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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Invisible Ring (Chapter 103)      Page
  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(103) by Anne Bishop
  • “Something?” Thera whispered.

    The painful hope in Thera’s voice decided him. “A chance,” he said as he picked up Lia.

    “She can’t go like that,” Thera said, calling in her dark-green, hooded cloak. “She’ll get cold.”

    Jared wasn’t sure Lia could feel anything at this point, but he didn’t argue. He and Blaed held her upright while Thera draped the cloak around her and pulled up the hood.

    Jared wrapped his arms around Lia, resting her head against his shoulder. He looked at Blaed. “Get to Ranon’s Wood as fast as you can, any way you can.” He hesitated, hoping it would be true. “We’ll join you there.”

    Blaed slipped an arm around Thera’s waist. “May the Darkness embrace you, Jared.”

    “And you.”

    Here.

    Putting a Red shield around Lia, Jared caught the Red Wind and followed the promise of help.

    * * *

    Had it been a trick after all?

    Jared stared at the large, rough-looking traveler’s inn. Somehow, the clean windows and the small flower beds on either side of the brightly painted door made the rambling stone building look rougher, like a sweaty laborer standing next to a woman dressed for an afternoon tea.

    Not a sleek or refined place, Jared decided. Definitely not to aristo tastes, but definitely Blood. There was an unmistakable feel to a place where the Blood resided, a psychic residue that was absorbed by wood and stone.

    Turning away from the inn, Jared focused his attention on the nearby road that led to a Blood village a couple of miles away. Was that his destination?

    Sighing, he reluctantly turned back to the inn. The coaxing tug that had guided him had stopped here. If whoever had answered him was in the village, wouldn’t the tugging have continued? Here, then.

    A cautious probe had told him there were twenty people in the inn, three of them women. Maybe one was a Healer.

    Jared looked over his shoulder at the faint outline of a cloaked body. He’d taken the precaution of wrapping a Red sight shield around Lia before they’d dropped from the Winds to this landing place, and he’d used Craft to float her so that it wouldn’t be obvious to anyone who might look out a window that he wasn’t alone. For a moment, he listened to her labored breathing, both pained and relieved by the sound.

    He hadn’t found the Red-Jeweled person who had guided him there when he’d probed the inn on his arrival. That’s why he was still standing on the landing place, even though he knew Lia’s life was trickling away with every minute he hesitated.

    Decide, he thought.Decide before she takes a breath and then doesn’t take another .

    Jared raked his hands through his hair and brushed at his clothes. He smiled grimly. He doubted the owner or the customers were dressed much better, so at least he wasn’t going to look out of place.

    All right. He’d rent a room where he could safely tuck Lia while he tried to find someone with the healing skills to help her. Failing that, he’d use the healing skills he had. Failing that . . .

    Jared straightened his shoulders. He wouldn’t fail. No matter what he had to do, he wasnot going to just sit back and watch her die.

    He added an aural shield and a psychic shield to the sight and protective shields already around Lia so that the others wouldn’t detect her psychic scent or hear any sounds she might make. The shields would make her completely invisible to anyone who wore less than the Red. Even another Red would only pick up a faint outline.

    Jared took a deep breath. As he breathed out, he wrapped psychic threads around himself and Lia that sent out a feeling of danger and violence. With his Red Jewel hanging in plain sight, those projected feelings should be enough to keep everyone at a distance. All his efforts to prevent anyone from knowing she was there wouldn’t be worth anything if someone bumped into her.

    With Lia floating upright behind him, Jared strode to the inn.

    Balls and sass, he repeated under his breath.Balls and sass .

    The door opened onto the common drinking room. To the left was a partially open door that led into a small, private room.

    A heavy silence descended as every man in the room turned toward the door, including the bushy-bearded, Green-Jeweled Warlord standing behind the bar—a man who looked big enough and strong enough to wrestle with Garth and come out the winner.

    Standing in the doorway. Jared looked at every face. No one but the innkeeper met his eyes for more than a second. Except for the innkeeper, the men were either lighter-Jeweled Warlords or Blood males who wore no Jewels at all.

    Jared slowly walked to the bar. relieved that the men, picking up the scent of danger and violence that swirled around him, carefully moved out of his way. Calling in the gold marks he hadn’t returned to Lia after his trip to the village, Jared placed one on the bar and looked the Green-Jeweled Warlord in the eyes.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire