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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Shadow Queen (Chapter 137)      Page
  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(137) by Anne Bishop
  • “I can take care of that,” the Healer said.

    “Then I think we’re done here.” Jaenelle looked at him, clearly letting him make the choice.

    He was more than ready to get out of that house, but he had duties as the Warlord Prince of Dhemlan.

    “Everyone needs some rest,” he told Collyn, who was still hovering in the doorway. “I’ll return this afternoon, and you and I can discuss what happened yesterday.”

    He escorted Jaenelle out of that room and down the stairs to the main floor . . . and escape.

    *Daemon, I know you have duties, but I don’t want to stay in this house,* Jaenelle said.

    *We’re not going to,* he said as they left the house and walked to the Coach. *Arrangements have already been made for us to stay at the estate house for as long as it takes to settle this.*

    She stuttered a step. *Is that why Holt came with us? It seemed odd that Beale would assign a footman to look after us for a Coach ride, but I had other things on my mind.*

    *Holt went on to the house to let them know we’re coming.*


    She had seemed grimly calm while she’d looked at the body. She had taken care of Rosalene’s hands with her usual skill as a Healer.

    So he wasn’t prepared when she flung herself in his arms and held on with shuddering distress the moment they were safely inside the Coach.

    “Jaenelle . . .” He held her, not knowing what else to do—and more unnerved by this reaction than he’d been by anything else. “Jaenelle, what’s wrong?”

    “Not yet,” she whispered. “Please. I don’t want to talk about it yet, think about it yet. I don’t want to be completely sober when we talk about this.”

    Mother Night. “Isn’t there anything you can tell me?”

    Her eyes were so haunted when she eased back enough to look at him. “Do you know the story of Zuulaman?”

    They had a summer blanket tucked around them—more for the idea of comfort, since it couldn’t relieve what chilled them—and they were both working on their third very large brandies before Jaenelle stopped shivering.

    Daemon kept one arm wrapped around her. He would have preferred the privacy of the bedroom to a locked parlor, but he understood her choice. She wanted this conversation over with before they got into bed to offer each other some comfort and get some sleep.

    “He’s not sane, Daemon.”

    He wasn’t sure he’d heard her correctly. “You think Saetan got so pissed off about this bitch that he decided to take a walk in the Twisted Kingdom in order to deal with her?”

    “I don’t think he decided anything,” Jaenelle said. “I think something about this shoved him over the border. Free fall into madness—and the rage inside that madness is huge . . . and terrible.”

    He had walked in the Twisted Kingdom for eight years, lost in madness. He had lost none of his power during that time, but his madness had been self-destructive. If he’d understood Jaenelle’s reference to Zuulaman, Saetan’s madness tended to look outward. Toward an enemy.

    “Why?” he asked. “What did you see in that room?”

    She shook her head. “The spell in the shirt was an execution, a brutal kind of justice. He was in that room with her as the Executioner. But something changed toward the end.”

    Shivering, she tried to tuck herself closer to him. Since that wasn’t possible, he put a warming spell on the blanket.

    “It changed,” Jaenelle said. “It became personal. For him. Personal enough to break something inside him.”

    She drained her glass, then used Craft to float the decanter of brandy from the table in front of the sofa. She filled her glass and topped off his before sending the decanter back to the table.

    Daemon narrowed his eyes and considered the wobble as the decanter settled back on the wood. Then he considered his slightly glassy-eyed wife.

    Yes, this was the first time she’d tossed back enough liquor to feel the effects since she’d healed and begun wearing Twilight’s Dawn. She hadn’t taken into account that since she no longer wore the Black, her body wouldn’t burn up the liquor as fast.

    So his darling was a lot less sober than she realized. Which meant he could ask the questions he didn’t think she would have answered otherwise.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire