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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 111)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(111) by Anne Bishop
  • *Gray, tell her!*

    Coming up on Cassidy’s left side, Gray nodded to the men. He wore a plain white shirt and black trousers—and his Purple Dusk pendant and ring.

    There was nothing challenging about a man wearing his Jewels, and there was nothing special about the clothes, but Ranon felt a curious tension in the other men.

    Gray gave the men a conspiratorial smile as he looked each of them in the eyes. That smile included a mischievous wink when his eyes moved to Hikaeda. Then he called in a parasol, opened it, and held it over Cassidy.

    When she did nothing but look up at it, Gray said politely, “Are you going to take the parasol, or should I hold it for you?”

    “You’re spending too much time with somebody,” Cassidy muttered as she took the parasol. “You’re getting too good at this.”

    “Do you want to hit me?” Gray asked.

    “I’m thinking about it.”

    Cassidy and Gray smiled at each other—and those smiles had enough heat to take everyone by surprise. Including Ranon.

    “Gentlemen,” Gray said, “if you would join us, the meal is ready.”

    He raised his right hand, an escort’s gesture. Cassidy placed her left hand over his in automatic response—like a Queen would respond to her First Escort or Consort . . . or her husband.

    Cassidy and Gray walked back to the house. Ranon started to follow, then realized the others weren’t coming with him.

    Hikaeda stared at nothing. “We were friends,” he said softly. “Before he was taken and hurt so badly, we were friends. I never thought . . . It’s good to see him again. It’s good to see Jared Blaed.”

    Hikaeda headed for the house, followed by Rikoma and Elendill. But Ferall still lingered.

    “Something wrong?” Ranon asked.

    Ferall shook his head. “I want this for my own village, for my own Province.”

    “Then come inside,” Ranon said. “There are people around the table who can help.”

    “Yes,” Ferall said softly, “I think maybe there are.”

    CHAPTER 23

    TERREILLE

    Ranon gave his horse its head and caught up to Burle before the man reached the landen community.

    Something had surprised Lord Rogir when he stopped at the community to see how the cleanup and repairs were coming along, and anything that would surprise a senior guard was something Ranon wanted to check out for himself—especially when Cassidy’s father was about to ride into that community.

    Ranon rode through the arched gateway ahead of Burle, then reined in, understanding Rogir’s surprise.

    Lilly Weaver and JuliDee had been staying with Rogir’s family since the flight from Grayhaven. Lilly and Rogir’s wife had worked together to clean up the senior guard’s household. Other women in the village had also pitched in to give two other cottages a good scrubbing. One cottage went to Lord Brandon and his wife, and the other was to be a general residence for the unmarried guards. After that, the women had been driving out to the community to start cleaning up the attached row houses.

    Now there were several wagons parked close to the houses and many unfamiliar faces—and there was James Weaver, hugging his wife.

    Rogir stood off to one side with a couple of his men, watching the reunion. Deciding that was the best choice for an explanation, Ranon guided his horse over to the men and dismounted. James, spotting him, gave Lilly one more hug and joined them.

    “You made good time,” Ranon said. “I don’t think all the houses are ready to be occupied.”

    “Lilly says they have three that are clean and in good order,” James said. “Mostly good order. Lilly wanted to know about—”

    *Puppies!*

    Ranon stiffened. So did Rogir. Burle just climbed off the wagon and headed over to them as Wynne, a Sceltie with a pure white head, and black-f aced Duffy jumped out of the wagon.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire