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  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(48) by Anne Bishop
  • “Gray took the honey pears.”

    Her forehead wrinkled as she looked at the marks on the terrace where the other pots had been. “Just as well. That was such a hodgepodge of pots it was very unattractive.”

    “Those honey pears are a legacy, Kermilla. Their existence means a great deal to the Dena Nehele people.”

    “Oh,” she said contritely. “I didn’t realize.”

    Why didn’t she realize? He had told her the story of how those pears were found after being buried for centuries. Of course, a guest would listen to the story as astory —entertaining, but not important. But a Queen preparing to rule a Territory with a past like Dena Nehele’s needed to understand the significance of those seedlings.

    Just because Cassidy probably would have understood the significance didn’t make her a better Queen. She was older and liked to grub around in the dirt. Kermilla, being younger, just needed more guidance in some areas.

    “Kermilla, would you have breakfast with me in private?” He’d tell her about the honey pears again—and about Cassidy’s rude departure.

    “Oh,la. ” She gave him a delighted smile. “You are being sonaughty. My Consort will be jealous.”

    “It’s not like that.”

    Her expression immediately turned woeful. “Oh. I thought . . .”

    Was she hinting that she’d like to have him as her lover? He was willing.More than willing. Even if he had to dance around the damn Consort’s presence.

    “There are some things I need to tell you,” he said. “And there are some possibilities we need to discuss.”

    No, he wouldn’t break Cassidy’s court and risk Talon going after Kermilla. But he would make the best use of the time to prepare the ground for theright Queen.

    A wet swipe across her cheek. A slurp across her closed eyes.

    “Aarhhh. Uuhhh.”

    *Cassie? Cassie! Gray says you must wake up so you can go to sleep.* A pause. *That is confusing, so it must be a human thing.* “Wha . . . ?”

    *Wake up!*

    “Vae?” Cassidy grunted. Groaned. “Gray?”

    “Here.”

    A warm hand covered hers.

    She smacked her lips—and made a face. “Hell’s fire. Did I swallow a cat?Vae. ” That because a Sceltie nose almost poked inside her mouth.

    *I do not smell cat.*

    “Why do you ask, Cassie?” Gray asked.

    Bastard sounded like he was laughing at her. “My tongue feels fuzzy.”

    “How many cups of that brew did you give her?”

    Ranon’s voice.

    “Enough to soothe a heart,” Yairen said.

    “How are you feeling?” Shira asked. “Do you want anything?”

    Since no one else answered, Cassidy decided the questions had been directed at her. “Toast. Scrambled eggs. Bath.” And something to scrape the fuzz off her tongue. “Who is here?”And where is here? Oh. Yes. Boardinghouse. She had meant to go to Dharo but had ended up here because Ranon took her trunks. The prick.

    “Almost the whole First Circle,” Gray answered, sounding tense.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire