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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Twilight's Dawn (Chapter 168)      Page
  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(168) by Anne Bishop
  • “Papa?” Titian said after a long moment of feet-shuffling silence. “Can we go back to picking flowers?”

    “Not yet.” Lucivar gave all the children a lazy, arrogant smile. “First, we’re going to discuss some new rules.”

    “That’s it,” Lucivar said, setting his coffee mug on the counter.

    Daemon stood still, saying nothing, trying to find his balance. Jaenelle Saetien hadn’t seen a strange man intent on doing her harm in any way. And he couldn’t fault Lucivar for choosing the war blade over pants when it sounded like the children were in trouble. He would have made the same choice of weapons over modesty.

    His head throbbed and his stomach churned, no doubt from holding in all that rage that now had no target.

    He watched Lucivar pick up the coffeepot and refill one mug. “Is there enough in there for another cup?”

    Lucivar gave him that measuring look, understanding the message. He filled the other mug and handed it to Daemon.

    “I don’t know what to say.” Daemon sipped the coffee. “I know too much, Lucivar. I heard too many nightmares while Jaenelle and I were married, and I never want my little girl to know the things my Queen knew.”

    “I know about those nightmares too.” Lucivar took two plates out of the cupboard and divided the rest of the food. “Jaenelle Saetien didn’t say anything about her visit here until this morning?”

    “Oh, she was a bundle of information about the visit, talking about the baby, and Auntie Marian teaching her and Titian to make wildflower wreaths, and getting to do practice routines with you using the sparring sticks, and playing with the wolf pack who lives on the mountain with you, and shopping in Riada with Titian and Jillian and the three of them stopping at The Tavern for the midday meal. She said you had some new rules, but that was thrown in with the rest, and she didn’t elaborate, so it sounded like they were boundaries that just applied to her when she was with you in Ebon Rih.” Daemon took a long swallow of cool coffee. “She didn’t say anything about seeing a man’s body until she wanted to show me something wonderful and tried to drag me out of bed.”

    “What was it?” Lucivar asked.

    Daemon sighed. “I don’t know. The conversation ended once she mentioned boy parts.”

    Lucivar looked out the kitchen window. “Hell’s fire. What time did she jump on you that you got here so early?”

    “Before sunup.”

    Lucivar huffed out a laugh. “No wonder you arrived here looking like you were skating the border of the Twisted Kingdom.”

    “Prick, I know you better than to think what I was thinking. For that, I’m sorry.”

    “Don’t be. If Titian had hit me with that bit of information before I was awake, I would have landed on your doorstep wondering the same thing. The only difference is I would have pinned your ass to the wall before we started talking.”

    He meant it. All of it.

    Lucivar picked up one of the plates and held it out. “You want this?”

    “Yes, I do.” Taking his plate and mug to the kitchen table, he sat down.

    Lucivar tossed him a fork, then joined him.

    “Tell me about these rules,” Daemon said.

    “I kept it simple.” Lucivar spread jam on his toast. “Look equals tell. Touch equals tell. Permission before action. No exceptions.”

    “Is that supposed to make sense?”

    “The long version of the rules is, if any male tries to show them his stuff or tries to talk them into showing him their bodies, the first thing they do is shield. The second thing they do is holler for you or me, and we will decide what needs to be done. If anyone tries to touch them or tries to make them touch body parts—”

    “They shield and holler for one of us.”

    Lucivar nodded. “If they want to spend private time with a friend, male or female, they get our permission first. I won’t refuse any reasonable request and will set whatever boundaries I feel are necessary, but permission comes before action.”

    “And the consequences of disobeying your rules?”

    Lucivar looked him in the eyes. “I’ll destroy the enemy, regardless of gender or age. And unless there is permission beforehand, I will regard any person who tries to sneak off with one of my children as an enemy.”

    Daemon sat back. “There might be mitigating circumstances.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire