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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Twilight's Dawn (Chapter 124)      Page
  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(124) by Anne Bishop
  • Rolling his eyes, he reached for the mind of the woman who meant more to him than anything else in the Realms. *If you had to stick me with a shadow Sceltie, did you have to make it so realistic?*

    Her laughter rippled through the psychic thread. *Problem?*

    *The dog is so damn bossy! If she bites me for not going to bed . . .*

    More laughter. *I’m making a sacrifice too.*

    *And that would be?*

    *It’s winter. You’re not here at night. My feet are cold.*

    He blinked. *You’re sleeping with a fuzzy, eight-hundred-pound cat. Put your feet on him.*

    *I do, but he whines about it. You don’t.*

    Kaelas came from Arceria, one of the northernmost Territories, and lived in a den made out of snow. Why in the name of Hell would he whine about Jaenelle’s feet? He should be happy to have a cool spot since he’d grown his winter coat and was staying in a room that was much too warm for him.

    Of course, sometimes Jaenelle’s feet were breathtakingly cold during the deep part of winter.

    *Is everything all right there?* he asked.

    *Yes. Beron is asleep and has Shuveen, Boyd, and Floyd with him.*

    Shuveen was sensible and would wake Jaenelle if Beron needed a Healer’s help. Boyd and Floyd, on the other hand, were younger and pretty brainless most of the time. However, those two could make enough noise to wake the entire Hall if a stranger walked into Beron’s room.

    *Get some sleep, love,* he said. *I’ll see you in the morning.*

    The psychic thread faded.

    *Are you sleepy? I am sleepy. It is time for bed now.*

    “Tersa is bringing up warm milk and nutcakes. We’ll have our snack, and then go to bed.”

    *Snack?* The shadow wagged her tail.

    Ignoring the illusion that could fool the eye and, sometimes, even fool the sense of touch, Daemon went to the window and studied the ground in Tersa’s backyard. The snow was all churned up from the play of boy and dog, but he didn’t think there were any fresh tracks.

    Lucivar would know.

    Jaenelle had taken Beron’s memory of his attacker and brought it into a tangled web of illusions. From there, she’d created a basic shadow—an illusion that was a stationary imitation of a person. An artist came from Amdarh and made a sketch of the shadow, and that was taken to a printer. By the end of that first day, every village in the southern part of Dhemlan had a copy of that sketch, and Daemon hadn’t asked if some of those copies had found their way across the border to worried men in Little Terreille.

    He had sent an official letter and a copy of the sketch to Little Terreille’s Queen. She wasn’t a personal friend of Jaenelle’s, but his Lady didn’t consider her an enemy either. So he’d given the Queen the courtesy of sharing the information they had because there were families around Goth who were also grieving the loss of children.

    We know your face. Witch’s voice had whispered through the Darkness that first night. For the three nights since then, Daemon had spent the hours between sunset and sunrise in Tersa’s cottage, waiting, wrapped in a strong illusion that would make even a demon-dead predator’s eyes see Mikal, the chosen prey.

    *Are you sleepy? I am sleepy. It is time for bed now.*

    Daemon sighed. It could have been worse. If Jaenelle had made a shadow that had Tildee’s real personality, he and the dog would be in a relentless argument about bedtime by now—and he’d be on the losing end of that argument, since the shadow wouldn’t see past the illusion spell Jaenelle had created for him.

    *Snack?* the shadow asked.

    He turned away from the window, frowning. Why was it taking so long to warm up some milk?

    Tersa carefully poured the warm milk into a mug and a small bowl. Her boy would make sure the Mikal boy would be allowed to live with her. The tangled web she’d woven after Sylvia left the living Realms had told her that much. The grandfather was a good man, and he had been a good father for the daughter. But he was not the right man for her sons. Lives would be soured, and the love that existed now would die if the grandfather took the sons. So the Mikal boy and Tildee would live with her, and Beron . . . Witch knew best what to do for Beron. She’d seen that too in her web.

    She rinsed out the pot and left it in the sink to wash later with the mug and bowl. As she turned to get a plate for the nutcake, she saw the stranger in her kitchen, standing close enough to touch.

    She shrank back, a response to the foulness of his psychic scent rather than fear of his physical presence.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire