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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 137)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(137) by Anne Bishop
  • “No,” Gray said. “Cassieis the Queen.”

    “One-year contract, Gray. Then she’s gone.”

    “No. She’s settled in. She’s chosen to rule.”

    “I’m not serving a minute beyond my contract, and when I leave, Cassidy’s court will break and re-form around Kermilla as the new Queen.”

    Gray laughed. “You really think men like Archerr and Shaddo are going to serve Kermilla? You thinkRanon is going to serve someone like her?”

    “They’ll serve if I say they’ll serve. Or have you immersed yourself so much in that shitty little Shalador slum that you’ve forgotten who I am?”

    He regretted saying the words the moment he gave them voice—and regretted them even more when Gray’s eyes filled with something frigid and bitter.

    “How could I forget who you are?” Gray said. “You’re Grayhaven. You’re the last of the line, the one who needed to be protected and defended at any cost. For what, Theran? So you can play the pony now forher ? If that’s what you wanted, you should have come down from the mountains years ago and given yourself to the Queens who were here. They were no different than her, and they would have used you just fine. If you don’t believe me, I’ll take off my shirt and show you my back. I guess you’ve forgotten what it looks like.” He paused. “I paid a high price to protect you.”

    “And now you regret it?”

    “Yes, I do. Today, I do. Today, I wish I’d told you to get your own damn box of sweets if you wanted them that much. But you wanted the box of sweets from the bakery and the sweets between that girl’s thighs—and you got them both. What did I get? Two years of pain and fear and nightmares about things you will never know, and ten years beyond that of being frozen in a shroud of boyhood. And for what, Theran? For what?”

    Theran took a step back.

    “Because of you, I’m less than what I could have been, and I have to live with that. Every day, I have to live with that.”

    The air between them crackled.

    “You’re not thinking this through, Gray. You’re not seeing this clearly.”

    “Oh, but I am, Prince Grayhaven. I am seeing things quite clearly. You’re the one who wants to ignore what you’ve done and pretend someone else is to blame.”

    “And what have I done?”

    “You drew the line, and now you don’t want to admit that we’re standing on opposite sides. If you make Kermilla the Queen, I will fight her with everything I am—because I would rather die than live one day under her hand.” Gray flung out his right hand, aiming for the flower bed. All the plants and bulbs exploded out of the ground and hung in the air for a moment. The bulbs vanished; the plants fell back into the flower bed.

    A moment later, the basket vanished too.

    “I changed my mind,” Gray said. “I’m taking all the bulbs I planted for Cassie. If your bitch wants a spring garden, she can plant one herself.” He walked away, heading around the house to reach the landing web beyond the gates.

    “Gray!” Theran yelled.

    Gray stopped and turned. “My name is Jared Blaed.”

    EBON ASKAVI

    Saetan opened the Gate and stepped through to the Keep in Terreille.

    He was going to have to talk to Gray about the timing of these unscheduled visits. The boy had a knack for catching him at the end of his waking hours.

    He opened the door of the sitting room, then stayed in the doorway, assessing the changes in the man who furiously paced the length of the room.

    “Prince,” he said as he stepped into the room and closed the door.

    Gray rushed toward him, those green eyes filled with a fury that must have been building every minute of the journey here.

    “You have to teach me how to be a Consort,” Gray said.

    “Boyo, I don’t have to teach you anything,” Saetan replied mildly.

    “Theran’s going to break the court,” Gray snapped. “He’s planning to push Cassie out come spring and put that bitch Kermilla in her place.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire