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  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(85) by Anne Bishop
  • “In that case, I’m going to talk to Lord Burle about doing a bit of work on my new properties in Eyota.”

    “You could also offer those properties as training ground if there were any youngsters in that village who wanted to learn the carpenter’s trade and Lord Burle was willing to teach them.”

    “I could, could I?”

    She gave him a kiss that was warm and sweet. Then she grinned. “Yes, my darling Prince, you could.”

    CHAPTER 18


    “Theran has hired the cook from the best dining house in Grayhaven to make the meal for this dinner party,” Kermilla said as she, Correne, and her escorts, Lords Bardoc and Kenjim, drove to the place where they were meeting up with her two adorable Warlords, Garth and Brok. “Considering what a copper-pincher Theran is, these guests must bevery important.”

    Correne rolled her eyes. “But not interesting. Warlord Princes?” She shuddered dramatically. “Why waste a good meal on them? It’s not like they’ll know the difference since they’re always fighting or living in the rogue camps.”

    Glancing back at the unamused expressions of her men, Kermilla whispered. “Stop that. It’s disrespectful.”

    “But it’strue. ”

    Hard to argue with that. Theran plowed through food she could barely swallow, and didn’t care if a dish was bland or the potatoes were lumpy. In fact, as long as it didn’t have dirt on it and was cooked enough that it wasn’t still running, he didn’t complain. Since he would be taking care of her residence when she became Queen, she was going to have to improve his palate.Then they would have the kind of dinner parties that would impress the aristos here in Dena Nehele.

    “True or not, you don’t say things like that when other men are around. If it gets back to the Warlord Princes, it will cause trouble.”

    Correne looked over her shoulder at Bardoc and Kenjim, then looked at Kermilla. “They belong to you, sothey won’t go telling tales about you. And I heard in the stables that this carriage driver had his tongue cut out so hecouldn’t tell tales.”

    Kermilla winced. No, her men wouldn’t tell tales on her, but they didn’t feel the same loyalty to Correne, which was something the girl couldn’t get through her head. She acted like the men wouldn’tdare say anything.

    It might be useful to find out why the Queens here felt that way.

    Then they were at the meeting place. Brok and Garth clambered into the seats behind the driver, all smiles and young-man juice.

    “We’re having a special dinner at the house tomorrow, so Correne and I need to do some shopping.”

    “Invite us to this dinner,” Brok said. “We’ll show you how to make it special.”

    It was tempting to have someone besides Correne to talk to, but Theran had emphasized several times that these Warlord Princes were coming to meether, talk toher, so she couldn’t have her own little party at one end of the table.

    “Can’t.” Kermilla gave them a pretty pout. “But we’ll do something fun together soon. Driver, take us to the marketplace in the landen part of town.”

    “No!” Garth sounded alarmed.

    “Whyever not?” Kermilla asked. “Driver, move on.”

    “Wecan’t, ” Brok said, his voice full of bitter hatred. “Queen’s orders. If we cross intotheir part of town, we’ll be exiled from Dena Nehele.”

    Kermilla stared at them, too shocked to speak. “Why would Cassidy do that?”

    “No reason,” Garth muttered. “We were just having a little fun, and then she and that damn dog started raving.”

    “Dog?” Kermilla frowned. “Oh, the kindred Sceltie.”

    “Why don’t you have one of those smart dogs?” Correne asked. “When I set up my court, I’m going to insist on having one of them. I think it would be quite amusing.”

    “They’re more trouble than they’re worth,” Kermilla muttered. But therewas a kind of status in having one of the kindred as a companion. Just not a bitch like that Vae. “Anyway, gentlemen, you needn’t be concerned with any orders given by Lady Freckledy.” She waited until Garth and Brok stopped guffawing, then tapped her Summer-sky ring. “I outrank her, which means I can countermand any order she gives. So I am formally requesting your presence while Correne and I do some shopping in the landen marketplace.” Since her escorts were behind her and couldn’t see her face, she gave her boys a significant smile. “Maybe you could even point out a likely place for us to pick up a gift or two.”

    Brok smiled back. “Yes, Lady, we could.”

    “Poppi!” Ignoring the other two men who were standing with Gray and Ranon, Cassidy threw herself into her father’s arms.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire