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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Invisible Ring (Chapter 127)      Page
  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(127) by Anne Bishop
  • “Ididn’t bring heranywhere . I managed to climb up behind her before she went looking foryou .”

    Jared’s hands curled into fists.

    Blaed took a wider stance and braced his feet.

    “Youngsters,” Yarek said firmly. “Enough blood’s been spilled on this land.”

    Jared swayed. He resisted Yarek’s embrace for a moment before giving in and clinging. “I’m sorry,” he whispered. “I’m sorry. I’ve been sitting here, becoming incensed because the cousin I still remember as a girl is old enough to have lovers. I lash out at you. I lash out at Lia. Mother Night, will I ever stop lashing out at people who don’t deserve it?”

    “It’s the grieving pain, Jared,” Yarek said softly. “It’s something too big to give in to all at once. I know, boy. I know.”

    Jared stepped back. Took a deep breath. “Blaed—”

    Blaed shook his head. “I understand.” He looked at the garden. “I shouldn’t have let you come without some warning, but I didn’t know how to tell you about this. Any of this.”

    The three men turned and watched Lia enter the greenhouse.

    “I don’t want to leave Thera alone too long,” Blaed said. “She’s still too edgy.” He looked at Yarek. “I could give you a ride back to the village. Jared and Lia can ride double on the gelding.”

    “You can take the gelding,” Jared said.

    “Not if Lia’s staying I can’t,” Blaed replied sourly. “Damn horse caught a whiff of her and has been acting like a stallion who’s caught the scent of the only mare in season.”

    “I appreciate the offer, young Prince.” Yarek squeezed Jared’s shoulder. “Don’t stay too long. The bastards shouldn’t come back, but it would be too easy to get cut off out here.”

    “One thing,” Jared said, drawing Yarek a few feet away. “What . . . What happened to the bodies?”

    Yarek rubbed his chin. “That’s why I said the bastards didn’t win in the end. They hadn’t been interested in the bodies at Wolfs Creek. Just left them there. But they took the time to look for Belarr. I guess they wanted to make sure he was dead. It was after sunset before they came here. I could hear them smashing things while they searched. They came out again, cursing for all they were worth, shouting at each other that they’d find him, and the Healer, too.

    “I waited a while before going inside.

    “Belarr and Reyna were gone, Jared. Just gone. There was that quilt soaked with their blood, but that was all.”

    Jared watched the clouds move slowly across an autumn-blue sky. “Do you believe in the Dark Realm, Uncle Yarek?”

    “The place where the Blood’s dead go before their power fades enough for them to return to the Darkness? Myself, I always thought stories about the demon-dead were just that—stories. Now I’m not so sure. Belarr would have done anything to stop them from taking her. If going to such a place would have given him a little more time with her, he would have found a way.” Yarek paused. “I never found Janos, either.”

    “I hope it does exist,” Jared said quietly. “I hope they found the way to get there, and they’re still together.”

    “Me too, Jared. Me too. Now make your peace with the witchling and try not to fret her.”

    “Another male flaw,” Jared grumbled. “I fuss. I pester. Now I’ll be accused of fretting her.”

    Yarek gave Jared a long look before patting his shoulder. “They all say that. And they all get used to it. Eventually.”

    Jared waited until he heard the mare’s hoofbeats before he approached Reyna’s greenhouse.

    She’d found a bucket of water and the specially shaped dipper Reyna had used to water the seedlings.

    “Lia.” Jared waited for her to acknowledge his presence.

    She didn’t.

    Feeling awkward, he shifted his weight from one foot to the other as he watched her move from pot to pot, speaking so softly he couldn’t make out the words that weren’t meant for him anyway.

    She held the dipper in her left hand. Two fingers of her right hand rested just above the soil in the pot. She poured the water over her fingers and murmured a phrase. The same movements, the same words, over and over.

    It wasn’t until he really looked at the seedlings in the first pots and saw how much stronger and greener they looked than the rest of the plants that he realized what she was doing.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire