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  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(30) by Anne Bishop
  • “Don’t take long. The driver is waiting, and Helton will worry if I’m late.”

    Rainier huffed out a laugh and limped to his bedroom.

    Surreal closed her eyes. He didn’t need tears or pity or whatever else was being dished out. And he wouldn’t get those things. Not at the Keep.

    But he would get the warmth of friends who cared about him. And he wouldn’t be alone for Winsol.

    NINE

    “Are you sure she’s home?” Lucivar asked as Daemon opened the cottage door. “There aren’t any lights on in the sitting room.”

    “Doesn’t mean anything,” Daemon replied, touching the hallway candle-light so they could see as they headed for the kitchen. “Allista left this morning to spend a few days with her family, and Manny is celebrating with friends in the village. Tersa told both of them she was staying home tonight.”

    As they walked into the kitchen, they saw her silhouetted against the open back door, oblivious to the cold air streaming into the cottage.

    “Tersa,” Daemon called softly.

    “It’s the boy,” she said, sounding puzzled as she looked from him to Lucivar. “Both my boys.”

    “Yes,” Daemon said.

    “Why are you here?”

    Lucivar nudged her into the kitchen and closed the door. “We’ve decided to establish some family traditions. Winsol Eve is going to be a time for fathers and daughters to spend together.”

    “And mothers and sons,” Daemon added.

    “So we’re here to spend the evening with our mother,” Lucivar said.

    “But . . .” She looked around, as if finally noticing where she was. “There is no food. I should prepare food?”

    “We did that,” Daemon said, calling in several dishes and settling them gently on the kitchen table. “A couple of things need to be heated, and a few other things need the finishing touches.” He took off his overcoat and wrapped it around her, adding a warming spell.

    Did she even realize she was shivering?

    Lucivar pulled out a chair. “You sit down, and we’ll take care of things.”

    “That does not seem fair,” Tersa said. “You are doing all the work.”

    “Fine,” Lucivar said. “You can do the dishes after.”

    “That is not fair!”

    Lucivar grinned at her and winked at Daemon.

    They talked, they laughed, and they ate. And as Tersa’s mind flowed between past and present, they learned more of who they had been when they had been her boys.

    “We’d like to ask a favor,” Daemon said when he set out the plate of baked goods he’d wheedled out of Mrs. Beale. “A special gift we’d like you to give both of us if you can.”

    She looked at them—not with the lucidity of madness, but with clear-sighted eyes. “Ask.”

    So he asked. And after thinking about it for a minute, she said yes.

    TEN

    Saetan walked through one of the enclosed gardens at the Keep. Stark at this time of year, but not barren. Life slept beneath the snow, beneath the earth, waiting for the light to return.

    The Blood came from the Darkness of the abyss—a power inherited from another race whose time as the guardians of the Realms had ended. So they honored the Darkness that separated them from the landens, that shaped their preferences and needs and desires.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire