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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Twilight's Dawn (Chapter 162)      Page
  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(162) by Anne Bishop
  • “Why do you want me to be the strict parent who draws the line?” he asked.

    “Because a line has to be drawn and held. She’s too young to be galloping off without supervision. When that line gets drawn, there are going to be tears. She’s having a wonderful time right now, so you know there will be tears. And we both know you tend to buckle when there are tears.”

    “I don’t buckle,” he snarled.

    Surreal just looked at him.

    “Not always.” Actually, it wasn’t the tears that gave him trouble; it was his fascination with how her little mind worked that usually tangled him up. He’d been stumbling over Jaenelle’s logic since the day she figured out how to string words into complete sentences adults could understand. “All right. Fine. I’ll draw the line.”

    “And I’ll back you up all the way,” she said sweetly.

    He came around the desk and headed for the door. “You owe me.”

    Surreal laughed.

    As he entered the great hall, he noticed Beale and Holt, but they didn’t try to talk to him, so he kept going. If Jaenelle was having a grand time with the horsie, she was going to be one unhappy little witch when he put a stop to her playing with her new friend. And wouldn’t that be pleasant to deal with?

    He would be calm but firm with horse and child. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that his little witchling had needed to hold on to him in order to walk. Of course, now she was running all over the place, and the Scelties were the only ones besides himself and Surreal who could keep track of her. But that didn’t mean she could go riding by herself. No, it did not.

    He stepped out on the back terrace, saw his little girl and the young black stallion, and thought, Shit.

    They looked beautiful together—and they reminded him of another young girl and a horse named Dark Dancer who had looked just as beautiful as they flew over the ground.

    But it wasn’t the same. Jaenelle Angelline had been twelve at the time, not a little girl like Jaenelle Saetien. Still, he had to admit Surreal was right—he’d have a much harder time holding this particular line if he wasn’t the one drawing it.

    “Papa!” Jaenelle raised a hand and waved at him—and wobbled on that bare back so dreadfully far above the ground.

    Daemon’s heart bounced down to his knees and back up to his throat, but he kept his movements smooth and easy as he approached the horse, who had slowed to a walk and kept an eye on him.

    “Papa! Look at me!”

    “I see you, witch-child.” But he was watching the stallion. “Come on, now. Let me help you down so you can introduce your new friend properly.” And once he got her down, he would decide if she was ever getting near the horse again.

    “Go over to Papa now,” she said. “We’ll get hugs!”

    A Warlord Prince was a Warlord Prince, whether he walked on four legs or two. And this youngster was feeling just as possessive and territorial as Daemon.

    Well, that wasn’t quite true. No one could feel as possessive and territorial about his daughter as he did.

    He waited, letting the stallion move toward him, giving Opal a chance to show respect for the Black—and remain among the living.

    Once Daemon had his girl safely in his arms, he looked into those gold eyes shining with excitement. It wasn’t the thought of tears that defeated him. It was the thought of how dull those eyes would be if he didn’t allow the boundaries of her world to keep expanding.

    Sighing, he looked at the horse and got down to the delicate business of negotiating the rules.

    Surreal stepped out of Daemon’s study and found Holt and Beale in the great hall, waiting for her.

    Holt shook his head. “You’re both so strict about the on-duty rule, I didn’t think you could talk the Prince into going out there, not when you could deal with a kindred visitor.”

    “You just have to know the right thing to say,” Surreal replied. And knowing when Daemon needs to set the boundaries for his daughter doesn’t hurt either—especially when being the one to set those boundaries is as much for his sake as for hers.

    “You talked him into handling it,” Holt said, still shaking his head.

    “I did—which means I win the bet.” She grinned and held out a hand. “That will be ten silver marks each, gentlemen. Pay up.”

    ELEVEN

    Surreal walked down the steps to the sunken garden that held two statues. She’d built her own little garden for quiet reflection, and came to this one only once a year on this particular day. Daemon came here often, and it held so much of his sorrow and grief she wondered how the groundskeepers could stand tending the flower beds and trimming the lawn—and cleaning the fountain where a woman with an achingly familiar face rose out of the water.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire