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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Heir to the Shadows (Chapter 181)      Page
  • Heir to the Shadows(Black Jewels,Book 2)(181) by Anne Bishop
  • "They will have land to rule. They'll establish small, new territories on behalf of the Queens they're serving. That will increase the influence the Queens in Little Terreille have in Kaeleer as well as providing them with an additional source of income. Some of that land is obscenely rich in precious metals and precious gems. In a few years, Little Terreille's Queens will be the strongest force in the Realm, and the other Territories will have to submit to their dominance."

    "What land?" Jorval said, failing to hide his exasperation.

    "The unclaimed land, of course," Hekatah replied I sharply. She called in a map of Kaeleer, unrolled it, and I used Craft to keep it flat. One bony finger brushed against large areas of the map.

    "That's not unclaimed land," Jorval protested. "Those are closed Territories. The so-called kindred Territories."

    "Exactly,Lord Jorval," Hekatah said, tapping the map. "Theso-called kindred Territories."

    Jorval looked at the map and sat up straighter. "But the kindred are supposed to be Blood. Aren't they?"

    "Are they?" Hekatah countered with venomous sweetness.

    "What about the human Territories, like Dharo and Nharkhava and Scelt? Their Queens might file a protest on the kindred's behalf."

    "They can't. Their lands aren't being interfered with. By Blood Law, Territory Queenscan't interfere outside their own borders."

    "The High Lord . . ."

    Hekatah waved a hand dismissively. "He has always lived by a strict code of honor. He'll viciously defend his own Territory, but he won't step one toe outside of it. If anything, he'll standagainst those other Territories if they step outside the Law."

    Jorval rubbed his lower lip. "So the Queens of Little Terreille would eventually rule all of Kaeleer."

    "And those Queens would be consolidated under one wise, experienced individual who would be able to guide them properly."

    Jorval preened.

    "Not you, idiot," Hekatah hissed. "A male can't rule a Territory."

    "The High Lord does!"

    The silence went on so long Jorval began to sweat.

    "Don't forget who he is or what he is, Lord Jorval. Don't forget about his particular code of honor. You're the wrong gender. Ifyou tried to stand against him, he would tear you apart. / will rule Kaeleer." Her voice sweetened. "You will be my Steward, and as my trusted right hand and most valued adviser, you will be so influential there won't be a woman in the Realm who would dare refuse you."

    Heat filled Jorval's groin as he thought of Jaenelle Angelline.

    The map rolled up with a snap, startling him.

    "I think we've postponed the amenities long enough, don't you?" Hekatah pushed back the cloak's hood.

    Jorval let out a faint scream. Leaping up, he knocked over his chair, then tripped over it when he turned to get away from the table.

    As Hekatah slowly walked around the table, Jorval scrambled to his feet. He kept backing away until he ended up pressed against the wall.

    "Just a sip," Hekatah said as she unbuttoned his shirt. "Just a taste. And maybe next time you'll remember to provide refreshments."

    Jorval felt his bowels turn to water.

    She'd changed in the last two years. Before, she'd looked like an attractive woman past her prime. Now she looked like someone had squeezed all the juice out of her flesh.

    And the liberally applied perfume didn't mask the smell of decay.

    "There's one other very important reason whyI'm going to rule Kaeleer," Hekatah murmured as her lips brushed his throat. "Something you shouldn't forget."

    "Yes, P-Priestess?" Jorval clenched his hands.

    "With me ruling, the Realm of Terreille will support our efforts."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire