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  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(152) by Anne Bishop
  • Jared swallowed hard. “I’ll hold it.”

    What he saw in her eyes took his breath away.

    Lia tried to smile. “I have to help Thera.”

    When she tried to move away, he reached out and gathered her in his arms. “Once more,” he whispered, lowering his head. “Just once more.”

    He kissed her gently, deeply.

    Confused, he released her and stepped back. “Go help Thera.”

    Jared watched as she hurried away from him. There was a tartness to her psychic scent that shouldn’t have been there. It didn’t fit her. Wasn’t likeher .

    “Jared.”

    Putting that puzzle aside, Jared turned at the sound of Talon’s voice. “What did she ask of you?” Jared demanded.

    Talon gave him a considering look. “You know better than that.”

    Yes, he knew better than to ask another male about a private request made by a Queen, but that didn’t stop him from wanting to know the answer.

    Talon looked around, as if to make sure there was no one near enough to overhear them. Moving closer, he said quietly, “You’ve played chess with her?”

    “A couple of times.”

    “Does this fit her pattern?”

    Fool, Jared thought.You should have thought of this yourself . He closed his eyes and pictured the game board. “If her stronger pieces aren’t acting as the main defense, they’re supporting minor pieces in an attack. She tends to pair strong pieces. A Warlord Prince with a Black Widow, for example.”

    “How appropriate,” Talon murmured. “What about the Queen?”

    “She—” Jared felt the blood drain out of his face. “Mother Night, Talon, what are they planning?”

    Talon shook his head. “I don’t even want to guess. Something or someone put a nasty edge on Thera’s temper, and Lia’s always had the kind of courage that scares a man right down to the bone.”

    “They work well together,” Jared said as he stared at the street without really seeing it.

    Talon, too, stared at the street. “Yes, I imagine they do.”

    Chapter Thirty-two

    An interesting way to spend an hour, Krelis thought as he picked up the discarded tunic and carefully cleaned his knife. A useful exercise.

    Sheathing his knife, he studied his work. A crude effort compared to the High Priestess’s, but he hadn’t had the time nor the practice to equal her skills. At least, not yet.

    Krelis smiled at his pet. “I think it’s time for you to fulfill the rest of our bargain.”

    Chapter Thirty-three

    “Warlord! Shalador Warlord!” Krelis’s Craft-enhanced voice thundered over Ranon’s Wood. “Come to the curve in the road, Warlord. There’s something I want to show you.”

    Jared took a couple of steps away from the Coach and stopped abruptly, surprised by Blaed’s and Talon’s hard, restraining hands.

    “Don’t be a fool,” Talon growled quietly.

    “Warlord! I want to show you something. No one will harm you.”

    Lia and Thera came out of the Coach. Both pairs of narrowed eyes stared in the direction of the landing place.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire