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  • Tangled Webs(Black Jewels,Book 6)(19) by Anne Bishop
  • They stared at each other. Prince of the Darkness. High Lord of Hell. They knew enough about the man now that neither wanted to speculate, even between themselves, what had happened to the witch who had been foolish enough to hurt one of Saetan’s children.

    “How about that drink, Bastard? Then you can tell me all about this spooky house.”

    Daemon pushed away from the desk to join Lucivar at the door. “Didn’t Marian say anything?”

    “Marian was too riled about cobwebs to have any kind of discussion. Hell’s fire. The next time she gets that worked up about something, I’m dragging you over to the eyrie to deal with her.”

    “Drag Falonar,” Daemon replied. “He still deserves to sweat a bit for bruising Surreal’s heart.”

    “Nah. Marian would probably rein it in and be polite, since he isn’t family.” Lucivar gave Daemon a wicked smile. “I’ll just make the son of a whoring bitch look after Daemonar for an afternoon.”

    A brush of bodies, shoulder to shoulder.

    “You have a mean streak, brother,” Daemon said as he opened the door. “I like it.”

    Lucivar slipped into bed and cuddled up against Marian, more relaxed than he’d been all day. He wasn’t drunk. Far from it. But he was hoping she wasn’t in the mood for more than a cuddle.

    Marian stirred. Let out a sleepy sigh. “You’re home.”

    He brushed his lips over her cheek. “Yeah. It’s late, sweetheart. Go to sleep.”

    She shifted a little, snuggling closer. “Your father came by not long after you left.”

    So much for contentment. “Why?”

    “I think he wanted to talk to you, but he wasn’t surprised that you’d gone to the Hall to see Daemon.”

    Should he have expected Saetan to show up? Maybe. But there were things he could say to a brother he’d known for centuries that he couldn’t say to a father he’d known only for the past nine years.

    “He spent the evening reading stories to Daemonar. He’s got a wonderful voice for it. I think they read almost every storybook we own. Daemonar fell asleep halfway through the last one.”

    Lucivar smiled. “Gave you a bit of a rest, then.”

    A change in her breathing, in her body going from sleep relaxed to aware.

    “Before he left, he said something interesting.”

    “He says interesting things all the time.”

    No amusement. Her body was telling him he didn’t have to be concerned about her temper, but he wished there were a little more light in the room so he could see her face.

    “He said children aren’t the only ones who like to hear a story.”

    He tensed. Couldn’t stop his body’s response to the words. His father might say interesting things, but sometimes the man talked too damn much.

    “No one valued reading in my family,” Marian said. “Even when I asked for a book as a gift, it was viewed as wasted coin. So I was relieved that you were indulgent about my buying books and spending time in the evenings reading.”

    “I’m not indulgent,” he growled. Envious sometimes because she got so much pleasure from blots of ink on a page while he struggled to read what he had to, but not indulgent. “Your coins, your time. You can do what you please with both.”

    “I didn’t realize you would enjoy sharing those stories.”

    Embarrassment. A coating of shame. And a healthy sense of survival because he knew if Daemon and Saetan were aware of those feelings—or more aware than they already were—they would both pound on him.

    “He suggested having a family story night once a week. Just us—you, me, Jaenelle, Daemon, and him. Surreal, too, if she’s interested.”

    He shifted. All right. He squirmed. “You don’t have to do this. You would have read the book. All of you would have read it.”

    “Not if we picked a new story. And maybe in the winter, when it’s too cold to do much, maybe I could share some stories with you that I enjoyed. But not the romances. I couldn’t read the…”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire