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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Twilight's Dawn (Chapter 24)      Page
  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(24) by Anne Bishop
  • Judging by Saetan’s tone, he wasn’t expecting a pleasant discussion, but anything was better than staying in that room.

    He reached the door when Marian said, “Daemon?”

    Saetan left the room. Having no other safe choice, Daemon turned and waited for the Eyrien hearth witch.

    There was something purely female about her expression as she walked up to him, adding to the impression that she was laughing at him.

    He broke out in a cold sweat.

    “You missed a piece,” she whispered as she held up a scrap of wrapping paper.

    He took the paper, vanished it—and fled.

    Catching up with Saetan, the two men retreated to the study, where Lucivar met them.

    “I promised Kaelas and Jaal I’d get them a steer for Winsol dinner if they don’t let Daemonar out of the room where I stashed him,” Lucivar said.

    “You promised them the equivalent amount of meat or a live animal?” Saetan asked.

    “Apparently it doesn’t taste as good if it’s already cut up,” Lucivar muttered. “Or maybe it wasn’t as much fun to eat. They were a little vague about that.”

    “I see.” Saetan delicately cleared his throat. “So you will get them to promise that they won’t eat their dinner within sight of the dining room windows, won’t you?”

    Lucivar’s mouth opened and closed, but no sounds came out.

    “Mother Night,” Daemon said. If people lost their appetites because a six-hundred-pound tiger and an eight-hundred-pound Arcerian cat were gorging on a fresh kill, Mrs. Beale would . . .

    He wasn’t going to consider what Mrs. Beale would do to him and Lucivar.

    “I’m almost sorry I’m going to miss this,” Saetan said with a smile. “Almost.”

    In a heartbeat, Lucivar went from stumbling man to warrior. He shifted—one easy side step that effectively blocked any escape through the door.

    Daemon moved in the other direction, drawing the eye, keeping the prey focused on what was in front of him instead of the danger behind him.

    He and Lucivar had played out this game dozens of times. Hundreds of times. Once they had their prey caught between them . . . Concentrate on one of them, and the other one would be the attacker.

    Saetan watched him. Being an intelligent man, he would know exactly what his sons were doing—and what role remained in their little three-person drama.

    “I won’t be joining you for Winsol,” Saetan said quietly. “I stopped by today to drop off the gifts—and to tell you I’ll be staying at the Keep.”

    “No,” Lucivar said.

    “I don’t want to discuss this,” Saetan said, still watching Daemon. “I don’t want to argue about this. I’m asking you to accept this.”

    “Why?” Daemon asked softly.

    “I love you both. I do. But this . . . frenzy . . . is for young men.”

    “Well, Hell’s fire,” Lucivar growled. “We’re not going to drag you to parties and things you don’t want to attend.” He looked at Daemon. “Right?”

    “It’s not just that,” Saetan said. Then he raked one hand through his hair and sighed. “I did this. For decades, for centuries, I did this. The large parties. The social functions that I attended because it was expected of me as the Warlord Prince of Dhemlan. Houseguests and noise. You both have those responsibilities now, and that’s as it should be. But this year, I want peace during the longest night of the year. I want to walk in solitude through one of the gardens at the Keep. I want this. And I think I’ve earned this.”

    Before Lucivar could snarl about it, Daemon said on a spear thread, *Don’t argue about it. Let it go.*

    A slashing look was Lucivar’s only answer.

    “That’s really what you want?” Daemon asked Saetan.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire