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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Twilight's Dawn (Chapter 70)      Page
  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(70) by Anne Bishop
  • The worst is still to come.

    She opened a cupboard and saw serving bowls, platters, and other kinds of dishes—and heard a boy screaming and screaming and screaming. Then the screaming stopped, and she knew what that meant.

    “Come find me.” Was that Daemonar saying that, or Trist?

    The worst is still to come.

    Her breath hitched, rasped in her chest, hurting her as she tried to draw in enough air to think, to move, to act. This time she wouldn’t fail. She would find the boy and get him out of this damn house, and she would find a way to get Marjane out of that tree before the crows took the girl’s eyes, and . . .

    She dashed into the front room and glanced at the door. “Kester, no!”

    A flashed image, as if a sight shield had dropped for a heartbeat. Just enough time for her to see the wings and the blood spraying everywhere as the Eyrien bastard ripped into the boy. Then gone.

    Kester. Not Daemonar. Like Trist, Kester had died in the spooky house. She still had a chance to save Daemonar.

    She tore through the bedrooms, opening every door and drawer she could find. She tore through the weapons room and Marian’s workroom and the laundry room, circling back to the kitchen, where she yanked out drawers and opened more doors.

    She opened the cold box, then the door to the freeze box inside it—and stared at the little brown hand so freshly severed the fingers were still curling up against the cold.

    She bolted across the kitchen, just reaching the sink before she vomited.

    Then she stumbled out of the kitchen, stumbled around the eyrie, hearing Daemonar’s voice, sounding scared now, saying, “Auntie Srell?”

    Couldn’t save him. Couldn’t save any of them. Not Trist, not Kester, not even Rainier. Not Jaenelle. Hadn’t been good enough, strong enough, fast enough to save them.

    “Auntie Srell?”

    And now the boy. Lucivar shouldn’t have trusted her with his precious boy.

    She stumbled, hit a carpeted floor on her hands and knees, and went all the way down.

    Tears and pain and poison. This time the poison would take her all the way down.

    This time she wouldn’t fight it.

    “Would you like some coffee?” Falonar asked.

    Lucivar undid the buttons and belt on his winter cape but didn’t take it off. “No, thanks. I left Surreal alone with Daemonar, and I promised I would be back as soon as I could.” And I don’t want to drink whatever you’re offering.

    A month ago he wouldn’t have thought twice about accepting food or drink at Falonar’s eyrie. When had that changed? And why? They’d always respected each other’s fighting ability and not liked each other much for anything else. That hadn’t changed. And while some of Falonar’s ideas about the Eyriens here had pissed him off, he wasn’t concerned, because he made the final decisions in Ebon Rih.

    “We need more aristos living here to balance out the Eyriens who have common skills, to balance out our society,” Falonar said. “We should have another Healer. We should have a Priestess. If some of the Eyriens will be leaving Ebon Rih, bringing in others wouldn’t swell the numbers beyond what you’re willing to allow here. And aristo families would bring their own wealth, so they wouldn’t be a burden on your purse.”

    Lucivar studied the other Warlord Prince and wished he felt easy enough to accept that cup of coffee. “I would be willing to consider Eyriens who have other skills to offer the community, whether they come from aristo families or not.”

    Falonar looked puzzled. “Skills?”

    “Healer. Priestess. Craftsman. Tailor. Seamstress. Although a couple of the women in the Doun settlement might be taking care of that last one.”

    “I don’t think you understand,” Falonar said. “I meant aristos. They don’t need to work.”

    “They do if they want to live in Ebon Rih,” Lucivar replied. “There isn’t an adult living in this valley who doesn’t have some kind of work, and anyone who isn’t willing to agree to that doesn’t belong here. The Queens in the rest of Askavi might feel differently, but I don’t see any reason for anyone to sit around idle, no matter who they are or what bloodlines they can claim.”

    “You can’t expect an aristo to stoop to menial labor,” Falonar protested.

    “I didn’t say they would have to clean the horse shit off the streets; I just said that if they want to come to Kaeleer and live in Ebon Rih, they have to be willing to do some kind of work that will benefit the Eyrien community at the very least.” Lucivar continued to study Falonar. “Is there someone in particular you want living here? A friend? Family? Is that what this is about?”

    “No. It’s not about someone in particular; it’s about a whole level of Eyrien society that is missing. Can’t you feel that?” Falonar’s voice rang with frustration.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire