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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 117)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(117) by Anne Bishop
  • Ranon called in his fighting knife and used Craft to create a flash of light on the blade, deliberately forcing the Warlord’s attention on himself now.

    “Let him go,” Ranon snarled.

    The Warlord shifted his arm to use Khollie’s hanging body as a shield. “You’ve got plenty of them.” He sounding desperate. “We only want one. We’ll take this one. He’s already damaged.”

    “How dare you?” Ranon’s voice sounded barely human. “Let my little brother go!”

    No way for the man to catch the Winds from this part of the street. No way for the Warlord to get away, not with the three Scelties keeping him pinned. No chance of the bastard winning a fight, not with three Warlord Princes standing on this killing field ready to rip him apart.

    Then Darkmist charged up the street, heading straight for the Warlord.

    Perfect. If Darkmist hit the Warlord in the back, that would be the distraction Ranon needed to strike without endangering Khollie.

    *Vae,* Ranon said. *As soon as I break that bastard’s shields, you grab Khollie and run.*

    *We will catch Khollie,* she replied, continuing to keep the Warlord in position for the best strike.

    He kept his eyes on the stranger, but he couldfeel Darkmist and knew the moment he needed to unleash a punch of Opal power and break the man’s shields so the dog could strike.

    A second after the shields broke, Darkmist leaped . . . andmissed. The man’s open coat flapped as the dog sailed past.

    An odd look flashed over the Warlord’s face as he staggered a step and dropped Khollie. At the same time, Vae leaped, grabbed one of Khollie’s front legs, and kept going, running on air and pulling Khollie with her as Darcy and Lizzie scattered.

    Then Ranon noticed the blood on Darkmist’s muzzle. Saw the thing in Darkmist’s jaws beat once, twice. And once more before those jaws closed on a still-beating heart.

    Darkmist whirled to face the Warlord. Ranon felt the punch of furious Opal power—and saw the man’s head puff for a moment before he fell to the ground.

    The dog hadn’t missed. Hell’s fire, Mother Night, and may the Darkness be merciful. The dog hadn’t missed. He’dpassed through the man’s body and snatched the heart right out of the man’s chest.

    The thought of the skill and training it took to do something like that knocked Ranon back from the killing edge.

    Vanishing the knife, he rushed over to the spot where Vae guarded Khollie. He dropped to his knees and reached for the little dog—and snatched his hand back in time to keep from losing a finger as Mist, still riding the killing edge, dropped the heart and snapped at him.

    “Let me help him, Mist,” Ranon said. “He’s your brother, but he’s my friend. Step back now.Step back. ”

    There were sounds all around him now, people all around now, but the only thing that mattered was the other Opal-Jeweled Warlord Prince.

    Mist took a step back. His eyes were still glazed and he still growled. Probably wasn’t even aware of it.

    Watching Mist, Ranon placed a hand on Khollie. “Khollie?” He felt the dog’s heart beat, felt the lungs rise and fall with each breath. “Khollie?” He began a careful exploration, hesitating when he got to the neck. Was it damaged?

    The dark eyes, usually filled with joy, were closed.

    “Hell’s fire, Ranon,” Shaddo said, approaching carefully since there were two Opal Warlord Princes whose tempers were unpredictable right now. “Is he all right?”

    “I don’t know.” Ranon stripped off his shirt and wrapped Khollie in it before he stood up and looked around. “I need to get him to Shira, but I . . . we . . . walked over.”

    “Prince Ranon, here.” Guard Jaego hurried up with his horse.

    Ranon took a step, then looked at Shaddo and Archerr.

    “We’ll find a place to store the carrion until Talon rises and can get a look at the bastard,” Archerr said.

    “Go on,” Shaddo said. “We’ll take care of things here.”

    Freed of any duties beyond the dog in his arms, Ranon mounted Jaego’s horse and galloped back to the Queen’s Residence with Darkmist racing after him.

    One of the Scelties must have alerted the silver twins because Lloyd was waiting for him when he reached the Residence. He dismounted and tossed a rein to the Sceltie, who led the horse to the stables.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire