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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Tangled Webs (Chapter 44)      Page
  • Tangled Webs(Black Jewels,Book 6)(44) by Anne Bishop
  • No matter. He’d prepared this entertainment for the SaDiablo family. No other male could compare withthose two, so the bitch’s escort posed no threat to his plans.

    At least the male had been obliging enough to invite some of the children. It was necessary for a few of them to be involved in this entertainment, and as the kindly caretaker, he would have let some of them go in with the Blood. But now the Blood would feel responsible for the children’s welfare, sincethey had extended the invitation.

    Assuming, of course, that the Blood ever felt responsible for anything they did.

    No matter. The children were in the house by the Blood’s invitation, and that should work out better than he’d anticipated.

    He looked at the street, his eyes passing over the boy still standing on the other side of the gate, and hoped to see one ofthem appear. Once he closed the door, all the spells would be in motion—and would stay in motion while any of the guests lived.

    Sadi and Yaslana weren’t coming. So be it.

    Let the game begin.

    The outside of the house had peeling paint and some shutters that looked like they were holding on by a single nail. The sitting room was a good match for the exterior—peeling wallpaper that was thankfully so faded it barely had color, lace curtains that looked like they would shred as soon as any attempt was made to clean them, and overstuffed furniture that, judging by the chew holes, housed several generations of mice.

    “It’s awful,” the oldest boy said, sounding thrilled.

    “The Blood don’t live in places like this,” Rainier said, sounding less than thrilled.

    “I have,” Surreal said as she wandered around the room. A wave of annoyance coming from Rainier washed over her, but she continued to study the room. Wasn’t there supposed to be something spooky? Although she’d bet just looking at this place had given Marian shudders.

    “Lady Surreal, neither of us live in a place like this.”

    More than annoyance. Rainier was pissed that anyone, even landen children, would think the Blood would consider this place homey.

    “Not now,” Surreal said, focusing on a portrait over the fireplace. Was there something queer about the man’s eyes? “But when I was preparing for a kill and didn’t want anyone to know I was in that part of a Territory, I would stay in an abandoned place like this for a few days.”

    Sometimes she preferred secrecy to staying at a Red Moon house and providing services as a whore, which had been her other profession—until her recently acquired male relatives calmly told her that any male who got into her bed from now on had better be there for her pleasure or he would live just long enough to regret using his cock. So that endedthat career. All right, she’d already walked away from that part of her life even before she came to Kaeleer, but it was still annoying to betold she was retired.

    Becoming aware of the silence, she turned away from the portrait and found seven children staring at her.

    “You kill people?” the youngest girl asked.

    “I was an assassin,” Surreal replied cheerfully. “And a damn good one. I know all kinds of death spells.”

    "That might have been a little more than they needed to know," Rainier said.

    Since they were looking at her the way a rabbit looks at a wolf, Rainier was probably right. On the other hand, they would probably want to stay away from her and would attach themselves to him during the tour, and that was all right too.

    Then she looked at Rainier. His expression strongly suggested that she soften her statement.

    “But I’m retired now,” Surreal said. “I don’t kill people anymore.”At least, not for money. “I’m Lady Surreal, and this is Prince Rainier.”

    “Those are funny names,” the oldest boy said.

    “Really?” Rainier sounded like he was gritting his teeth hard enough to break a few.

    "You were the one who invited them to join us," Surreal said, earning a searing look from Rainier before she focused on the children. “So who are you?”

    The oldest boy, the one she’d labeled the dominant cock, was Kester. His friend was Trist. The other boys were Haywood, who was called Henn for reasons she didn’t understand, and Trout, whose face reddened when the other boys sneered at him, but who gave her a polite bow nonetheless.

    The bitch was named Ginger. Her pal, the aspiring bitch, was Dayle. The youngest girl was Sage.

    "Is it common for landens to name their children after foods and spices?" Surreal asked Rainier.

    "I don’t know. Maybe their mothers were hungry when they had to choose a name. Or they could be lying about their names because they think it’s amusing."

    A door slammed. The house shuddered.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire