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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Twilight's Dawn (Chapter 140)      Page
  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(140) by Anne Bishop
  • He looked at Lucivar. They were the last ones left in Saetan’s bedroom at the Keep.

    Lucivar looked at him. Resistance, denial, and then acceptance flashed in those gold eyes.

    “Tell your brother what you know about me,” Saetan told Lucivar.

    Lucivar hesitated, then nodded. “I will.” Then to Daemon, “I’ll be nearby.”

    Daemon waited until Lucivar left the room before sitting on the edge of the bed.

    “You have the letters I wrote to Mikal and Beron?” Saetan asked.

    “And the ones for Daemonar and Titian. I also have the ones Sylvia wrote to her sons. I’ll abide by the instructions she gave you and see that the boys get the letters at the appropriate times.”

    “Good.” Saetan shifted against the pillows. Then he smiled. “We’ve said our good-byes. I want you to go now and not come back until it’s done.”

    “Your body?”

    “Most often, the husks of the demon-dead end up nourishing the Dark Realm, but Draca and Geoffrey—and even Lorn—didn’t think that was appropriate for me. So the empty vessel will go to the fire, and the ashes will be mixed with the soil in one of the courtyard gardens here at the Keep.”

    “In the same garden as Jaenelle’s ashes?”

    “Yes. Sylvia chose a garden at the Hall in Hell, but ...”

    “Your place is here, with the daughter of your soul.”

    “Yes.”

    Show some balls, old son, and do this for him. “We’re not going to let you linger here alone for a few more days.”

    “I don’t want you here, Daemon. I want a clean break from the family.”

    “I know.” He held out his right hand, his Black Jewel glowing with its reservoir of power. “You’re the one who taught me that the High Lord is sometimes merciful.” And that there can be a price for that mercy.

    Saetan looked at Daemon’s hand, then looked into his eyes. “Can you live with this?”

    He needed a moment to be sure his voice would be steady. “Yes, Father, I can.”

    Saetan closed his eyes and held out his hand.

    Daemon closed his hands around his father’s. So little power left sustaining that flesh, that mind. So little holding the Self to this life.

    The Black absorbed that power between one breath and the next, and Saetan Daemon SaDiablo, Prince of the Darkness and High Lord of Hell, became a whisper in the Darkness.

    After tucking Saetan’s hand under the covers, Daemon left the bedroom and went to the sitting room where the others waited.

    Daemonar was cuddled up with Surreal. Little Titian was dozing on Marian’s lap. Lucivar stood close to them.

    He’d told Saetan the truth. He could live with that particular duty, but he would deal with the grief of that choice in private. The family patriarch took care of his family first and his own heart second.

    Lucivar shifted, just enough to catch Surreal’s attention and then Marian’s.

    Daemon looked at the women and children, but it was his brother’s eyes that he met and held. “He’s gone.”

    Alone in the passenger compartment of the small Coach, Surreal shifted restlessly in her seat. Part of her wished that Sadi had stayed in the compartment with her, distracting her from the grief she wanted to keep at bay a little while longer; the other part was glad he’d chosen to drive the Coach, since riding the Black Winds would get them back to the Hall faster.

    It also meant she needed to make some decisions faster.

    There was something wrong with Sadi, something more than the grief they were all feeling. That something had begun three years ago, shortly after they’d learned that Saetan had stopped drinking yarbarah and was allowing his power to fade—and, with it, the body that had been sustained by that power for more than fifty thousand years. Since then, Daemon had become increasingly withdrawn. Not from the family. He played with Daemonar and Titian, responded to Marian with warmth and love, and seemed the same as he’d always been with Lucivar. But she’d noticed he’d become colder and more calculating when he escorted a woman to a social event—and more often than not, the woman didn’t get as much as a good-night kiss, let alone anything more intimate.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire