The Shadow Queen
reached it. A Warlord who served the Keep in Terreille nodded to them and said, High Lord, a Warlord Prince has arrived.
His name? Saetan asked.
He wouldnt offer it, the Warlord replied. And he wouldnt say which Territory hes from. He says hes looking for someone, and he insists on talking to someone in authority.
Does he? Saetan said softly. How foolish of him. Put our guest in one of the receiving rooms. Ill be with him shortly.
Yes, High Lord.
The Warlords look of gleeful anticipation told Saetan how deeply the idiot had offended those who served the Keep by not following the basic courtesies. Fools who tried to withhold their names when asking to speak with someone here were usually given as much as theyd offeredwhich was nothing.
When the Warlord left, Saetan turned and touched Daemons arm. Why dont you go back to Kaeleer and ask for a meal. Ill talk to this unknown Prince and join you when Im done. I doubt this will take more than a few minutes.
The air around them chilleda warning that a violent temper was turning cold, cold, cold.
If youre going to talk to anyone from Terreille, you should have someone watching your back, Daemon said too softly.
He wasnt sure if he should feel flattered or insulted by his sons desire to protect, but he decided it was best to keep his own temper out of this conversationespecially now that Daemons temper had turned lethal. Have you forgotten that Im a Black-Jeweled Warlord Prince and do know how to defend myself?
One sweep of those golden eyes that were now glazed and sleepy. One pointed look at his left handwhich was missing the little finger.
I havent forgotten anything, Daemon crooned.
A shiver went down Saetans spine.
The boyish posturing was gone. Even their relationship as father and son was gone. The man before him was a Warlord Prince of equal rank, who was standing one step away from the killing edge. A Warlord Prince the Blood in Terreille had called the Sadist. A man who was capable of doing anything if provoked the wrong way.
And that, more than anything else, was reason enough to get Daemon out of Terreille.
Would you have told Lucivar he had to have someone guarding his back? Saetan asked.
I wouldnt have needed to, Daemon replied. He would have known Id stand with him.
This isnt a fight, Saetan thought.But he caught,too late,the undercurrent that had been hiding beneath the boyish posturing.
For Daemon, simply being back in Terreille meant being prepared to fight. To kill.
Prince, Im asking you to return to Kaeleer. This is the Keep. Its a sanctuary. To treat someone as an enemy simply because theyve come here requesting information would be a violation of everything this place stands for. Daemon, it isnt done. At least, not by another guest. What guarded the mountain called Ebon Askavi passed its own judgment on anyone entering the Keep. And people who entered did not always leave.
Im sorry I didnt realize how difficult it is for you to be in this Realm, even here at the Keep, Saetan said. If I had, we would have left hours ago.
That keen mind assessed his words while those golden eyes assessed him.
Youll shield? Daemon finally asked.
I will shield. Despite his efforts to hold on to his own temper, the words came out in a growl.
Daemons lips twitched in a reluctant smile. You would have made the same demand of me if I was the one staying.
Of course I would, but thats different. Im your father.
Daemons smileand the air around themwarmed. Fine. Ill go back to Kaeleer and see about getting us a meal.
Saetan waited, tense, until he no longer felt the presence of the other Black Jewelconfirmation that Daemon had gone through the Gate and returned to Kaeleer. Then he sagged against the doorway until he heard the sound of Craft-enhanced footsteps announcing the Warlords return.
Is everything all right, High Lord? the Warlord asked. I felt . . . We all felt . . . Prince Sadi went cold for a minute.
Yes, he did. Being in Terreille makes the Prince feel a little defensive.
The Warlord stared at him. If thats how Prince Sadi reacts when hes feeling a little defensive, I wouldnt want to be around him when hes feeling really defensive.
No, Saetan said quietly, you wouldnt want to be around him.
Theran opened the glass doors that led out
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