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  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(145) by Anne Bishop
  • He’d give the Shalador bastard time to sweat because it would also givehim time to figure out what to do about the two Warlord Princes in the village—especially the Sapphire-Jeweled one. He hadn’t expected them. Another oversight his pet would have to account for.They might have to be eliminated before the bitch-Queen was handed over.

    Well, that was the Red-Jeweled bastard’s problem.

    Krelis called in a small wooden box. Inside was the brass button he had used to get past the traps spelled into the other ones in order to read the private messages, the brass button that had an extra spell woven into the metal—a spell his pet didn’t know about.

    Krelis triggered the spell that yanked the psychic leash wrapped around his pet.

    Then he made himself as comfortable as possible, and settled down to wait.

    Chapter Twenty-seven

    Jared, Talon, Blaed, Yarek, Thera, and Lia sat in a circle inside one of the Coaches.

    Or two half circles, Jared thought uneasily. Blaed and Yarek flanked Thera the same way he and Talon flanked Lia.

    He almost wished someone besides Yarek had been chosen to represent the survivors of Ranon’s Wood and Wolf’s Creek. He didn’t want to be separated from his uncle during the last hours he had left.

    But that would depend on Yarek. Jared’s choice was already made.

    “I’m going to surrender,” Lia said softly.

    Thera’s green eyes turned icy. “Don’t be a fool. Do you really think those bastards are going to let the rest of us live?”

    “He said—”

    “He’sHayllian , and that bitch’s Master of the Guard. What did you expect him to say? ‘Make it easy for us because we’re going to kill you anyway?’ Once they have you, there’s nothing to stop them from unleashing their Jewels and tearing this place apart.”

    “If I surrender, they might spare the children,” Lia insisted.

    Thera gave her a withering look. “Have you ever seen a young girl after a few males get done with her? Especially Hayllian males? Or what they do to a boy? I’d rather slit Cathryn’s throat than let her be handed over to what’s waiting out there. And Corry’s and Eryk’s, too. At least that would be quick and kind.”

    Lia made a distressed sound. “These people have endured enough.”

    “These people are going to die,” Thera said harshly.

    “Because of me.”

    Thera expelled a vile string of obscenities. “You really turn into an idiot when you don’t get enough sleep.”

    Gray eyes met green.

    Feeling Talon’s attention sharpen, Jared watched the two women who balanced and complemented each other’s strengths so well. They didn’t move, hardly seemed to breathe.

    A minute passed.

    Two minutes.

    Finally, Lia said quietly, “Queen’s gamble.”

    “Yes,” Thera said just as quietly. “It’s the only way now.”

    Yarek cleared his throat. “What’s this Queen’s gamble?”

    Lia’s eyes held Thera’s. “Something my grandmother taught me.”

    Talon’s eyes narrowed as he studied the two of them.

    Since Talon had the most fighting experience, Jared waited for the Warlord Prince to say something, but he wasn’t surprised when Talon remained silent and thoughtful.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire