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  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(164) by Anne Bishop
  • “Of course,” Blaed answered instantly.

    Thera said nothing. Her eyes held a hint of anger.

    “My youngest brother, Davin, now lives in one of the southern villages. I’d appreciate it if you’d locate him and give him the two honey pear trees our mother planted for him.”

    Blaed nodded cautiously.

    “The ones meant for Janos . . .” Grief for the boy he remembered jabbed at him. “I’d like you to have them. As a wedding gift.”

    “We haven’t even handfasted yet,” Thera grumbled.

    Jared smiled. “But you will.” His smile faded. “The ones she planted for me ... I want Lia to have them.”

    Tensing, Blaed’s eyes flicked to the Coaches and back to Jared.

    Thera just watched him. “You’re leaving.”

    It was hard enough to tell Thera. He wasn’t sure he would have survived telling Lia.

    “I’m going with Talon,” he said, his voice suddenly husky.

    “Then what you said meant nothing?”

    This time, when tears stung his eyes, he didn’t lie to himself. “It means everything.”

    After a moment, Thera nodded. She stepped away from Blaed, put her hands on Jared’s shoulders, and kissed his cheek. “What should I tell Lia?” she asked quietly.

    Hugging her, Jared pressed his cheek against hers and replied just as quietly, “Tell her I’ll be back in the spring.”

    Chapter Forty-one

    Jared stepped off the landing place. The abandoned traveler’s inn looked rougher than it had six months ago when he had brought Lia there to be healed. Yet the call that had been more subtle than a thought had come from there, as it had before.

    He entered the inn. Coming farther into the room, he looked at the table tucked near the stairs, at the bottle of wine and the two glasses, at the beautiful, golden-eyed man who sat waiting for him.

    “Will you join me for a drink, Lord Jared?” Daemon asked.

    Jared smiled. Unbuttoning his heavy winter coat, he approached the table. “Thank you. I will.”

    Daemon studied him for so long, Jared lifted a hand self-consciously to his hair. He’d shaved off the beard that had kept his face warm through the cold mountain winter, but he’d let his hair grow long enough to tie back and hadn’t decided to cut it yet. His clothes, by even the kindest stretching of the truth, couldn’t be called anything but sturdy and warm.

    Compared to Daemon’s sleek elegance, he felt like a grubby child.

    And resented it.

    Daemon’s eyes filled with amusement.

    Jared lowered his hand and sighed. Daemon knew, damn him.

    “You’ve shed your slave skin,” Daemon said with quiet approval.

    Jared sat down and poured a glass of wine for himself. It surprised him that the approval meant so much.

    But wasn’t that one of the reasons he had come?

    Daemon toyed, with his wineglass. “I’m glad you responded. I expect I’ll be kept on a short leash for quite some time, so it’s unlikely that we’ll meet again.”

    Jared tensed. “Dorothea can’t link you to what happened.” Mother Night, he hoped not. He didn’t want to think about what Daemon’s life would be like if she did.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire