of its presence.

    So she would go to Ebon Rih, and she would find a way to break the chains family had woven around her. She had a better chance of doing that with Lucivar, of getting him to agree to back off. If Daemon, on the other hand, felt a need to tighten those chains…

    The look in his eyes. The sound of his voice when the tone was both seduction and threat.

    Chilled to the bone, she stretched out on the sofa, put a warming spell on the blanket Helton had brought in earlier, and tucked it around her.

    Was Jenkell still alive when the fire took the house?

    Sadi hadn’t answered her question.

    Maybe that was for the best.

    TWENTY-NINE

    “Don’t write in the dust, darling. That’s rude.”

    “‘Hello, pree.’ What does ‘pree’ mean?”

    “It’s ‘prey.’ ‘Hello, prey.’” Pause. “Oh, dear.”

    “Mama, that’s a mouse made of bones.”

    “Mouse?Where? ”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire