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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Tangled Webs (Chapter 18)      Page
  • Tangled Webs(Black Jewels,Book 6)(18) by Anne Bishop
  • “Like being stronger and having more muscle than females.”

    “Maybe.”

    Lucivar took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Daemon almost sighed with relief. They’d gotten past the worst of this without too many bruises.

    Then Lucivar looked him in the eyes and the words burst out. “I want that for Daemonar. The education. That kind of knowledge. I don’t want him to feel hobbled. I don’t want him to feel like he’s…less.”

    Daemon snapped upright. Then sucked in a breath as his back protested. But his voice held a chill and an edge not quite honed enough to cut. “If that’s your way of saying you feel inferior to me in any way other than that I wear darker Jewels, I will beat you to a bloody pulp.”

    Lucivar smiled that lazy, arrogant smile. “You could try.”

    They were on even ground again. Just that simple.

    Since they were on even ground again, he allowed himself a huff of exasperation. “I’m not blind, Prick. So you don’t read for pleasure. The mountains won’t fall down because of it.”

    “Daemonar was shut out of the library.”

    Daemon threw up his hands. “He’s a little boy. The only value those books have for him right now is they’re things he can throw or tear or chew. Lucivar! His grandfather is the High Lord of Hell and the assistant historian/librarian at the Keep. When that boy reaches an age when he can understand what is held between the covers of those books, do you really think you can stop his grandfather from taking him into that library and showing him all it can offer? For that matter, do you think you can stop me from buying him books and reading him stories and showing him the other side of his education?”

    Lucivar tipped his head in a considering manner. “Other side?”

    “You stand on a mountain and taste the wind. That’s what you’ve called it when you’ve tried to explain it. You taste the wind. And you understand more about what is around you in that moment than I can ever hope to know. I can teach Daemonar about books, but you’re the only one who can teach him that.”

    Lucivar mulled that over and finally nodded. Then he took a step back and turned toward the door. “Why don’t we get that drink?”

    “That bitch is centuries gone. If you let her keep jabbing at you, you deserve to be hurt.”

    Damn. He hadn’t meant to say that. Hadn’t intended to share that memory. But he watched Lucivar turn. Saw the look in his brother’s eyes that demanded an explanation.

    “You were never good at reading,” Daemon said. No. That wasn’t the place to start. “I don’t have many memories of my childhood before living with Dorothea. Didn’t have any for most of my life. But sometimes now…It’s more the feel of something remembered that opens up the rest.”

    Lucivar said nothing. Just nodded.

    “I remember the feel of Father’s arms around me. I remember the sound of his voice, the rhythm of it when he read a story.” Daemon paused to sort out a jumble of images. “You weren’t good at reading, but you soaked up a story if someone read it to you or told it to you. You remembered all kinds of things, saw all kinds of things in the story.”

    “And probably related everything in terms of a fight.”

    “Of course. You’re Eyrien.” Daemon shrugged. “There was a teacher. I don’t remember her name and can’t recall a face. I think she was tutoring me, but you were there a lot of the time too. She used to jab at you. Not physically, but she made it clear that you were a waste of her time.

    “One day she gave us a story to read. Challenging for me; impossible for you. She did it so you would feel bad. And you were so miserable because you couldn’t read it.

    “You must have gone home until the next lesson, because I don’t remember you being there when Father came to the cottage that evening. Instead of reading the next chapter of the storytime book, I asked him to read the story to me. At first he refused because it was my lesson, and I should read it myself. I pleaded with him, so he gave in and read it to me. But the third time I asked him to read it, he wanted to know why.”

    “Why did you ask him to read it more than once?” Lucivar asked. “You would have gotten the story the first time.”

    Daemon looked at the floor. “I wanted his cadence, his rhythm, his phrasing of the words.” He looked up. “I wanted to read the story to you before the lesson, and I wanted the wayhe read the story.”

    Now Lucivar looked away.

    “Father would let us get away with little fibs, but he wouldn’t let us lie to him,” Daemon said. “And he always knew. So I had to tell him why I needed to know the story so well. And I told him about the teacher being mean to you because you were Eyrien and you didn’t read as well as I did. He didn’t say anything.”

    Lucivar swore softly. “He’s at his scariest when he doesn’t say anything.”

    Daemon nodded. “He read the story over and over, then had me read it, working with me until I was satisfied.”

    “I think I remember this part.” Lucivar sounded a little uncomfortable. He stared at nothing. “You grabbed me before the lesson and read me the story. She was pissed because I could answer her questions about what the story was about.”

    “He let her come back that last time because we were prepared to meet her on that battleground. But the next lesson, we had a different teacher.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire