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  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(55) by Anne Bishop
  • “Nothing certain. Just impressions.”

    “You were Second Circle in the Dark Court at Ebon Askavi, and you’re an observant man.”

    Rainier took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I had the impression that Endar was trying to find out how serious this leg injury is. What I could no longer do. He doesn’t like being a guard. He doesn’t like the bloodshed that comes in a fight. I gathered that’s a shameful thing for an Eyrien male to feel. Would he fight to defend his family? Without hesitation or question. But he doesn’t like it as his work, and he’s afraid to say anything because he likes living here and his wife likes living here. If someone can’t offer him a way to keep his standing with other Eyriens, I think the day might come when he drops his guard during one of the workouts, quite by accident, and receives a blow that will make him a cripple who has to do some other kind of work.”

    Lucivar resumed smoothing the salve over Rainier’s leg. “Did you get any impression about what kind of work he might want to do?”

    “No. The other Eyriens came in at that point, and he shied away from the subject.”

    “I’m going to be looking for a teacher. Someone for the Eyrien youngsters. Someone who can teach them reading and writing and their sums, as well as Eyrien history and basic Protocol.”

    “Basically the same initial education as any child in Kaeleer, with the history and traditions specific to a race.”



    “Hallevar is arms master. He’ll take care of that part of the education.” If he stays. “Haven’t worked out how it will be done, but it’s going to be done.”

    He could almost feel Rainier putting the information together.

    “This isn’t common knowledge yet?” Rainier asked.

    Lucivar shook his head. “Not for a few more days.”

    “But if a particular person were to ask my opinion about a possible alternative to being a guard?”

    “You could mention that you’d heard I was looking for a teacher.”

    He left Rainier a few minutes later and went into the bathroom. He washed the salve off his shielded hands and then, dropping the shield, washed his hands again. Then he tapped on the other door.

    “It’s open,” Surreal said.

    He walked into her room and stopped, feeling his heart kick once.

    Short blades, long blades, slim blades and double-edged. Even an Eyrien hunting knife she’d probably had Kohlvar make for her the last time she’d stayed in Ebon Rih.

    Her gold-green eyes were focused on him as her hands unerringly stroked a blade over the whetstone. There was something terrifyingly erotic about watching Surreal hone her blades.

    “You won’t need those tomorrow,” he said.

    She just smiled.

    Because of what he saw in her eyes, he didn’t get near her. That was simply caution. He could meet her in a fight and win. They both knew it. He also knew he needed to talk to Daemon very soon.

    He could meet her in a fight and win. But outside of a fight, he wasn’t sure what to do with a Gray-Jeweled witch who might be drifting too close to the borders of the Twisted Kingdom.


    Surreal set two plates on the table, then poured two cups of coffee and took a seat.

    Rainier studied the chunks of chicken and ham on top of a generous portion of casserole. “Didn’t Merry serve this casserole for dinner last night?”

    “It has eggs, so today it’s a breakfast casserole. Toast?” Her sharp smile told him what he could do with his next comment about the casserole.

    He took a piece of toast and dug in to his meal.

    They’d gone down to the coffee shop and bakery every morning, so having breakfast in The Tavern’s main room felt strange. Then again, a lot of things had felt strange lately. When Endar and the other Eyriens came to see Rainier, she’d been ready to fight, almost needed to fight.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire