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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Tangled Webs (Chapter 51)      Page
  • Tangled Webs(Black Jewels,Book 6)(51) by Anne Bishop
  • "They’re landens, not Blood," Surreal reminded him.

    "They’re males," he snapped.

    Shit. If Rainier was going to divide acceptable behavior by the criterion of penis or br**sts, they were all in trouble.

    Hoping to shift his mood, she said with blatantly false cheerfulness, "We could just kill them now. It would make everything so much easier."

    "Don’t tempt me," Rainier replied as he took a clean handkerchief out of his pocket.

    Hell’s fire. He might be serious. About the boys anyway. A Warlord Prince didn’t put up with much of anything from a male who didn’t outrank him.

    But that caste of male was also primed to defend and protect. If she could get Rainier focused on duty, that would turn his temper toward the problem of getting out of the damn house.

    "We invited them to join us, Rainier."

    "I invited them, you mean." He took a deep breath—and puffed it out in a sigh as he nodded acceptance of the reminder.

    Nothing more needed to be said, so Surreal looked at the double strand of blue ribbon Ginger was using as a hair band. “I need those ribbons.”

    “I don’t have to give them to you. I don’t have to do anything you say.” Ginger fisted her hands on her hips. “You make the door open so we can go home.”

    Surreal caught the quick look Ginger gave Kester. Oh, yeah. Impress the dominant c**k by playing the bitch. Or keep the c**k impressed by squaring off against a witch. Since she’d seen plenty of variations of that theme when she lived in Terreille, she knew one thing for certain: Ginger was going to be a pain in the ass she didn’t need.

    “Give me the ribbons,” Surreal said calmly. “If you don’t, I will rip them off your head—and rip most of your hair off with them.”

    Ginger’s face paled, then flushed with embarrassment.

    Lesson one, bitch. Don’t start a pissing contest with someone who has the strength and temper to hurt you.

    Ginger pulled off the ribbons and threw them on the floor. “You’re bad! You’re just like my mother says you are!”

    “Well, sugar, that’s something you should have remembered before trying to act like the dominant bitch around someone like me,” Surreal said softly. She took a step toward the girl—and felt a tapping against her fingers. No, that wasn’t quite right, but…

    She brought her hand around to look at the paperweight and felt a jolt of revulsion followed by a sick tickle in the belly.

    No longer solid glass. Now it was a glass dome over a solid base. Now the baby mouse, still looking slightly squashed, was on its hind legs, its front paws pounding on the glass as it squeaked for help.

    Her hand shook, but she didn’t drop it. It was the only thing she’d found that would serve her purpose, so she didn’t drop it, didn’t throw it against the fireplace.

    “Ew,” Dayle said, her eyes wide and excited. “That’screepy. ”

    "My apologies, Lady Surreal," Rainier said. "I shouldn’t have discouraged you from showing them the closet. They’d probably find a dead body and maggots entertaining."

    “What was it before the illusion spell started?” Rainier asked out loud.

    “A dead mouse in a glass paperweight.” She hesitated but had to ask because there was something about the skewed nature of the illusion that made her uneasy. "When you were a boy, would you have found this entertaining?"

    "The mouse? Hell’s fire, no."

    "Would boys in general find this entertaining?"

    Rainier studied her but must have sensed she didn’t want to share the reason for her questions. "Maybe. Our companions seem to, at any rate."

    Mother Night.

    She started to bend down to pick up the ribbons, but Sage scooped them up and handed them to her. Thanking the girl, she perched on the arm of the overstuffed sofa, unwilling to sit on the cushions in case the mouse’s relatives were still in residence.

    The paper with the warning about the nature of the spooky house was wrapped around the paperweight. The handkerchief was wrapped over the paper. Everything was tied securely with the ribbons.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire