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  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(93) by Anne Bishop
  • He matched her stride and waited.

    “We’ll go to Ranon’s Wood,” Lia said quietly.

    “Fine.” Jared replied politely.

    He knew that would be her decision—not because of the help they’d find there, but because it was his home. If she’d realized it was that close, she probably would have headed there a lot sooner.

    Getting her charges home. Getting one more to safety before her luck ran out. She’d focus on that until they reached Ranon’s Wood.

    Too late, she’d realize her error.

    Jared smiled in anticipation. It was going to be such fun watching Lia try to dodge around his father’s code of honor.

    Chapter Sixteen

    Barely dawn. Barely light enough to see. Didn’t matter.

    Krelis drove his knife into the straw man that hung from the whipping posts. He didn’t strike between the ribs and into the heart for a fast kill, but in the belly, in the guts. Over and over again.

    The straw man swung back and forth with each blow. Back and forth.

    Over and over and over.

    There was nothing wrong with his plan.Nothing .

    Except that bitch-Queen had tricked him from the very beginning.

    Except the High Priestess was becoming impatient.

    That wasn’t good. It wasn’tsafe .

    But it wasn’t his fault that Gray-Jeweled bitch had tricked him. It wasn’t his fault that the side scheme Dorothea had arranged with another Black Widow had ruined a good ambush. It wasn’t his fault that his relatives regarded his mother as the family whore, an accommodation when a more socially powerful male deigned to visit them. It wasn’t his fault that the damn man who had sired him couldn’t keep his mouth shut, couldn’t accept that all ofTerreille was slowly changing, not just the lousy little Province he lived in.

    It wasn ‘t his fault.

    Stab stab stab.

    “Lord Krelis.”

    And now he had to deal with that aristo bastard Maryk who must resent every breath he took because Maryk now had to yield to him when, just six months ago, Maryk had been giving him orders.

    “Lord Krelis.”

    Breathing hard, Krelis stepped away from the straw man and stared at his second-in-command.

    Something slithered in the depths of Maryk’s eyes as he regarded the figure tied to the whipping posts.

    “He was a difficult slave,” Maryk said carefully, lifting his voice at the end to make it almost a question.

    Puzzled. Krelis looked at the straw man.

    He saw the blood. Smelled the bowel. And couldn’t remember the exact moment he’d exchanged the straw practice figure for a living man.

    “I’ll take care of it,” Maryk said quietly. “Get cleaned up.”

    Krelis dropped the knife and walked away, stumbling a little now that the fury was gone. Stumbling a little, and feeling more than a little sick, because the something in Maryk’s eyes was pity.

    Chapter Seventeen

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire