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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Twilight's Dawn (Chapter 91)      Page
  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(91) by Anne Bishop
  • Rainier almost dropped the basket she thrust into his hand, unprepared for the weight. He looked at the biscuits, thought about how much he valued his teeth, and limped out to the bar. Setting the basket on the counter, he told Briggs, “Don’t let anyone eat these—and don’t drop any on your feet.”

    “Is she right?” Briggs asked. “Is there trouble?”

    “Yes, I think she’s right, and there is trouble.” Since he knew who was in Ebon Rih this morning, may the Darkness have mercy on whoever was causing that trouble—especially if anything happened to Lucivar because of it.

    Surreal set the papers down and looked at the two Black-Jeweled men standing on the other side of the table. “That’s it?”

    “That’s it,” Daemon replied. “Both of Falonar’s parents can claim aristo bloodlines, but they aren’t on a level with your mother’s bloodline—or with Lucivar’s bloodlines. Falonar has an elder brother, who doesn’t wear Jewels as dark as his, and he has a few cousins but . . .” He shrugged.

    “Darling, there are no dark secrets to explain Falonar’s behavior,” Saetan said. “Eyriens feel animosity toward anyone whose parentage can be questioned or whose parentage isn’t pure Eyrien. That has been true for as long as I’ve known the race—and it’s more true of the aristos than the other levels of their society. A man who wants a leader who can keep him alive on a battlefield is going to be more interested in the man’s ability to fight and lead and be much less picky about bloodlines than an aristo looking to marry and mate—and to use both to advance his own ambitions.”

    “I see,” Surreal said. And, finally, she did. The romance and the emotions had been on her side, never on his. Falonar had used her professions of whore and assassin as the excuse to walk away because it wasn’t in him to see her as an equal. “I guess that’s why some of the Eyriens, like Rothvar and Zaranar, are comfortable working for Lucivar, and others will never see him as anything but a tool to be used.”

    “Yes, that’s why,” Saetan replied with an edge in his voice. “And that’s why it’s time for the Eyriens who won’t acknowledge him to leave Ebon Rih. They’re nothing but salt in an old wound.”

    She heard something else in that deep voice, something that made her shiver. *Do you think Uncle Saetan remembers that he retired from the living Realms and isn’t supposed to interfere?* she asked Daemon on a Gray psychic thread.

    *Do you think he cares about such details right now?* Daemon replied mildly.

    Shit shit shit. How long had Saetan been watching those fools thumb their noses at his son, waiting for Lucivar to reach his own conclusions about Eyrien society? And how much longer would the High Lord of Hell wait before taking care of the troublesome little problems himself?

    *Surreal?*

    *Rainier?*

    *We might be in for some trouble here. Could you come back to The Tavern?*

    Hell’s fire. *On my way.*

    *Could you ask Prince Sadi to find a reason to stay with Marian until this is sorted out?* Rainier hesitated. *It might be prudent to have Jillian stay at Lucivar’s eyrie too.*

    Mother Night. She turned to Daemon and Saetan. “Rainier says Daemon should stay with Marian—and Jillian should be under his protection too.”

    “Where is Lucivar?” Daemon asked too softly. A minute later, he answered his own question. “He’s in the northern end of the valley, and he doesn’t want company.” He exchanged a look with Saetan.

    “Who is with him?” Surreal asked. “Who’s watching his back?”

    “No one is with him because that’s the way he wants it,” Daemon replied. A pause, but his expression indicated a quick conversation with someone beyond this room. Then he focused on her again. “And we’re watching his back. You go to The Tavern. Rainier is going to escort Nurian and Jillian to Lucivar’s eyrie. He’ll also bring Lord Endar’s family there.”

    She heard what was being said under the words—they were going to lock down and defend everyone who could be used as a weapon against Lucivar. “Where in the name of Hell are the other Eyriens?”

    “That is the question, isn’t it?” Saetan said. “And until Lucivar returns and provides the answer, I don’t think you should count on them for help of any kind.”

    Or trust them, Surreal thought. She stepped away from the table and made a formal bow. “High Lord.”

    “Lady Surreal.”

    She walked out of the sitting room with Daemon on her right. She called in her heavy winter coat and put it on as they headed for an outside door. He didn’t bother.

    “Do you have any sense of where Falonar is?” she asked.

    “Not in Riada, and not with Lucivar,” he replied.

    “A second-in-command should be there to watch his back.”

    “He doesn’t need a second-in-command,” Daemon crooned. “Lucivar has family.”

    TWELVE

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire