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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Tangled Webs (Chapter 87)      Page
  • Tangled Webs(Black Jewels,Book 6)(87) by Anne Bishop
  • “There’s water left in the jug,” he said. “We should hold on to what’s left of the food.”

    “And we need to make a decision.” Surreal got to her feet and swore silently. She felt stiffer than she should, and her side hurt more than it should. At least her lungs seemed to be all right now.

    “We either need to go upstairs to use the bathroom or we need to pick a corner and pee on a carpet.”

    The children were waking up, so they would have to make that decision soon. Hell’s fire,she needed to make that decision soon.

    “Could the window be an exit?” Rainier asked. Taking one of the pokers, he approached the window. Then he gave her a considering look. “Your Gray shield will let things out but not in?”

    She nodded. “Whatever goes out stays out.”

    He retreated, set the poker down, then selected a fork from the hamper.

    “Doesn’t give you much distance,” Surreal said.

    “No, but I’ll still be behind the shield,” Rainier replied. “Besides, we can’t take the hamper or chill box with us, so losing the fork doesn’t matter.”

    No, they wouldn’t use Craft to vanish the hamper or chill box, and they couldn’t carry it with them. While Rainier approached the window again, she selected the sharp knife and two forks. Any weapon was better than none.

    Rainier hooked a bit of material in the fork’s tines and pulled aside the curtain. “Surreal, look at this.”

    The window should have been facing the front of the house. She should have seen the wrought-iron fence and the street beyond. Instead, there were stone markers and, in three spots, freshly mounded earth.

    “Graveyard,” she said.

    “Do those markers indicate how many people have died in this house and become fodder of one kind or another? Or are six of those markers reserved for us?”

    She didn’t know and didn’t care. “If it’s an illusion spell, we could try getting out through the window. If it’s not…”

    “We may not be in the same house anymore. Or even the same village.”

    She blinked. “You think someone shifted this whole house without us noticing? Without so much as one of those awful little statues falling off a table and breaking?”

    He shrugged. “Jaenelle could have done it. She could pick up a house this size and turn it around without causing so much as a rattle. She could vanish something this size and set it down in a different village. Or in a finger-snap moment of the lights going out, she could swap a room right out from under your feet.”

    “You’ve never seen her do that.”

    Rainier released the fork, letting the curtain fall back into place. “Actually, I have. There’s an odd sensation of the floor dropping out from under your feet in that moment when the lights go out. Then the lights come back on and you’re standing in a different room—or sitting on a different sofa, which is actually more unnerving. We never could figure out if she shifted the people or shifted the room.”

    Surreal felt her jaw drop. Then she shook her head. Why was she surprised? Before she had shattered herself and her Jewels to save Kaeleer, there had been almost nothing Jaenelle couldn’t do.

    Except basic Craft.

    “Which do we try?” Rainier asked. “Door or window?”

    Sage’s voice piped up behind them. “Lady Surreal? I need to pee.”

    “Well,” Surreal said to Rainier, “unless you want to try holding her out the window, I guess we find out what’s behind the door.”

    “He flinched.” Marian glanced at Daemonar to reassure herself that he was still more interested in the plate of food Draca had brought in for him than the adults in the room. Then she focused on the High Lord. “Lucivarflinched. ”

    Saetan looked solemn and serious—if she could ignore the laughter lighting his gold eyes. “Darling, I heard you the first time. It’s the significance of the words that puzzles me.”

    “Heflinched. ” Why couldn’t she get through to him?

    “And this upsets you. Why?”

    “Because…” Flustered, she pushed her hair back. How could she explain if he didn’t—or wouldn’t—understand?

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire