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  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(132) by Anne Bishop
  • The storm inside him gathered speed, gathered power, gathered the cold, deadly rage. The sweet, cleansing rage.

    “You took my boy.”

    She shook her head.

    Lying bitch.

    “You tried to hurt my son.”

    “I wouldn’t have done anything,” she cried. “It was just a game!”

    “It’s always just a game, isn’t it?” he said too softly. “You like playing games, shattering lives.”

    “I—” She sank to the floor, too weak to stand.

    He breathed in the exciting scent of blood but had no desire to taste it. Not hers. Not that disgusting, foul brew that flowed in her veins.

    But after this first payment was made . . .

    She was . . . but she wasn’t. It didn’t matter. She and the other were enough alike.

    She tried to hurt his son—and everything has a price.

    He smiled a cold, vicious smile. “Dorothea, my darling, it’s finally time to pay the debt.”

    CHAPTER 26

    KAELEER

    Someone tapped lightly on the first of Daemon’s inner barriers, waking him from a sound sleep.

    *Prince Sadi?*

    *Beale?* The butler wasn’t in the bedroom, but Daemon still pulled the covers up around Jaenelle’s delightfully naked body before he shifted far enough to turn over without disturbing her. *Beale?*

    *You’re needed downstairs, Prince,* Beale said.

    He took a moment to sift through the messages coming from the controlled tone of Beale’s voice on the psychic thread as well as the butler’s psychic scent. Whatever brought Beale up here to wake him required his immediate attention but didn’t require a Warlord Prince rising from sleep primed to fight.

    Understanding the careful line the man needed to walk in order to get the desired response rather than the instinctive one, Daemon realized just how skilled Beale was at his job. *What time is it?*

    *A little after three in the morning.*

    Daemon slipped out of bed, pulled on his robe, and went into the Consort’s bedroom, where Beale waited. After putting an aural shield around the room so Jaenelle wouldn’t be disturbed, he said, “What’s wrong?”

    “A Warlord arrived a few minutes ago,” Beale said, keeping his voice quiet despite the shield. “From the Province Queen’s court.”

    Dhemlan had several Provinces, each ruled by a Queen. But there was an edge in Beale’s voice that told Daemon exactly which Province Queen was asking for help.

    Something must have happened to make Rhea desperate enough to ask for his help.

    “Apparently there has been some trouble,” Beale said. “Under other circumstances, I would have assigned the Warlord to a guest room and had him wait to speak with you at a more convenient hour.”

    “But?”

    “He’s very frightened, Prince. Whatever he heard, whatever he saw . . . He’s very frightened.”

    “All right. I’ll see him.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire