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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 187)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(187) by Anne Bishop
  • “Theran?”

    He’d left the study door open. It seemed insulting to have Kermilla scratching on the door like a servant asking for admittance. Especially today. Besides, he’d already tucked the correspondence away in a locked drawer in his desk.

    He held out the document.

    She read it, her brow furrowing.

    “What does this mean?” she asked, handing it back to him.

    “It means Cassidy holds Ferall’s leash.”

    “Well, good riddance. He was a crude man. I didn’t like him.”

    “He’s an Opal-Jeweled Warlord Prince. I’ve seen what he’s done on a killing field. He’s no Lucivar Yaslana, but even so he was feared—and with good reason.”

    “Oh.”

    No real comprehension. He heard that truth in her voice, saw it in her eyes. “And it means that Cassidy now rules half of what used to be Dena Nehele.”

    Thatshe understood, and those pretty blue eyes blazed with anger.

    “You have to stop this, Theran. You have to get the court formed andstop this. ”

    Hadn’t he been trying for months to introduce her to the other Warlord Princes and give her a chance to shine? It wasn’t his fault she’d pissed off Ferall and some of the others. But she kept snapping at him because her position was still so tenuous, or she sulked over his tight control of the purse, or pouted over some real—or imagined—insult from Julien. Or wanted sex, which was becoming less and less appealing because there seemed to be less and less heart in the act.

    Sometimes he wanted to shout at her to stop being a stupid, selfish girl and start being the Queen he knew she could be.

    And yet, despite his growing frustration and anger with her, she still felt soright, and heknew if she could have a little more time to mature, shewould be the Queen Dena Nehele so desperately needed.

    She was right about one thing: every day that slipped away without a court forming around her made Dena Nehele more vulnerable—and made Cassidy, and her court, look better.

    Over the next few days, Theran felt like a man bleeding to death from a wound he couldn’t find.

    Thinking that any court was better than no court, and figuring Kermilla wouldn’t object since she considered these Blood acceptable companions socially, he’d gone to visit the aristo families in Grayhaven—and discovered they hadall left town on business of one kind or another. The servants couldn’t tell him where the families had gone, couldn’t tell him when they would return.

    The message was clear enough: The men were afraid he would require them to serve in Kermilla’s court, so they had removed themselves from his reach.

    When he went to talk to the Warlord Princes living in his own Province, they stared at him with bleak eyes and offered nothing.

    And with each day and each failure, Kermilla became shriller and more demanding.

    He sent another summons to the Warlord Princes in the remaining Provinces, demanding that they present themselves to Kermilla for consideration in her court.

    This time, no one answered.

    CHAPTER 44

    TERREILLE

    Ignoring her yip of protest, Gray bundled Cassidy into her winter coat and hustled her to the kitchen door.

    “Put your boots on,” he said. “There’s something I want to show you.”

    Well, she needed a break from the paperwork anyway, and he looked like he could be as stubborn as a Sceltie about showing her whatever this was.

    When they were outside, Cassidy lifted her face to the sun. “Not one word about my needing a hat. Not today when the air has that first scent of spring.”

    “Wasn’t going to say a thing.” Taking her hand, he led her to the sitting area under the tree.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire