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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Twilight's Dawn (Chapter 36)      Page
  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(36) by Anne Bishop
  • He snorted. “Will I have any room for my things?”

    “As our friend Karla would say, kiss kiss.”

    He laughed and held out the shirts. “Fine. Just put the clothes where it will be logical to find them. And I mean male logic, not what passes for female logic.”

    “My, my. Aren’t we feeling pissy today?”

    He limped over to the corner of the room that had a stuffed chair and footrest, as well as a reading lamp and side table. Settling in the chair and stretching out his legs, he sighed wearily. “Did Lucivar not consider the stairs when he chose this place, or were the rooms being on the second floor one of the reasons he chose it?”

    “I’m not sure that was a consideration at all,” she said slowly as she put Rainier’s clothes into the drawers and closet. Before she could decide how much to tell him—especially since there wasn’t anything definite she could tell him—someone knocked on the door.

    “It’s Jaenelle,” Rainier said before she had a chance to send out a psychic tendril and find out who was in the hallway.

    “How do you know?” she asked as she walked to the door.

    “Her psychic scent was always unique. It’s a little different now that she wears Twilight’s Dawn, but there’s no mistaking it.”

    Which just proved a Queen was a Queen whether she ruled officially or not. Unless there was a reason to pay attention, psychic scents were ignored in the same way as physical scents. But a male who served in a court would always know when his Queen was nearby.

    “Is the fact that you’re all still that observant something you don’t want to call attention to?” Surreal asked as she opened the door.

    “Call attention to what?” Jaenelle asked as she walked into the room.

    “An unobservant man makes a poor flirt,” Rainier said. His green eyes glittered with a warning to drop the subject.

    “If that’s the case, you’re very observant, Prince,” Jaenelle said. “No, stay there,” she added when he started to shift in order to get to his feet. “I can check the leg just fine where you’re sitting. Surreal, do you want to sit on the side of the bed or go back to your room for privacy?”

    “That depends on what we’re doing,” Surreal replied warily.

    “I’m here to assess your current health and report it to the Prince of Ebon Rih, along with my requirements for what can and cannot be included in your training.”

    “I get tired easily, and my lungs still get raspy if I exert myself too much, especially outdoors,” Surreal said. “And I still feel weak, so I won’t be able to do much of the training Lucivar has in mind.”

    Jaenelle waited a beat, then looked at Rainier. “No protest or snarls from the Warlord Prince, which means he was aware of these limitations—and your Healer was not.”

    Rainier winced when Surreal stared at him. *Sorry. I didn’t know you hadn’t talked to her yet.*

    *Yeah.* Surreal looked into Jaenelle’s sapphire eyes, judged the sharpness of the temper she saw there, and meekly sat on the side of Rainier’s bed.

    Jaenelle rested her hands on Surreal’s chest, her fingers spread wide. Warmth flowed from that touch. Surreal felt it on her skin, then in her muscles. A slow, soothing, pleasant sensation—and as she drifted on and in that sensation, her body told Jaenelle every secret it had.

    *So,* Jaenelle said on a distaff thread, *are you just trying to avoid some of the training or are you exaggerating the severity of the damage you sustained while in the spooky house to misguide Rainier for some reason?*

    The chill that flowed along that psychic thread surprised her. She hadn’t expected Jaenelle to be so pissed off about what was, after all, a ploy to get out of spending more time with the Eyriens than she absolutely had to. Then she realized she hadn’t taken into account that Jaenelle wasn’t just a Healer and she wasn’t just family. She was also a Queen who had never hesitated to defend a member of her court—and no matter whom he worked for or served in the future, Rainier would always be hers. Lying to him would not be acceptable behavior.

    *I told Rainier the truth,* Surreal said. *But I didn’t want everyone to know.*

    The chill faded and was replaced by sharp humor. *You don’t want Lucivar to know that you haven’t recovered fully because he’ll fuss over you, but you still want him to release you from a lot of the training?*

    When put that way, the logic sounded more than a little fuzzy. *I was hoping that, as a Healer, you could . . . Hell’s fire, I hate feeling weak.*

    *All the more reason to do the work that will make you strong again.*

    Surreal sighed. How could you argue with a woman who, just by standing there, was proof of how doing the work could help a body to heal?

    She studied Jaenelle’s face, looked into the eyes that saw too much. It wasn’t just her body that had been damaged and felt weak. Her heart, too, hadn’t healed since she left Falonar’s eyrie and Ebon Rih. That was almost a year ago. Wasn’t that long enough to let go of something other women could have shrugged off in a few weeks?

    “Give me a half an hour to work on Rainier’s leg and go over a few things with Lucivar,” Jaenelle said. “Then you and I can take a walk around the village. That will give me a better assessment of what your lungs can do in this weather and in this valley.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire