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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 30)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(30) by Anne Bishop
  • “To anyone else? No, he never would,” Surreal agreed. “Would he refuse to answer any question from you?” She shook her head. “That’s like thinking that the firm who handles the family’s investments wouldn’t answer a question from Uncle Saetan about any member of this family.”

    True, but he wasn’t going to acknowledge it out loud.

    “So you know I can afford my own residence,” Surreal said. “Besides, you’re going to pay me an outrageously generous salary.”

    “I am?”

    “You are.”

    They smiled at each other. Then Daemon’s smile faded. “You’ve told me what I’m going to get out of this—and I’m grateful. What do you get out of this arrangement besides an outrageously generous salary?”

    Her smile faded too. “I miss Rainier,” she said.

    “Surreal . . .”

    She laughed quietly. “Relax. I know he’d rather flirt with you than with me, except he doesn’t have a death wish. But he’s a friend unlike any other. And love isn’t always about sex. Talking to Karla about the family she formed with her adopted daughter and her Master of the Guard helped me see that. Rainier matters to me, Daemon.”

    “If you set up your own residence, you’ll hire servants?” Daemon asked.

    She snorted. “Damn right I’ll hire servants. I don’t want to do the cooking and cleaning by myself.”

    “Good. Then Mrs. Beale and Helene won’t be complaining about you the way they complain about him.”

    “Why are they complaining about Rainier?”

    “Because he keeps a room at one of the inns in the village instead of having a suite here at the Hall. Which means he isn’t being looked after properly. They won’t go so far as to actually criticize the cook or housekeeper at the inn since these are women they socialize with; they simply insist that it is inappropriate for the secretary of the Warlord Prince of Dhemlan to be making do with a room at an inn instead of having a proper residence and servants to look after him.”

    “Does he need looking after?”

    He heard the concern in her voice and made a rude noise. “No more than you do, but real need isnever the point of these conversations.”

    Her expression changed from concern to cautious delight. “Just how often do you get pinned to the wall because Rainier obstinately refuses to recognize this particular duty?”

    “Weekly. So if you’re serious about being my second-in-command, you’re shouldering this particular nuisance.”

    Laughing, she rose and stepped up to the desk. “Done.” Then she pressed her hands on the blackwood and leaned toward him, that fierce and feralsomething back in her eyes.

    “One question. Does Lucivar have to worry about Falonar coming up behind him in any way?”

    Ice ran in his blood, and he knew his gold eyes had turned glazed and sleepy. No one else had dared ask that question. Not even Lucivar. A few weeks ago, before she spent time with the Dea al Mon, Surreal wouldn’t have dared ask that question either.

    He smiled at her—a cold, brutally gentle smile—and the Sadist said too softly, “No one has to worry about Falonar anymore.”

    CHAPTER 8

    TERREILLE

    Gray watched Cassie from the corner of his eye and tried not to hover and fuss. Uncle Saetan had sent a note by special messenger warning him that hovering and fussing too much could turn even the most mild-tempered woman into a snarling bitch. Not that Uncle Saetan had put it in those terms, but that was the message.

    It was hard not to hover when he was sitting with Cassie, Ranon, and Shira in one of the four-seat squares in the Coach. Powell had claimed one of the seats around the table so he could catch up on paperwork, the other men were split into small groups to talk or not, and Vae was sprawled on the floor where she’d be in the way of the most people, snoring lightly. Talon was in the small bedroom at the back of the Coach. Cassie had insisted he take it so he could stay inside until sunset and not be disturbed by the rest of them when they returned to Grayhaven.

    It was hard not to hover when they were sitting side by side. Even harder not to fuss, but she hadn’t snarled at him yet, so he figured he was keeping that tendency fairly well leashed.

    Until she marked her spot, vanished the book she was reading, and closed her eyes.

    “Tired?” Gray asked, trying to keep his voice casual while everything in him went on alert.

    “Just feeling lazy,” she replied.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire