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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 163)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(163) by Anne Bishop
  • “With everything I am.”

    “So do I. And that is your answer, Butler. That’s why.” Sabrina sat back. “When I met with Jaenelle and some of the others at the Keep a few weeks ago, I was ready to haul Kermilla back to Dharo. It would have been an insult to Cassidy, would have implied that she wasn’t able to defend her Territory from even a small threat, but I was ready to do it. I was overruled.”

    Butler thought it over and nodded. “I understand.”

    Because he did understand, she added, “Something Jaenelle said to me in private has shaped my decisions about Kermilla and is the reason I’ll stand back and let this play out as it will.”

    He said nothing, but his eyes asked her to share. And in all fairness, if he had to spend the next couple of months in Bhak, he deserved to know.

    “Jaenelle said some people need a hard lesson in order to learn and grow—and some peopleare the hard lesson.”

    Later that evening, Daemon returned to his seat at the table where he and Jaenelle were playing an idle game of chess. He handed a note to his Lady. “This came from Sabrina.”

    “She must have had her chat with Kermilla,” Jaenelle said as she opened the note.

    Daemon stared at the chessboard. It would be so easy to fix this little problem. He had fixed a lot of these little problems when he’d lived in Terreille, despite Dorothea SaDiablo’s efforts to control him. But unless Kermilla set foot in Dhemlan, he had to leave the fixing ofthis problem to Dharo’s Queen.

    Jaenelle read the note and gave it back to him. “You’ve had more experience with women like Kermilla than I have. What do you think she’s going to do?”

    Ignoring the rules of play, he picked up his Queen and set her down behind a castle guarded by a Warlord Prince.

    “What do you think Cassidy will do?” he asked.

    Also ignoring the rules of play, Jaenelle set her Queen squarely on the edge of the battlefield, flanked by two Warlord Princes.

    They looked at each other, knowing nothing more needed to be said.

    CHAPTER 36


    Theran looked up when his study door opened, then sprang out of the chair to meet Kermilla as she rushed into the room. She flung herself into his arms, her hair smelling of cold air and fresh snow. Her psychic scent filled his senses like the most intoxicating perfume.

    “Kermilla,” he whispered as his arms tightened around her.

    “I wanted to fulfill my duties as a Queen, but I couldn’t stay away.” She covered one side of his face with kisses. “They don’t need me. There are so many Queens in Dharo, those villages don’t need me.” She pulled back enough to look at him, her eyes shining with sincerity and purpose. “But you need me. Your people need me. And I need you, Theran. I missed you so much! I want to stay with you. I want to be the Queen you need for your people. I can do it, Theran. I know I can.”

    He hugged her, his heart so full it ached. She’d come back to him. He hadn’t expected to see her again, but she’d come back.

    “We’ll build a good life for ourselves and our people,” he said. “It will take work and time, but we’ll build a good life.”

    “I know we will.”

    When she raised her left hand to touch his face, he saw the silver bracelet he’d given her for Winsol. Her wearing it now symbolized a choice, both for the woman and the Queen.

    Moved beyond words, he pressed a kiss into her palm.

    “We have a lot to do before spring,” he said, not sure enough of what she wanted from him to ask for the intimacy he craved. “I guess we should get started.”

    Smiling, she kissed him softly—then kissed him again with more heat. “Tomorrow is soon enough. Today I don’t want to think of anything but you.”

    CHAPTER 37


    Cassidy entered the kitchen, rubbing her hands. A brisk walk on a crisp morning had woken her up and made her look forward to a few hours in a warm room, even if she wasn’t looking forward to working her way through the correspondence, requests, and other paperwork that had arrived like a steady snowfall since the Winsol celebrations ended two weeks ago. Just as well that the new year began in the winter season. If she was diligent, she figured she could get through all the paperwork before spring planting.

    Birdie gave her a look. Before Cassidy could say anything, the assistant housekeeper made a shooing motion. “I got a pot of spiced tea almost ready for you, and I’ll warm up a couple of those fruit tarts Maydra baked yesterday.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire