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  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(124) by Anne Bishop
  • Returning to his little room in the shed, he stripped and got into bed. He wanted to write the letter to Lord Burle and ask about the plants, but he didn’t feel quite ballsy enough to write a polite letter to Burle when he was having these kinds of feelings about the man’s daughter—and wanting to do things with that daughter that were less than polite.

    So he turned off the lamp and lay in the dark, thinking about the evening. He’d made friends tonight. He was damaged, and they didn’t dismiss that, but even though nothing had been said, the High Lord, Lucivar, and Daemon had made it plain that they expected him to live up to his potential. And if he asked, they would show him how.

    “Daemon? Have you kissed men before?”

    “I have.” Sadi’s mouth curved in a predatory smile. “Some even survived the experience.”

    “Have you taught other boys to kiss the way you just taught me?”

    The smile softened, and there was an odd expression in Daemon’s gold eyes. “I taught Jared. And Blaed.”

    Ebon ASKAVI

    Saetan swirled the brandy in the snifter.

    “If I’d known about this bitch, she wouldn’t still be among the living.”

    He should have known about her. Daemon had said the witch wasn’t a girl, and it was hard to believe this incident was the first time she’d flirted that way with a married man—especially because the detail of taking a shirt as a trophy kept tugging at him, making him think the scenario he’d told Jaenelle wasn’t just a scenario. It was also hard to believe she waited decades between her victims, which meant she’d been playing this game while he’d actively ruled Dhemlan.

    And no one had told him. Even if the Queens, for some inexplicable reason, had chosen to remain ignorant of the bitch’s activities, at least one Warlord Prince should have had balls enough to come to the Hall and inform him.

    His conclusion? Some of her prey had helped cover her tracks and hide her games.

    He wasn’t interested in the men. Not yet, anyway. But the witch who had dared try to tangle up his son in her petty little game . . .

    A flicker of memory, there and gone. A man’s anguish. A child’s face.

    Or what was left of the child’s face.

    There and gone.

    Taking the brandy with him, he went out to one of the courtyards.

    “When I stepped away from the living Realms, and Dhemlan,” he told the night sky,“I thought I’d given Daemon a healthy Territory and a clean slate to begin his rule. But it looks like I have some unfinished business after all.”

    CHAPTER 24


    Several days after the dinner party at the Keep,Theran walked into Powell’s office so soon after breakfast, the Steward wasn’t settled behind his desk yet.

    “Did the letter arrive?” he asked.

    “The messenger just returned from the Keep with the sack,” Powell replied. “I haven’t even opened it yet.”

    “Well, get on with it.”

    Before Powell could say what he looked like he wanted to say, Ranon and Shira walked into the office, with Archerr following right behind them.

    “Did the letter arrive?” Ranon asked.

    “Hell’s fire,” Powell muttered. “The last time this many men were interested in a single letter, it was because all the young men in my village were waiting to see who the prettiest girl had asked to be her escort to the harvest dance.”

    “It’s been enough time,” Theran muttered. “How long can it take to write down the names of a few plants?”

    Shira rolled her eyes. “Men are so dim about some things. The more it matters, the more time it takes.”

    Theran gave Ranon a sharp smile. “So what’s Ranon hurrying that he shouldn’t be?”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire