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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 64)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(64) by Anne Bishop
  • “Ah. Well, since you were the second man I was asked to see, I think you’ll do as well for both.”

    Both what?

    “I’m Khardeen, Warlord of Maghre. And this is Lord Ladvarian.” Khardeen held out a hand.

    Ranon clasped the hand—and felt a quiver of fear when he saw the Sapphire ring on Khardeen’s right hand. This man could rip through his Opal shields and tear him apart with a single thought.

    Then he glanced down and got another shock. The dog staring up at him wore a gold chain around its neck. A Red Jewel shone against the white ruff.

    The human wasn’t the most dangerous Warlord to walk into their village.

    Ladvarian looked at Vae.

    *Ranon? Ladvarian wants to see the yard.*

    “Uh . . . sure.” Since she’d been bouncing a minute before, he was uneasy about Vae sounding so subdued—and cautious.

    Khardeen took a step to the side as Vae came around to position herself on Ladvarian’s left—the subordinate position. That done, fourteen Scelties trotted off and disappeared behind the Queen’s Residence.

    “They aren’t going to dig, are they?” Ranon asked. “Gray will have a fit if they start digging in the gardens he’s been restoring back there. So will Cassidy.”

    “No, they’ll be all right,” Khardeen replied. “Ladvarian was First Circle in the Dark Court. He knows about not digging in a Queen’s garden. Of course, some of the youngsters will need to have it explained to them more than once, but they’ll understand it sooner or later.”

    Khardeen’s blue eyes twinkled. Ranon’s stomach sank in response.

    “I gather Vae didn’t tell you about this?” Khardeen asked.

    “About what?”

    “Ah. Well, having been here long enough to assess the situation, Vae didn’t think she could take care of all the humans who needed a Sceltie’s help.”

    “Really?” Mother Night.

    “She talked to Ladvarian about helping her find other Scelties to take care of the other humans while she took care of the court. Then those two talked to Morghann and Jaenelle, and there you are—twelve youngsters who wanted the challenge of taking care of humans who have no kindred of their own.”

    No. Oooh, no. “Who’s Morghann?” He’d heard the name before, somewhere, but it was the only question Ranon could think to ask. The only safe question, anyway.

    “Morghann is the Queen of Scelt.”

    Hell’s fire, Mother Night, and may the Darkness be merciful. Now he remembered. Cassie had mentioned Morghann when she was explaining court living arrangements in Kaeleer. And she’d mentioned Morghann’s husband, Khardeen.

    The Queen of Scelt and the former Queen of Ebon Askavi had hand-picked these dogs to live here? How was he going to convince Khardeen to take them back? No matter what Vae thought,she was all thehumans could handle.

    “What are they supposed to do?” Ranon asked.

    “Oh, they’ll figure that out,” Khardeen said with a breeziness that was a bit terrifying. “They’re good at herding, and they’ll herd anything—sheep, ducks, goats, cows, children . . . stubborn males.”

    “Can you take them back?”

    “I can,” Khardeen said. “But you’ll be the one who will have to explain it to the Ladies, and any man who knows either of those Queens isn’t going to get within a mile of you while you do it.”

    Shit.

    A wave of fur came around the Residence and spread out, tails wagging while they busily sniffed their surroundings.

    Then one of the Scelties raced up to him and began dancing on its hind legs.

    *My human! This is my human!*

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire