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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 78)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(78) by Anne Bishop
  • “This is a good start, but it’s just a start,” Cassidy said.

    “Why can’t your First Circle act as Province liaisons between the districts and the court?” Reyhana asked. “The same way Prince Ranon does for the Shalador reserves?”

    “The way Ranon does?” Cassidy asked, glancing at Shira—who was frowning thoughtfully.

    “May I?” Powell asked, indicating an empty chair.

    “Yes, of course,” Cassidy replied. “Here, it’s probably best if we look at these papers more carefully in your office.”

    Powell vanished the papers. Moments later, Birdie came in with a pot of fresh coffee, another cup and saucer, and more toast.

    Cassidy wondered who had told Maydra that Powell was joining her for breakfast. Then she noticed Vae in the doorway. The Sceltie wagged her tail once and left, no doubt to herd a few more of her humans.

    “Please explain about Ranon,” Powell said.

    “I don’t think he ever visited all the villages,” Reyhana said, “but Janos told me Ranon would visit all three of the reserves and meet with the elders at least once each season. So he always knew if there was trouble or when things were getting too hard. Even during the uprisings, when he was off fighting, he’d visit a reserve if he was close by.”

    “He’s been doing that for as long as I’ve known him,” Shira said. “Visiting the elders. I thought he was showing his respect. He never said otherwise.”

    No, he wouldn’t have said otherwise, Cassidy thought. But that awareness of his people . . . Not so different from what the males in Jaenelle’s court had done. Not so different at all.

    “If a member of the First Circle visited a Province once or twice a month,” Powell said thoughtfully, “and made it known he would carry back any concerns to the Queen, I think other men would approach him—especially if he’s already known to those men. Not an official ruler, but a reminder that all others who rule in Dena Nehele do so on the Territory Queen’s behalf. That is an excellent idea, Lady Reyhana.”

    Cassidy smiled at Reyhana and lifted her coffee cup as a salute. “Yes, itis an excellent idea.”

    Too bad Gray wasn’t here to share this moment with her.

    KAELEER

    Ranon stood in Daemon Sadi’s study, a stunned look on his face. “Mother Night, Gray. The man has abutler who wears a Red Jewel.”

    Gray looked around the richly furnished room. There had been a jelly-knee moment when the door to SaDiablo Hall opened and that large, formidable man had stared at them. But it was clear the High Lord had sent a message ahead of them and they were expected, because Beale had led them to this room and informed them that the Prince would be with them shortly.

    Noticing the stuffed toy on the floor near the long sofa, he nudged Ranon. “He may have a Red-Jeweled butler, but he also has a Sceltie.”

    “Then may the Darkness have mercy on him,” Ranon muttered.

    The door opened. Ranon sucked in a breath. Gray turned.

    Beautiful, deadly man. Had he felt that sexual punch the last time he’d seen Daemon, or was there a reason why that heat and power were sharper today?

    “Gray, it’s good to see you again.”

    Is it?Gray wondered, noticing Daemon’s slightly glazed eyes. “Prince Sadi, may I introduce my friend Prince Ranon?”

    Those gold eyes studied Ranon just a little too long.

    “You’re Shaladoran,” Daemon said.

    “I am,” Ranon replied. “How did you know?”

    “You have the look of your people. Why don’t we sit down and you can tell me what brings you here.”

    Gray started to turn toward the informal side of the room. Daemon walked over to the blackwood desk and settled in the chair behind it, leaving him and Ranon no choice but to sit in the visitors’ chairs.

    He nodded to Ranon, who called in a package and set it carefully on the desk. “Lady Cassidy asked me to give this to you, along with this letter.”

    Daemon opened the letter and seemed to take a long time reading the single page. Then he opened the package that contained Jared’s journal and brushed his fingertips gently over the cover.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire