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  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(146) by Anne Bishop
  • Yarek cleared his throat again. “Meaning no disrespect for your grandmother, Lady, but I doubt anything’s going to get us through an attack from that many warriors.”

    “This will. If everyone does what he’s supposed to do, this will.”

    “Is there enough time for us to prepare?” Talon asked respectfully.

    “There’s time,” Lia said, as Thera nodded slowly.

    Talon rose to his feet. “Then I’ll tell my men.”

    “No,” Thera said, her voice taking on an eerie quality that made Jared shiver. “Go with Blaed and Jared and tell the others who came with us from Raej.” Her mouth curved in a malevolent smile. “Tellall of them. Yarek, inform your people. They’ll need some time to accept having to face another battle. But do it quietly.”

    With some effort, Yarek got to his feet. “Doesn’t matter if they have time or not. They’ll accept it. What choice do they have?”

    Thera looked up at him. “None.”

    Not sure if he wanted to give reassurance or get some, Jared leaned toward Lia.

    She leaned away from him, avoiding even that much contact.

    It didn’t matter, Jared told himself as he and the other men left the Coach. He didn’t blame her for not wanting to be near him. Hewouldn’t blame her for not feeling for him even half of what he felt for her. It wouldn’t have come to anything anyway.

    But, Mother Night, how he wished she’d let him hold her once more.

    Chapter Twenty-eight

    Leaning back against the bales of straw his men had arranged into a tolerably comfortable seat, Krelis delicately tested the knife’s edge against the ball of his thumb.

    “What is it?” Krelis growled at the Warlord who kept shaking his head as he stepped into the stable.

    “One of the villagers came down the road a minute ago.”

    Satisfied with the edge, Krelis sheathed the knife. “I’m expecting one of them. Did you put him in the Coach station?”

    “No, Lord Krelis.” The Warlord’s mouth curled in a vicious grin. “And it’s not likely you were expecting this one. He came around the curve in the road, saw us, and stopped. I thought he might be trying to spy on us, but he started grinning like a half-wit, unbuttoned his trousers, and watered the road. Then he turned around and headed back to the village. Didn’t even tuck himself in.”

    Krelis leaned forward. “What did he look like?”

    The Warlord shrugged. “Big male. Pale skin. Short hair. He wasn’t close enough to see anything else.”

    Krelis snorted. “We don’t have to worry about that one. The High Priestess already took care of him. I’m surprised he still has brains enough to unbutton his trousers in the first place.” He stood up and stretched. “No, we don’t have to worry about that one. But keep an eye out for my pet. He should be here anytime now.”

    Once the Warlord had returned to his position, Krelis slipped his hand into his coat pocket. His fingers curled around the brass button.

    He gave the psychic leash another yank.

    His pet still needed one or two lessons in obedience.

    Teaching him would pass the time—until it was the Shalador Warlord’s turn.

    Chapter Twenty-nine

    Jared studied the people gathered in the tavern’s small back room.

    Eryk and Corry stood on either side of little Cathryn. Each of them held one of her hands.

    Thayne, looking exhausted and obviously still suffering from the witchfire burns, leaned against the back wall, close to Blaed.

    Brock leaned against the opposite wall, near the door, which was casually blocked by Talon. His face had that pained look of a man who badly needs to answer a call of nature but doesn’t want to miss anything.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire