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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 165)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(165) by Anne Bishop
  • How could he not know what was wrong?

    She pulled away from him before he could touch her. “I’m not feeling well.”

    He studied her, and she saw nothing in his eyes except concern. “You’ve been working steadily all morning,” he finally said. “Why don’t you rest for a while?”

    She pushed away from the desk. She had to get away from him before she got sick. “I’ll do that. I’ll go up to my room and rest for a while. Please ask Reyhana to open the invitations and review the calendar. It will be good practice for her.” She hesitated, then added, “I don’t want to be disturbed.”

    “Shall I have Birdie or Frannie bring up a tray? Or ask Lady Shira to make up a healing brew?”

    She shook her head. “I’m not hungry, and there’s no need to bother Shira about this.” What ailed her was something the Black Widow Healer couldn’t fix.

    She left her office, aware that Powell followed her to the door and watched her.

    Vae followed her all the way up to her room.

    “I want to be alone, Vae.”

    *No. You are upset, and your smells are strange.*

    “Leave me alone.”

    *No.* Vae jumped up on Cassidy’s bed and growled a warning.

    Cassidy studied the Sceltie’s Purple Dusk Jewel. Outranked and out-toothed.

    *Why are you upset?*

    It bubbled out, hot and bitter. “I’m going to lose this court. I’ve given the best that I have, but in two months, I’ll be replaced by another Queen.” Again.

    *You are being foolish.*

    “No, I’m not. Kermilla took my court before. She’ll do it again.”

    Vae’s shock hit her as hard as a blow.

    *You will not defend your males? You will not defend the other humans who belong to you?*

    “Vae . . .”

    Vae snarled. *When a Sceltie is given a flock to protect, she protects it. When a bad dog tries to take her flock, a Sceltie doesn’t tuck her tail between her legs and run away whining. A Sceltiefights. ”

    “Well, I’m not a Sceltie!”

    *No, you are only human, but you are a Queen. You have shown your teeth before. Why won’t you show them now and drive the bad Queen away? Your males would fight for you. Why won’t you fight for them?*

    “Iwould fight for them, with my last breath and beyond,” Cassidy shouted. “But they don’t . . .”

    She stopped. Closed her eyes. Thought about Powell’s reaction to Kermilla’s letter.

    Almost dismissive. A potential problem the men had been aware of, so it hadn’t come as a surprise, but it was nothing important enough to summon the court immediately.

    Kermilla’s words felt like a knife twisting in her gut, but Vae’s words hurt more.Was she giving up on this court because her former court had walked away?Was she giving up without even asking what her First Circle wanted?Was she running away, whining, instead of fighting for what belonged to her?

    Would a Sceltie give up her flock to another dog when she knew the dog would hurt what she’d promised to protect?

    “Do Scelties ever get scared?”

    *We get scared. But we still fight.*

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire