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  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(136) by Anne Bishop
  • *Wood and stone remember.*

    He couldn’t be understanding her. *You’re going to use the Hourglass’s Craft to recall what happened here and watch the execution?*


    *Then I’ll stay with you.*

    *No. I want you out of this room, Daemon. Now.*

    And the Queen commands, he thought as he walked out of the room—and wondered if his heart could bruise his chest, the way it was pounding.

    What was it she suspected that she didn’t want him to see?

    It felt like he’d been standing in that hallway for days, but when Jaenelle walked out of the room, he was fairly certain she’d been inside less time than it had taken for Vulchera to bleed out.

    “You’ll have to burn the body,” Jaenelle told Lord Collyn. “If you don’t, that shirt will continue to be a danger to your household.”

    “Can’t we wait until the spell fades and then deal with the remains?” Collyn asked.

    “The body will rot before those spells fade,” she replied sharply. “Use Craft. Don’t touch anything you don’t have to. Build a bonfire,Warlord, because this has to burn. Use witchfire as well as natural fire. Both will be needed to break the spells. I’ll leave a cleansing web Lady Yaslana and I developed to remove emotional residue from a room. That should make it possible for your people to be in the room long enough to take care of the physical cleaning.”

    Of course, it would be a long time—if ever—before any guest would willingly stay in that room, cleansed or not, Daemon thought.

    “Now,” Jaenelle said, “I’ll see your wife.”

    Blood seeped from fine lines on Lady Rosalene’s hands, as if she’d pressed down on wires that had cut deep into her skin. Except the skin wasn’t cut. If you wiped away the blood, all that was visible were those silvery strands on the surface of her skin—until the blood welled up again from those strands.

    Rosalene had pressed her hands on the shirt. She had walked into the bedroom, seen the body, seen the blood, and grabbed that bitch Vulchera’s arm in some shocked effort to help before she saw the reason there was no possible way to help.

    Silver strands. Like the tangled web that had been woven into that silk shirt.

    Ignoring Collyn, who hovered in the doorway, not quite daring to come into the room, Daemon stood near Jaenelle and watched her clean the blood off Rosalene’s hands again.

    “I’ve tried everything I know.” The Healer was a middle-aged woman who sounded both frustrated and anxious. “I’ve tried every healing spell I know, but there’s nothing to actually heal.”

    Jaenelle called in a small, short-bladed Healer’s knife and made a shallow cut in Rosalene’s hand, following the path of one of those silvery strands. Setting that knife aside, she called in another and pricked her own finger.

    Daemon snarled, a reflex to smelling his Queen’s blood, to knowing her blood ran.

    A phantom caress down his back—a caress that reassured enough for him to leash the instincts of a Warlord Prince.

    As one drop of her blood fell on the shallow cut she had made in Rosalene’s hand, Jaenelle said,“And the Blood shall sing to the Blood. And in the blood.”

    The Healer wet a small square of cloth with a healing lotion and handed it to Jaenelle, who murmured her thanks—and didn’t grumble at him when he took the cloth and cleaned her pricked finger.

    “Clean off her hands again,” Jaenelle told the Healer.

    The silvery strands showed once more, but this time when they faded, no blood seeped up through the skin.

    “I didn’t think to do that,” the Healer said.

    Jaenelle shook her head. “It wouldn’t have made a difference if you had.”

    *Because the spell was made to recognize your blood?* Daemon asked.

    *And yours.*

    “I would recommend drinking a healing brew several times a day for the next couple of days,” Jaenelle told Rosalene. “That will help your body regain its strength and replace the blood you’ve lost.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire