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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Twilight's Dawn (Chapter 158)      Page
  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(158) by Anne Bishop
  • She sat there, stunned by the words, as Daemon slipped out of the room and Marian slipped in.

    The moment Daemon stepped into the adjoining room, Lucivar caught him in a hard hug and held on while his brother shook with the effort to control his emotions—and probably control the pain he’d been hiding.

    “Is Surreal all right now?” Lucivar asked.

    “Yes,” Daemon replied. He eased back enough to rest his forehead against Lucivar’s. “What in the name of Hell happened?”

    “Damned if I know. Marian got bitchy during labor, but she settled down once the baby was born. Surreal acted like a wild she-cat, and we were the bad humans trying to take her kitten.” He paused. “How’s the arm?”

    “Not bad. The bleeding stopped.” Daemon looked down at his right jacket sleeve. The illusion spell hid the tears and the blood.

    “Liar. Come over here and strip down. I’ll wash the arm, and then we’ll have the Healer take care of it.”

    “I don’t need—”

    “Bastard, what part of that sounded like a choice?”

    Daemon stared at him. Lucivar matched the look.

    “I’m fine.”

    “She ripped your arm open and scared the shit out of you and everyone else in the room. Everyone was focused on taking care of her and keeping the baby safe, and no one’s had a look at how badly you’re hurt. So you’re not fine. Not yet.”

    “She won’t hurt the baby,” Daemon said as he followed Lucivar to the table where a basin of steaming water sat beside basic healing supplies.

    “She was never going for the baby, old son. She was going for your throat.”

    Daemon stripped off his jacket and swore vigorously as Lucivar helped him remove the shirt where it had stuck to the wounds in his upper right arm.

    “What did she rip me with?” he asked as he sank into a chair next to the table.

    Lucivar looked at the slices in Daemon’s arm. They were deep enough that he wanted the Healer to take care of them and make sure the arm healed properly, but he could clean the wounds to give Daemon time to settle. “An open metalwork glove that had talons honed almost as sharp as my war blade. That must have been something she always kept with her, stored by Craft. I made sure she hadn’t hidden any weapons in the room, but I hadn’t expected her to use Craft so soon after birthing or have something that lethal that she could call in. And I didn’t expect her to attack you.”

    “Why did she do that? I haven’t given her a reason to feel hostile toward me. Have I?”

    “Surreal didn’t have an easy childhood or a soft life afterward. She saw as much blood, pain, and cruelty as we did in Terreille. Everything has a price, and the price strong witches pay for wearing dark Jewels is more painful moontimes and harder births. I’m guessing the pain and the smell of blood pushed her to someplace in her memories, mixing things up in the end. I don’t think she knew who was with her; you were just a male reaching for her baby. As sure as the sun doesn’t shine in Hell, she didn’t know who I was when I was holding her down to give you and the Healer time to get the baby away from the bed so it wouldn’t get hurt.”

    “You don’t think it was just me she wanted to keep away?”

    Since they were going to talk, Lucivar smeared a cleansing ointment over Daemon’s wounds. “Nah. I told you. A witch who wears Gray Jewels has to be more careful and work a lot harder to keep a baby in the womb. Surreal has been feeling shaky and protective since the first morning she threw up. During the past few hours, she gave up everything civilized in order to birth this child.”

    “Her name is Jaenelle Saetien,” Daemon said.

    Lucivar froze for a moment. “Good name. What does Surreal think of it?”

    “It was her choice.”

    Daemon was starting to sound drunk stupid. Lucivar thought it was a good sign that he was finally, and fully, relaxing. Of course, sounding drunk stupid could indicate that he’d lost more blood than was obvious, and that wouldn’t be good.

    Stepping into the corridor, Lucivar summoned the Healer to deal with Daemon’s arm while he checked in with Beale, Jazen, and Holt to confirm that nothing needed Daemon’s immediate attention—or his attention, since he figured he’d be handling any problems for the next day or so. They had nothing to tell him except that Tersa, Manny, Mikal, and Beron were now in the family sitting room with Daemonar and Titian. Once everyone had a little time to settle and he was sure Surreal was steady enough to tolerate the rest of the family meeting its newest member, they would all have a chance to coo before he nudged them out to enjoy the celebration dinner.

    Surreal didn’t ask the question until Jaenelle finished nursing. Cradling her baby girl, she looked at Marian. “Who did I hurt, and how bad is it?”

    Marian turned her head toward the adjoining room’s door. Surreal’s stomach flipped.

    “Lucivar?” she asked. “Did I hurt Lucivar?”

    “No.” Marian laid a hand on her arm, just above where the baby’s head rested. “Lucivar is fine.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire