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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 174)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(174) by Anne Bishop
  • James Weaver came out of one of the workshops and raised a hand in greeting as they dismounted.

    “We were all putting away our tools and having a glass of ale as an end to the day. Would you join us? Or would you prefer something hot?”

    “Ale would be fine,” Ranon replied. They tied their horses to a post and followed James into one of the workshops. Potter and Tanner were there. So was James’s son, Rand, but the youngster got some signal from his father and excused himself.

    Small glasses of ale were poured. Gray wondered if it was the cost of the ale that prevented them from enjoying a larger glass. Then he realized this wasn’t about drinking. This was a ritual among them that acknowledged a day’s work—and the freedom to work without fear.

    “There is something we felt you need to know,” Gray said. He explained the court’s decision to break from Dena Nehele and form a new Territory, just as he’d been explaining it all day—and would explain it when he and Ranon met the Warlord Princes living in the five southern Provinces.

    James looked at Potter and Tanner, then rubbed the back of his neck. “We thank you for the courtesy of telling us.”

    Ranon studied the men. “You already knew.”

    “In a way,” Potter said. “But we appreciate you translating it into human.”

    Gray looked at Ranon. Ranon looked at Gray. Together they said, “Human?”

    James said, “The message we got earlier today was ‘We don’t like the other Queen. We’re keeping Cassie. So her males are going to be busy for a while marking her territory.’ ”

    “Marking—” Ranon choked. Then he blushed.

    Potter nodded. “Of course, the boys wanted to know what that meant, so Duffy demonstrated and . . .”

    Gray hunched his shoulders and groaned. “How many women are mad at us?”

    James grinned. “As long as you don’t pee on any of the houses, I think you’ll be all right.”

    Theran pounded on the boardinghouse’s front door. Damn dogs were going to stir up the whole damn village before someone opened the damn door. How in the name of Hell could an animal that small make a noise that loud?

    He couldn’t see them, but he recognized the psychic scents of Archerr and Shaddo. And he felt Talon’s presence.

    And he felt insulted that he’d been “escorted” here by a guard.

    Before he could bang on the door again—or break it down—it opened.

    “Prince Theran,” Dryden said too courteously to be courteous.

    “I want to see Cassidy.”

    “If you will wait here, I will see if the Lady is at home.”

    “Don’t give me that crap,” Theran snapped, bracing a hand against the door. “She’ll see me, and she’ll see me now.”

    Dryden’s eyes blazed with anger, but his face and voice retained the butler poise. “I will see—”

    *Theran? Theran! You will wait in the visitors’ parlor and be polite.*

    Theran shoved at the door. “Shut up, Vae.”

    She snarled at him. A moment later, someone else snarled. Behind him.

    Purple Dusk against Green? He could take her down. But he was having trouble getting a sense of the Sceltie behind him.

    If it was a Sceltie behind him.

    The memory of those two big cats flashed through his mind.

    “Fine,” he said through gritted teeth. “I’ll wait and be polite.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire