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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Twilight's Dawn (Chapter 72)      Page
  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(72) by Anne Bishop
  • “Papa! I’m sorry, Papa! I’m sorry!”

    He heard Daemonar’s voice, heard the slap of boots on stone, felt the change in air as something launched at him.

    As he dropped the cape and reached out, he formed a skintight Ebon-gray shield around himself. His hand filled with fabric, and in the heartbeat he had to decide whether to shove something away or pull it close, he realized he’d grabbed Daemonar and pulled his boy close.

    Little arms wrapped around his neck in a choke hold. “I’m sorry!”

    Mother Night. When had Daemonar learned to create a sight shield? He was much too young for that level of Craft.

    *Sorry sorry sorry!* the wolf pups wailed.

    That probably explained how the boy had learned it.

    “Okay, boyo,” he said soothingly. “What are you sorry about?” From the smell of him, the boy had wet his pants, proving he wasn’t as housebroken as Lucivar had thought.

    “I broke Auntie Srell!”

    Lucivar’s legs went out from under him. He sank to his knees, clutching his son, trying to make sense of the words. He looked at Tassle.

    *Graysfang is with her. She will not hear us, Yas. She cries like she is being torn up in a trap, but we cannot smell a wound.*

    Sweet Darkness, have mercy.

    He pried Daemonar off him. “Listen to me, boyo. You have to drop the sight shield.”

    “I don’t know how!” Daemonar wailed.

    “All right. Tassle will help you. You stay with him. I have to help Auntie Surreal. Stay here, Daemonar.”

    He whistled sharply as he headed toward the family’s rooms. Graysfang howled in reply.

    He found Surreal in the parlor on the floor, crying in a way that went beyond simple pain. He dropped to his knees and gathered her in his arms.

    “Surreal? Surreal! It’s Lucivar. You’re all right now. You’re all right!”

    “He’s just a little boy!” she screamed, feebly beating on his chest. “How could you leave me with a little boy?”

    “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize . . .” What? That she wasn’t easy around children? That she’d been fine playing with Daemonar at Winsol as long as Marian or Jaenelle was also there, but she’d joined the adults the moment she was the only one with the boy? He just hadn’t considered why she’d responded that way.

    Her breathing wasn’t good. It sounded like she’d torn something in her chest.

    “I couldn’t save them,” she whimpered.

    He cuddled her because it was the only thing he could do at that moment. “Surreal.”

    Words poured out of her. Names that made him sick just to hear them. Marjane. Rebecca and Myrol. Dannie. Rose. He knew those names. How could he not? He’d heard them whenever Jaenelle had nightmares about a place called Briarwood.

    Trist. Kester. Ginger. The children who had died in the spooky house.

    He held on to her, not sure she knew she wasn’t alone.

    When Marian suddenly appeared in the parlor doorway, he said, “Get Nurian. And Father.” Late enough in the day for Saetan to be awake, and he wanted the strongest Black Widow available to examine Surreal.

    Words poured out with a pain he couldn’t imagine. How had she kept this inside her for so long?

    She stopped speaking in midword, and he hoped that she was finally aware that he was there, that he would help.

    She sagged in his arms, and there was a sudden, and terrible, silence.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire