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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Invisible Ring (Chapter 114)      Page
  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(114) by Anne Bishop
  • Before she could comment, he gave her another nudge. “Is she?”

    Lia caught her lower lip between her teeth. “Well, thoseare the clothes she wears when she has to travel outside our borders. And shedoes look impressive when she wears her Queen clothes, but—”

    “Queen clothes?” Jared interrupted. He held up a hand. “Move first, then explain Queen clothes.”

    Lia scooted a Warlord Prince across the board.

    Not sure if that was meant to do something besides move a piece, Jared studied the board for a minute but didn’t make a move.

    “That’s what Gran calls the fancy gowns and things she wears once or twice a month to keep her First Circle happy,” Lia said. “She says, if males really don’t notice female fashions the way they swear they don’t, then why do they start drooling like a dog with a large soup bone whenever women wear evening gowns?”

    Jared choked on his wine. “We don’t drool.”

    “No? Oh. Well, that’s good. One of my cousins had this big dog who drooled buckets and always wanted to put his head in your lap. She—my cousin, that is—wanted to train the dog to put his head into just the boys’ laps so they’d have to explain why the fronts of their trousers were wet, but she only got to the lap part and not the boy part before the adult males in the family found out about it and roared. So we all got drooled on.”

    Wondering if he’d had a game plan when he started, Jared moved a Prince to support a Healer. “If she only wears Queen clothes once or twice a month, what does she wear the rest of the time?”

    “Um.” Lia moved her other Warlord Prince. “Well, clothes like this.” She pinched a bit of sweater between her thumb and forefinger. “Papa says that if you enter a large room full of people and there’s one woman there who looks like she should be out weeding the garden, she’s probably the Queen. Prince Harland—”


    “Gran’s lover. He says—”


    “Lover. He’s also her Consort. Anyway, he says a Queen is a Queen no matter what she wears—”

    “Or doesn’t,” Jared added under his breath, not quite able to picture the Gray Lady as part of an elderly couple having a tickle and tussle in a rumpled bed—even if hehad been able to picture it quite clearly when he’d imagined himself as the lover. But that was different. Somehow.

    “—and that it’s more important for her to be comfortable and happy than it is to have her measure up to someone else’s idea of proper dress, and ifhe didn’t have any complaints, Papa shouldn’t either.”

    “Your papa should listen to an elder.”

    “Harland’s not Papa’s elder. They trained together.”

    Jared wheezed.

    Lia leaned forward. “Are you coming down with something?”

    A terminal case of curiosity.

    “How—” Jared bit his tongue. There were some things a man did not ask a twenty-one-year-old virgin about her grandmother.

    Lia shook her head and tsked sadly. “Someone your age really should know about these things. Didn’t your papa ever talk to you about that?”

    “He talked to me at great length about a great many things. Including that.”

    Spiffing primly, Jared added, “He even demonstrated once.”

    Lia almost spilled the juice all over her lap.

    “Not likethat ,” Jared growled. He made a circle with his left hand and brought it toward the pointing forefinger of his right. When his hands were half a hand apart, he noticed how huge Lia’s eyes had gotten—and quickly lowered his hands.

    Lia gulped some juice. “That’s it?”

    “That’s the gist of it.” And if he had to explain any more of it, he wouldn’t be putting a warming spell on the bathwater. Which reminded him of why heshouldn’t have to explain it. “Didn’t your mama ever talk to you about that?”

    “Of course she did,” Lia huffed. Then she added, giving him a speculative look, “But she never said anything that looked quite like that.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire