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  • Tangled Webs(Black Jewels,Book 6)(85) by Anne Bishop
  • “Anax and several other children from the house have ‘run away’ over the past few weeks.”

    He turned his head in the direction of the house, even though he couldn’t see it through the walls of the Coach. “Maybe they didn’t run far.” He turned over the pieces of information and found more and more reasons to hone his temper. “Did you find out anything about the spells wrapped around the house?”

    “The Black Widows were strong and quite talented. And they anticipated someone trying to pick their webs apart.”

    “So we can’t work from the outside.”

    “Not if we want Surreal and Rainier to remain among the living. I’m still looking for a way to get around the trap spell without triggering the death spells.”

    He took Jaenelle’s hand and kissed her palm.

    Among the Blood, there was no law against murder. But that didn’t mean payment wasn’t extracted when required. While riding the Black Wind back to this village, he’d tallied up all the things he’d learned about this haunted house and what must have been done to create such a place. So he knew what would be required to pay the blood debt owed to him as the Warlord Prince of Dhemlan and to the people whose lives had been taken without good reason.

    Since Jaenelle had told him they needed a Coach that would accommodate several people, they had used the one that was big enough to be a flying two-story flat.

    “I have some work to do.” He gave her hand one last kiss and stood up. “I’ll work in one of the upstairs bedrooms so I don’t disturb you or the boy.” That wasn’t the reason, but it was one of those lies that was understood for what it was—a public excuse for a private matter.

    He didn’t want to tell her what he intended to do. Didn’t want to argue with her about it. The first stage of the punishment he was about to design would be brutal, but it was also just. And it was a side of him he was never comfortable letting her see.

    His foot touched the first stair to the upper story when her voice stopped him.

    “You should use the thicker-weight spider silk,” Witch said.

    “It will hold up better for those kinds of spells.”

    SEVENTEEN

    Marian drifted around the kitchen, feeling soft and delicious and powerful and female. She’d been so hungry for the man, and Lucivar had been so wonderfullymale last night. And this morning.

    It had been so satisfying to slide on top of him, and so flattering that his only response at first had been to wrap his arms around her. For a man with Lucivar’s past, trusting a woman so much that he wasn’t pulled from sleep when her body covered his told her how deeply he loved her. When she sheathed his morning-hard cock, she kept her movements quiet and controlled, enjoying the easy ride. And then she felt the excitement building as she watched his slow rise from sleep until he was fully awake and aware just moments before she was milking him with her climax.

    She looked at the chair pushed back from the table and felt her body ready itself for a man.

    Then she heard Daemonar’s laughing squeals, followed by playful “papa growls” from Lucivar.

    Time to be a mother instead of a lover.

    Trying to focus on something besides the chair and what she had done with Lucivar in the kitchen last night, she fixed her eyes on the corner cabinet. Years before, when she’d still been Lucivar’s housekeeper, Jaenelle had decided Marian needed that corner cabinet—mostly because Jaenelle, who was incapable of doing something as simple as boiling an egg, had no idea what was needed in a kitchen. She hadn’t been sure she’d ever use the thing, but now the shelves held little trinkets that warmed her heart—a pretty stone Daemonar had found for her; a seashell Lucivar had kept for her during a rare overnight stay he’d arranged with the dragons who lived on the Fyreborn Islands; and other things that reminded her each day that she was more than she’d thought she could be.

    Because she was focused on the cabinet, she noticed the triangle of white sticking out from underneath it. When she pulled it out, she flushed with embarrassment that an invitation had gotten shoved under the cabinet. Lucivar never paid attention to such things, leaving it to her to decide what she’d like to attend or what hehad to attend.

    She read the invitation. Then she read it again.

    She looked up when she felt his presence in the archway.

    “Lucivar, what…?”

    He flinched. Her strong, powerful, arrogant, Eyrien Warlord Prince husbandflinched.

    “Marian…I can explain.”

    His distress was unnerving, especially when she didn’t knowwhy he was reacting so strongly to something that was, in the end, a simple miscalculation.

    “It was sweet of you to prepare the invitations,” she said, and then added silently,Even if the wording needs to be softened. “But, Lucivar, the spooky house isn’t ready yet. We’re still working on the last room and—”

    “That son of a whoring bitch.”

    It was like watching a storm heading toward you. She could almost taste the violence that scented the air as he took the invitation from her.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire