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  • Tangled Webs(Black Jewels,Book 6)(70) by Anne Bishop
  • “No.You’ll spoil the surprise for the boy.” Now there was hurt in her voice.

    He pressed his forehead against her knees, fighting to chain the frustration. “Tersa.” She’dworked to create those illusion spells and that bastard Jenkell had used her.

    He raised his head and looked at her. “Tersa, the Langston man is abad man. He lied to you. He used your spells for his spooky house, but he also had two other Black Widows making spells for him, andtheir spells are meant to hurt whoever goes into his house. He wasn’t making an entertainment for us like Jaenelle is making. He wants tokill us.” He rubbed his thumbs over her knuckles, trying to hold her to this room and his words. “Tersa, Surreal is caught in that house. I need your help to get her out before she gets hurt.”

    He lost her. He’d told her too much—or not enough. No way to know with Tersa.

    “Darling, is there anything you can tell me?Please. ”

    “They giggle,” she said, her voice barely audible. “They’re big and hairy and they giggle.”

    What giggles?Daemon wondered, but he didn’t dare ask. She was pulling out whatever information she could. It would be up to him to figure out what it meant.

    “Tippy-tap,” Tersa said. She pressed her lips together and made a popping sound. Then she said, “The Mikal boy knows. He’ll tell the boy about the surprises.”

    She looked crushed, defeated. Even if Jenkell did no other harm, he was going after that son of a whoring bitch for the pain he’d just caused Tersa.

    “Thank you, darling.” Daemon kissed her hands and rose.

    “Thank you.”

    As he left the cottage and headed for the Queen of Halaway’s home, he wondered just how much damage he’d caused.

    “Here, Tersa,” Allista said as she guided her Sister into a chair at the kitchen table. “Sit down and we’ll have our dinner. Manny made a lovely soup for us this evening and a chicken casserole. Sit down, and I’ll fetch the soup.”

    No response. Just silent tears. Tersa hadn’t saidanything since Prince Sadi left.

    He was usually so careful with Tersa, so understanding about the fragile nature of sanity once a mind was shattered. So it was doubly cruel of him to rip Tersa up like this.

    She would mention this in her weekly report to the Hourglass Coven, since caring for Tersa was part of her training, but what could they do? Daemon Sadi was the Warlord Prince of Dhemlanand a Black Widow. Who could reprimand someone like Sadi? Well, his father could. But she wasn’t feeling quite brave enough to send a complaint to the High Priest of the Hourglass about his own son. Maybe…

    “He spoiled the surprise,” Tersa whispered sadly. “There won’t be any surprises for the boy.”

    The surprises. Tersa had been working on these “surprises” for weeks.

    “It doesn’t matter now,” Allista said. She put a bowl in front of Tersa. “Here, darling. Eat your soup.”

    Tersa didn’t reply—and Allista watched a chilling lucidity fill the other woman’s eyes.

    “He wanted to hurt the boy,” Tersa said softly. “The Langston man. He tried to use me to hurt the boy.”

    The moment came and went. But as they ate the evening meal, Allista was sure there was a storm brewing behind Tersa’s quiet stillness.

    Puffing from the effort to go up a few stairs, Surreal stood in the dark upstairs hallway and swore. This back hallway didn’t feel big enough to hold six other people, let alone keep her from running into them. And a single lamp or candle should blaze in this dark.

    “Rainier?”

    No answer. No sound of body or breath. No sense of his presence.

    "Rainier?" she called again, switching to a psychic thread.

    "Surreal! Where in the name of Hell are you?"

    "I’m standing in the upstairs hallway."

    "No, you are not."

    Shit. He really sounded pissy about it.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire