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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Tangled Webs (Chapter 95)      Page
  • Tangled Webs(Black Jewels,Book 6)(95) by Anne Bishop
  • He caught a faint psychic scent, enhanced by a whiff of fear. It was gone before he could track the direction it came from, but it had been enough to warn him that Blood was nearby.

    Not the Black Widow. This was someone else, someone who barely registered as Blood to his senses because that person stood so far above him in the abyss. Someone he hadn’t detected at all until he punched a hole in the wall.

    He stared at the wall and considered the game. Then he bared his teeth in a feral smile and walked back to the front door.

    “Guess I’ll play by your rules after all,” he said softly as he pressed his right hand against the door. The Ebon-gray Jewel in his ring blazed for a moment as he put an Ebon-gray shield around the whole structure.

    Somewhere in the house, a gong sounded.

    He felt the bite of a spell as it hooked into the Ebon-gray power, but he fed the shield for a few heartbeats longer—giving it enough power to assure that it wouldn’t be drained by the house before sundown. Of course, when he was ready to leave, he’d have to punch through spells that were bloated with his own Ebon-gray strength, and the backlash from thatwould hurt like a wicked bitch. So be it. He’d still be the one walking out. As for the little writer-mouse he suspected was hiding in the walls…

    Lucivar picked up his pack and headed for the back room. As he passed the hole in the wall, he said in Eyrien, “You don’t leave until I let you leave. So you keep watching—and prepare to die.”

    An illusion suddenly appeared in front of him. The boy had died a hard death, judging by the ripped torso and the missing eye, but he was just an illusion and notcildru dyathe , so he posed no threat.

    “The worst is still to come,” the boy said.

    “No,” Lucivar replied, walking right through the illusion. “I’m here now.”

    He secured the door, then pressed his back against the wall—and trembled.

    Why use Craft when a little temper will do?

    Lucivar had cut the Black Widow in half. The fight was over before it began becausehe cut the witch in half.

    Without Craft.

    Lucivar had swung a heavy coat-tree like it was nothing more than a stick and punched a hole in a Craft-protected wall.

    Without Craft.

    The hole had compromised that part of the secret passageway, making it vulnerable to the spells that chained the rest of the house. This just proved how right he’d been to install doors to divide these passageways into separate sections that had their own set of protection spells. The witch who had done those particular spells had been a sweet woman until he had tortured her and killed her in a way that made her a suitably vicious predator.

    Of course, there was no law against murder, so he’d done nothing wrong. And the information he’d collected in the process would make his next novels wildly successful, surpassing any of his rivals’. Maybe even successful enough that he would be able to acquire one of the kindred as a companion.

    There was just one little hitch in his plans.

    He was beginning to understand why Surreal and her companion were afraid of Lucivar.

    “He put an Ebon-gray shield around the house,” Surreal said. “Hell’s fire, Mother Night, and may the Darkness be merciful.” How were they supposed to get past an Ebon-gray shield?

    “Maybe Lucivar was trying to keep anyone else from coming in,” Rainier said.

    “Or he’s trying to keep someone from getting out,” Surreal replied.Like us? she wondered as she glanced at the children. They had come close to pissing out their brains when that thunderous challenge had rolled through the house. Now the four of them were staring at her and Rainier, looking pathetically hopeful that they could be protected.

    As if any of them had a chance of surviving now.

    “Last night, that boy said the worst was still to come,” she said quietly. “What if Lucivar has been here all along?”

    Rainier considered the question, then shook his head. “If he’d come in ahead of us, we would have seen some sign of his presence before now. A fist-sized hole in a wall, if nothing else.”

    That was true enough. Once he realized he was trapped, Lucivar would go through the house like a wild storm. They would have been climbing over wreckage instead of moving through untouched rooms. But…

    “Someone managed to kill a dark-Jeweled Eyrien Warlord and trap him in the house’s spells,” Surreal said. “Could those spells be strong enough to trap an Ebon-gray Warlord Prince?”

    “Based on the rules we read, I think trapping Lucivar and Daemon was at least part of the intention,” Rainier replied. “But even if Lucivar is still just Lucivar…”

    They looked at each other.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire