Swallowing Darkness by Laurell K Hamilton

Swallowing Darkness by Laurell K Hamilton

Author:Laurell K Hamilton [Hamilton, Laurell K]
Format: epub
Published: 2010-06-23T01:37:14.550000+00:00

Chapter Eighteen

Chattan, Sholto's cousin, was on the door as guard again. His brother was not with him. A nightflyer stood on the other side of the door, flat upon the floor, its great wings pulled tight around it so that it looked like a black cloak. Standing, the nightflyer was a little shorter than I. I looked into its huge, lidless eyes, and a glance at Chattan's own eyes showed plainly where the genetics for those large liquid dark eyes had come from.

He was Sholto's cousin on his father's side.

Chattan came to attention, saying, "Princess Meredith, it is good to see you up and well. This is Tarlach. He is our uncle."

I knew what he meant by the "our."

"Greetings, Uncle Tarlach. It is good to meet another of my king's relatives."

Tarlach bowed in that liquid way that the nightflyers had, as if their spines worked in ways that human spines never would. His voice had some of the sibilance of a snake goblin, but there was also a sound of wind and open sky in his words, as if the sound that wild geese make in the autumn could be mingled with the edge of a storm and become human speech.

"It has been long since a sidhe called me uncle."

"I bear the child of your nephew and your king. By sluagh law that makes us family. The sluagh have never stood on ceremony to make their family larger. Blood calls to blood." In the Unseelie Court that would have been a threatening line, blood to blood, but among the sluagh it simply meant that I carried Tarlach's genetics in my body.

"You know our ways; that is good. You are your father's daughter."

"Everywhere I go outside the Unseelie Court I find people who respected my father. I am beginning to wish that he was a tenth less likeable and a tenth more ruthless."

Tarlach moved what would have passed for shoulders if he'd had more of them, but I knew from my nightflyer tutor, Bhátar, that it was their nod.

"You think it would have kept him alive?" Tarlach asked.

"I plan to find out."

"You plan to be more ruthless than your father?" Chattan asked.

I looked at the taller sluagh and nodded. "Take me to the office so that I can make a phone call, and I will try to be both practical and surprising."

"What help is there from a phone against the Seelie?" Tarlach asked, in his wind and storm voice. Not all the nightflyers had such voices. It was a mark of royal blood among them, but more than that, it was a mark of great power. Even among the royal not all had the voice of storm.

"I will call the police and tell them that my uncle seeks to kidnap me again. They will come and rescue me, and once I am gone the Seelie danger to you all will go with me."

"If the sluagh cannot stand against the Seelie, then the humans cannot," Chattan said.

"But if the Seelie dare to attack human police, it is a breach of the treaty they signed when they first came to this country.


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