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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 28)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(28) by Anne Bishop
  • “He is.” Cassie’s smile widened. “But he has an older brother who has decided that he will learn Protocol—or else.”

    “Ranon’s going to be at Grayhaven,” Gray pointed out. “Easy enough to forget about the books when the older brother isn’t breathing down your neck.”

    “Harder to forget the books when he’ll be tested the next time I come to visit and his ability will determine whether or not he’ll be Reyhana’s escort, since she’ll also come back to visit.”

    “Ah. Bribery.” He looked at the boardinghouse. It needed attention, but he felt good in this house, in this village. As if he belonged. “So we’ll be coming back to visit?”

    Cassie nodded. “Hopefully I’ll have a chance to meet some of the other Queens who survived the witch storm and are ruling pieces of Dena Nehele. If they don’t know about siphoning power into the land, it’s something I can teach them.Carefully. ”

    A psychic tap on the shoulder had him looking toward the house. “Ranon’s signaling. I guess it’s time for dinner.”

    “I guess it is.”

    They walked into the dining room hand in hand. Gray noticed how every man in the First Circle deliberately moved to catch his eye and offer him a nod or a smile.

    Every man except Theran.

    KAELEER

    The study door opened without a knock or any other kind of request to enter.

    Mildly annoyed at the intrusion, Daemon looked up—and annoyance gave way to warm pleasure. He pushed away from the desk and glided to the spot where Surreal waited for him.

    “Welcome back,” Daemon said, kissing her cheek.

    “It’s good to be back,” she replied, hooking her long black hair behind one delicately pointed ear. “Although I may have caused a small domestic crisis.”

    “Oh?” Daemon raised one eyebrow. Since no one had come pounding into the study to report on the crisis, it couldn’t be that bad.

    “The Dea al Mon have very . . . fluid . . . ideas about what kind of greenery belongs inside their homes. When Beale escorted me up to my suite here a few minutes ago, I got so excited about not having a tree growing in the middle of my bedroom . . . Well, I hugged him.”

    Daemon laughed. “He’ll survive. And under the circumstances, I think Mrs. Beale will forgive you.”

    “If she doesn’t, I’m standing behind you.”

    Not likely. Surreal tended to fight her own battles. A feminine body that looked delicate but had sinewy strength. A lovely face and sun-kissed skin. Black hair. Gold-green eyes. And those delicately pointed ears. She got her coloring from her Hayllian sire, but her looks came from her mother’s people and were all Dea al Mon.

    “Jaenelle is in Halaway with Sylvia, Tersa, and Rainier. Mikal is performing in a music recital, and they’re all attending,” Daemon said.

    “And you got out of attending by . . . ?”

    “Listening to Mikal’s rehearsals and figuring out twenty-seven ways of saying ‘that was good but it still needs work.’ I sent Rainier as my representative so there would be a male presence—and I promised my wife outstanding sex tonight if I could skip the festivities.”

    She laughed. “Don’t you give your wife outstanding sex every night?”

    “Yes, but outstanding is a bit more special on some nights,” he purred.

    She blinked. Swallowed hard. “Shit, I don’t even want to think about that without a tub full of cold water nearby.”

    He kept a straight face, but it took effort. He’d been worried about her. Being trapped in that damn spooky house last autumn and the time it had taken for her to recover from the injuries she had sustained—and the fact that Rainier never would fully recover from his own injuries—had left emotional wounds.

    Her time with the Dea al Mon had done her good. Physically, she looked to be in glowing health. Emotionally, he had the sense that some rough edges had been smoothed out. And there was something else about her now. Something more.

    “Do you want to sit down?” He indicated the informal side of the study. “I’ll ask Beale to bring in a tray unless you want a more substantial meal.”

    “We have something to discuss.” Surreal tipped her head to indicate the blackwood desk. “But over there. Refreshments can wait.”

    Daemon looked at the blackwood desk, then at Surreal. “All right.” He took his seat behind the desk, crossed his legs at the knees, and steepled his fingers, resting the forefingers against his chin. He watched her settle into the chair on the other side of the desk.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire