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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Twilight's Dawn (Chapter 2)      Page
  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(2) by Anne Bishop
  • He put an arm around her, brushed his lips against her temple, and felt all his love for her well up and squeeze his heart. “Me too.”

    Lucivar Yaslana backwinged and landed lightly on the walkway in front of Tersa’s cottage. He looked at the cottage directly in front of him, then at its neighbor.

    Manny had spent most of her life as a servant, was used to working with her hands, and didn’t shun physical labor. Even now she’d taken on the duties of housekeeper for Tersa and Allista, an arrangement that satisfied all three women. But Manny wasn’t a young woman by any stretch of truth, and it seemed a bit early for her to have been out sweeping the walkways.

    Not swept, he realized as he studied the sharp, perfect edge that divided the snowy lawn from the cleared walkway. Not even a hearth witch could get that kind of edge. Not with a shovel or broom, anyway. So someone had used Craft to remove the snow.

    He crouched, held out a hand, and felt warm air.

    And then someone had put a warming spell on the flagstones to keep them clear of snow.

    The cottage door opened and the someone walked out.

    Lucivar rose and looked pointedly at the walkways, then at Daemon. “You know, Bastard, using Craft is all well and good, but it wouldn’t hurt you to sweat once in a while.”

    “If I’m going to work up a sweat for a woman, I’m going to be doing something besides sweeping the walk,” Daemon replied.

    Lucivar grinned.

    They were brothers. Half brothers, but they had never made that distinction. They both had the coloring of the three long-lived races—the black hair, light brown skin, and gold eyes. They had inherited much of their looks from their Hayllian father, who was the High Lord of Hell. Daemon’s face was a more refined, beautiful version of Saetan’s, while his own face was more rugged than their father’s. But the real distinction between him and Daemon came from the other side of his dual heritage. He had the dark, membranous wings that set the Eyrien race apart from the Hayllian and Dhemlan Blood.

    They studied each other for a moment before Lucivar’s mouth curved in a lazy, arrogant smile.

    “You’re up early,” Lucivar said, taking the few steps that separated them.

    “You’re up even earlier, since you had to come in from Ebon Rih,” Daemon replied. “You must have left at dawn.”

    Lucivar shook his head. “I’m farther east; sun rises earlier. But I was up at dawn.”

    “Was that by choice?”

    “Hell’s fire, no, but the little beast is up with the sun, and I feel less guilty about Marian holding the leash most of the day if she gets a little extra sleep.”

    “How is my darling nephew? Counting the days until Winsol?”

    “One of us is,” Lucivar muttered. He smiled grimly in response to Daemon’s laugh. “Last year,Winsol was something that just appeared and dazzled him. This year he’s figured out that Winsol is coming.”

    “Ah.”

    “Ooooh, yeah. So every morning, he climbs into bed with us, pries my eyes open, and says, ‘Papa! Is it Winzel yet?’ ”

    Daemon’s lips were curved in a smile, but his golden eyes were full of sharp understanding. “Can you put a shield around the bed?”

    “Tried that. Unfortunately, one that will keep him out also keeps Marian out. She didn’t appreciate smacking into a shield when she wanted to get back into bed after getting up to pee.”

    “Lucivar.”

    He heard Daemon’s concern wrapped around that single word.

    “I’ve got a light shield around Daemonar’s room that will wake me if he starts wandering,” he said. That shield was a necessary precaution now to keep his son safe—from him. A Warlord Prince was a born predator, a natural killer. A Warlord Prince startled awake didn’t think; he attacked. The first morning Daemonar pounced on him, the boy’s physical scent and psychic scent had penetrated his sleep-fogged brain fast enough that he managed to pull back what might have been a killing blow.

    Marian’s presence didn’t bother him. He was so steeped in the feel of her, she could touch him, mount him, do just about anything to him before he was fully awake without provoking that lethal rise to the killing edge. But Daemonar was male, he was a Warlord Prince, and he’d matured just enough over the past few weeks that Lucivar’s aggressive instincts now recognized caste before son.

    So even though he let the boy have the fun of prying his eyes open, Lucivar was always awake and aware before Daemonar entered the room.

    He looked into his brother’s eyes and knew he didn’t need to say anything more.

    Then Daemon looked pointedly at Tersa’s cottage and raised an eyebrow as if asking a question—or demanding an explanation.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire