• Home
  • Directory
  • Popular
  • Authors
  • Series
  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Invisible Ring (Chapter 78)      Page
  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(78) by Anne Bishop
  • “I know,” Jared soothed. “I know.” Worried that she might collapse, he waited until she seemed a little calmer. “How much?”

    Her eyes darting from him to Blaed and back again, she pulled a piece of coarse paper and a slim stick of charcoal from beneath the counter and began writing figures. She totaled them, then licked her lips and said nothing.

    Jared tugged the paper out from under her hand, read the total, called in the wad of silver marks, and paid her.

    “If you’re thinking of telling me it’s fair that we carry what we each selected, think again,” Blaed said dryly.

    Relieved that Blaed had shaken off his anger so quickly, Jared gave him a wicked grin and obligingly vanished half the supplies, including the bag of potatoes. The Warlord Prince could have taken all the supplies without thinking twice. It was just the principle of sharing the work. “Happy?”

    “Ecstatic.” Blaed vanished his half. Facing the old woman, he gave her the slight bow that denoted courtesy to a woman of less rank.

    Flustered, she smiled shyly.

    “A moment, Lord,” she said when Jared started to leave.

    Nodding to Blaed, who went out, he turned back to the old woman.

    She went to a small shelf behind the counter and took down a sealed glass jar. “Fruit preserves,” she said, handing the jar to Jared. “I make it myself. It’s good on morning biscuits.”

    “Thank you. How—”

    “A gift, Lord. Please take it.”

    Touched, Jared kissed her hand. He vanished the jar and gave her the same slight bow. “Lady.”

    When he turned again to leave, she placed a hand on his arm. “Don’t go back to Shalador, Lord,” she said hurriedly. “There’s nothing for you there. Shalador lies in ruins. They say all the good Queens are dead, and those who are left have sold themselves for Hayll’s pleasure.”

    “Why?” Jared said sharply. “How?”

    “War.” She shook her head. “Terrible war.”

    Jared braced his hands on the counter and closed his eyes.

    Belarr was a Red-Jeweled Warlord. He’d know how to protect Ranon’s Wood. He’d keep Reyna and the boys safe.

    Except they weren’t boys anymore. His brothers were old enough to fight. Old enough to die.

    He swallowed hard, afraid he was going to be sick.

    “Lord?” The old woman patted his arm.

    Jared opened his eyes His vision blurred when he saw her concern.

    “I ... I do not understand this Darkness that the Blood honor,” she said hesitantly. “It is not . . . evil?”

    “No,” he replied wearily. “It’s not evil.”

    “Then may it watch over you, Lord, and protect you.”

    Jared tried to smile. “Thank you.”

    She walked around the counter and took his arm. “Come. I’ll walk you to the butcher’s.”

    “I can find it.”

    She led him out of the store. “I’ll walk you.”

    Blaed took one look at him and stiffened. “What’s wrong?”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire