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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 125)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(125) by Anne Bishop
  • How many times did Cassidy write that letter before she achieved sentences that were so carefully honest? She didn’t accuse anyone of anything. She didn’t offer opinions or feelings. She didn’t report anything that hadn’t been witnessed. She didn’tsay Kermilla had given the order, but there wasn’t a single person in the room who couldn’t read between the lines. The only break from that control was Cassidy’s excessive assurances that Khollie was still a little frightened because of the incident but they were confident that he would recover completely.

    Which meant there had been some doubt that Khollie would recover at all.

    “What in the name of Hell is going on there?” Khary said.

    “This wasn’t Cassie’s fault,” Aaron snapped, instantly ready to defend his cousin.

    “I didn’t say it was,” Khary snapped back. “But something should be done.”

    “Nothing will be done,” Jaenelle said quietly. “At least, not by us.”

    Daemon stiffened. Nothing anyone else would notice, but Saetan had been keeping a wary eye on him and saw the change.

    He knows something. Or suspects something. But his tongue, like his temper, is held by the Queen’s will, and he’ll tell us nothing.

    “What is Kermilla still doing in Dena Nehele anyway?” Sabrina snarled.

    “You were aware she had gone to visit Cassidy?” Jaenelle asked.

    “And aware of her mistreatment of a servant while she was a guest there. Believe me, that will weigh heavily in my decision about whether she’s going to continue rulinganything in my Territory.” Sabrina paced back and forth behind the chairs. “But that happened in early summer. We’re into the autumn harvest now. What’s she still doing there?”

    “Causing more trouble?” Khary suggested.

    “Khary,” Morghann said in quiet warning.

    “Don’t hush him, Morghann, he’s right,” Sabrina said. “Kermilla has no business being there, and it’s past time to go to Dena Nehele and haul the bitch’s ass home.”

    “No,” Saetan said. “You can’t take action outside of your own Territory, Sabrina. That line was drawn thousands of years ago, and it does not—cannot—change.”Because that was the line Dorothea and Hekatah crossed in their efforts to take control of the whole Realm of Terreille. As much as I love all of you, for the good of the Realms and the Blood, I will kill any one of you who tries to cross that line.

    He glanced at Jaenelle and saw the way Witch looked at him. Looked through him.

    And if it came to that, she would expect me to do nothing less.“Besides,” he continued. “Kermilla is, and has been, Theran Grayhaven’s guest these past few weeks, not Cassidy’s. If the Queen of Dena Nehele wants Kermilla out of her Territory, it’s up to her to take care of it—and her First Circle has the strength to do it without help.”

    “Cassidy’s too polite,” Sabrina snapped at him, then turned to Jaenelle. “They have a history. You know that.”

    Jaenelle’s sapphire eyes held Sabrina. A moment passed. Two.

    Saetan wished fiercely that he was privy to that psychic thread and knew what passed between the two women. Becausesomething had surprised Sabrina enough to drain the Dharo Queen’s temper.

    “Are you asking me to be blind to what’s happening?” Sabrina asked.

    “Outside of your own borders, yes,” Jaenelle replied. Then her lips curved in a sharp, chilly smile. “Would I ask you to be blind to what’s happening within your own borders? Never.” She considered. “Almost never.”

    Four Queens who began ruling at a young age—as soon as they had made the Offering to the Darkness, in fact. Each one was capable of great compassion—and of being totally ruthless. Saetan watched them, certain that in these few seconds of silence they had reached an agreement of how they would work together to achieve a desired resultwithout crossing that unforgivable line.

    As curious as he was about what had passed between Sabrina and Jaenelle, he was equally certain that hedidn’t want to know what the four Queens had decided to do. And maybe, if he was lucky, he wouldn’t have to know. After all, he was supposed to be retired from the living Realms.

    And the sun might shine in Hell tomorrow.

    *Coward,* Daemon said softly on a Black spear thread.

    A hint of humor, of relaxation. The Queen’s weapon would not be needed tonight.

    “The Warlord who acted on Kermilla’s orders came from Dharo?” Sabrina asked thoughtfully.

    “That’s the assumption, since he didn’t come from Dena Nehele,” Jaenelle replied.

    “And the body was brought back to Kaeleer,” Saetan said. When they all stared at him, he lifted an eyebrow. “Draca opened the Gate for them. If you think anyone is more qualified to decide who may use the Gate here at the Keep, then you can take it up with her.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire