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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 133)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(133) by Anne Bishop
  • The two youngsters gave her startled looks.

    “No, Lady,” Janos finally said. “We’re meeting some friends at The Lady’s Pleasure. Then we’ll go back to my grandfather’s house for the night.”

    *Don’t ask,* Shira said as she vanished her smaller drum and called in the large drum, settling it between her thighs.

    One by one the drummers joined the lead drummer, and The Dance once more filled with sound.

    Noticing how many people were leaving, Cassidy leaned toward Shira. “Why aren’t they staying?”

    “The Fire Dance isn’t for children.” Shira began drumming.

    Gray circled with the rest of the men, letting their bodies shield him from Cassie’s view.

    His life, his dreams . . . everything came down to this dance.

    Ranon was on his left, but on his right, the side closest to the fire . . . a shadow. Primal. Lethal. Seductive.

    You ran from me once,something whispered.I can’t give you now what was lost then. But I can give you the rest if you’re ready to accept it. Will you run from me again? Or will you embrace the fire?

    Who are you?

    You know.

    A brush of heat against his right arm. A shivery awareness of what he still could claim for himself.

    The man. The Warlord Prince.

    Yes, I know who you are,Gray thought.You are Jared Blaed.

    Will you run from me again?

    Gray caught a glimpse of Cassie’s fiery hair and felt a hunger for more than sex—and knew how to get everything he wanted.

    No, I won’t run from you again. This time, I’ll take everything you can give me.

    Cassidy didn’t catch the signal, but moments after the last child left the park, the dance began.

    Clothes vanished with the first thumped step, and looking at a circle of men who wore nothing but their Jewels and their pride, she understood why the Fire Dance wasn’t witnessed by children.

    Hell’s fire, Mother Night, and may the Darkness be merciful!

    Shadows and fire. Hard bodies glistening with sweat as they performed that hot, grinding dance.

    She caught sight of Ranon and almost slid off her stool. Then she glanced at Shira and saw the same fierce glitter inthose dark eyes. The Black Widow no longer played the drum as music. The beat, thesound, became a challenge, female to male, and every move and thrust of the dance was Ranon’s answer to that challenge.

    Then she looked at the man dancing next to Ranon, looked into a familiar face that held the glittering green eyes of a stranger.

    A dangerous stranger.

    “Gray,” she whispered.

    As he performed each turn and thrust of the dance, the shadow clung like a second skin—primal, lethal, seductive. Then it became his skin, filling him with a wild heat.

    And then, as he looked into Cassie’s eyes, it became him.

    Ranon and Gray moved on with the other dancers, stomping, thrusting, whirling. The scars on Gray’s back silvered in the firelight, and Cassidy had the feeling those scars would no longer be a source of shame; they would be a testimony of courage.

    Round and round. She couldn’t take her eyes off him, following his progression around the circle even when the fire hid him from sight.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire