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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 194)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(194) by Anne Bishop
  • Now all he had to do was fulfill his part of the bargain before time ran out.

    A handful of outfits were strewn on her bed and the chairs, souring Kermilla’s mood as the inadequacy of her wardrobe became more and more clear. But she had to findsomething before . . .

    She glanced out one of her bedroom windows, then stopped and stared at the Warlord Princes walking down the long drive toward the landing web just beyond the estate’s double gates.

    They were leaving? Why were theyleaving ?

    She pulled on a simple housedress, stuffed her feet into soft house shoes, grabbed a shawl, and rushed downstairs to find Theran.

    Theran went into his study and gave Julien a psychic tap on the shoulder. Within a minute the butler knocked on the door.

    “Lady Kermilla and I have something to discuss,” Theran said. “While she is here with me, you and Hanna need to move fast.”

    After receiving his instructions, Julien hurried out of the room. Moments later, Kermilla rushed in.

    “They left!” she said. “Why did they leave without seeing me?”

    “Sit down, Kermilla.” Theran waved her toward a chair. “I have to explain some things.”

    “What things?” She sat on the edge of the stuffed chair.

    He nudged the footstool back and sat down. He didn’t touch her. He didn’t want her to realize he had a skintight Green shield protecting his skin, his face . . . his eyes. He felt foolish—and deceitful—doing that with her, but he couldn’t ignore the warnings the other men had given him about how previous Queens had reacted to disappointment.

    He sighed. “I love you, Kermilla. Everything I am wants to surrender to you. If my life was the only one at stake, I would give it to you. But I’m the last of the Grayhaven line, and I have a duty to the land and the people of Dena Nehele, and what Dena Nehele needs is more important than what I want for myself as a man or a Warlord Prince.”

    “What does that have to do with the other Warlord Princes leaving before I could choose my court?”

    “There isn’t going to be a court.”

    Kermilla rolled her eyes. “I can’t rule Dena Nehele without a formal court.”

    “I know. I’m sorry. I am so very sorry.”

    It took her a moment, but when she realized what he was saying she drew back a little.

    “There isn’t going to be a court,” Theran said quietly, just to make sure she understood. “You aren’t going to rule Dena Nehele.”

    “Why?” she wailed. “Is it because you’re mad at me for breaking that old pot?”

    “In a way, it is about the wish pot. Not because you broke it, but because all you see is an old pot that has no value to you. And what that tells me is that in all the months you’ve been here, you haven’t listened to anything I said about Dena Nehele. You’ve haven’t listened to anything I said about the people or our history or what we need from a Queen.”

    “Well, I don’t need the Warlord Princes,” Kermilla said. “I’ll just fill a First Circle with Warlords and—”

    “If you try to form a court here, the Warlord Princes will kill you,” Theran said harshly.

    The color drained from her face. “Theythreatened me?”

    “When one Warlord Prince makes that kind of statement, it’s a threat. When twenty-seven of them say that, it’s a declaration of war.”

    She swayed, and he wondered if she was going to be sick.

    “Who’s going to rule Dena Nehele?”

    “It doesn’t matter. What matters is it can’t be you. And that’s why you have to leave.”Before they come back to kill you. He could feel his heart tearing into pieces.

    “Leave?” She looked so young and so lost . . . and so lovely. “Why can’t I stay with you? You love me. You said so!”

    “You said it yourself the other day,” he replied gently. “You’re a Queen. If you stayed, you would want to rule. As much as I would want that for you, I would have to oppose you for the good of the people. We would destroy each other, Kermilla. And we would destroy what was left of Dena Nehele in the process.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire