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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 129)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(129) by Anne Bishop
  • A large brown cat with black stripes suddenly appeared on Ladvarian’s right, dwarfing the Sceltie. If the cat had the strength that body implied, it could pull down a full-grown horse or cow without any trouble.

    He didn’t want to think about what it could do to a man.

    Then he noticed the Green Jewel around the cat’s neck and acknowledged the title his mind wanted to deny.Prince Jaal. A Warlord Prince who wore a Jewel equal to his own and had a body he couldn’t match for strength or speed.

    *And this is Prince Kaelas,* Ladvarian said.

    Theran’s bowels turned to water. The white cat now standing on Ladvarian’s left washuge. Even the striped cat looked small in comparison.

    Worse, Kaelas wore a Red Jewel.

    The Sceltie was focused on Kermilla. The cats were focused onhim, and he knew, with absolute certainty, that if anything went wrong now, he had no chance of surviving.

    *You hurt Khollie,* Ladvarian told Kermilla.

    “No, I just—”

    *When you hunt one kindred, you hunt all kindred. Remember that, because the next time you send a male to hunt down one of us, we will come hunting for you.* Ladvarian paused. *This is what Kaelas does to enemies of kindred.*

    Theran felt a surge of power and realized a moment too late that Ladvarian had forced at least one of Kermilla’s inner barriers open, no doubt to show her exactly what that huge white cat could do.

    She whimpered and her eyes widened. Then she bent over and vomited.

    The dog, damn its heart, put up a shield to keep the kindred from getting splashed as Kermilla heaved, then heaved again.

    Ladvarian looked at him. *You are not a friend.*

    Beads of sweat popped out on his forehead. He’d stood on killing fields. He’d seen slaughter. But he was certain he had never seen anything that could equal what that white cat would do to a man.

    And he was grateful he’d been spared seeing whatever memory had been forced upon Kermilla.

    Ladvarian turned and trotted through the closed parlor door. Jaal followed him. When they were gone, that walking white death stared at him a moment longer—and disappeared.

    Theran froze. Was Kaelas gone? Or was the cat standing there, sight shielded, waiting for him to move, to become prey?

    No sound. Not even breathing. Nothing he could detect.Nothing.

    Then the door began to open. Julien peeked into the room. “Prince Grayhaven?”

    “How am I going to get it out?” Kermilla whimpered. “How am I going to stopseeing that?”

    Theran didn’t move.

    Julien pushed the door open and stepped into the room, a distasteful look on his face when he spotted the mess on the carpet. “Prince, I saw—” He gasped and leaped away from the door. “Something just brushed past me.”

    It’s gone.Theran closed his eyes.Thank the Darkness, it’s gone.

    “I don’t believe our guests will be back,” he said, and almost laughed at how calm he sounded. “I’ll escort the Lady to her room. Can you . . . ?”

    Julien looked at the carpet and nodded. “If I can’t get it cleaned sufficiently, I’ll burn the damn thing.”

    He put an arm around Kermilla and led her out of the room.

    On another day, he would have voiced an opinion about a butler deciding whether or not to destroy a carpet he couldn’t afford to replace. Tonight he didn’t have enough balls left to argue with anyone.

    He’d gotten the only warning he would ever get. If those three ever had a reason to come looking for him again, the only sounds he would hear were his own screams.

    EBON ASKAVI

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire