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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Twilight's Dawn (Chapter 31)      Page
  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(31) by Anne Bishop
  • Especially their desires.

    “I understand now.”

    Jaenelle’s voice came out of the darkness around him.

    No, not Jaenelle’s voice, he thought as he turned. Too much midnight in that voice, too much of the abyss.

    For a moment, when she took the first step toward him, he saw the Self that lived beneath her skin. Saw the living myth, dreams made flesh.

    Not all the dreamers had been human—and neither was Witch.

    Then the moment was gone, and Jaenelle, lovely and human, kept walking toward him.

    “You should be home with your husband,” Saetan said.

    “No, I shouldn’t. Not tonight,” Jaenelle replied. “I understand now.”

    “Understand what, witch-child?”

    “The private dance on Winsol Eve.”

    She took both his hands. Hers were cold, so he put a warming spell on his own to make hers more comfortable.

    “We didn’t dance these last two years. But you did. Alone. Just as you did for most of your fifty thousand years. You danced for a dream, for a promise. And every year when you performed the steps of that dance, you renewed your own promise to that dream.”

    He closed his eyes, unwilling to look at her because she would see the truth of her words. She was the sweetest, most painful dance of his life. She was the reason for this unnaturally long life.

    “Each year, when we performed that dance, you renewed that promise. But it was no longer to a dream. It was to flesh and blood, to a real Queen.”

    He had no words for what he felt, so he did something he had done no more than a handful of times during his entire life—he opened all his inner barriers, revealing his heart, his mind, his Self to her without any defenses or shields. As he opened his eyes and stared into her sapphire ones, he realized he wasn’t showing her anything she didn’t already know about him.

    “It’s almost midnight,” Jaenelle said. “Dance with me, Saetan. Tonight, let’s both acknowledge a promise made and kept.”

    He followed her to one of the sitting rooms. A small bowl of hot blooded rum was on a table, along with two glasses and a crystal music sphere in a brass holder.

    He helped her out of her coat, then removed his cape and vanished both.

    She wore a black dress made of layers of spidersilk. Widow’s weeds. A dress made for a Black Widow Queen—especially one who had once worn Black Jewels.

    Jaenelle raised her hand. Music for the traditional Winsol dance filled the room.

    He raised his hand and took the first step of the dance. Fingertips touched fingertips. Hands touched hands.

    She was no longer a girl indulging her adopted father. She was no longer a Queen accepting her Steward’s request for a traditional dance. The woman who moved with him tonight understood the weight of his choices—and the importance of this night that marked each year.

    So they danced in honor of a dream—and to renew a promise.


    A warm hand rubbing his bare back coaxed Saetan out of a deep sleep. A loving touch, but not a lover’s touch. Sensual without being sexual. Who . . . ?

    Then he knew. There was only one person whose psychic scent was so close to his own that it took a moment to pick up the distinctions between them.

    “Prince,” he said. It was the best he could do. The way Daemon was rubbing his back made him feel boneless—and brainless. A bit odd for a son to be doing.

    That thought roused his paternal suspicions, and that woke up his brain.

    “Good evening,” Daemon said. “Did you sleep well?”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire