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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 11)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(11) by Anne Bishop
  • The Hourglass didn’t divulge what they saw in their tangled webs. Not very often, anyway. And not directly. But a Black Widow never made a suggestion about an action to take without a reason.

    “Is it something to do with Cassidy?” he asked.

    She didn’t answer.

    “Shira . . .” He didn’t know what to ask.

    Finally Shira asked quietly, “Who has your loyalty, Prince Ranon? Tell me the list in order.”

    His heart ached, but she had asked. Because he would give her nothing less than honesty, the words had to be said. “I love you with everything I am, but my first loyalty is to my Queen. Then you, then our people, then Dena Nehele.”

    She sat up and pressed a hand against his face. When he looked at her, she said fiercely, “Remember the order of that list. Hold on to it with everything you are.”

    Was she warning him that something might happen to Cassie when they went to the Shalador reserves?

    “Hold on to it the same way you’ve held on to your honor,” Shira said.

    And that was the answer: Cassidy the Queen came before anything and everything else—his lover, his people, his land.

    The visions seen in tangled webs didn’t always come true. Sometimes they were warnings of what might be. Shira was telling him that his choices would make a difference.His choices. And she had told him, without breaking her own code of honor, what his choice had to be.

    That night, while Shira slept and he lay awake staring at the dark ceiling of her bedroom, he realized that fear could entwine with hope as well as love, and all he could do was give his best to the two women who were now the center of his life.

    CHAPTER 4

    KAELEER

    Daemon rounded a corner and let out a roar—which only made his quarry pump those little legs faster.

    Hell’s fire. He’d only looked away for a minute while he was packing up the things Daemonar would take home. One damn minute! That’s all it had taken for the boy to shoot out of the bedroom like an arrow released from a bow.

    Well, if this was going to be their last pissing contest during this visit, he wasnot going to lose.

    He was going to lose.

    When he realized the stairs leading down to the informal receiving room—and beyond that, the great hall—were up ahead, heran. The boy was going too fast to get down those stairs without a bad tumble.

    Almost in reach. If he couldn’t stop Daemonar . . .

    The boy spread those little membranous wings and launched himself over the railing.

    Daemon gave a moment’s thought to leaping over the railing and using Craft to make a controlled slide on air, but that wasn’t an easy bit of Craft to do, despite how simple Jaenelle always made it seem, and since it wasn’t something he did on a regular basis—until lately, anyway—a miscalculation could end with a broken leg. Or worse.

    At least the door to the great hall was closed, Daemon thought as he pounded down the stairs. At least the little beast didn’t know how to make a pass through a solid object. At least he’d only be chasing a flying boy around a contained space.

    Which was when Holt opened the door—and Daemonar dove right at the footman’s head. Startled, Holt dove for the floor, and Daemonar flew past him into the great hall and let out a happy squeal.

    Damn! Did someone just open the front door? If Daemonar got outside, it might takehours to catch him.

    Leaping over Holt, Daemon skidded into the great hall.

    And there was Lucivar, with his arms full of happy boy.

    “Hello, boyo,” Lucivar said, giving his bundle of boy a smacking kiss on the cheek.

    “Papa! Papa!”

    Daemon braced one hand on the wall and sucked in air while he watched the reunion.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire