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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Tangled Webs (Chapter 98)      Page
  • Tangled Webs(Black Jewels,Book 6)(98) by Anne Bishop
  • Lucivar stood up, backed away from the witch’s body.

    Daemon had tortured him with nothing but elaborate shadows, knowing that his response would convince Dorothea and Hekatah that the Sadist had actually cooked his brother’s wife and son. That game had provided Daemon with the breathing space needed to get Marian and Daemonar away from the camp and keep them safe.

    He and Daemon had both paid a high price for Marian and Daemonar’s safety. He reminded himself of that often on the nights when he woke up in a cold sweat, certain there was a lingering odor of burned hair and cooked flesh in the bedroom.

    But he also never forgot that, with the right provocation, the Sadist was capable of playing out that kind of game for real.

    He studied the hearth witch. Was that why she had been killed this way? Had Jenkell been trying to kindle that memory, maybe turn him and Daemon against each other so they would focus thoughts and tempers on each other instead of this house? Who could have told Jenkell what happened in that camp?

    Or had the little bastard killed the witch that way just for the fun of it?

    “I don’t know the answer, and I don’t care,” Lucivar said quietly. “Even if you pay for nothing else, you will pay for this witch’s death. I’ll make sure of it.”

    Picking up his pack, he headed down the passageway to the kitchen.

    “The last time we used the back stairs, you got lost,” Rainier said.

    “I didn’t get lost,” Surreal replied, feeling testy. “I just didn’t end up in the same place as you did.”And discovered those damn beetles because of it.

    “However it happened, we came up the front stairs and everyone is here. I say we go back down the same way.”

    But Lucivar is on the first floor.That couldn’t matter. They hadn’t found anything in their hurried exploration of the second floor. No clue that might indicate an exit. No trap that might indicate an exit.

    They could pick a room and wait for something to come after them, or they could try to find a way out before someone else got killed.

    Which meant going down.

    “All right,” she said. “We’ll use the main staircase.”

    They went down in a tight little pack. Rainier led, taking it slow, testing each step just as he’d done on the way up. Henn held on to Rainier’s jacket and Dayle’s hand. Trout held on to Henn’s jacket and Sage’s hand. And Surreal held on to Trout.

    Constant contact and a continuous roll call so they would know immediately if anyone suddenly disappeared.

    How many times can you repeat six names?Surreal wondered.It’s not a big staircase. But it felt like they had been going down those stairsforever.

    She finally took the last step—and daylight vanished. The only light came from the witchfire on the candle Rainier held.

    “Mother Night!” Surreal said. “Where are we now?”

    Rainier looked over his shoulder at her. “I think we’re in the cellar.”

    Lucivar took a mouthful of water, then corked the jug and dug an apple out of the pack.

    The mice’s heads floating in the jar of peaches was a bitch-mean trick. But the spiders…

    Damn things gave him a jolt when they came pouring out of the drawer like that, big and hairy andfast. Of course, their scariness was greatly diminished by the fact that they giggled like a herd of little children who were playing “chase me.”

    “Not bad, Tersa,” he said as he munched on the apple.

    It had the feel of her, and it was what he’d expect from her efforts to build scary surprises for children. Strange? Yes. Creepy? Definitely. But benign.

    He tossed the apple core in the sink and picked up the pack and war blade he’d set on the table. The doors that seemed to lead outside didn’t interest him, so he considered the other door.

    Cellar door? Probably. Even without the warning of a chair braced under the knob, he didn’t need to get any closer to know something malevolent was on the other side of that door. Since they were trying to get out, Surreal and Rainier wouldn’t head belowground. They’d stick to the parts of the house where they could make use of a door or window. So that left him heading upstairs.

    Whatever was in the cellar held no interest for him.

    Lucivar was destroying the predators! He was going to ruineverything !

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire