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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 70)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(70) by Anne Bishop
  • “I have no money, Gray.”

    “But . . .” He called in the paper the village elders had given to Powell. It was a list of land and buildings all around Eyota that the court could have for the asking—property that had no surviving family left to claim it. “This place is on the list. You don’t need money.”

    “What about furniture? What about a worktable and storage cupboards for tonics and brews and dried herbs? What about tools? What about blankets and linens and healing supplies?”

    “The Queen’s gift . . .”

    Shira shook her head fiercely. “No. I can justify what I have in the room at the Residence as a court expense, but I can’t expect the court to supply a place like this. And Cassidy shouldn’t pay for something beyond the court.”

    “But you like this place.” He had an idea, but he needed to be sure of her first.

    “Yes, I like this place.”

    “Okay.” He looked around, then checked the list again. “I want to take a look at those two cottages. They’re on the list too.”

    “Suit yourself.” Shira sighed. “My apologies, Gray. I’m feeling sorry for myself, and I have no right to feel that way. The Shalador people have more now than we had dreamed possible a year ago, and I’m the court Healer to a Queen I like and admire. No Healer could ask for a better way to serve her people than to care for such a Queen.” She gave him a wobbly smile. “We’re almost home, so why don’t I take the horse and pony cart back to the—”

    “No.”

    She blinked at him.

    “No,” Gray said again. “I’m standing as your escort today. If you want to go back now, we’ll go back. But you’re not going alone.”

    “I can see the Residence from where I’m standing,” Shira said when she finally found her voice. “I can see the stables’ pastures from where I’m standing. Hell’s fire, Vae and Archerr and Cassidy are standing in the yard right now watching us.”

    Lucivar had said, “Strong women can get bitchy about Protocol when they think you’re being bossy or overprotective or whatever damn thing they think you’re being. Sometimes it’s smart to give in, but if you know you’re right, set your heels down, boyo, and be a polite, courteous wall.”

    He had the feeling Lucivar was still working on the polite and courteous part, but the man sure did know how to set his heels down.

    “I could climb over the back wall and be home,” Shira said.

    “Fine,” Gray said. “Then I’ll assist you over the wall.”

    “And when you need help to do what should be done,” Lucivar had said, “ask for it.”

    *Vae?* Gray called. *I need you.*

    Shira began sputtering at him that she didn’t need help and didn’t notice Vae heading toward them until the Sceltie jumped the wall.

    *Shira? Shira! Why are you acting like a hissy cat?*

    “You,” Shira sputtered, glaring at him.“You . . .”

    Whatever she was going to call him got lost in Khollie’s joyous *Shira!* as he got over the wall and joined them.

    “Shira wants to go home now, and I have something else I need to do, so would the two of you escort her home?”

    *We will take care of Shira,* Khollie said, his tail wagging as he looked up at Ranon’s mate.

    “Fine.” Shira stomped off with two furry escorts who were more implacable than any Warlord Prince would dare to be.

    At least she’s not unhappy anymore,Gray thought. But he figured it would be prudent to stay out of her way until Ranon got home.

    *Gray?* Archerr asked. *Is everything all right?*

    *Shira is a hissy cat,* he replied.

    Archerr’s snorted laugh had Shira stopping midstride to turn and stare at Gray.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire