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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 175)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(175) by Anne Bishop
  • Dryden and Vae escorted him to the visitors’ parlor. Dryden left. Vae stood guard—until Gray walked into the room.

    How could a man change so much in a few months?Theran wondered. He recognized the face because it was so similar to his own. But he didn’t recognize the look in those green eyes—or that blend of power and assurance that was now part of Gray’s psychic scent.

    “Cassie is not available,” Gray said. “Is there something I can do for you?”

    It was the coldness in that voice that jabbed his temper. He called in the document and held it up. “Can you explain this?”

    Gray flicked a glance at the paper. “You don’t want to be First Escort. I do. You don’t want to serve Cassie. I do.”

    Theran’s jaw dropped. “You? Hell’s fire, Gray. Do you know what you’ve done?”

    “Yes, I do.”

    Kermilla will never forgive him.“You know Kermilla is going to become Queen in a couple of months. Signing on to serve Cassidy now is a slap in the face. She’ll never consider you for any kind of position in her court.”

    “And I wouldn’t consider taking one,” Gray replied.

    “Do you know what’s required of a man to stand as First Escort? Gray, you can’t do this.”

    “I’ve spent the past few months training to be a First Escort, and I’m qualified to serve Queen and court in that position. What kind of training do you have, Theran?”


    “I don’t see why you’re acting so pissy about this,” Gray said. “You’re up in Grayhaven. We’re down here. You haven’t fulfilled your duties to Queen or court for months now.”

    “I wasn’t dancing to Cassidy’s tune, no, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working for the good of Dena Nehele.”

    “That’s a matter of opinion.”

    Stung past insult, Theran vanished the document and took a step back. Gray had made his choice, and may the Darkness have mercy on him.

    “Is your position in the court official yet?” Theran asked.

    Gray nodded. “I signed the contract this morning.”

    Mother Night.

    “Well, I guess I’m free to—”

    “You still have a contract with this court,” Gray said. “You’re still in the First Circle.”

    “Under the circumstances, I think it’s best if I resign.”

    “You rule the town of Grayhaven on the Queen’s behalf. If you ask to be dismissed from the court and Cassidy grants the request, you not only give up your place in the court, you also give up the town and its tithes.”

    Theran felt the blood drain out of his head. The only reason Kermilla was allowed to stay anywhere in Dena Nehele was that he ruled Grayhaven. If he lost the town, she could be driven out—or killed. He couldn’t risk that. Not when Cassidy’s contract would end in a couple of months, freeing him from these chains.

    “You’re turning into a bastard, Gray.”

    Gray smiled—and Theran saw the man who was comfortable around Daemon Sadi and Lucivar Yaslana—and the High Lord of Hell. Sadi couldn’t have played this hand any better.

    “I guess I should call you Jared Blaed from now on,” Theran said.

    “I guess you should.”

    When he walked out of the boardinghouse, the Scelties were gone. So were Archerr and Shaddo. But Talon stood at the edge of the street, waiting for him.

    “I’ll walk you back to the landing web,” Talon said.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire