• Home
  • Directory
  • Popular
  • Authors
  • Series
  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Shalador's Lady (Chapter 88)      Page
  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(88) by Anne Bishop
  • “Fair enough?” Kermilla stared at Kenjim in disbelief. Then she glared at the guard. “You won’t report to anyone. Grayhaven isTheran’s town.”

    “Last I heard, it was still part of Dena Nehele. Prince Grayhaven may rule here, but he still has to answer to the Queen and her court. And that includes Talon, the Master of the Guard.”

    Theran would befurious if Talon came here and started chewing on him over this.

    She offered no other protests as Kenjim and Bardoc helped her and Correne into the carriage.

    *I vanished the belt before the guards arrived,* Correne said once they were all seated.

    As if that was the least bit important right now,Kermilla thought.

    Two of the guards escorted them all the way back to the spot where she had met up with Brok and Garth. Then they rode off with her two boys, leaving her with Bardoc’s discomfort and Kenjim’s simmering anger.

    As soon as they returned to the mansion, Correne scurried to her room and Bardoc made some excuse about needing to talk to Jhorma. Which left her alone with Kenjim, who followed her right into her room.

    “What in the name of Hell are you doing, associating with bastards who would try to blind a child?” Kenjim growled.

    “Garth and Brok are mine.” Kermilla thumped a fist against her chest. “Mine!”

    “They tried to blind a child!”

    “A stupid landen!” Kermilla shouted. “Who cares about landens?”

    He stared at her before saying quietly, “A Queen with honor.”

    The insult silenced her. She studied his eyes, felt the sharp heat of his temper. She tried a delicate psychic probe to find out what was under the moment’s temper—and found disgust, disappointment, and contempt.

    “If Garth and Brok belong to you, then I don’t.” Kenjim’s voice was dangerously quiet. “I don’t know what kind of game you’re playing, claiming that you’re going to be Queen here—”

    “Iam going to be Queen! Theran promised me!”

    Kenjim let out a huffing laugh that held no humor. “Then he’s as much of a fool as we were.”

    Kermilla walked over to the window and stared at nothing. Bardoc was unhappy about this misunderstanding with those stupid guards who were protecting landens, but she could talk him around. Kenjim, however, was now a danger to her. He wouldn’t be able to turn Theran against her, but his anger could sour the opinion of the Warlord Princes who were coming to meet her. He might even try to ruin her chance of becoming the Queen of Dena Nehele.

    She turned back to face him. “Pack your things. You’re returning to Bhak immediately. I’ll have Gallard assign another in the First Circle to stand escort here.”

    “As the Lady wishes.” Kenjim’s smile held a sharp, terrible edge. “Before you, I served an honest—and honorable—Queen for five years. But that doesn’t mean I don’t understand the value of negotiating.”

    “What does that mean?”

    “If you try to smear my reputation by distorting what happened today or by misrepresenting this conversation, I will go to Lady Darlena and counter your report with a charge of mistreatment.”

    “You wouldn’t dare!”

    “Wouldn’t I?”

    Kermilla paled. As a District Queen, she ruled under the hand of a Province Queen who, in turn, ruled her piece of Dharo under the hand of the Territory Queen. If Kenjim went to Darlena with a charge of mistreatment, more than the Province Queen would be taking a look at her court. And that wouldn’t do at all. Not when spring was so many months away. If Darlena—or even worse, Sabrina—took Kenjim’s side in this and released him from his contract right now, it would break her court, and she wouldn’t have the income from Bhak and Woolskin to support her, as insufficient as it was.

    If she asked Theran to kill Kenjim, would he do it without asking questions?

    No. Not without questions. Even if Theran would do that for her, Jhorma and Bardoc would insist on some justification—and would insist on her leaving Dena Nehele, which would ruin everything.

    Kenjim has already considered that. He knows the knife he’s holding against my throat is sharper than any I can hold against his. I can’t strike against him without hurting myself more.

    “Very well,” she said coldly. “We’ll just say that you’ve completed your rotation as escort and are returning to Bhak to take up other duties on behalf of your Queen. Is that satisfactory?”

    “Quite satisfactory.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire