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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 183)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(183) by Anne Bishop
  • “What happened?” she asked. “Did something happen to your cousin?” Not that she cared a finger snap about Gray since he’d been so rude to her, but Therandid care, so it was appropriate to show concern.

    “He’s lost his mind, that’s what happened,” Theran snapped. “With help, I’m sure, from that Shalador bastard Ranon.”

    That didn’t tell her anything. “Theran . . .”

    He strode to his desk, grabbed a document, and thrust it into her hands.

    She read—and felt a fury rise in her unlike anything she had felt before. “Thatbitch ! She’s taken wholeProvinces ?”

    “Everything south of the Heartsblood River is now ruled by Lady Cassidy, Queen of Shalador Nehele,” Theran said bitterly. “A third of Dena Nehele is gone because of a piece of paper!”

    “No! Get them back. Theran, you have to get those Provinces back!” A third of Dena Nehele? A third of the income that should be hers? Unthinkable! “You can’t let her do this to us. To the land and the people who need our guidance,” she amended when she noticed the uncertainty in his eyes.

    “Well, they don’t think they need anything from us.” Theran resumed his pacing.

    “You have to stop this!” Kermilla sank into a chair. Thatbitch . Should have known better than to offeranything. She’d been willing to let Freckledy rule the Shalador reserves, hadn’t she? Wasn’t much there worth having anyway, but it had been a way to show how generous she could be by letting the Queen who had been dismissed remain in her little village and be useful. Of course Cassidy, being a fine draft horse of a Queen,was useful.

    But no. The bitch got greedy andstole Provinces that should have beenhers. And that was something she couldn’t allow.

    That strange fury washed through her again. “You have to do something, Prince Grayhaven.”

    He gave her an odd look—more appreciative of this show of temper than wary of it.

    Finally he stopped pacing, rubbed his hands over his face, and sighed. “There’s nothing I can do, Kermilla. A copy of that document is already at the Keep. There is no way to deny it exists. They did this behind my back, not even giving me the chance to challenge the decision, but it’s done now.”

    “Thenchange it,” Kermilla said.

    “How? War? Do you know what another war would do to us right now?” He shook his head. “That’s not a consideration. I doubt there is a Warlord Prince on this side of the Heartsblood River who would be willing to step onto a killing field against Ranon or Talon . . . or Jared Blaed.”

    “So you’re going to give up athird of Dena Nehele toCassidy? ” Kermilla stared at him in disbelief. How could he give up her land so easily?

    “I told you, it’s already done.” Retrieving the document, which she’d dropped beside her chair, Theran set it on his desk. “No point chewing on a battle that’s already been fought and lost. Not when we have to move fast to meet the next challenge.”

    “And what would that be?” She was too upset to try her sexy pout or any other maneuver on him.

    Another odd look. “Convincing eleven other men to stand with me and form your court.”

    Why is that a challenge?

    Before she could ask him, there was a quick knock followed by the bell that signaled that dinner was ready to be served.

    Theran opened the study door and looked at her. “Shall we go?”

    Wasn’t really a question, so she walked out of the room—and swallowed the resentment that bubbled up again when he put a Green lock on the door.

    She needed to form a court, and she couldn’t do it without his help. But once she did, there would be more than one change in Dena Nehele.

    CHAPTER 41


    Within three days, most of the people in Dena Nehele, Blood and landen alike, had heard some version of the news that Lady Cassidy had formed a new Territory out of the Shalador reserves and Dena Nehele’s five southern Provinces.

    According to the Warlord Princes in the southern Provinces, Lady Cassidy had stepped up to the line Theran Grayhaven had drawn and showed her courage by forming a new Territory that would live by the Old Ways of the Blood instead of allowing herself to be forced out by the unscrupulous Queen who was Theran’s lover.

    According to the Warlord Princes in the northernmost Provinces, Lady Cassidy had abandoned them without a second thought, splitting a land that had survived the landen uprisings as well as generations of Dorothea SaDiablo’s machinations.

    The Warlord Princes who lived in the Province on the other side of the Heartsblood River—and could wave to the guards now keeping watch along the northern border of Shalador Nehele—said nothing.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire