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  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(69) by Anne Bishop
  • He’d said good night to Lady Cuddles, and woke up to Lady Grumpy.

    “Jared?” Tomas peeked around the side of the wagon.

    “You don’t want to be around here during the next few minutes,” Jared growled.

    Owl-eyed, Tomas darted back to the others.

    Taking a deep breath, Jared rapped on the wagon door— more a warning than a request to enter—opened the door, and ducked the boot that went whizzing over his head. He got the door closed before the second boot, aimed lower, could join its partner.

    Retrieving the boot, he rushed into the wagon, tripped over the other boot, and swore.

    She was sitting in the dark. Naturally. What good was sulking if you made yourself comfortable?

    He made a ball of witchlight, then leaned against the door.

    After one good glare at him, Lia stared at her feet.

    Jared waggled the boot. “Didn’t your grandmother ever tell you it isn’t courteous to throw a boot at your escort?”

    “Go sit on a pricker bush.”

    So much for courtesy.

    On the other hand, since she wouldn’t let him fuss, annoying her was almost as pleasing.

    Settling back to enjoy himself, Jared shook his head and tsked sadly. “It wounds my tender sensibilities to hear you say that.”

    “If you sat on a pricker bush, your sensibilities aren’t the only tender things that would be wounded.”

    Jared narrowed his eyes and tried to remember he was enjoying himself. “You let me fuss yesterday.”

    “That was yesterday. I’m mad at you today.”


    “Why?” Lia’s voice rose to an outraged screech. “Why? Because I let you fuss yesterday. I let you treat me like some oversize baby bird whose mama keeps stuffing it with food—”

    “I didn’t stuff you,” Jared grumbled.

    “—I didn’t argue with you when you snarled everyone out of the wagon or when you got nasty with Tomas—”

    “I didn’t get nasty.”

    “—I didn’t say a word when you bundled me up in so many blankets I couldn’t move at all. All right. Fine. You needed to fuss. But that’s no excuse for today.”

    “Today?” Jared raised his hand to rake his fingers through his hair and almost clobbered himself with the boot. Tossing it aside, he rubbed his hands over his face. Was aggravation supposed to be one of the privileges of serving? “What did I do today?”

    His ignorance seemed to outrage her even more.

    “Thera’s moontime isn’t any further along than mine, but do you fuss about her? No.”

    Jared bristled. “Blaed doesn’t need any help fussing about Thera.”

    “Doesn’t matter. The point is, you insisted that we stay in the wagon yesterday, and we did. But this morning, when Thera decided to walk, you didn’t say a thing. Not the littlest yip or snarl. Then whenI said I wanted to walk, you bundled me up and chucked me in here.That’s why I’m mad at you.” Lia sat back, crossed her arms, and pouted.

    “That has nothing to do with your moontime,” Jared shouted. “It has everything to do with the fact that Thera has two legs that work and you don’t.”

    Her lower lip quivered.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire