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  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(100) by Anne Bishop
  • “Now,” Lucivar said to Gray. “You’re going to go outside and clear your head of the blood scent enough to have your brain working again. Then you come back in, and we’ll all work out an agreement for taking care of Cassidy during her moontime.”

    “Mine!”

    “She’s a Queen,” Lucivar said firmly. “She has a court. You have to share.”

    Gray bared his teeth and snarled at Lucivar.

    Lucivar just looked at him until Gray subsided, yielding to the dominant power.

    “Even the sweetest-tempered witch turns bitchy during the first three days of her moontime,” Lucivar said. “Why should you be the only one on the receiving end of her temper? Let her court shoulder some of it. That’s part of what it means to be First Circle.”

    Gray, don’t be a fool, Theran thought. He’s giving you a chance to back down. Take it!

    “How much sharing?” Gray asked, sounding wary.

    “That’s what we’re going to decide. Go on,” Lucivar added gently. “Get some air. The first time it matters always hits a man hard.”

    Theran didn’t take a full breath until Gray retreated.

    “Hell’s fire,” Ranon said. “What got into him?”

    “His temper and his balls woke up,” Lucivar replied. “Since they woke up about ten years late, you all need to be very careful with him.”

    “Gray wouldn’t hurt anyone,” Theran said.

    “A week ago, I’d say you were right,” Lucivar said, giving Theran a long look. “But he’s a Warlord Prince who has staked a claim. Until Cassidy accepts him or rejects him according to Protocol, he won’t see you as a cousin when you’re in the same room with her. He’ll see you as a rival. And Grayhaven, if he believes you’re trespassing, don’t think for a moment he won’t do his damnedest to rip your throat out.”

    CHAPTER 19

    Ebon ASKAVI

    Lucivar walked into the sitting room at the Keep and wasn’t surprised to find Daemon there as well as Saetan. His brother’s presence wasn’t a lack of confidence in his ability to handle himself in a potentially hostile place; it was a need for firsthand assurance that he had returned home safely.

    Or maybe it was Daemon’s way of letting him see that the emotional fragility had passed—or, at least, had mended enough not to be the first thing he sensed about his brother. In fact, he’d say Daemon had the contented feel of a man who had been well stroked last night—a condition he hoped to find himself in tonight if he and Marian had enough energy left after they put the little beast to bed.

    There was food on the table, so he filled a plate, accepted the coffee Daemon poured for him, and said, “Young Warlord Princes are a pain in the ass.”

    His father, the coldhearted bastard, laughed.

    “I could have told you that,” Saetan said.

    “Did Theran give you trouble?” Daemon asked.

    “Not Theran. Gray.” Seeing the same narrowing of their gold eyes, Lucivar nodded. “Yeah. The one who didn’t leave boyhood behind after he was tortured. He’s making up for it now.”

    “In what way?” Saetan asked.

    “He staked a claim on the Queen.”

    “What?”

    Two voices. The same disbelief swiftly followed by thoughtful consideration. He could have used some of that thoughtful consideration over the past three days.

    Comfortable with the silence, Lucivar ate the first relaxed meal he’d had since he walked into the Grayhaven estate and found a situation a lot more potentially explosive than he’d anticipated.

    “Gray is twenty-seven?” Saetan asked.

    Lucivar nodded. “He’s a couple months older than Theran.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire