Snippet from Lord of Shadows - unexpected alliances…
Lord of Shadows
Kieran muttered something under his breath and said, “I will
swear loyalty to Mark. I will do as he bids me do, and follow the
Nephilim for his sake. And I shall argue with Prince Adaon for your cause,
though it is his choice in the end.”
Something flickered in Julian’s eyes. “No,” he said. “You will
not do this for Mark.”
Mark looked at his brother, startled; Kieran’s expression tensed.
“Why not Mark?”
“Love complicates things,” said Julian. “An oath should be free
Kieran looked as if he might explode. His hair had gone com-
pletely black. With an angry look at Julian, he strode toward the
Shadowhunters—and knelt in front of Cristina.
Everyone looked surprised, none more than Cristina. Kieran
tossed his dark hair back and looked up at her, a challenge in his
eyes. “I swear fealty to you, Lady of Roses.”
It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of Annabel Lee; And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child, In this kingdom by the sea, But we loved with a love that was more than love— I and my Annabel Lee— With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago, In this kingdom by the sea, A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling My beautiful Annabel Lee; So that her highborn kinsmen came And bore her away from me, To shut her up in a sepulchre In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in Heaven, Went envying her and me— Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea) That the wind came out of the cloud by night, Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we— Of many far wiser than we— And neither the angels in Heaven above Nor the demons down under the sea Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride, In her sepulchre there by the sea— In her tomb by the sounding sea.
“Please,” said Cristina, “please, don’t fight. We need to be on
the same side in this.”
Kieran turned puzzled eyes on her. Then he stepped close to Mark;
he put his hands on Mark’s shoulders. They were nearly the same
height. Mark didn’t avert his gaze. “There is only one way I know that
you cannot lie,” Kieran said, and kissed Mark on the mouth.
There was no way Mark could reject the kiss, not without
rejecting Kieran and severing the delicate chain of lies that kept the
faerie prince bound here.
If, indeed, Mark didn’t want to kiss Kieran back. Cristina couldn’t
tell; he returned the kiss with a fierceness like the fierceness Cristina
had seen in him the first time she’d glimpsed him with Kieran. But
there was more anger in it now. He gripped Kieran’s shoulders, his
fingers digging in; the force of the kiss angled Kieran’s head back. He
sucked at Kieran’s bottom lip and bit it, and Kieran gasped.
They broke apart. Kieran touched his mouth; there was blood
on his lip, and triumph in his eyes. “You did not look away,” he
said to Cristina. “Was it that interesting?”
“It was for my benefit.” Cristina felt odd and shivery and hot,
but refused to show it. She sat with her hands in her lap and smiled
at Kieran. “It would have seemed rude not to watch.”
At that Mark, who had been looking furious, laughed. “She
understands you, Kieran.”
“His feelings for Cristina were muddled and strange, but seeing her kiss Diego hurt more than he would have thought. Some of the pain was jealousy. Some was the realization that he had been away from mortal people so long that he no longer understood them”