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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Invisible Ring (Chapter 89)      Page
  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(89) by Anne Bishop
  • Garth shifted his feet but didn’t come forward.


    Garth’s pale blue eyes focused on Jared.

    “Go on, Garth,” Jared said, keeping his voice firm but kind. “The arm needs tending.”

    Cautiously circling around Lia, Garth entered the wagon.

    “Let’s move out,” Lia said. “Thayne, you lead the team. Corry and Cathryn, you ride the mare. Tomas, you and Eryk take turns leading her. When you get tired, switch.”

    “Yes, Lady,” Tomas said solemnly.

    “I may not like him,” Randolf said, “but if you let that Black Widow bitch tend Garth, he’s liable to walk out of that wagon with one arm instead of two.”

    Lia took a swing at Randolf, only missing because he jerked his chin back at the same time Jared grabbed her.

    “Whatever problem I have with her is my business, but you’d damn well better remember that she outranks you, Warlord.”

    Swearing under his breath, Jared dragged Lia over to the bay gelding. “That’s enough,” he growled. “Don’t confuse them to the point of panic.”

    “I wasn’t trying to confuse him,” Lia said through gritted teeth. “I was trying to hit him.”

    Jared boosted her into the saddle, then handed the reins to Blaed before he stormed back to Randolf. The only thing that kept him from throwing a punch of his own was Brock joining them. He settled for a searing look that made Randolf shift uneasily.

    “Tempers are running hot right now,” Jared said. “If they get any hotter, it’s going to be real uncomfortable for us. So keep your tongue and your temper leashed.”

    “This really started over some messed-up spell?” Brock asked.

    Jared caught a flicker of worry underneath Brock’s bland tone. Understandable, certainly. If he hadn’t seen the two of them in the wagon, hadn’t been told straight out the fight had been staged, he’d be more than a little worried, too, about having two Green-Jeweled witches going for each other’s throats.

    “Guess so,” Jared said, shrugging. “I was just tucking myself back into my pants when Thera came rushing toward me, yelling at me to run. It didn’t seem like a good time to start asking questions. And after ...” Jared rubbed the back of his neck and looked away.

    Brock snorted. “The whole damn Territory probably heardthat.‘” He paused, snorted again, then gave Randolf a friendly slap on the shoulder. “Come on. We’ll take point. No sense riling things up more than they are.”

    Jared waited until the two guards were moving up the road before returning to Lia.

    *Everything all right?* Blaed asked, handing the reins to Jared.

    *For now,* Jared replied.

    *I’ll stay behind the wagon and keep on eye on things.*

    *Thera wants ... * Seeing the look in Blaed’s eyes, Jared let it go. Blaed the man might care a great deal about what Thera wanted, but Blaed the Warlord Prince would do whatever he felt was necessary—regardless of what Thera wanted.

    Nodding to acknowledge Blaed’s choice, Jared mounted behind Lia and gave Thayne the signal to move on.

    They were right, he thought as he wrapped one arm protectively around Lia’s waist. He’d never admit it to either of them, but, damn them, they were right. He wouldn’t have responded the same way if they’d told him the fight was an act. They shouldn’t haveneeded to tell him. If he hadn’t been so mentally scrambled, he should have realized it after the first shouted exchange.

    And a Queendidn’t have to explain herself to any man, even the ones who served in her First Circle. Lia was right about that, too. A Queen might talk to all of her First Circle about the day-to-day concerns of the court, but there were also circumstances when only her Steward and Master of the Guard were toldwhy something was required. Sometimes she didn’t even tellthem .

    Blind trust was part of the price of service, and the day a male couldn’t give that kind of trust to his Queen was the day when, in his heart, he no longer served.

    Jared understood that, had been raised to accept it.

    But he didn’t have to like it.

    An hour later, Garth left the wagon, looking dazed.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire