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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Tangled Webs (Chapter 64)      Page
  • Tangled Webs(Black Jewels,Book 6)(64) by Anne Bishop
  • She yelped and leaped back, banging into the sink as large, hairy-legged spiders poured out of the drawer Rainier had just opened. He danced back, swearing, as spiders fell to the floor and ran in all directions. And as the spiders ran, they…giggled.

    Surreal stomped on the one closest to her—and felt nothing under her boot. Saw nothing on the floor when she raised her foot.

    Illusions that disappeared within moments of leaving the drawer. Just enough time to scare the shit out of anyone in the room.

    She felt as if she’d been slammed against a wall. In a way, she had been. Under other circumstances, she would have created a protective shield around herself and known she was safe from the spiders. The tight muscles came from denying instincts and training bynot creating a shield.

    “You all right?” Rainier asked, his voice sounding sharp.

    “Yeah.”No. The damn thingsgiggled. “Is that all of them?”

    Rainier approached the drawer and bent just enough to look inside. Then he took one of the pokers from the kitchen table and used it to push the drawer closed. “There’s one left in the back. Since it’s dining on a mouse, I think it’s the real one.” He looked around the kitchen and blew out a breath that might have been a softly muttered curse. “What in the name of Hell…?”

    "It’s Tersa," Surreal said. They were alone, so she wasn’t sure why she didn’t want to say the words out loud. Except that she reallydidn’t want to say the words out loud.

    "What?" Rainier asked, following her lead.

    "The spiders. The mouse in the glass. I’m pretty sure those spells were made by Tersa."

    "Are you saying Daemon Sadi’smother is part of this twisted place? Thatshe’s one of the people trying to kill us?"

    "No! Tersa wouldn’t…" How much did Rainier know about Tersa? He must have met her, but how much did he know? "Someone must have tricked her into creating illusions for this place. She wouldn’t harm children, Rainier. And as sure as the sun doesn’t shine in Hell, she wouldn’t hurt Daemon."

    "So we’re going to run across things that are weird and creepy but mostly benevolent, while other things are really trying to hurt us?"

    She hesitated.

    "No," Rainier said softly. "It won’t be that simple. By serving in the Dark Court, I’ve had the privilege of spending time with three of the most brilliant and creative Black Widows in the Realm. So I know, from listening to Jaenelle, Karla, and Gabrielle, that illusion spells and tangled webs can be layered and blended. It doesn’t matter what Tersa intended. A death spell hidden in one of her harmless illusions is still going to kill us."

    "I know." Glad that Rainier had retrieved all the weapons, she slipped her stiletto into the sheath in her boot, then picked up the other poker and used it to pry open a cupboard. “Let’s see what else is in here.”

    Spider, spider. Who found the spider?

    Not so brave when someone crippled their power, were they? Not so brave, not so fierce, not so damnably arrogant.

    Maybe he should base a character on the Surreal bitch. After all, even with danger all around them, the Blood would still be hot forsome sex.

    Landry Langston could have her for a lover while they were trapped in the haunted house. Hot, fast sex. She’d have to have a climax. Female readers expectedthat . Landry would get out alive, of course, but not be able to save her from the last trap. Would he regret her loss?

    Or maybe he should show how cruel witches were when they used males. The witch in the story coulduse Landry, adding another level to his own torment as he tried to find a way out of the house and keep the people trapped inside with him safe. Then, when he had to choose between sacrificing himself in order to save her and getting out of the house alive, he’d be justified in leaving her to the fate she deserved.

    Yes. Leave her behind, as if she were worthless, less than nothing.

    After all, wasn’t that what the Blood had done to him?

    “Six candles,” Rainier said, laying them on the kitchen table. “Too bad I didn’t find any candleholders.”

    “I did.” Surreal set two chipped cups on the table.

    He looked at them, then at her.

    She bit her tongue to keep from calling him an innocent. “I told you—I’ve stayed in places like this at times. You’ve got the matches?”

    He took the matchbox out of his pocket. She held up a candle and waited for him to light the wick. Then she tilted the candle just enough for the wax to drip into one cup. As she started the same process with the other cup, she took another candle, set it in the cooling wax, and lit it.

    When she set the first candle into its “holder,” Rainier lowered the flame in the oil lamp.

    “Hopefully we’ll find more supplies in other rooms, but this will do for now,” Surreal said.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire