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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 24)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(24) by Anne Bishop
  • “Can you afford to replace furniture if you blast it into pieces?” Saetan asked mildly.

    “No.”

    “That’s why you’re doing this. Chopping wood and using muscle instead of Craft works too, as long as you remember to shield before you pick up the ax. There is no reason to be careless or stupid just because your mind is chewing on a problem. In this case, you’re working off some temper by changing firewood into wood chips.” Saetan paused, then added, “Which, I’m told, are an excellent mulch in a garden.”

    Gray’s mouth fell open. Then he began sputtering. “Garden? I’m making mulchfor a garden ?”

    “Ironic, isn’t it?”

    Gray huffed. He paced. He blasted a few more pieces of firewood into wood chips.

    Finally he growled, “I guess Cassie is going to have plenty of mulch for her gardens.”

    “I know several Queens who always have plenty of mulch for their gardens,” Saetan said.

    Gray stared at the barrel and sighed, the sign Saetan had been waiting for to indicate that enough of the boy’s temper was spent.

    “There’s some water on the table over there,” Saetan said. “Pour a glass for yourself. You could use it by now.”

    There was more than water on the table. There was a basin of warm water, soap, and a towel; a plate of fruit, cheese, and small sandwiches; and a ravenglass goblet filled with yarbarah.

    He watched Gray as the boy washed up before pouring a glass of water and drinking it. Strength and scars—and the temper that made a Warlord Prince a law unto himself. And a little something more.

    Gray refilled the water glass, hesitated a moment over the plate of food, then picked up the yarbarah and brought it to him.

    A simple choice, but it confirmed for him why Jared Blaed Grayhaven had made the journey from Dena Nehele to the Keep in Kaeleer in order to talk to him instead of talking to Talon or anyone else in Cassie’s court.

    Gray had come for the same reason Khardeen, Aaron, Chaosti, and Elan had come to him when they needed to talk out frustration caused by a woman who was a lover as well as a Queen. He had been the Dark Court’s honorary uncle as well as the Steward, even before the court had officially formed. Those young men had come to him because they trusted his advice. They hadn’t always liked it, but they knew they could trust it.

    Using Craft, Saetan floated the plate of food over to the bench where Gray sat, drinking water and staring at the flagstones.

    “Do you want to talk or listen?” Saetan asked.

    Gray shrugged.

    Not a surprising response. Now that the anger had dimmed, unhappiness was settling in.

    “Everything is supposed to befine now,” Gray muttered.

    “In other words, Cassidy is tired of you being angry with her.”

    “Yeah. So I’m not supposed to be angry anymore.” Gray’s hand tightened around the glass. “Well, I am angry.”

    “You’re entitled to your anger,” Saetan said quietly. “And it’s your choice how long you hold on to it. But people make mistakes. Most of the time, mistakes can be forgiven. Some mistakes do enough harm to break what two people feel for each other. Sometimes the anger doesn’t go away, and that means you need to walk away.”

    “Walk away from Cassie?” Gray looked shocked. “No!”

    “Then you have to accept that she made an error in judgment.”

    “Because she doesn’t care enough about us to take care of herself.” Saetan drank the yarbarah and let chilling silence fill the courtyard. Gray eyed him and wisely offered no other comment.

    “She cares, Prince,” Saetan said. “If you think otherwise, then you haven’t been paying attention.”

    Gray hung his head. “I know she does. I just don’t understand why she let the Craft go on so long that she hurt herself.”

    “The whip that drives Cassie was shaped before she arrived in Dena Nehele. It left scars.”

    Gray raised his head and looked at him.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire