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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Invisible Ring (Chapter 44)      Page
  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(44) by Anne Bishop
  • Jared said nothing.

    The anger gradually drained out of Randolf. “It’s your decision, Lord Jared. You do what you think is best.” He turned and walked away.

    Jared waited until Randolf was out of sight before he walked over to the knife lying in the road.

    The blade was broken into small pieces. A man’s foot couldn’t break tempered steel like that. Craft could.

    Hell’s fire, Mother Night, and may the Darkness be merciful.

    If Garth wasn’t as damaged as he seemed to be ...

    Jared raised his hand but stopped before he raked his fingers through his hair. His hand still felt slimy, fouled.

    If someone had created a spell around Garth so that he wouldappear to be mind-damaged, in the same way Sadi had created a spell to hide Blaed’s true nature ... Butwhy ?

    His snarl echoed the wild stranger’s fiercer one.

    “Pet.” A word slaves despised even more than “tainted.”

    The wild stranger circled the thought and snarled again.

    Pet.

    Whyhad the Gray Lady excluded the adult males from the story time? Because she thought they wouldn’t be interested, or because she didn’t want them to hear a tale about an escape to a land where the Blood still lived with honor?

    Pet.

    Jared started up the road at a fast walk.

    Could a man be a pet without being aware of it?

    Thera would know. Being broken didn’t erase her knowledge or training, merely kept her from using it.

    Jared looked around.

    He couldn’t see the wagon.

    He couldn’t see any sign of Randolf or Garth.

    He started running.

    Thera was the only person in their group who might have the answers he needed; was the only one who understood the Black Widows’ Craft.

    The Gray Lady was the only person in the entire Realm of Terreille who wore the Gray Jewels; was the only Queen and the onlyfree person who outranked Dorothea SaDiablo.

    Both of them were lying in the wagon, feeling unwell enough to be vulnerable to an unexpected attack.

    And until he had some answers, there was no one he could trust to help keep them safe.

    Jared stared at the swift-moving, mud-colored water. On either side of the swollen creek were the remains of the bridge they needed to cross. As he watched, the water seduced another plank of the bridge and took it for a wild ride downstream, abandoning it at the tangle of branches and debris that had piled up at the curve.

    Brock hooked his thumbs into his leather belt, took a deep breath, and blew it out. “Well, that’s inconvenient.”

    “For us,” Jared agreed.

    Brock narrowed his eyes. “I wondered if it could be a marauder ambush, so I took a chance and probed the area. There’s no Blood around here but us. We’ve been visible long enough to have company if it was coming.” He shook his head. “I think one of the trees that had been uprooted in the flood smashed into the bridge and pulled it down.”

    “Maybe.” Jared wished he had insisted on talking to Thera. But when he caught up with the others, Blaed had curtly informed him that both women were sleeping, and there had been an edge to the young Warlord Prince’s voice that had warned him not to push. Since his own anxiety had diminished once he could keep an eye on the women, and he didn’t see any reason to aggravate the aggressive, protective instincts Blaed was fighting to keep leashed, he’d decided to wait until he could talk to Thera without drawing the other men’s attention. Now, looking at the remains of the bridge and wondering if it had been the flood or Craft that had destroyed it. he regretted that decision.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire