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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 41)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(41) by Anne Bishop
  • “I don’t—”

    “You’re the Queen, Cassie.Our Queen, and the Queen’s residence is any place the Queen chooses to live. You don’t want to stay here, you don’t have to stay here.”

    “Gray will worry if I leave without saying anything,” Cassidy said.

    “I’ll tell Shira enough so that she can reassure him. And I’ll come back and talk to him as soon as you’re settled at the boardinghouse. I promise.”

    “I don’t know.”

    “You’re upset, and rightly so.” Ranon took a deep breath and let it out slowly. He couldn’t force her to stay, but he was sure if he could get her to Eyota, he would buy enough time to convince her that there were people who didn’t care if a face was pretty or not when the woman behind that face was special. “Come with me. Give yourself time to rest and breathe before making a decision. Please.”

    She called in a handkerchief and sniffled into it. “Should I leave a note? It’s proper to inform the Steward and Master of the Guard.”

    She sounded so lost, so wounded.

    He knew it was proper. As the Master’s second-in-command, he should inform Talon at the very least. But if he involved anyone else in the court right now, most likely Cassidy would be talked into staying here—and the next time she decided to run, she wouldn’t delay long enough to pack her things or leave a note. They’d find out about it when Yaslana landed on their doorstep demanding answers.

    “No,” he said. “No one needs to know where you are. Not yet.”

    He hadn’t convinced her, and he didn’t know what else to say. But he could think of one thing to do.

    Using Craft, he closed the lids on her trunks—and vanished them.

    Cassidy stared at the empty floor. “You took my trunks.”

    “I did.” Getting his mouth to smile felt like he was trying to bend stone, but he did it. Or close enough. “I’ll give them back when we reach the boardinghouse.”

    She studied him.

    “What?” he asked.

    She sniffled into the handkerchief once more, then vanished it. “For a moment there, you sounded like Lucivar.”

    He decided to take that as a compliment. “Let’s get out of here.”

    “You’ll talk to Gray?”

    “I will. I hope you won’t be upset if he decides to join you.”

    “Do you think he would?”

    Oh, Cassie. Are you hurting so much you can’t remember that he loves you?“I do, darling. I really do.”

    Ranon and Cassidy slipped out of the house, wrapped in an Opal sight shield to lessen the number of people who might be able to detect her. He trusted her to go down to the gate while he went to the stables to get a horse—praying to the Darkness that she didn’t walk onto the landing web, catch the Rose Wind, and run to the Keep. Riding double to the Coaching station, they rented a small Coach, giving the driver who should have gone with them a generous tip to watch the horse—and not ask questions.

    Riding the Opal Winds, switching from radial to tether lines whenever needed, they finally reached the landing web on the northern end of his home village.

    And through the whole of the journey, Cassidy never said one word.

    *Grandfather,* Ranon called as soon as he dropped the Coach from the Opal Web and skimmed over the landing web. He could handle a small Coach when riding the Winds, but using Craft and power to hold one steady as it skimmed above the road was an untested skill. *Grandfather!*

    *Ranon?* Yairen sounded muddled. Then the voice on the psychic thread sharpened. *Ranon?*

    *I need help.* He could picture his grandfather pushing himself up and swinging his legs over the side of the bed. After all, anyone in their right mind who wasn’t demon-dead would be asleep at this hour. *I brought Cassidy. There’s been some trouble.*

    *Is she wounded?*

    The genuine concern in Yairen’s voice told Ranon that he’d made the right choice. *Not her body, but her heart is wounded.*

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire