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  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(100) by Anne Bishop
  • “Unless they decided not to come,” Haele said.

    Not likely.

    Lord Rogir rode up a minute later.

    “Those Warlord pricks found out where Weaver’s family lived. They tried to force their way in. My wife and daughter were there. I figured if we worked in teams and used some Craft we could get the households packed up faster.”

    “Is everyone all right?” Ranon asked.

    Rogir nodded. “My wife threw shields around the room where the females were and held on long enough for me and two other guards to arrive. We forced Garth and Brok to leave, but they’ll be back.”

    “Won’t matter,” Ranon said. “Where is everyone?”

    “Weaver’s wife and daughter are with mine at our house. Weaver and his son took off with their wagon, heading on the south road. They’ll reach his brother’s place by morning. I sent one of my men with them. Tanner almost has his family and tools packed up. His wife is also with mine. He and his sons are taking the wagon and heading out to his cousin’s place. Potter and two other families are still packing up. They’ve agreed to go to the Dairyman’s place.”

    “That’s it?”

    The guard nodded. “Don’t think the other landens around here believed any good would come of it, so they’re not leaving.”

    Ranon called in the letters of passage. “You’ll need to get one of these to Weaver and make sure the other two parties have one, as well as a guard riding as escort.”

    “Done,” Rogir said.

    “I’ll need you to come with us to represent your men.”

    Some nerves now, but Rogir nodded.

    “We’ve got a Coach at the station. We’ll take the women and children and as much of the household goods as we can pack into the thing.”

    “Appreciate it. We’ve all used Craft to vanish things and store them, but that takes power, and we’re all holding more than is comfortable.”

    And compromising their ability to fight by draining the reserves in the Jewels that way.

    “The men at the Coaching station said they have a Coach and driver we can use if we’re relocating folks,” Haele said. “I did tell them some of those people would be landens, and he said as a courtesy to the Queen, he’d charge the same price for each passenger.”

    Another message, Ranon thought. Landens weren’t forbidden from buying passage on the Coaches that could ride the Winds, but they were usually charged double—sometimes triple—what any of the Blood would pay, so most couldn’t afford the luxury of speed.

    A feeling crawled just under his skin, scratching at him. He used to feel like this when he was trying to finish an assignment and get out before a Queen’s guards arrived.

    “Let’s do this and get out of here,” he growled.

    Maybe he wasn’t the only one who had that feeling because they all settled into their tasks with grim efficiency, and by the quiet hours of deep night, they were all out of Grayhaven and traveling, by one means or another, to Eyota.

    CHAPTER 21


    Two days after that disastrous dinner party, Theran went into the Steward’s office, sat behind the desk, and pressed his hands against his forehead. The damn headache had teeth, and it wasn’t going to let him have the hour of peace he needed before he had to face the rest of a miserable day.

    Then he noticed the neat stack of papers placed in the center of the desk and swore as he read the first merchant’s bill. The swearing, and the headache, increased in intensity as he looked through the rest of the stack and realized what they were.

    “How in the name of Hell could she spend this much?” he muttered. Yes, he’d offered to pay for the expenses Kermilla would have because she was staying here, but obviously he hadn’t been explicit enough about how much she could spend.

    Feeling sick, he added up the bills three times, hoping he’d find some mistake that would reduce the total.

    No mistake. He vanished all the bills and pushed away from the desk. He had to talk to the merchantsnow. And he’d have to pay the price of Kermilla’s misunderstanding.

    And that would make this day a whole lot worse.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire