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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 135)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(135) by Anne Bishop
  • “You okay?” Cassie murmured when he slipped back into bed.

    “I’m fine.” He wrapped an arm around her and kissed the sweet spot on her neck. “Go back to sleep, love. It’s early yet.”

    She dropped back into sleep instantly, but he didn’t. He waited until there was enough daylight; then he went back to his room and stared at the globe Tersa had given him.

    The dragon, the symbol of himself as a whole man, stared back at him.

    CHAPTER 27

    TERREILLE

    Julien stood in the breakfast room doorway. “There is a man digging in the garden. He says he’s your cousin.”

    Theran set his coffee cup down, wiped his mouth with a napkin, and pushed away from the table. “Gray’s here?”

    Gray. Digging in the garden. Not coming near the house.

    Mother Night.

    He glanced at Kermilla and suppressed a sigh. This morning she wasn’t pleased with anyone who had a cock. Jhorma hadn’t returned. Neither had Bardoc. And the escorts who should have arrived for their rotation of service were still in Dharo.

    She’d accused him of not sending her letters to her court, claiming he was jealous of her men. That was true, up to a point. He craved her in a way he’d never craved anything else. She was a fever in his blood, and even when she did things that made him uneasy or they argued about money, heknew the problems were simply because she was a young, inexperienced Queen—and because she came from a family who had wealth he couldn’t imagine—and he still wanted to shape things to meet her wishes and will as much as he could.

    So, yes, he was jealous. But he was practical enough to recognize that having a couple of her First Circle here to help entertain her would have worked to his advantage.

    All in all, this wasn’t a good day to ask her to talk to Gray.

    “I’d better go out and see him,” he said.

    “Your cousin is the gardener, isn’t he?” Kermilla spread jam over her toast in a fussy manner and didn’t look at him. “It’s good he’s come back. The flower beds have been looking very weedy and unkempt lately. It gives visitors a bad impression.”

    Theran saw Julien’s face tighten. The butler worked in the garden as a way to relax and was doing what he could to keep things tidy. But the grounds weren’t part of Julien’s duties, and Kermilla preferred to enjoy the results of someone else’s labor—and complained when the results didn’t meet her expectations.

    “Julien, bring another pot of coffee,” Kermilla said, not looking at either man as she continued to spread the jam on the toast. “And tell the cook to pay attention to what she’s doing this time. This last pot tasted like wash water.”

    Julien turned and walked away. Theran followed him.

    “Julien?” Kermilla yelled. “Did you hear me?”

    Julien stopped and turned to Theran. There was a queer look in the butler’s eyes. “I’m not going back in that room. I have other duties.”

    “What are you doing this morning?” Theran asked.

    Julien’s mouth curved in an unnerving smile. “I’m sharpening the cook’s knives.”

    Theran hurried out to the garden. He hadn’t heard from Gray since Cassidy ran away to Eyota. Talon had written to him a couple of times early on, Master of the Guard to First Escort, and news filtered through from some of the Warlord Princes he knew, but he hadn’t heard from Gray.

    A large woven basket sat at the edge of the Queen’s flower bed. The bottom of it was filled with bulbs.

    “Gray?”

    Gray looked over and smiled at him. “Morning.” He brushed the dirt off two more bulbs and put them in the basket. Then he pushed the spade’s head into the soil to keep the handle upright. “This bed could use some water. So could the rest of them. I guess you haven’t had rain up here for the past few days.”

    “No, we haven’t.” Theran’s heart lightened. “I’m glad to have you back—and not just for the gardens.”

    Gray gave him a puzzled look and shook his head, still smiling. “I’m not staying. I just came by to pick up some of the bulbs I got for Cassie. Figured I’d divide them. That will leave this bed looking a little sparse next spring, but it will fill in.”

    “You came back to Grayhaven forbulbs ?”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire