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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 178)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(178) by Anne Bishop
  • “He’ll be pissed off, and I doubt he’ll be the best of neighbors, but I don’t think he’s enough of a fool to start a war. Not with Talon backing you.” But her question made him think of the reason they were risking war to begin with. “What about Kermilla? How is she going to respond?”

    He looked into Cassidy’s eyes and knew the answer—just as he knew the reason before she said it.

    “I think Kermilla is going to be very unhappy about losing a third of the tithes, and I don’t think she’ll let go of that income without a fight.”

    Easy enough to take that stand when the bitch wasn’t going to be the one standing on the killing fields.

    Cassidy hooked her arm through his and headed back to the house. “Let’s save that worry for another day and focus on today’s worry.”

    “What’s that?” he asked.

    “Whether or not there’s anything besides porridge left for breakfast.”

    He laughed as he opened the kitchen door and they both hurried into the warmth.

    Don’t fail until you fail.

    She didn’t want to fail the court or the people. And they weren’t about to fail her.

    EBON ASKAVI

    Prince Ranon and Prince Jared Blaed arrived at the Keep thirty minutes after sunset. That was just enough time for a man to wake up, clean up, and drink a glass of yarbarah. In Saetan’s experience, young men didn’t show up with that kind of precision in order to make a casual request. The fact that Jaenelle would have considered those two as Second Circle gave him even more reason to pay attention to the timing.

    “Gentlemen,” Saetan said as they crossed the sitting room and stopped at the precise distance that was deemed courteous according to Protocol and gave him the precise bows owed his rank.

    All that precision gave him a headache.

    “High Lord,” Gray said.

    When Gray hesitated, Saetan supplied the rest. “You have something you want to discuss, but it needs to be in confidence.”

    “Yes,” Gray said.

    “Will my keeping this confidence put anyone I care about at risk?”

    A hesitation before Ranon said, “No one in Kaeleer.”

    Interesting answer. “Very well.”

    As soon as they had that much assurance from him, they both relaxed.

    Gray called in a folded paper and held it out. “We’d like you to read this and tell us what we should fix. Powell said this is a copy, so you can mark it up if you want to.”

    Saetan called in his half-moon glasses, unfolded the paper, and read the carefully written words.

    Mother Night. These children had balls.

    “Are you trying to start a war or avoid one?” he asked.

    “Avoid one,” they replied.

    Thank the Darkness for that. “Then there are a few phrases that should be reworded.”

    As he turned toward a chair where he could work, he felt another dark presence in the Keep. Ranon and Gray felt it too and knew who was approaching the room. Since neither of them asked him to do anything to keep this meeting private, he settled into the chair, called in a lap desk and a pen, and began rereading the document that would break a Territory.

    Lucivar walked into the room. A slashing glance at Gray and Ranon, an assessing look at him, and his Eyrien son had seen enough to know this wasn’t a battlefield.

    Which didn’t mean Lucivar wouldn’t turn it into one if he decided there was a reason.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire