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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 196)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(196) by Anne Bishop
  • He held out his left hand to her as she left the Coach. She ignored it and marched to the door. She rang the bell before he could join her, then stood there with her arms crossed and one foot tapping.

    The man who opened the door had black eyes, black hair with a prominent widow’s peak,white skin, and sensuous bloodred lips. Geoffrey, the Keep’s historian/librarian.

    “Lady,” he said. “Prince Grayhaven.”

    “I’m returning to Kaeleer,” Kermilla said, raising her chin. “Please summon whoever opens the Gate.”

    Those black eyes glittered queerly. “I’ll ask the Seneschal if the Gate is available.”

    “How can itnot be available?” Kermilla demanded.

    “We don’t let everyone into the Shadow Realm. However, if you wanted to go to Hell, that could be arranged easily.”

    “Geoffrey, why don’t I handle this?”

    Theran trembled at the sound of the High Lord’s voice.Never thought I’d be glad to see him.

    “Why?” Geoffrey asked as Saetan joined them.

    “Because for some reason, you’re even more pissed off with this Lady than my sons are, and I wouldn’t have thought that possible.”

    “Maybe it’s because I read history—and have a long memory,” Geoffrey replied too softly.

    “I, too, read history and have a long memory,” Saetan replied just as softly. “But the Queen commands, Geoffrey. The Queen commands.”

    Tension hummed between the two men as black eyes stared into gold.

    Then the tension eased and Geoffrey smiled. “In order for our guests to remain safe, she tossed your boys out of the Keep, didn’t she?”

    “She did. It was quite entertaining—and exciting—to watch.”

    Geoffrey laughed. “In that case, High Lord, I will yield and leave our guests in your care.” As he turned to leave, he added, “In whichever Realm you care to have them.”

    Kermilla looked like she was ready to faint, so Theran cupped a hand under one elbow to offer a little warmth and support. It was damn cold up in the mountains, but when he obeyed Saetan’s subtle gesture and led Kermilla into the Keep, the outside cold couldn’t compete with the freezing remnants of temper on the other side of the door.

    Kermilla linked an arm through his and held on as Saetan led them deeper and higher into the mountain. When they reached the room that held the Gate, Theran gently unhooked her arm from his.

    She looked at him. “Aren’t you coming with me?”

    “No.” He smiled sadly. “This is as far as I go.” As far as he dared to go. “May the Darkness embrace you, Kermilla. I’ll never forget you.”Or stop loving you.

    He stepped back, stepped out of reach.

    Saetan opened the door.

    *High Lord?* Theran said.

    “Why don’t you go in?” Saetan told Kermilla. “I’ll join you in a moment.”

    She walked inside the room. Saetan closed the door and looked at him, one eyebrow raised.

    Theran called in a package that was carefully wrapped in paper and sealed with wax. He held it out and waited for Saetan to take it.

    “Four hundred gold marks,” Theran said. “I’d like Kermilla to have it. That’s a year’s income for me, and she’ll probably spend it in a week, but I’d like her to have it.”

    “Why didn’t you give it to her yourself?” Saetan asked.

    I didn’t want her to think it was a payment of some kind—or that she would get any more.“It’s complicated.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire