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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Tangled Webs (Chapter 97)      Page
  • Tangled Webs(Black Jewels,Book 6)(97) by Anne Bishop
  • He understood her. Daemon listened, and he loved her. Jaenelle listened too. And Saetan. But Lucivar rode her currents of words like he rode currents of air, following a path that wasn’t meant for straight lines. So she told him things, taught him things that she couldn’t explain any other way, and trusted him to eventually show the others.

    His mother didn’t want him. Couldn’t love him because she hated him. All because he had those glorious wings that looked like dark silk when he spread them wide. What a foolish reason to hate a child.

    So, in a way, he had become her boy too.

    And Surreal. The girl child who had been forged into a warrior by pain and blood and fear. Never like a daughter, but always a friend. Someone who could accept what couldn’t be made whole.

    The Langston man wanted to hurt Surreal too.

    Tersa gently touched the frame that held her tangled web.

    She owed the Langston man for whatever harm she had done—and she would pay her debt.

    TWENTY

    Lucivar looked around the dining room. In the early light of a gray autumn morning, an eyrie could look gloomy too, but that was balanced by the fact that an eyrie was built of stone and had the strength and character of being part of the land around it.

    There was no excuse formaking a room look like this.

    No reason to linger, since Surreal and Rainier weren’t there, but he set his pack down on the dining room table and circled the room anyway, just to see if he could sense anything of interest.

    Like the reason someone had ripped the door of the storage cupboard off its hinges and then replaced the door with enough care that a casual glance around the room might not detect the damage.

    As he came abreast of the door, the knob rattled, as if someone inside was trying to get out. Or trying to entice whoever was in the room intoletting him or her out.

    Switching the war blade to his left hand, he stood on the hinge side and closed his right hand over the doorknob, using the length of his arm as a brace to keep the cupboard’s occupant from simply knocking the door down.

    As soon as he started to open the door, something inside the cupboard slammed into it, trying to knock it down on top of him. He moved with the swing of the door, using it as a shield as the enemy rushed into the dining room, intent on finding its prey.

    He tossed the door and flipped the war blade back to his right hand. The door’s crash had the witch turning to face him, to find him—and his gorge rose.

    Enough of her face was left for him to see that she had been pretty. Enough of her psychic scent was left, despite the layers of rage, for him to tell that she hadn’t been a bitch when she walked among the living. In fact…

    Hearth witch. She had been a hearth witch, and someone had burned her. Not a fast fire meant to kill, but a slow burning to torture the body and break the mind.

    Her face blurred. Became Marian’s.

    She was on him before he could regain his emotional balance and evade her.

    His heart went numb. Instinct and training took over. He caught her by the back of the neck and threw her against the wall. Before she could recover, he followed, pressing her head between his hand and the wall. Then he let temper and memories be the whip driving him as his hand smashed through bone and brains.

    He kept his hand pressed against the wall, capturing bits of skull and brain while her body slumped to the floor.

    Still there. Her Self was still there, chained to a demon-dead body that no longer functioned.

    He shook the gore off his hand, then wiped off the rest on her dress.

    As he crouched there, too close to the sight of her, the smell of her, memory took him back to the camp in Terreille and the nightmare that still haunted his sleep some nights.

    Two naked…things…floated out of the hut into the light. An hour ago, they had been a woman and a small boy. Now…

    Marian’s fingers and feet were gone. So was the long, lovely hair. Daemonar’s eyes were gone, as well as his hands and feet. Their wings were so crisped, the slight movement of floating made pieces break off. And their skin…

    Smiling that cold, cruel smile, the Sadist released his hold on Marian and Daemonar. The little boy hit the ground with a thump and began screaming. Marian landed on the stumps of her legs and fell. When she landed, her skin split, and…

    The Sadist hadn’t just burned them; he had cooked them—and they were still alive. Not even demon-dead. Alive.

    “Lucivar,” Marian whispered hoarsely as she tried to crawl toward her husband. “Lucivar.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire