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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Twilight's Dawn (Chapter 25)      Page
  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(25) by Anne Bishop
  • “It really is.” Saetan’s smile held a hint of sorrow—not for the decision, but for the argument he anticipated was still to come. “I don’t expect you to understand, but I’m asking you—both of you—to accept. As a gift to me.”

    Daemon waited a beat, as if he were discussing it privately with Lucivar. Then he said, “All right. We’ll accept your decision—as our gift.”

    “Thank you.” Saetan turned and raised an eyebrow at Lucivar, who reluctantly stepped aside.

    The moment the study door closed behind their father, Lucivar turned on Daemon. “Are we really letting him do this? We’re going to let our father be alone for Winsol?”

    “Yes, we are,” Daemon replied, moving closer. “He’s feeling his age, Prick. Andulvar, Mephis, and Prothvar are gone. Being here without them is hard. You know that was a large part of his decision to retire to the Keep.”

    “They were gone last year too,” Lucivar argued.

    “He was taking care of us last year. Me more than you. Jaenelle was so fragile, and I . . .”Wasn’t sure she would survive the winter. Wasn’t sure he would want to survive if she didn’t.

    “I know.” Lucivar drew in a deep breath and blew it out slowly. “I don’t like it. He shouldn’t be alone on Winsol. None of them should, when it comes down to it. Geoffrey, Draca. Even Lorn. They shouldn’t be alone. Not for this celebration.”

    “They won’t be.”

    Lucivar frowned. “But you gave him your word.”

    Daemon nodded. “He asked for a solitary Winsol, and we’ll give him that. Or something close to it. But we’ll find a way to give him family too. All of them.”

    “When you figure out how to do that, you’ve got me for whatever you need.”

    He smiled. “I love you, Prick.”

    That lazy, arrogant smile. “Will you still say that if I decide to pour the contraceptive brew down the sink?”

    “Yes. But not as often.”

    Daemon eyed the plate of fudge that had ended up between Marian and Jaenelle and decided trying to take a piece wasn’t worth losing a hand. So he chose grapes and cheese to go with his after-dinner coffee.

    It had been a fairly quiet dinner since Daemonar had fallen asleep halfway through the meal. Now that he wasn’t moving, he looked sweet and cuddly. At some point during the day, he had acquired a string of bells that he was wearing around his neck as his “Jewel.”

    Daemon smiled at the sleeping boy. Daemonar had been delighted with the jingling sound. He and Lucivar had been even more delighted when they realized how easy it was to locate the little beast. Neither man had much hope of convincing Marian to make the bells a permanent accessory for the boy, but they were sure going to try to talk her into it.

    “So,” Jaenelle said as she selected a piece of fudge. “I think we’re ready for Winsol.”

    “I think we are,” Marian agreed.

    “And I think the two of you are handling the High Lord’s decision very well,” Daemon said, raising his coffee cup in a salute.

    “Decision?” Jaenelle asked. “Oh! That reminds me. Papa did say there was something the two of you needed to talk to us about.”

    Daemon felt the meal he’d just eaten solidify into solid rock and sink his stomach to the floor.

    *He didn’t,* Lucivar said on a spear thread.

    *Oh, I think he did,* Daemon replied. He looked at Jaenelle and Marian—and wondered if he could run fast enough to get out of the room before one or both exploded. “He didn’t say anything to either of you?” “About what?” Jaenelle asked.

    “About not joining us for Winsol?”

    Their answer was a thunderous silence.

    Wearing nothing but a long winter robe, Daemon slipped into the bedroom and joined Jaenelle, who was standing at the glass door that overlooked her private courtyard. Wrapping his arms around her, he drew her back against him to keep her warm and rubbed his cheek against her short golden hair.

    “Are you upset about Father’s decision?” he asked.

    “A little,” she replied. “But not surprised once I had time to think about it.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire