• Home
  • Directory
  • Popular
  • Authors
  • Series
  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Invisible Ring (Chapter 163)      Page
  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(163) by Anne Bishop
  • “They’re fine.”

    She hesitated. “Thera? Did all the Gray shields I made hold around Thera?”

    “They held just fine. She was brilliant. She scared the shit out of us. After that little performance, I think Blaed deserves a month of fussing without any objections.” He glanced at Talon. “Don’t you?”

    “At least,” Talon said dryly.

    Lia hesitated again. Longer this time. “I killed them, didn’t I?”

    Jared didn’t answer.

    “They’re dead,” Talon finally replied.

    Lia burst into tears.

    Shifting position, Jared pulled her into his lap and rocked her.

    The sobs ripping through her unnerved him.

    “Let her cry it out,” Talon said, resting a hand on Lia’s head. *I'll go back to the village and bring a couple of horses.* He grimaced. *If any of them survived. I know how to make a brew that will sedate her for several hours. I’ll bring that, too.*

    Rising slowly, Talon left the dance ring. When he reached the top of the slope, he turned back. *You did well. Warlord.*

    Resting his cheek on Lia’s head, Jared rocked her until her tears finally stopped. “So did you, Lady,” he whispered. “So did you.”

    Chapter Forty

    Dena Nehele. From the rogue camp that protected the middle pass through the Tamanara Mountains, Jared looked at the rolling hills, the sweeping forests, the rivers and lakes. He saw the cultivated fields, the pastures dotted with animals, the villages and towns.

    This high up in the mountains, the autumn air already held the taste of winter. The change came more slowly to the land below him.

    To the south, the trees were still holding on to the green of late summer. But as his gaze swung to the north, the green gave way to golds, oranges, and reds.

    A beautiful land. A healthy land. A thriving people.

    Jared looked back at the Coaches. Lia was still inside, still sleeping off exhaustion and the brew Talon had made for her.

    It was better this way. During the hours it had taken to reach this camp, he’d made his choice and believed it was the right one—for both of them. But he felt grateful he wouldn’t have to be the one to tell her. And he hoped with all that was in him that he wouldn’t look back on this day and regret the decision.

    After they finished the simple meal the camp had provided, the others would make the last leg of the journey. By sunset, they’d be in Grayhaven, the town that took its name from Lia’s family estate.

    His uncle Yarek and the rest of the villagers would be all right. Shalador’s seeds would thrive in Dena Nehele’s soil.

    What would the former slaves do? Most likely, Eryk and Corry would return home. Little Cathryn would remain, probably with Lia’s family. So would Garth—at least until a Black Widow helped untangle the rest of his mind. Randolf and Thayne might choose to return to their own people.

    Blaed would not.

    Like Thera, the young Warlord Prince had made his choice. He might send a message to his family, but he had chosen the land he would now call home—and he had chosen the Queen he would serve.

    Jared blinked against the stinging in his eyes. Just the wind, he lied to himself.

    But, sweet Darkness, he was going to miss those two.

    They broke away from a group of villagers and joined him, almost on cue.

    It was tempting—and worthy of an “older brother”—to tease Thera about leaning on a man, but it didn’t seem fair to rile her and spoil Blaed’s contentment.

    “I’d like to ask a favor,” Jared said.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire