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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 68)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(68) by Anne Bishop
  • “Who’s protecting what?” Ranon asked, carrying a mug of coffee in each hand.

    *Ranon!* The shout went out on a common psychic thread. *Do not pee on the little trees or Gray will bite you.*

    Oh, the look on Ranon’s face.

    Gray bit his lip to keep from laughing until Khollie trotted off to check the boundaries of his and Vae’s personal territory, which was the land that belonged to the Residence.

    “Do you think there is anyone in the surrounding cottages who didn’t hear that?” Ranon asked in a strangled voice.

    “No.” Gray’s voice broke with the effort not to laugh. “I thinkeveryone on this street and the next two over knows not to pee on the little trees.”

    “Shit.” Ranon handed him one of the mugs.

    “He bruises easily,” Gray said quietly. “His feelings, I mean.”

    “I figured that out, Gray. Not soon enough, but I did figure that out. It just takes a lot longer to fix the damage than to do the damage.”

    “Do you think they made a mistake with him? Maybe he’s too young to be away from people who understand Scelties.”

    Ranon shrugged. “Doesn’t matter now. He’s here. Would you want to be sent home from your first assignment?”

    Gray looked away, feeling his own heart ache a little.

    Ranon swore. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean . . .”

    “Never had a first assignment—or any assignment. My training stopped when I was fifteen.”

    “Do you want to resume that training?” Ranon asked.

    Gray nodded. He’d spent a lot of time thinking while he’d worked in the gardens here. “I want to be able to protect and defend. That’s what I was meant to do. I grew up being told I was Theran’s blade, and I was educated to protect the Grayhaven line—until I was captured.”

    “You were Theran’s blade, and now you want to be Cassie’s blade. Is that it?”

    “Yes, that’s it.”

    They sipped their coffee and watched Khollie and Vae flush a rabbit out of the kitchen garden and herd it right into Darcy’s jaws.

    “Now what?” Ranon asked as the three Scelties snarled at one another for a minute before Darcy and Vae each grabbed a rabbit leg and the three dogs trotted away with their kill. “Khollie and Vae want the rabbit for us, and Darcy wants the rabbit for Soli.”

    “They’ll take it to Cassidy, who will figure out a way for both households to have some of the meat so all three Scelties will be happy,” Gray replied.

    “The duties of a Queen.” Ranon drained his mug. Then he sighed. “I came out here to ask a favor.”

    “Actually, there’s something I wanted to ask you too.”

    “All right. Mine. Shira is supposed to take a last look at the cottages she was interested in. Something about this is making her unhappy, but she won’t talk to me or Cassidy about it. I was hoping, if you attached yourself as her escort, she might talk to you. I’d go with her and try again to find out what’s wrong, but I have to go to the Keep today. I’m just waiting for Cassidy to finish a letter to her mother before I head out.”

    “I can keep Shira company,” Gray said.

    “Thanks. What can I do for you?”

    “I’d like to learn the Fire Dance.” He saw Ranon’s initial surprise change to thoughtful assessment.

    “Have you and Cassidy . . . ?”

    Gray shook his head.

    “Because of Yaslana’s rules about you having sex?”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire