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  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(142) by Anne Bishop
  • “The Other also had a young Queen as a companion for a while. Many of the Warlord Princes had strong reservations about the girl’s behavior and her ability to be a good Queen. After seeing her with the Other in Grayhaven, they are of one voice—they will not tolerate her setting up a court in Dena Nehele, not even in the smallest village. They say the girl embraces too much of what was hated in the Queens who were purged by the witch storm.”

    “The Other chose such an undesirable Queen for a companion and yet Theran Grayhaven wants her to rule the rest of us?”

    “In the Rose, Ranon has found a Queen for his people. If the Other tries to take Dena Nehele, he will fight such a change.”

    “Will Jared Blaed?”

    Another silence.

    Throughout the night they talked—and sometimes they cried. At the first whisper of dawn, the Sapphire spells began to fade, so they vanished their stools, benches, and chairs. They drew the power that had fueled the witchlight and the warming spells back into themselves and prepared for the journey out of the mountains.

    As they made their way back home, they thought about the things that had been said, and they all knew one thing: the Black Widows had been right. Come spring, Dena Nehele would either embrace a hopeful beginning—or face a terrible end.

    CHAPTER 29



    A warm hand rubbed his leg just above the knee.

    “What . . . ?” Gray opened his eyes. They must have been closed because now he could see Daemon crouching in front of the chair he’d collapsed into when he walked into Daemon’s study.

    “Drink this,” Daemon said. “It’s a warm tonic. It will help put some bone back in your legs.”

    “Where did the old bone go?”

    A pause.

    Gray tried to focus on the blurry mug floating in front of him. Too much effort. He let his head fall back against the chair and stared at the ceiling. It wasn’t doing anything. He liked that. A lot.

    He was so damn tired. He had never ever, in the whole of his life, been this tired.

    How did these mendo this every day?

    “Gray, did you remember any part of the Protocol that dealt with the First Escort arranging rest periods for the Queen and her escorts?”


    “Obviously not.”

    The dry humor in Daemon’s voice told Gray he’d missed something.

    “How’s he doing?” Lucivar’s voice. He sounded amused too. “Looking at him, I guess it’s good Jaenelle doesn’t have as much energy as she used to.”

    Gray had spent one whole morning and afternoon acting as First Escort to Jaenelle Angelline. He whimpered at the thought of her having more energy.

    “It’s all right.” Daemon gave him a soothing pat.

    “Dinner is almost ready,” Lucivar said. “Apparently Mrs. Beale figured a few people would want to turn in early tonight, so dinner is being served early too.”

    “A good decision on her part,” Daemon said. “Come on, Gray. Maybe some food will help.”

    Help what? He’d have to chew it, wouldn’t he? What help was that?


    “In a minute,” he murmured. “Just give me another minute.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire