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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Invisible Ring (Chapter 133)      Page
  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(133) by Anne Bishop
  • Sitting beside her, his heart had swelled with pride . . . and something more.

    He would never burden her with his feelings. Having been a pleasure slave—having his self so divided and debased—made it impossible for him to have what he wanted most.

    But he would love her for the rest of his life.

    “Jared,” Yarek said again.

    Jared pulled his attention back to his uncle. “What is it?”

    Yarek cleared his throat. Took another sip of whiskey. “The witchling . . . the Lady. She’s got a kind heart, but . . .”

    “If she says there’s a place for all of you in Dena Nehele, then there is,” Jared replied.

    “A land can only give so much, can only hold so many before the scales tip and we take too much.”

    “I think Dena Nehele can absorb a hundred of Shalador’s own.” A hundred survivors out of two thriving villages. Jared took another swallow of whiskey.

    “More and more people are going over the mountains,” Yarek said worriedly. “Plenty of them settle in the other Territories, but—”

    Jared laid a hand over Yarek’s. “You were the one who always told me not to plant troubles where there aren’t any.”

    “Suppose I did.”

    “So Dena Nehele will gain Shalador’s best and be better for it.”

    Naked grief filled Yarek’s eyes before he looked away.

    Jared leaned back, unable to offer any words of comfort that wouldn’t shatter his own fragile control.

    Shalador’s best would never leave Shalador—unless they found their way to the Dark Realm. The war had seen to that.

    “The Coaches are intact?” Yarek asked after a moment.

    Jared nodded. The two Coaches that belonged to the destroyed Coach station hadn’t been damaged in the attack, but he still hadn’t figured out how they were going to fit everyone who couldn’t ride the Winds on their own into two Coaches that comfortably held thirty people between them. And he didn’t know who would handle them. The three Warlord brothers who had run the Coach station hadn’t survived the attack, and no one else had the training.

    Yarek frowned, gave Jared an uneasy glance, frowned harder. “Didn’t have a Black Widow in Wolfs Creek.”

    “Not every village has one, any more than they have a Priestess or a Queen,” Jared said, wondering where this was leading.

    Yarek rubbed his chin. “The Hourglass covens have different ways. Stands to reason considering the kind of Craft they do.”

    Nodding, Jared waited.

    Yarek shrugged, and asked hesitantly, “Do they eat different?”

    Jared narrowed his eyes. That hint of fear hadn’t been there a few hours ago when Yarek talked about Thera fretting.

    “The women asked about it, you see, and I said I’d ask you.”

    “About what?” Jared said cautiously.

    “Well, they butchered the two pigs and the chickens that were left.” Yarek held up a hand as if Jared had protested. “No room to take them with us and no point leaving them to fill someone else’s belly. But a cool box filled with cooked meat won’t take up much room in the Coaches and would make everyone feel a little easier having a bit of their own for the first day or two. So we’ll eat hearty tonight and tomorrow morning.”

    “What’s that got to do with Thera?”

    “Seems she came along early this morning and saw what they were doing. Came back a few minutes later carrying a couple of wash buckets and insisted on having all the offal she could fit in them. Soon as they were filled, she vanished the buckets and left.”

    “I don’t—”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire