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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Twilight's Dawn (Chapter 174)      Page
  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(174) by Anne Bishop
  • “She’ll feel like an outsider within her own family,” Marian concluded. “Especially because Titian wears Birthright Summer-sky and Daemonar wears the Green.”

    Surreal shivered at the thought. Wasn’t that how so many things had gone wrong with Jaenelle Angelline’s life? She had been the outsider in her family, with her special friends and abilities no one had wanted to understand until Saetan had recognized her as the daughter of his soul.

    Well, Jaenelle Saetien was never going to feel like an outsider whether she wore a Jewel or not.

    “You look so fierce,” Marian said. “Where did you go?”

    “Nowhere. Too far.” She tried to smile. “Daemon is going through the steps with Jaenelle. Want to make a bet on who is lecturing who?”

    “Do you remember—,” Daemon began.

    “I remember!” Jaenelle huffed out a breath. “Papa! We’ve gone over this forever-many times!”

    He went down on one knee to be closer to her. “I know, but—”

    “Papa!” She cat-puffed and jumped back. “Don’t put your knee on the ground. You’ll get dirty! Stand up!”

    He obeyed. She immediately closed in on him and began whacking at his knee to clean off flecks of dirt.

    “We have to stay neat and tidy because this is an important day,” Jaenelle said.

    “Yes, Lady.”

    She gave him a narrow-eyed look to see if he was making fun of her. Then she got a look in her eyes that was much too old for her young years—and scared the shit out of him.

    “You’re afraid, aren’t you?” she asked.

    Terrified, actually. “A little.”

    She grabbed his hand in both of hers and gave him a sweet smile. “Don’t worry, Papa. Everything will be fine. I already know what Jewel I’m supposed to pick. My friend told me.”

    His stomach lurched. There had been no mention of the special friend over the past few weeks. “Witch-child, you can’t choose a Jewel just because you like its color.”

    “Tch. I know that. I know all this stuff, Papa.” She looked past him. “I’m supposed to stand with the other children now, and you’re supposed to stand with Mama.”

    She hauled him over to where Surreal stood with Marian, then ran off to join the other children who were going through the Ceremony.

    Marian looked at him, then looked at Surreal and sighed. “I’ll pay you later.” She wandered off.

    “Problem?” Surreal asked.

    “Apparently, it’s now your responsibility to keep me neat and tidy,” he replied dryly. “And if you’re going to place bets about me, do I get a share of the winnings?”

    She gave him a sharp smile. “No.”

    His heart raced and the need to move was almost unbearable. But he stood still because he wasn’t willing to let anyone know how much effort it was taking to stay in control and appear no more anxious than any other father waiting to be told his fate with regard to his child.

    Surreal slipped her arm through his. Then she looked at the children and sighed. “She’s at the end of the line.”

    “Maybe we should have had a private Ceremony,” he muttered.

    “You’re the Warlord Prince of Dhemlan. Even if she had been the only child acquiring a Birthright Jewel today, it wouldn’t have been a private Ceremony.”

    A hard truth. If nothing else, all the Dhemlan Queens would have come to witness the second half of the Ceremony.

    “We should move up with the families who are participating today,” he said. When she started to withdraw her arm, he pressed his hand over hers, holding her in place. “There’s no reason to be formal. Is there?”

    She studied his face and shook her head. “No reason.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire