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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 23)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(23) by Anne Bishop
  • He nodded to indicate he understood the difference. “Then I’ll leave you Ladies to your work.”

    When he turned toward the boardinghouse, he froze for a moment before he strode across the lawn. With the exception of Talon and Theran, the rest of the First Circle was waiting for him.

    “Is the Queen all right?” Powell asked when he joined them.

    Ranon nodded.

    “Is there anything we should do?” Archerr asked. “Powell, you’ve read those Protocol books more thoroughly than the rest of us. What do you say?”

    “She gave her word that she wouldn’t do anything to hurt herself,” Ranon said quietly—and felt some of the tension ease in the other men.

    “Can we scrounge a couple of chairs and a small table from somewhere?” Shaddo asked.

    “For what?” Archerr asked.

    “I noticed flagstones under the big tree,” Shaddo said. “They’re grown over some, but I think that area used to be a place for people to sit out under the shade.”

    “Ah.” Powell smiled. “Chairs, a small table, cold drinks, and something to nibble. A subtle invitation to balance work and rest.”

    “If we start cleaning up the flagstones and hauling furniture out to the tree, won’t it be obvious what we’re doing—and why?” Archerr asked.

    “Yes,” Ranon said. “But sometimes a suggestion made by actions instead of words is more easily heard—and also less likely to offend.”


    *High Lord? High Lord!*

    “Now what?” Saetan muttered. Setting aside the book and just-warmed glass of yarbarah, he pushed out of the comfortable stuffed chair. Didn’tanyone remember that he had retired from the living Realms? “Come.”

    But it was Gray, not Vae, who walked into the room. One look at the young Warlord Prince’s face, and Saetan knew the reason for this particular visit.

    “Lady Cassidy said I need to talk to someone,” Gray said.

    I’ll bet she did,Saetan thought. Noticing the way Gray eyed the furniture and seemed ready to burst, he sent a thought to Draca, the Keep’s Seneschal. *I need some firewood in one of the courtyards now and refreshments in about thirty minutes.*

    *I thought ass much,* Draca replied. *It iss already prepared.*

    *You don’t have to sound so amused,* Saetan grumbled. Taking Gray’s arm, he said, “We will talk, but first things first.”

    Sun and shade, Saetan thought as he marched Gray out to the courtyard. Being in sunlight would have given him a vicious headache this late in the morning, but staying in the shade would give him enough time to deal with Gray before he needed to retire.

    “Watch,” Saetan said. He picked up a piece of the firewood, held it over a large, wooden half barrel, released one tiny blast of Red power through his hands—and turned a piece of firewood as big as his thigh into wood chips.

    Gray looked inside the barrel and frowned.

    “Now you do it,” Saetan said.


    He stared at the youngster until Gray picked up a piece of firewood.

    “I don’t know how to do that,” Gray said.

    Yes, you do.Placing his hands below Gray’s, he taught the boy how to destroy an object using power. Nothing Gray couldn’t do just by following instinct. But unleashing power and letting it destroy whatever was in its path wasn’t the same as unleashing it with control and purpose.

    Once Gray had the sense of how much Purple Dusk power to use in order to blast the firewood into wood chips of an acceptable size, Saetan settled in the shade and watched Gray drain away the anger that had grown to the point of needing a target.

    The barrel was half-filled with wood chips before Gray paused and said, “Why am I doing this?”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire