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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Shadow Queen (Chapter 13)      Page
  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(13) by Anne Bishop
  • “That’s SaDiablo Hall,” the driver said. “Family seat of the SaDiablo family and home of the Warlord Prince of Dhemlan. I was told to bring you here.”

    SaDiablo. SaDiablo. Hell’s fire, Mother Night, and may the Darkness be merciful.

    But Dorothea SaDiablo was dead, wasn’t she? Completely destroyed, body, mind, and Jewels. Wasn’t she?

    “Daemon Sadi lives here?” Theran asked.

    “He does.”

    Was Sadi still controlled by the SaDiablo family? Was he still a slave? Was this branch of the SaDiablo family any better than the ones who had tried to destroy Terreille?

    Have I just handed myself to the enemy? Damn that Hayllian bastard for sending me here.

    “I’ll take the Coach around to the stables, then wait around a bit to see if I’m needed,” the driver said. “You should go on up to the Hall and state your business. Won’t attract any atten—”

    A solitary howl rose from the trees off to the right. Then another howl rose up from the left. The third came from behind him.

    Theran turned in a circle, his heart hammering against his chest. Nothing he could see, but something was out there. He was picking up psychic scents, a feeling of power moving toward him from several directions. But those scents were just enough off-kilter that he couldn’t identify what was out there.

    “Well,” the driver said, scratching his head. “Now that you’ve got their attention, you’ve got everyone’s attention. So you might as well go on up.”

    “What are they?” Theran asked. “Guard dogs?”

    “Wolves. The pack lives in the north woods that are part of this estate. They’re protected by the Hall—and they protect the Hall.”

    Hell’s fire. “Could be worse,” Theran said.

    “Could be,” the driver agreed. He paused and gave Theran a considering look. “Don’t know if any are here right now, but you don’t want to be upsetting the cats. They’re big, and they’re mean.”

    Theran forced a smile. “It’s not like they would eat me.”

    The driver just looked at him.

    “Mother Night.” Could it be any worse? He didn’t ask because he didn’t want the driver to tell him about whatever was worse than man-eating cats someone kept as pets.

    The driver touched two fingers to his temple as a salute and went back into the Coach.

    Theran quickly stepped off the landing web and hurried to the front door, which opened before he could knock, and showed him what could be worse than man-eating cats—a large, stern-faced man who was wearing a butler’s uniform and was also a Red-Jeweled Warlord.

    Outranked by a servant, Theran thought as he obeyed the silent invitation to step inside.

    “Good afternoon,” the butler said. “How may I be of service?”

    “I’m looking for Daemon Sadi. I was told I could find him here.” Of course, the Hayllian prick at the Keep hadn’t mentioned he’d be looking for Sadi inside a SaDiablo fortress.

    As the butler turned one hand, he suddenly held a small silver tray. The use of Craft was so smooth, Theran stared at the tray for a moment, feeling envious of the subtle training the butler must have received. Oh, Talon had given him the best training available, but their rough-and-ready life didn’t require subtlety in anything except fighting.

    “Your card?” the butler said.

    Hell’s fire. Did people still use such fussy things? Would the court he hoped to create have to use them?

    “I don’t have a card,” Theran said, feeling like an awkward child who’d been caught out pretending to be an adult.

    The butler’s hand turned. The tray vanished. “Your name?”

    Theran hesitated. His family had survived by hiding. But would anyone here in Kaeleer understand the significance of the name?

    “Theran Grayhaven,” he said reluctantly.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire