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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Tangled Webs (Chapter 83)      Page
  • Tangled Webs(Black Jewels,Book 6)(83) by Anne Bishop
  • But no. The Surreal bitch outranked the Warlord Prince, so he couldn’t insist on being pleasured, even though shehad been a whore.

    No matter. When he wrote the Landry Langston version of this little adventure, he’d make things interesting. Besides, stories always needed an interlude before the final storm.

    “So.” Surreal bit off a piece of apple and chewed slowly. The wheel of cheese was gone, and the chicken was nothing more than a jumble of bones. With their tummies sufficiently full, the children had fallen asleep before they’d gotten to the apples. Just as well. She and Rainier needed the extra food, since their bodies, as the vessels of the power they wielded, burned up food faster. “If this was one of those mystery stories we’ve read, where do you think we’d be now?”

    Rainier looked around the sitting room. “Well, we’ve had death and danger, we’ve been warned that there is worse coming, and we’re barricaded in a room in order to get some rest. In terms of story, this is the place where the two main characters have fast, hot sex.”

    They looked at each other.

    “So what do you want to do in the five minutesthat would have taken?” Surreal asked.

    Rainier huffed out a laugh. “Surreal.”

    “What? Remember that one we read where the man’s penis wept in gratitude? Personally, I thought he was just leaking, and that the woman, who swore it was the best sex she’d ever had, was being very polite. I know this because when I was a whore and had to be very polite in that way, I always charged a lot more.”

    “Hush.” Rainier’s face was turning red with the effort not to laugh loud enough to wake the children.

    She looked at the painting above the fireplace mantel. Blood still oozed down the woman’s chest from the wounds inflicted by her lover. Then Surreal looked at the children. They were all so exhausted, she doubted they were capable of overhearing anything, but she switched to a psychic thread anyway.

    "Has this all seemed odd to you?" she asked.

    "In any particular way?" Rainier replied dryly.

    She hooked her hair behind one ear. "I don’t know. It just seems…Not tame, exactly."

    Rainier looked away. "Three children have died. That isn’t tame."

    "And more died before we walked into this place. I know. But it’s…clumsy. Deadly, yes, but…" She wasn’t sure what she was trying to tell him, wasn’t even sure what she was sensing.

    Rainier hesitated. "Your family has a vicious elegance that is unmatched anywhere in the Realm. The only males and witches who come close are the ones who served in the First Circle at Ebon Askavi, and they rule the Shadow Realm now. These are your friends, your family. And frankly, Lady, that is the level of Craft that you yourself wield. This place may not be elegant, but it’s a well-constructed trap."

    "Yes," she agreed. "Well constructed but not elegant."

    "If any Black Widow in your family had built this place with the intention of destroying whoever walked in here…"

    Surreal shivered. Seductive. Alluring. Lethal. Breaking a person down layer by layer. Weaving pain and pleasure together until both were a torment you would beg to feel.

    Clickety-clack. Tippity-tap.

    The sound—and Rainier’s gentle nudge—brought her wandering thoughts back to the room and the potential danger.

    Clickety-clack. Tippity-tap.

    Something white, scurrying along the baseboard just inside her shield, tapping on the wood floor.

    They watched the skeleton mouse scurry-scurry until it reached the corner of the hearth. Then it sat back on its haunches and turned its skull until it seemed to be looking right at them.

    She wished she still had a crumb of cheese left to toss to it—just to see what would happen.

    The mouse held its position for a moment longer, then scurried away.

    Clickety-clack. Tippity-tap.

    "Was that one of Tersa’s spells?" Rainier asked.

    "Had to be." A good example of the elegance Rainier had pointed out. Bizarre? Sure. Even for Tersa. But the skill it took to create that bit of Craft was several levels above the nasty surprises.

    And thinking about the difference in that level of skill made her very glad Tersa wasn’t one of the Black Widows trying to kill them.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire