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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 26)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(26) by Anne Bishop
  • “He didn’t,” Ranon said. “He took Vae with him.”

    As if speaking the name had conjured the dog, Vae rounded the corner of the boardinghouse and bounded over to them.

    *Where is Cassie?* Vae asked. *Gray is looking for her.*

    “And I’m looking for Gray,” Talon growled.

    Vae’s tail stopped moving midwag. She spun around to face the way she had come. *Gray? Gray! Talon is looking for you!* Then she trotted off as if she had no more time for humans.

    Gray rounded the corner, looking more relaxed than he had since Cassidy’s collapse. Maybe hehad gone to that house for sex.

    Now that he knew Gray was safe, worry gave way to temper. Theran shouted, “Where in the name of Hell have you been?”

    Gray didn’t flinch, just gave him a steely look before focusing on Talon.

    “We’ve been worried about you, boy,” Talon said with strained control. “Where have you been?”

    “I needed to talk to someone about Cassie,” Gray said. “So I went to the Keep to talk to Uncle Saetan.”

    Ranon’s eyes widened, but he said nothing.

    The words felt like icy claws ripping up Theran’s spine. Uncle Saetan?Uncle Saetan?

    He glanced at Talon, not sure how to read the older man’s expression. “I see,” Talon said quietly. “It would have been courteous to tell someone where you were going. These are still uneasy times. A man shouldn’t go off alone without leaving a direction to follow.”

    “In case you need to search,” Gray said just as quietly.

    Talon nodded.

    “My apologies, sir. I was angry and didn’t think of that.”

    “You were all right riding the Winds?” Talon asked.

    Gray nodded. “I asked Vae to go with me and show me which radial and tether lines to ride on the Purple Dusk Wind in order to reach the Keep from here.”

    “That’s good.”

    Good? Theran stared at Talon. What was going on? Sure, they had to be careful. A few harsh words was all it took to have Gray whimpering in a corner, but Talon should be ripping his ass for all the hours the court had spent scrambling to find Gray while concealing his disappearance from Cassidy. Instead, Talon was almost respectful and that wasn’t right. Hell’s fire, Talon hadraised the two of them, taught them, protected them.

    Ranon turned his head, everything about the man on alert for a moment before he relaxed. “Cassidy, Shira, and Reyhana are back from their walk.”

    “Please ask Lady Shira to convey my request for an audience with the Queen,” Gray said.

    Already feeling off balance, Theran rocked back on his heels and wondered if the man standing in front of them really was his cousin Gray. A good illusion spell could fool the eye. Hell’s fire, they had lost enough men to that kind of trickery—which should have proved that the twisted Queens who were allied with Dorothea SaDiablo had Black Widows serving in their courts.

    “Lady Cassidy will meet you under the tree,” Ranon said a moment later.

    Gray looked at the tree and smiled. “You cleaned up that sitting area.” Ranon shrugged. “It was a way to stay close but not underfoot.” Gray shifted, as if he was about to walk away. Then he looked at Talon. “I’m sorry I worried you and the rest of the court.”

    “Most times it’s the Steward or the Master of the Guard who is informed, but anyone in the First Circle would do,” Talon said.

    “Yes, sir.” Gray walked over to the tree to wait for Cassidy.

    All three men watched him. Then Talon rubbed his hands over his face. “Mother Night.”

    Turning his back on Gray and struggling to keep his voice low, Theran fixed his anger on Talon. “We spent half the day searching this village for him, and you’repolite when he comes strolling back? Why?”

    “Two words,” Talon replied. “ ‘Uncle Saetan.’ ”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire