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  • Tangled Webs(Black Jewels,Book 6)(90) by Anne Bishop
  • “What makes you think anyone is in there?”

    “You’re here, and it’s still standing.”

    Daemon tipped his head to acknowledge the accuracy of that assessment. “Surreal and Rainier—and seven landen children.”

    Lucivar stared at him. “You knew it was a trap. Last night when you sent the message, youknew. ”

    “Yes, I knew,” Daemon replied, letting his own temper sharpen. “Jaenelle figured it out before I did, but I knew it was a trap when I told you to stay home. I was afraid you’d just march in there if you found out Surreal and Rainier were caught in the spells that had been spun around this place.”

    “I am going in,” Lucivar said.

    “Youcan’t .” He called in the paper that had the spooky house rules and waved it at his brother. “Damn you, Lucivar, according to the rules of this place—”

    “Since when do we play by anyone else’s rules?”

    The words felt like a bucket of ice water thrown in his face.

    Lucivar moved closer, until there was no distance between them. “Tell me, Bastard. Since when dowe play by anyone else’s rules?”

    He floundered. Felt like he’d lost his footing, but he couldn’t quite figure out why.

    “This place was built as a trap to kill the three of us,” he said, sure of at least that much. “You, me, and Surreal.”

    “Understood. What else?”

    “We’ve figured out—or are almost certain, anyway—that Jarvis Jenkell is behind the creation of this place. He’s recently discovered that he’s Blood, and it seems he wants to test his newfound skills against the SaDiablo family.”

    “Which only proves he’s a clever idiot. What else?”

    Daemon held out the paper. “Read this.”

    Lucivar glanced at the paper, then looked at the house. “You read it.”

    “Lucivar…”

    “Read it.”

    Daemon took a breath, ready to argue that Lucivar was perfectly capable of reading the rules by himself. Then he paused. Considered. This wasn’t about Lucivar’s resistance to anything “bookish.” This was about what he absorbed from words when he heard them.

    THERE ARE THIRTY EXITS FROM THESPOOKYHOUSE, BUT YOU WILL NEED TO LOOK CAREFULLY TO FIND THEM, FOR THEY ARE WRAPPED IN DANGER.EVERY TIMECRAFT IS USED, AN EXIT IS SEALED, AND THAT WAY OUT IS LOST.WHEN THE LAST EXIT IS SEALED, YOU WILL BECOME PART OF THE HOUSE—AND STAY WITH US FOREVER.

    Lucivar looked at the house, at the land, at the sky.

    “Again,” Lucivar said.

    Daemon read it again—and watched his brother. That look. That stance. What was Lucivar looking at when he considered that house as a battleground? More to the point, what was Lucivarseeing ?

    Lucivar took a couple of steps away from him. “Read it again.”

    He read it a third time, then waited.

    Lucivar took a deep breath and let it out in a gusty, annoyed sigh. Frustration filled his eyes, and Daemon recognized the feeling washing the air between them—their mutual desire to grab each other and shake some understanding into the other one’s head.

    “He hamstrung you, Bastard,” Lucivar said. “He used words instead of a blade, but he hamstrung you. He counted on you doing exactly what you did—play by his rules. Surreal and Rainier, too, since they’re still in there.”

    Jaenelle joined them. “There are three Black Widows who spun the illusions around this place. Every time Craft is used, the people in the house become more ensnared in the webs. And there are death spells tangled in with the rest. If you take a step over the boundary, you’ll be caught in the spells.”

    “If you play by the rules,” Lucivar said. “The sun’s going to shine in Hell before I play by someone else’s rules—especially some landen prick who wants one of us to help him commit suicide.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire