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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Twilight's Dawn (Chapter 17)      Page
  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(17) by Anne Bishop
  • “Send him in.” She glanced at the tray.

    Helton studied the tray too. “I should bring in another serving.”

    “Just another piece of berry pie.” Surreal bared her teeth in a smile that had Helton shifting a little closer to the door. “I’ll share the rest, but not the pie.”

    A twitch of his lips. A twinkle in his eyes. “Very well, Lady.”

    “Are you all right?” Rainier asked sharply as soon as Helton ushered him into the sitting room and closed the door.

    Better than you are, boyo, Surreal thought as she watched Rainier limp to the chair nearest the sofa. “I’m all right.”

    “The footman said he had to check and see if you were feeling up to seeing visitors today.” Rainier winced as he got himself settled.

    “Should I ask Helton to bring in some coffee for you?” Surreal asked. “Or there’s brandy if you prefer.”

    “What are you drinking?”

    “Healing brew.” She watched the timer. Almost done.

    “Then you’re not all right,” Rainier snapped.

    She removed the tea ball and put it in the little bowl on the tray. She poured a cup of the brew and sat back—and wondered how much of the anger suddenly filling the room was on her behalf.

    “Turns out my lungs are more vulnerable to cold weather because of that backlash spell. Or the backlash spell made them more vulnerable to the poison, which has made them more vulnerable to cold weather.” She shrugged. “So after Jaenelle got done snarling at me for not mentioning that my lungs still burned, she made up this brew, which I’m drinking three times a day for a few more days. Then it’s once a day for the rest of this winter.”

    “You also fatigue easily, don’t you?” Rainier said. “That’s why there was a question about whether you wanted visitors.”

    It was tempting to make light of all of this. After all, she was healing. But he had been in that house with her, and he deserved better than a light answer.

    “Yes, I still fatigue easily. And it’s humiliating to admit, but I’ll need to take a nap this afternoon because I was out most of the morning shopping.”

    “Does Lucivar know about this?” Rainier asked.

    She grinned. “Not yet. But I’m going to make sure he does. In fact, I’m going to make sure everyone in the family knows I fatigue easily.”

    “Why . . . ?” He thought for a moment, then huffed out a laugh. “Well, I guess he’ll back down a little bit if he knows he’ll get his ass chewed by Jaenelle every time you start wheezing.”

    “I hope that will be enough incentive, but you can’t count on it with Lucivar.” She wasn’t looking forward to spending the winter months in Ebon Rih. For a lot of reasons.

    She drank her brew, and they sat in companionable silence for a few minutes.

    When she caught Rainier eyeing the piece of berry pie, she snarled, “Mine.”

    “Greedy,” he muttered.

    “I’ll share the sandwich, grapes, and cheese.”

    His expression told her plain enough he didn’t consider that a fair exchange, but he perked up when Helton returned with another tray that was a duplicate of her own “tray of nibbles.”

    Draining her cup and setting it aside, Surreal studied the tray—and sighed. “I guess I’ll eat myself into a stupor and let Helton roll me up to my room.”

    “When you’re drinking healing brews, your body burns even more fuel,” Rainier said. “You actually do need that food.”

    She looked at him, her unspoken question filling the room.

    He held her eyes for a moment, trying to bluff. Then he looked away, snatched his plate off the tray, and began to eat.

    “Leave it alone, Surreal,” he said after the silence became strained. “As a favor to a friend, leave it alone.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire