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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Invisible Ring (Chapter 74)      Page
  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(74) by Anne Bishop
  • He took the marks and riffled through the various denominations of gold and silver. She could have bought passage on a Coach for herself, Thera, and the children with what he held in his hand.

    Which made him wonder just how much of her remaining funds she’d given him . . . and why.

    Working to make his voice as colorless as hers, he said, “Am I supposed to buy supplies or the village with this?”

    “You should have enough with you to buy what’s needed,” Lia replied carefully.

    “If I needed more, I could contact you?” Jared watched her, not sure what he was looking for. “You could use Craft to send it to me.” Damn her, why was she doing this to him? Why was she holding herself as if he’d just beaten her?

    “Take it with you, Jared.” She took a deep breath.

    Jared held his breath and waited. There was something else she wanted to say, something she wanted to tell him. He could feel it. Had she discovered something about the danger that traveled with them?

    She let her breath out and said nothing.

    Vanishing the marks, Jared mounted the bay gelding. “Anything in particular you want me to look for? Any—” No. he wouldn’t ask her about personal needs. She didn’t want him to meet any personal needs.

    She was a good Queen. He’d give her that. It was his error that he hadn’t realized it was a Queen acting responsibly toward a strong, distressed male and not a woman responding as a woman when she’d let him hold her, kiss her, caress her.

    His mistake. One that wouldn’t be repeated.

    Thera approached them, followed by Blaed.

    “Take Blaed with you,” Thera said.

    Jared knew the words were meant for him, but Thera kept looking at Lia, who hissed in anger.

    “Lord Jared’s perfectly capable of obtaining supplies,” Lia said.

    “Of course,” Thera agreed calmly. “But two of them will get it done faster. There’s not enough food left to put together a midday meal. How much daylight do you want to waste?”

    The gelding snorted and backed away from the female tempers that gave the air a stormy tang as a silent, vicious argument took place.

    “Fine,” Lia finally said through clenched teeth. “Blaed will accompany Jared to the village.”

    Circling wide around the two women, Blaed mounted the roan mare.

    “Ladies,” Jared said coldly.

    Receiving no response, Jared shortened the gelding’s reins and turned the eager horse toward the village. He couldn’t blame it for wanting to get as far away from that anger as possible.

    Blaed didn’t break the silence until they reached the bottom of the hill. “You and Lady Lia have a fight?”

    “If we did, I wasn’t invited to participate,” Jared snarled, urging the gelding into an easy canter.

    “Lia trusts you,” Blaed said, raising his voice above the rhythmic sound of pounding hooves. “You know that, don’t you?”

    Jared reined the gelding in and slowed to a walk. He glared at the younger man, who met his temper with a steadying calm. “Did Thera shove you into coming with me because you were fussing her too much or because she thought I needed a keeper?”

    “Maybe she thought you needed a friend,” Blaed replied quietly. “Lia’s upset. It has something to do with you. Stands to reason you might need to do a bit of snarling yourself.”

    “Well, your reasoning’s faulty,” Jared snapped. And then swore.

    Blaed made no comment, which was all the comment he needed to make.

    “It has nothing to do with trust,” Jared said after a minute. He wouldn’t let it hurt him. He wouldn’t. “Who else could she have sent? Randolf with his surly contempt? The children? Garth?”

    “Brock,” Blaed countered. “Thera.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire