They sat quietly, companionably, for a few minutes. Then Daemon said, "Why do you keep calling me namesake?"

"Because you are." Saetan looked away, uncomfortable. "I never intended to give any of my sons that name. I knew what I was. It was difficult enough for them to have me as a father. But the first time I held you, I knew no other name would suit you. So I named you Saetan Daemon SaDiablo."

Daemon's eyes were tear bright. "Then you really did acknowledge paternity? Manny said the Blood register in Hayll had been changed, but I had wondered."

"I'm not responsible for Dorothea's lies, Prince," Saetan said bitterly. "Or for what the Hayllian register does or doesn't say. But in the register kept at Ebon Askavi, you—and Lucivar—are named and acknowledged."

"So you called me Daemon?"

Saetan knew there was much, much more Daemon would have liked to ask, but he was grateful his son chose to step back, to try for lighter conversation in the short time left to them.

"No," Saetan said dryly, "Inever called you anything but Saetan. It was Manny and Tersa"—he hesitated, wondering if Daemon knew about Tersa, but there was no surprise—"who called you Daemon. Manny informed me one day, when I pointed out her error, that if I thought she was going to stand at the back door bellowing that name to get a boy to come in for supper I had better think again."

Daemon laughed. "Come now, Manny's a sweetheart."

"Toyou. "Saetan chuckled. "Personally I always thought she just wanted to avoid having both of us answer that summons."

"Would you have?" Daemon asked warmly.

"Considering the tone of voice used, I wouldn't have dared not to."

They both laughed.

The parting was awkward. Saetan wanted to embrace him, but Daemon became tense, almost skittish. Saetan wondered if, after all those years in Dorothea's court, Daemon had an aversion to being touched.

And there was Lucivar. He had wanted to ask about Lucivar, but Daemon's haunted expression at the mention of his brother's name eliminated that possibility. Since he wanted to know his sons, he would have to have the patience to let them approach when they were ready.

2—Terreille

Jaenelle returned a teeth-grinding day and a half later.

After a hectic afternoon of social calls with Alexandra, Daemon was prowling the corridors, too restless to lie down and get some badly needed rest, when he saw the girls come in from a walk in the garden.

"But you must remember how funny it was," Wilhelmina said as he approached. She looked bewildered. "It only happened yesterday."

"Did it?" Jaenelle replied absently. "Oh, yes, I remember now."

Daemon gave them an exaggerated bow. "Ladies."

Wilhelmina giggled. Jaenelle raised her eyes to meet his.

He didn't like the weariness in her face, didn't like how ancient her eyes looked even though they were the dissembling summer-sky blue, but he met her steady gaze. "Lady, may I have a word with you?"

"As you wish," Jaenelle said, barely suppressing a sigh.

They waited until Wilhelmina climbed the stairs to the nursery before going to the library. Daemon locked the door. Before he could decide what to say, Jaenelle grumbled, "Don't be scoldy, Prince."

Hackles rising, Daemon slipped his hands into his pockets and leisurely walked toward her. "I haven't said a word."

Jaenelle removed her coat and hat, dropping them on the couch. She slumped beside them, "I've already had one scolding today."

So the Priest had gotten to her first. Just as well. All Daemon wanted to do was hug her. He settled beside her, perversely wanting to take the sting out of the very scolding he had wanted to administer. "Was the scolding very bad?" he asked gently.

Jaenelle scowled at him. "He wouldn't have scolded at all if you hadn't told him. Why'd you tell him?"

"I was scared. I thought something had happened to you."

"Oh," Jaenelle said, immediately chastened. "But I worked so hard to create that shadow so no one would worry, so there wouldn't be any difference. No one else noticed the difference."

They noticed, my Lady. They were grateful for the difference.It amused him—a little—that she was more concerned that her Craft hadn't been as effective as she'd thought than she was about the worry she'd caused. "It took the Black to notice the difference, and even I wasn't sure until a whole day had gone by."

"Really?" Jaenelle perked up.

"Really." Daemon tried to smile but couldn't quite do it. "Don't you think I'm entitled to an explanation?"

Jaenelle ducked her face behind her golden veil of hair. "I was going to tell you. I promised I'd tell you. And I had to tell the Priest because he has to arrange some things."

Daemon frowned. "Promised who?"

"Tersa."

Daemon counted to ten. "How do you know Tersa?"

"It was time, Daemon," Jaenelle said, ignoring his question.

Daemon counted to ten again. "Tersa's very special to me."

"I know," Jaenelle said quietly. "But you're grown up now, Daemon. You don't really need her anymore. And it was time for her to leave the Twisted Kingdom . . . but she'd been there so long, she couldn't find her way back by herself."

The room was so cold—not the cold of anger, the cold of fear. Daemon held Jaenelle's hands between his own, taking small comfort from their warmth. He didn't want to understand. He truly did not want to understand. But he did. "You went into the Twisted Kingdom, didn't you?" he said, trying desperately to keep his voice calm. "You walked the roads of madness to find her and led her back to sanity—at least as far as she can come."

"Yes."

"Didn't you think—" His voice broke from the strain. "Didn't it occur to you it might be dangerous?"

Jaenelle looked puzzled. "Dangerous?" She shook her head. "No. It's just a different way of seeing, Daemon."

Daemon closed his eyes. Did she fear nothing? Not even madness?

"Besides, I've traveled that far before, so I knew the way back."

Daemon tasted blood where his teeth had nicked his tongue.

"But it took a while to find her, and it took a while to convince her it was time to go, that she didn't need to stay inside the visions all the time." Jaenelle gave his hands a little squeeze. "The Priest is going to buy a cottage for her in a little village near the Hall in Kaeleer. She'll have people there who will look after her, and a garden to work in, and Black Widow Sisters to talk to."

Anne Bishop Books | Science Fiction Books | The Black Jewels Series Books
Source: www.StudyNovels.com