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  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(111) by Anne Bishop
  • She ripped open the shirt, sending the buttons flying. Stripping it off, she scrunched it up and threw it behind her.

    He wasn’t sure what she was wearing under the shirt, except that it was a combination of sheer fabric and lace that veiled her ni**les without hiding them.

    His mouth watered, and his mind went wonderfully blank of everything that didn’t concern having their two bodies come together in particularly delicious ways.


    Which was a problem, since he’d finally managed to get her well and truly angry with him.

    You started this fight, old son, so pay attention.

    Besides, the sooner he figured out a way to end the fight, the sooner he could apologize for being an ass and they could put all that energy and emotion to better use.

    “Let’s start with some basic truths, Prince,” Jaenelle said.

    He winced at her tone of voice.

    “You’re a beautiful man, Daemon. It’s more than your face. It’s the way you move, and the timbre of your voice, and the sexual heat that comes off you even when you’ve got it leashed. All of those things are part of what you are. And women are going to be drawn to you because of it. Hell’s fire, I was drawn to you because of those things. I still am, you ass.”

    His lips twitched, trying to smile.

    “And you can’t deny that the times when you walk into the bedroom wearing leather pants and nothing else, you aren’t looking for the reaction you get.”

    Just remembering her reaction was making him hard. Harder.

    “No, I can’t deny it.” His voice turned husky, almost a purr.

    “A lot of women are going to want the body they see. Some of those women will also want the man who lives inside it.”

    “The man they think lives inside it.”

    “Point taken.” She sighed, and the sound made him hopeful she was shaking off the anger. “Aaron runs into the same problem on occasion when he’s an overnight guest, especially when Kalush isn’t with him. I don’t know what to tell him either, except to make his refusal so embarrassingly public the woman won’t dare go near him again.”

    “It wasn’t that,” Daemon said, looking away. “Not all of it anyway.” His fury returned, but he worked to keep it leashed. “Vulchera is a woman, not a girl, and can’t use the excuse of being young for being stupid. She’s a trusted friend of Rhea’s, so she was among the aristos Rhea had invited to provide conversation and company after she and I reviewed the business I was there to review.”

    “Was there any business?” Jaenelle asked.

    “Some. Anyway,Vulchera’s flirting was too pointed and obvious from the moment we were introduced—and not the friendly kind of flirting your coven indulges in that’s meant to be nothing more than fun. Your friends taught me that there are ways a woman can flirt with a man that lets him know he’s safe.” He slipped his hands in his pockets. “This woman wasn’t interested in doing anything that was safe, and she certainly wasn’t interested in my reputation or my feelings. She used the same scented soap that you had purchased the last time we visited Lady Rhea’s court.”

    “It’s not an exclusive soap or an exclusive scent. It’s not even exclusive to the shops in that Province.”

    “Vulchera wasn’t wearing that scent the first day,” Daemon said softly. “Since we were at Rhea’s country home, there was only one shop that carried items suited for an aristo purse. She paid one of the clerks to find out what scent you used.” And he intended to have a little chat with that fool very, very soon.

    “And then she put on one of your shirts,” Jaenelle said, nodding as if she understood.

    But she didn’t. “Do you know how I feel when I see you wearing one of my shirts?” he asked. “Do you understand how aroused it makes me, how much possessive pleasure it gives me? Because of who you are, when you wear one of my shirts, you’re telling the whole household that you’re mine. And more than that, that I’m yours.”

    “I feel surrounded by you,” she said quietly. “Comfortable. Safe. Loved.”

    “And aroused?” he asked just as quietly.

    “Only if I picture you wearing it,” she muttered.

    Her answer made him smile—and smoothed some of the jagged edges inside him.

    “Well, this bitch did understand. Before we got through dinner that first evening, she realized I wouldn’t invite her to my bed or accept an invitation to hers. So she used a scent I associated with you, put on a piece of clothing that would carry my own scent. She wanted me to pretend she was you. She wanted me to believe she could be a substitute for you.”

    Jaenelle studied him. “So you were insulted on my behalf?”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire