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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 72)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(72) by Anne Bishop
  • You’re still a guest here.

    Remembering that had her putting temper and not power behind the open-handed slap. The blow still knocked Birdie to the floor.

    “Get out of my room,” Kermilla said.

    Whimpering, Birdie got to her feet and stumbled from the room. Shaken, Kermilla looked at the bottle of scent. The girl probably didn’t know what that small, paper-thin stone disk on the bottom of the bottle meant, but Kermilla was certain Theran would be furious if he discovered how she was stretching her income.

    She didn’t want Theran angry with her. For a little while she’d flirted with the possibility of falling in love with him, but those feelings had faded before they began. Still, shedid like the man, and she didn’t want him so upset that he would tell her to leave. After all, she needed his support to become Queen of Dena Nehele.

    EBON ASKAVI

    The Keep. The Black Mountain. A place where a man was surrounded by stone and dark power.

    But a strangely comfortable place, for all that. A place where a man could lower his guard and truly rest, knowing there was something else here that was watchful—and aware.

    Ranon prowled around the sitting room where the Seneschal, that strange-looking female, had put him to wait. A human shape, but she wasn’t human—not with that face or the sibilant way she spoke. He’d bet his life on it.

    The door opened, and he turned.

    The woman’s exotic face, framed by golden hair, was a little too thin, but still beautiful in a way that tugged at his male interest—especially because she seemed unaware of the streak of dirt that accented one sharp cheekbone.

    Then he looked into those sapphire eyes and felt his heart skip a beat. He was totally committed to serving Cassidy, and he loved Shira with everything that was in him. But if this woman asked it of him, he would crawl through fire or over knives—and never ask why she required it of him.

    He needed no introduction to know he was looking at Jaenelle Angelline, the Queen who was Witch, the living myth.

    Now he understood what kind of woman could hold the hearts of men like Lucivar Yaslana and Daemon Sadi.

    I belong to her in the same way I belong to Cassidy.And if Jaenelle demanded it of him, he would turn away from everything else he held dear in order to serve her.

    “Lady.”

    “Prince Ranon?”

    “Yes.” He’d been nervous about meeting her, but he hadn’t expected to respond to her likethis . As he continued to look into those sapphire eyes, he realized she felt that bond too.

    “I’m theformer Queen of Ebon Askavi, Prince Ranon.” Her voice held both amusement and warning.

    Former?A word said for the Queen’s pleasure—and believed by no one except, perhaps, the Queen herself. But he understood that she neither wanted nor expected him to turn away from Cassidy and the loyalty he felt for Shalador’s Lady.

    “I brought the reports and letters.” He called in the message sack and set it on a nearby chair. “Reports are probably a bit lean. Cassidy has been working hard. But not too hard. We’ve insisted she take rest days, but there’s no point having a rest day if it’s going to be spent writing reports, is there?”

    Hell’s fire, he was babbling.

    “No point at all,” she agreed with a smile that told him plainly enough she’d fought—and lost—that particular battle with her own court.

    He only realized he was smiling back when her smile faded.

    “Do you know the history of your people, Ranon?” she asked. “Do you know how your people came to be in Dena Nehele?”

    “Yes, I know the stories.”

    “People looked beyond themselves and made room for you. Remember that, Prince.”

    “I’m not likely to forget it,” Ranon replied, puzzled. Some other message there. Or a warning? “Lady, is there something I should know?”

    “I’ve told you what you need to know. The rest is up to you.”

    “I don’t—” He stopped. Felt the room do one slow spin as he looked at the strange Jewel around her neck—and the hourglass pendant she wore just above that Jewel.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire