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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Twilight's Dawn (Chapter 3)      Page
  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(3) by Anne Bishop
  • “None of your business, Bastard,” Lucivar said.

    It wasn’t, and they both knew it. They also knew that Daemon was protective of Tersa and, in the past, had been brutally efficient when it came to dealing with men who had taken the wrong kind of interest in her.

    And they also both knew that, in Terreille, Lucivar Yaslana had earned his reputation for being unpredictable, uncontrollable, and explosively violent toward women, so Daemon’s concern about his brother spending time with his mother was not without reason.

    “Well,” Daemon said after an awkward moment. “I’d better get back to the Hall before the rest of the household is up.”

    Lucivar nodded. “We’ll be coming in at the end of the week to help you and Jaenelle get the Hall ready for Winsol.”

    “Get what ready?”

    Lucivar blinked, decided Daemon wasn’t being a smart-ass, and gave his brother a pitying look. “Since I’ve been married longer than you, here’s a piece of advice: Never ask questions like that. They’ll only get you into trouble.”

    Daemon huffed out a breath. “There are servants at the Hall. Lots of them. They’re the ones who are getting things ready.”

    The pitying look changed to a wicked grin. “You do have a lot to learn.”

    “No, really. They haven’t put up any of the fresh greenery because that’s done on the first day of Winsol, but yesterday Helene hauled out a century’s worth of decorations from the Hall’s attics. Hell’s fire, one of the young maids even put bells on the Sceltie puppies.”

    “Did the puppies jingle into your study to complain?” Lucivar asked.

    “Of course they did. Until the wolf pups decided the bells sounded fun. So now I have Sceltie puppies prancing up and down the great hall wearing bells while the wolf pups howl.”

    “Your guests are going to be greeted by a jingle howl?” Correctly interpreting Daemon’s look, Lucivar added, “If you try to whack me upside the head, you’ll end up on the ground.”

    Daemon squeezed his eyes shut and muttered, “Maybe I can run away from home.”

    “We’re not allowed to do that. Trust me. We’re allowed to hide for an hour or two at a time, but we’re not allowed to run away from the festivities.”

    “Says who?”

    “The women we married.”

    Daemon sighed. “Was life simpler when we were slaves in Terreille?”

    “Simpler in some ways, yes. But not as much fun. See you in a few days.”

    Lucivar stepped aside to let Daemon pass. Choosing to be cautious, because the Sadist had earned his reputation too, he watched until Daemon was out of sight, that gliding walk and feline grace covering a lot of ground. Then he approached the cottage and knocked on the door.

    Allista, looking like a cat who had been dunked in a tub of water and then stroked the wrong way, hesitated before letting him into the cottage.

    “The witchling is still sleepy,” Tersa said when he walked into the kitchen. “But boys start the day early in order to do all their boy things.”

    On another day, it would have been interesting to find out what Tersa considered “boy things,” but one of them needed to stay focused, and it had to be him.

    Her mind had shattered centuries ago, but Tersa was still brilliant in her own way, still powerful in her own way. She had given up sanity in order to regain the Hourglass’s Craft and could draw power out of madness in ways that even Saetan didn’t understand.

    Lucivar loved her. It was that simple. He had begun these twice-monthly visits for the same reason he had visited his own mother, Luthvian—as a family duty. But unlike Luthvian, who had hated her son because of the heritage she had given him, Tersa had accepted the wings and the fact that he was an Eyrien warrior down to the very marrow of his bones. She didn’t criticize him for what he was—or for what he wasn’t. She didn’t lash out at him physically or verbally. He could sit in her kitchen and enjoy her company, and she seemed to enjoy his.

    He should have told Daemon about the visits. Maybe not when Daemon had first arrived in Kaeleer, since Sadi had had enough things to deal with, but he should have said something soon after, instead of having that nugget of information come out a few weeks ago while they were dealing with that damned spooky house that had been built to trap, and kill, some of their family. He wasn’t sure why he hadn’t said anything. Maybe because he’d been afraid he would be asked to step aside? After all, Tersa was Daemon’s mother, not his, and when the real son was present, a surrogate wasn’t needed. Or maybe, like his father, he had gotten into the habit of not mentioning any relationship that would have given Luthvian an excuse to feel neglected or cast aside. Even now, when his mother was a whisper in the Darkness and truly gone, he had continued to keep his visits to Tersa private. Either way, by the time Daemon came to Kaeleer, the visits were a long-established habit that he didn’t discuss with anyone.

    “Do you want food?” Tersa asked. “There are some scrambled eggs and toast left. The boy made them.”

    In that case, he wasn’t going to refuse. No one made scrambled eggs better than Daemon—including his own darling hearth witch wife. Which was something he would never ever admit to anyone. Especially Marian.

    Since Allista hadn’t joined them, he figured she had already eaten or would fend for herself, so he got a fork out of the drawer, hefted the bowl, leaned a hip against the counter, and began to eat.

    “You should sit at the table,” Tersa said.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire