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  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(134) by Anne Bishop
  • “I told you how she was fretting last night, remember?”

    Jared nodded.

    “Well, after I got her calmed down a bit, she went up to the room she’s sharing with the young Warlord Prince. He went up with her, then came down a few minutes later in a snarling mood. At the time, I just thought she wanted to be alone for a little bit and had shown him the door. Now I’m thinking she wanted some privacy to spin one of those tangled webs. When she came back downstairs a couple of hours later, she was troubled but a lot calmer—and very hungry. Didn’t have much to offer her last night. That’s why the women started wondering—”

    “Lord Yarek! Lord Yarek!” A boy barreled into the dining room. “Riders coming,” he gasped. “Thirteen of them.”

    Jared jumped to his feet, knocking the chair over.

    “Mother Night,” Yarek whispered. “They’ve come back.”

    The descent to the Red was swift but controlled. By the time Jared stepped into the street, he was centered in his strength and ready, almost eager, to rise to the killing edge.

    He looked east.

    Lia and Thera, returning from their walk with Blaed, slowed down when they saw him.

    Blaed gave Jared a swift look, then dragged the two women into the nearest building.

    Jared turned and began walking down the street.

    Brock and Randolf came out of one building, but neither of them stepped into the street to join him.

    It was his uncle Yarek and Thayne—and Garth—and the Jeweled Warlords and witches who were left who formed a wall at his back.

    The riders turned into the main street and rode forward slowly. Six pairs of Warlords behind a Sapphire-Jeweled Warlord Prince.

    The Warlords stopped.

    The Warlord Prince kept coming. He reined in a few yards from Jared, dismounted, and closed the rest of the distance on foot until he stood a man’s length away.

    “Warlord,” he said with deceptive pleasantness.

    “Prince Talon,” Jared replied, keeping his face and voice neutral.

    “We need to talk, Warlord. Privately.”

    Jared jerked his head at the building to his left. “This will do.”

    He barely got into the room before Talon slammed him into the wall.

    “What in the name of Hell were you thinking—ifyou were thinking?” Talon roared as he jammed his tunic-filled fists under Jared’s chin. “You’ve been staggering around in a hostile Territory like a drunken landen! If we hadn’t come across that slaughter and followed the tracks, we’dstill be searching.”

    Jared bared his teeth. He clamped his hands around Talon’s wrists. “Maybe your tracking abilities are at fault.”

    “I’m the best tracker around!”

    “Then think how much trouble the second-best tracker has had.”

    Talon’s eyes glazed with fury.

    Remembering how easily a Warlord Prince rose to the killing edge, Jared leashed his own anger. “Talon—”

    Talon just shook him and roared.

    “What do you care?” Jared snarled. “You got your niece back. Lia’s not your concern.”

    Talon slammed him into the wall again. “I’mthe one who taught her to ride.I’m the one who taught her how to use a bow.I’m the one who taught her how to fight with Craft. Don’t youdare tell me she’s not my concern.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire