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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Invisible Ring (Chapter 86)      Page
  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(86) by Anne Bishop
  • Another roar. A shriek as the weight on top of him suddenly lightened. Blaed yelling, “No, Garth! NO! That’s Lia! THAT’S LIA!”

    One shove got Thera off him. Jared scrambled to his feet.

    Garth held Lia over his head. Blaed stood in front of Garth, but not close enough to help if the big man flung Lia to the ground. Brock and Randolf were a careful distance up the road, breathing hard as if they’d come running to help but now were no longer sure of what to do.

    “Put her down, Garth,” Jared said firmly.

    Garth turned to face him. “P-p-protect!”

    “You did protect Lia. You got her out of the fight.”

    The angry flush that colored Garth’s face slowly changed to bewilderment.

    Jared noticed the fresh blood darkening Garth’s left sleeve.

    Probably something had cut him during the explosion— a sharp stone or even a small branch with enough force behind it to act like an arrow.

    “You did well, Garth,” Jared said, walking toward the big man and hoping he looked far more sure of himself than he felt. “Stopping the fight was good. Prince Blaed and I will handle the rest.”

    He held out his arms.

    Garth hesitated, finally gave a grunt that could have meant anything, then carefully lowered Lia into Jared’s waiting arms. After giving Lia’s shoulder a thumping pat, he started walking up the road toward the wagon.

    “Put me down,” Lia said, squirming.

    Jared tightened his hold on her and bared his teeth. “When the sun shines in Hell.” Hearing a vicious curse, he looked over his shoulder in time to see Blaed haul Thera to her feet. Apparently Blaed’s temper was as sharp and hot as his own, and that pleased him.

    Lia squirmed again, then yipped when his fingers clamped down harder. “I can—”

    “Shut up.” Jared’s temper soared a little higher when he saw Thayne jogging toward them with the saddle horses. With Thayne there, that meant there wasn’t an adult looking after the wagon or the children.

    *It’s all right,* Blaed said on an Opal spear thread. *Eryk and Tomas are holding the team, and Thayne put a shield around everything. He’ll know if anything touches it before we get there.*

    *Get her to the wagon, Blaed.* He couldn’t even say Thera’s name. She’d saved him, but she also had attacked Lia, and he couldn’t untangle the feelings.

    Blaed had Thera up on the roan mare and was galloping toward the wagon between one curse and the next.

    Jared found his way to the gelding blocked by Brock and Randolf. Randolf was sweating and thoroughly shaken. Brock looked grim.

    “What happened?” Brock asked.

    “Later,” Jared snapped, shoving between them to reach the gelding.

    The trip back to the wagon was too swift to cool his temper or soothe the fear that still jangled his nerves.

    Handing the gelding’s reins to Tomas, Jared pulled Lia out of the saddle. The other three children clustered around the roan mare, watching him. “Stay here,” Jared told them. Not that he thought any of them would be anxious to be in a small, enclosed space with two snarling witches who had just torn into each other. Hell’s fire,he didn’t want to be inside the wagon with them either.

    Ignoring Lia’s muttered protests when he picked her up, Jared marched into the wagon and dumped her on the bench opposite Thera. Blaed stood nearby, blocking any escape through the shutters that opened onto the driving seat, his muscles quivering with the effort of keeping his own anger in check.

    Rubbing his teeth-marked hand, Jared leaned against the door and started putting shields around the wagon—physical shield, psychic shield, aural shield. No one was going to interrupt or overhear this little discussion.

    Blaed gave him a look that said,what do we do now ?

    The women weren’t paying any attention to him or Blaed. A good thing, too, since he had no idea what to do next.

    Still breathing hard, Thera dabbed at her lip, then stared at the fresh blood on the back of her hand. “Hell’s fire, Lia, you split my lip.”

    Lia pushed her hair away from her face, and said contritely, “I’m sorry.” She studied all the strands of hair now tangled around her fingers. Her eyes narrowed. “Then again, maybe I’m not. Did you have to rip so much hair out?”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire