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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 182)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(182) by Anne Bishop
  • “It’s clear enough,” Talon replied.

    “It’s not clear,” Theran snapped. “Nothing is clear. Youbroke Dena Nehele. You broke the land that survived generations of twisted Queens and Dorothea SaDiablo’s hatred for the sake of a bitch who should be leaving instead of trying to take control.”

    “I could say the same about you. And that’s the last time you get to call my Queen a bitch without blood being shed.”

    Sick, scared, and furious, Theran clenched his teeth to avoid saying anything more. Talonwould shed blood. Even his.

    “You can’t do this. She took a third of the Territory.”

    “Cassidy didn’t take anything. The Provinces were free to make their choice.”

    “And what price would they pay if they didn’t make the choice Lady Cassidy wanted?” Theran asked bitterly.

    “You’re trying to dress Cassidy in another woman’s temper,” Talon said.

    “You’re asking questions that don’t fit her as a woman or a Queen, so maybe you’re really wondering about someone else.”

    Theran rocked back on his heels, not sure how to answer that—and sure hedidn’t want to answer that. “Talon, breaking Dena Nehele isn’t the answer.”

    “Is Cassidy going to be the Queen of Dena Nehele two months from now?”

    “No, she is not!”

    “Then this is the only answer that gives both sides a choice besides war.”

    “Choice.” The word hooked its claws into him and left his heart bleeding. “You call this a choice? Kermilla will never accept this.”

    “She isn’t the Queen yet.”

    “She’s going to be.”

    “But she isn’t the Queen yet. And I guess, right now, that makes you the unofficial ruler of Dena Nehele. So it’s up to you to accept this.”

    Theran staggered back a step. No Queen. No female hand to guide them once it became known that Cassidy had turned away from the Provinces north of the Heartsblood River.

    No Queen again. At least, not until Kermilla formed a court.

    “I guess I’m no longer part of Cassidy’s court,” Theran said.

    “You don’t serve the Queen of Shalador Nehele, so, no, you’re no longer part of the court.”

    So much sadness in Talon’s eyes.

    “Talon . . . are you really going to stand against me?”

    “Let us go, Theran. We don’t want a war, but if you send men against us or our Queen, we will fight. And I tell you now, boy, if we meet on a killing field I will do everything I can to destroy you.”

    Theran’s eyes stung. He blinked away the tears. “That’s it then.”

    “Yes, that’s it.” Talon walked to the study door and opened it. He stopped and looked over his shoulder. “May the Darkness embrace you, Theran.”

    Theran said nothing until Talon left the room. Then he whispered, “And you, Talon. And you.”

    Kermilla tapped on the study door and swallowed her resentment—again—about being locked out of Theran’s study. That would change once she was the Queen. Yes, that would certainly change. But for now, she couldn’t demand to know what had happened between Theran and that awful Prince Talon. Just looking at the man’s maimed hand and the way he walked because of the missing part of his right foot made her shudder. At least she wouldn’t have to considerhim for her court, no matter how Theran felt about him.

    She knocked on the door, louder this time. And this time it opened.

    When she walked in, Theran was pacing, the restless movement of a man incapable of remaining still. And the look on his face . . .

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire