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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Twilight's Dawn (Chapter 130)      Page
  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(130) by Anne Bishop
  • Ah. Now he was hearing a reason that made sense. Then he remembered something about Sylvia’s First Circle that made him brace involuntarily for pain. Jaenelle was a Queen—and no matter who their husbands might be, Queens had privileges.

    “Consort?” he asked.

    She gave him a sharp look. Her voice was equally sharp. “The Warlord Prince of Dhemlan does not become the Consort of a District Queen and serve in her court—no matter who she is. Hopefully my husband will be willing to escort me to formal functions when required.”

    “Which will leave an opening in the Queen’s Triangle.” There would be plenty of men who would come sniffing around once Jaenelle became Queen, for ambition’s sake if for nothing else.

    She fluffed her hair. “I was thinking of asking Rainier to stand as First Escort to fill that side of the Triangle. I didn’t think you would object, since you already treat him as your stand-in when you can’t accompany me to an event.”

    He felt his face heat even as he felt the ache around his heart ease. “It’s not that I don’t trust you.”

    She smiled. “I know. For all the strength and power of your caste, Warlord Princes have their weak spots. On occasion, because you love so deeply, you will feel insecure. That is as much a part of your nature as ruling is a part of mine. As long as you remember that I love you, we’ll be fine.”

    He nodded and searched for a way to step back from discussing her new court. “What about Mikal and Beron?”

    “Ah. Mikal is easy. We’re doing a little decorating of the guest bedroom in Tersa’s cottage so that it will be Mikal’s room.”

    “And Tildee’s,” he added.

    “And Tildee’s. In exchange for being allowed to live with Tersa, Mikal has promised to do his assigned chores and his schoolwork and not try to smudge the truth with Tersa the way he sometimes did with his mother, because doing that would upset Tersa’s hold on the mundane world. Since you are the patriarch of the family and he is now officially family, he answers to you, and any discipline that may be required comes from you.”

    “Good to know,” he muttered. “And Beron?”

    “That’s trickier,” she hedged.

    “Why? He can live here with us. There is plenty of room.”

    “He doesn’t want to live here with us.”

    Daemon sat back, crossed his legs at the knees, steepled his fingers, and raised one eyebrow in polite query.

    “I see,” Jaenelle said. “The nervous husband is gone, and the Prince is back.”

    He waited.

    “The Queen’s residence is Beron’s home. He doesn’t want to leave it. Not yet. And there are advantages to letting him stay there. For one, I won’t be living there—not most of the time, although I will have a suite of rooms and will stay overnight on occasion. With my husband.”

    Daemon’s lips twitched.

    “Having Beron stay there also means that I’ll be able to justify keeping on the whole staff, since there will be someone in residence.”

    “A boy his age living alone? I don’t think so.”

    “He’s not a boy. He’s an adolescent youth who is almost old enough to attend school on his own.”

    “Almost old enough isn’t old enough.”

    She narrowed those sapphire eyes.

    He tapped a finger against his chest. “Patriarch of the family, remember?”

    “He’ll be old enough in five years,” she said tightly.

    Which explained the length of her contract.

    “Jaenelle . . .”

    “The next five years will be a proving ground. The three of us will work out the rules and restrictions. If Beron violates any of the big rules, he’ll be packed up and will have to live here with us and be held to a short leash. Since Surreal and Rainier live in the village half of the time, they can drop by and check on him, day or night.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire