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[BLACK JEWELS FIC] Warlord of Glacia- 3/12

Title: Warlord of Glacia
Author: Jourdana Standish/queenmidalah
Fandom: Black Jewels
Pairing(s): Morton/Wilhelmina Benedict
Rating: PG-13
Warning: Mentions of violence; language
Word Count: 16,241
Summary: A tangled web is changed when a certain Warlord takes matters into his own hands; he finds himself fighting for his life instead of embracing death. He also finds love, but could lose it by a few careless words.



~~

"Mother Night," Daemon murmured as he stepped into the room. He had just cleaned up from helping with Karla’s healing, his body weary after such a horrific experience. He was certain he would walk into this room and find Morton’s dead body returning as demon dead. Instead, he was writhing on the bed, in obvious pain but very much alive.

"Prince, I need you to focus," Jaenelle said, her midnight voice washing over his senses. Straightening, he gave her a single nod and moved over to her side.

*Can you focus?* a deep voice so like his own slipped into his mind.

*I have to,* Daemon responded. He gave the quickest of glances to where his father stood nearby, wondering how the High Lord could be so calm as he watched.

*How is he even surviving?* Daemon had to ask. It was pricking at his subconscious again, the memory of what his father had told him but his focus was once again pulled.

*That explanation is better left after the healing,* Saetan returned. *There is a chance that he may still not survive.*

*Karla can’t deal with losing him, not in her condition,* Daemon said.

*Karla is strong and understands how difficult this healing will be, despite the ramifications if he does not survive,* Saetan said. *The person who I worry for if he does not is Lady Benedict.*

That piqued Daemon’s curiosity a great deal, but a cry from Morton and a soothing croon from Jaenelle had him pushing it to the back of his mind. That was another discussion best kept until later. For now, his Queen needed him as another hard healing began.

~~

It had been almost three days since the attack on Glacia that left in question just how Morton and Karla were going to come out of this. Lucivar had called upon Daemon to come with him to Arceria after Kaelas had informed him that "human help" was needed. That alone had scared Lucivar to have the Arcerians call on them. It wasn’t until they arrived and had seen the little girl, a lone survivor, that they understood why human help was needed.

"Did we do the right thing?" Daemon asked as he and Lucivar air walked above the deep snow toward the place that was designated as an official landing web. They weren’t making that effort just to avoid floundering in waist-high snow; tracks might have shown an enemy where the Arcerian dens were located. Even if they hadn’t respected the animals themselves enough, they knew it was necessary to keep the girl safe as well.

"What else could we do?" Lucivar replied. "The girl has lost her mother, her village, everyone she knew. KaeAskavi’s the only friend she has left. There are pockets of fighting going on throughout Glacia now, so placing her in another village... There’s no guarantee she would survive the next time a place is attacked. Marian and I would take her to live with us, but ..."

Daemon shook his head. "You were right about that. She wouldn’t be able to handle being around Eyriens right now."

Which was why Lucivar had insisted that Daemon come with him to Arceria in the first place, not to mention the minimal amount of healing craft the other man had. Neither man had wanted the girl to be frightened beyond what she already was feeling. The fact that she had been so silent as it was scared them both.

"And we can’t take her anywhere else," Lucivar added grimly interrupting Daemon’s thoughts. "Not until we know if this attack was part of Hobart’s attempt to regain control of Glacia or if it’s something more."

"I’m sure it was both," Daemon said grimly. There was something about what he had seen when collecting Karla that had resonated. This reeked of Dorothea, and by extension Hekatah, but he knew of the history with Hobart as well.

"You said the girl was physically all right?" Lucivar questioned again. He would deal with the ramifications of his brother’s murmurings later.

"She sprained an ankle, but the Arcerian Healers have the Craft to take care of injured limbs. Other than that, she was... unharmed." He couldn’t say the word "rape." He would never forget the fear that had jolted through him when he had crawled into that den and seen Delia—fair-haired, blue-eyed, ten-year-old Delia.

Admittedly, she didn’t look anything like Jaenelle, except in coloring, but that had been enough to cause the memories of what had happened in Chaillot thirteen years ago to come rushing back at him. His hands had trembled as he’d cautiously examined her for injuries, as he had used a delicate psychic probe to answer that particular question. His hands had also trembled because she had been gripping a stuffed toy cat in one hand and a fistful of KaeAskavi’s fur in the other—which meant the cat had been literally breathing down his neck.

It was the way she had held onto KaeAskavi that had forced him to leave her there. She needed to feel safe in order to heal—and snuggling up to four hundred pounds of muscle and fur obviously made her feel very safe. The young Arcerian cat had given him a quizzical look, sensing how shaken the Black-jeweled Warlord Prince was, but a psychic grumble from his father had him biting back any questions he may have directed towards the Lady’s mate.

Lucivar rested a hand on Daemon’s shoulder, once again bringing him out of his thoughts, helping to shake off the past. "A few weeks among the Arcerians won’t hurt her. At least this way she can be ’mothered’ without feeling like she’s letting someone take her mother’s place."

Daemon nodded. "Are you going back to Ebon Rih?" He, himself, had been planning to go to the Keep since Jaenelle was on her way there with Karla, Morghann, and Morton.

Lucivar shook his head. "The High Lord asked me to report to him at the Hall. This side trip has delayed that report for a couple of days, so I’d better get my ass there before he decides to take a piece out of it."

"Then I’ll go with you."

When they reached the place where they could catch the Winds, Lucivar hesitated. "How is Karla? I didn’t get to see her before they left for the Keep."

Daemon stared at the unbroken snow. "She’ll live. Jaenelle thinks she can heal the legs enough for Karla to walk again."

"Jaenelle thinks she can?" Lucivar paled. "Mother Night, Daemon, if Jaenelle isn’t sure, what was done—"

"Don’t ask," Daemon said too sharply. He made an effort to soften his voice. "Don’t ask. I... don’t want to talk about it." But this was Lucivar who was asking, so he tried. "There’s no antidote for witchblood. The poison had to be drawn into some part of the body in order to save the internal organs and then drawn out. It ... killed a lot of the muscle, and that muscle had to be..."

He had to take a few deep breaths as he thought of the withered limbs that had been healthy legs.

"Let it go," Lucivar said gently. "Let it go."

They both took a couple of unsteady breaths before Daemon said, "The sooner we make our reports, the sooner we can go home." For him, home wasn’t a place, it was a person—and right then, he needed to know that Jaenelle was safe.

"Wait," Lucivar said. "What about Morton?"

Daemon felt another chill go through him. He glanced at his brother, for the first time feeling every one of his 1700 years weighing on him.

"He should be dead, Prick," Daemon said. "But somehow he survived the arrows coated in poison. It’s good you are going to see father, because there are some answers only he can give as to how Morton is not among the demon dead right now. He told me something and I can’t seem to recall it or what it means."

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