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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Twilight's Dawn (Chapter 139)      Page
  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(139) by Anne Bishop
  • “I don’t care if he’d fuss about it—you’re not doing it while he’s gone.” Surreal took the casserole dish, set it above the counter, and put a warming spell on the dish to heat up the food in a few minutes.

    “Is it all right if I make the coffee?” Marian asked too sweetly.

    “I’m not being unreasonable about this.”

    “Yes, you are. But that’s because something is wrong, and you won’t talk about it.”

    “Nothing is wrong,” Surreal growled.

    “I saw your face this morning when Daemon’s name came up.”

    She had learned the hard way that emotions left to fester could turn into a poison, so she moved to the other end of the kitchen, away from the table and the baby.

    “For most of the years he and Jaenelle were married, I shielded Sadi from bitches who wanted to see how seriously he took his marriage vows, especially during the later years of Jaenelle’s life. Some of us have not forgotten what happened when Lektra tried to take Jaenelle’s place—or that Daemon threatened to kill all the Dhemlan witches if anyone tried to get between him and his wife again. I’ve made a particular effort to keep one bitch away from him, even after he began escorting women to social events. I can’t tell you her real name because I’ve been calling her ‘Dorothea’ since the day I met her.”

    “Mother Night,” Marian whispered.

    “I protected him for years. And the first time I spend a few days with the Dea al Mon and he’s in Amdarh on his own for some social obligations, he ends up sleeping with the bitch.” Surreal raked her fingers through her hair. “I don’t know what that says about him—if he’s become that lonely or that unaware of the intentions of the women who are all but stripping down in public to get his attention—but I do know the family history, and I do know Sadi is his father’s son. Anyone who knows those things has good reason to be afraid of what could happen if his temper snaps the wrong way. The purge in Dhemlan would be devastating.”

    “Do you think he’d . . . ?” Marian cleared her throat. “Of course he would. What happened to the Dorothea woman?”

    “Nothing as far as I can tell. I think she was hoping to keep him interested long enough to get pregnant, but it appears that something about her repulsed him once she got him into bed, and he’s avoided her since then.”

    “So she’s not pregnant?” Marian asked.

    Surreal shook her head. “No. Thank the Darkness.” Then she sighed. “He needs someone, Marian. He would deny it with his last breath, but he needs someone to cuddle and fuss over.”

    “If he and Jaenelle had had children . . .” Now Marian sighed.

    “Yeah. But they didn’t.”

    “Not all the women who are interested in being with him are calculating bitches, are they?”

    “No, some of them are young, starry-eyed, and love the Prince they see at social functions with all their hearts. But they haven’t seen the cold side of him. They haven’t seen the Sadist. And they think if he made any kind of commitment to them, he would love them the way he loved Jaenelle.”

    “She was the love of his life,” Marian said. “He’ll never love another woman the way he loved her.”

    “No, he won’t. And sooner or later, any of those starry-eyed girls would break and become bitter under the truth of that. And when they became bitter, he would become colder and more distant—and less capable of giving any woman any kind of affection.” And that would be a waste of a good man.

    Marian’s eyes filled with tears. She waved a hand when Surreal touched her shoulder. “Just moods. Happens for a while after the birth. I feel too much.” She looked toward the counter. “And you’d better get that casserole out of the dish while it’s still edible.”

    “Shit.” For the next few minutes they busied themselves with putting the food on the table and getting themselves settled.

    Marian cut a piece of the crusty bread and handed it to Surreal. “Do you think it’s foolish to wish that Daemon finds someone to love again someday?”

    “No,” Surreal said, looking at Titian asleep in her basket. “I don’t think wishing is foolish.”

    As the Weaver of Dreams tended the tangled web that Witch had left in the golden spiders’ care, she listened to longings, yearnings, and wishes that resonated with that web—and added more threads.


    Daemon had known for three years that this day was coming, but he still wasn’t ready. Week by week, he’d watched his father’s gentle decline—the body getting more frail, the power fading. But the mind was still sharp and strong. That was why Saetan had chosen this day to say his good-byes.

    Why is Grandfather going to leave us?

    How were they supposed to answer Daemonar’s question? What were they supposed to say to Mikal and Beron about the man who had loved their mother and protected them after her physical death—and had had the strength to let Sylvia go when she was ready to become a whisper in the Darkness?

    Daemon knew what Saetan would say: They were supposed to answer the questions and take care of the living just like every other man who faced this day and all the tomorrows that would come after.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire