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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 195)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(195) by Anne Bishop
  • She stared at him, and he wasn’t sure she understood anything.

    For a moment, sly calculation filled her eyes and then was gone. But he saw it, and in that moment, he saw what the other Warlord Princes had seen in her—and understood why they never would have served her.

    Then the moment was gone, and she was the young woman who had dazzled him when he’d first met her. She was lovely Kermilla, the Queen whose will could no longer be his life.

    She leaned forward, her lips curved in a sexy smile. “Why don’t we go upstairs for a proper good-bye?” She laughed a little. “That could take a day or two.”

    He wanted to yield. Mother Night, how he wanted to yield!

    Gone before sunrise—or dead by tomorrow’s sunset. That was all the time she had left if she stayed in Dena Nehele. He shook his head. “No.”

    “When am I supposed to leave that we can’t take that little time?”

    “Now.”

    Shock.

    *Julien?* Theran called on a spear thread.

    *It’s done. I’m ready,* Julien replied.

    “All your things are packed and in the Coach,” Theran said. “I’m going to take you to the Keep now.”

    “You can’t do this!” Kermilla sprang away from him.

    He threw a Green shield around the desk, mostly to protect the wish pot and book.

    Sensing the shield, she whirled toward him, her face filled with hurt and a growing rage.

    “I gave up everything for you!” she screamed. “Everything, Theran!”

    He wished he could still believe her.

    “I’m sorry.” What else was there to say? He stood up. “It’s time to go.”

    The hurt and rage disappeared. She was back to sexy pout. “Ican’t go to the Keep dressed likethis. ”

    “They won’t mind.” He walked over to her and reached out to take her arm.

    Another change of mood. Watching her eyes, he knew the moment when she considered raking his face with her nails—and knew the moment when she realized he was wearing a Green shield to prevent her from doing just that.

    Taking a firm grip on her arm, he escorted her out of his family’s home to the Coach waiting at the landing web.

    Kermilla huddled in the passenger compartment of the Coach with no one for company but that horrid Julien, who was giving her a smothering kind of attention while Theran, who turned out to have no spine or balls at all, hid with the driver in the locked front compartment.

    She had lost. Instead of ruling a Territory for a few years and being admired, she was being sent home tonothing . No court, no men, no income. Nothing. Her mother was being stingy, so if she went back to her parents’ house, her father wouldn’t give her anything. Besides, running back home was what old Freckledy had done, and she wasnever going to be like Cassidy in any way. Never.

    But she had to do something. How long would they let her stay at the Keep? Were there any interesting men who worked there? Men who could be coaxed into helping a young, pretty Queen who had been misled by a nasty Warlord Prince whose honor was, at best, questionable?

    That much decided, she settled in more comfortably, had Julien bring her a plate of food and some coffee, and spent the rest of the journey considering how to turn this loss to her advantage.

    EBON ASKAVI

    Theran breathed a quiet sigh of relief when he walked out of the Coach and stepped on the landing web in one of the Keep’s courtyards. He’d kept away from Kermilla for the whole journey, afraid that if he stayed in that small compartment with her he would give in to her demands or his own desires.

    But here at the Keep, the tug and pull of her presence faded, unable to compete with the mountain and its inhabitants.

    Better that way for both of them.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire