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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 55)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(55) by Anne Bishop
  • “What are you doing?” she asked, sounding contrite.

    “Counting my toes.”

    A pause. “They’re all there, aren’t they?”

    “Yes.” Thank the Darkness.

    She set the tray down on the low table in front of the sofa, then sat close to him. But not next to him.

    “I’m sorry,” she said. “I don’t usually lose my temper like that.”

    No, she didn’t. Her response was so fast and so fierce . . . Well, even a Black-Jeweled Warlord Prince can have the shit scared out of him—especially when one moment he was sitting at a large blackwood dining table and the next he was surrounded by a table, chairs, dishes, silverware, glasses, and food that had all been reduced to a pile of uniform pieces no bigger than grains of rice.

    It wasn’t the table exploding that upset him. It was the uniformity of the debris that was proof of the depth of her rage. And that rage, and whatever blend of power she had been channeling through Twilight’s Dawn at that moment, had been strong enough to crack his outermost Black shield.

    That was something he needed to talk to Lucivar about.Soon.

    “You were wrapped in a double Black shield,” Jaenelle said. “I didn’t think you would get hurt.”

    “That’s not the point.” Now that he’d gotten over the shock of it, her slash of temper was starting to piss him off. But he leashed that because there had to be a reason for this. Jaenelle didn’t explode like that as some kind of twisted entertainment. And the strength of her reaction got him thinking.

    He rubbed his forehead to ease the headache building behind his eyes, then shifted and turned so he was close to her.

    “Queens lose men or courts to rivals all the time. And even though Cassidy is a friend and losing her court did leave her bruised, that doesn’t equal your rage. If Cassidy doesn’t have enough spine to tell Kermilla to take a piss in the wind, then she’d better acquire some. From everything Surreal and Rainier told me, her court is becoming a solid team committed to their Queen.”

    “All of them?” Jaenelle asked softly.

    “Except Theran Grayhaven.” He brushed fingertips over her shoulder. “Jaenelle, what aren’t you telling me?”

    Those sapphire eyes studied him. “There is nothing you can do about this. Neither of us have any right to interfere in this. Is that understood?”

    Oh, he didn’t like the sound of that. “Maybe.”

    “I spun a tangled web after Cassidy discovered the treasure in the Grayhaven attics. I wasn’t going to share what I saw with anyone, but I owe you that as an explanation for how I reacted.”

    Sweet Darkness. A tangled web. Dreams and visions.

    “All right.”

    “Dena Nehele is going to fall.”

    He closed his eyes. Why now, when they had survived everything Dorothea SaDiablo had done to them? “Because Kermilla went there?”

    “More because Kermilla is still there.”

    “I can bury the bitch,” he said too softly, opening his eyes to stare into hers. “I’ll go to Terreille, no matter the price, and bury the bitch if that’s what you want. Or I’ll let Surreal go. She’d be willing.”

    “No.” Her fingers brushed through his hair, soothing. “It’s up to them now. Their decisions. Their choices. Sorrow and joy, Daemon. There is sorrow and joy in what I saw.”

    How can there be joy?But he trusted her, and if she said there could be joy in Dena Nehele’s fall, he would believe her.

    “So there is nothing we can do for them,” he said, making it a statement rather than a question.

    “We can’t interfere with another Queen’s Territory. That would violate Blood law and our code of honor. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing we can do. In fact, I’ve already helped make arrangements for a couple of things.”

    “How is that different from interfering?”

    “In the first instance, I gave only the help requested by someone living in Dena Nehele. In the second, I’m simply making available something I think Cassie and her court will find useful. What they do with the material is up to them.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire