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  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(103) by Anne Bishop
  • Delicious flutters in her belly.

    He stepped back and smiled. “Lucivar said since we’re courting, I’m allowed to kiss you. But only above the shoulders. For now.”

    There was a different kind of flutter in her belly. “Did he give you a timetable for when you can do things without him coming down on you like an avalanche?”

    “Yes.”

    Mother Night.

    “Cassie? If you don’t want me to kiss you, I’ll understand.”

    Understand what?

    He was younger than she, and his mind was still healing. Those were two reasons to tell him not to kiss her.

    But her Consort had never given her that delicious flutter in the belly. So she gave Gray a light kiss in reply and walked out of the shed, wondering if she was asking to have her heart broken when he started seeing her the way other men did.

    She stopped walking when she reached the dead honey pear tree. More than a symbol of the Grayhaven line, it had been a symbol of love.

    Wondering if she would ever experience that kind of love, and remembering how Gray’s kiss made her feel, she pressed her palm against the tree.

    A violent snapping beneath her feet. Sharp cracks of something breaking.

    She grabbed the tree for support.

    It wobbled.

    “Cassie!”

    “Be careful!” Cassie said as Gray ran up to her. “Look!” Putting both hands on the trunk, she pushed a little, and they both watched the tree wobble.

    “The roots must have cracked,” Gray said, going to the opposite side of the tree and placing his hands on it.

    More snaps and cracks on his side of the tree.

    “It’s going to fall,” Gray said. “After all this time, it’s going to fall.”

    “Gray,” Cassidy breathed, hardly daring to believe what was rising up from the ground around them and through the dead wood. A message that had been masked all these years. “Gray, there’s something under the tree.”

    He stared at her, his eyes filling with excitement. “Do you think it’s the treasure?”

    “What?”

    “There’s supposed to be a treasure buried somewhere at Grayhaven. Lia buried it, and even Jared didn’t know where, but he told his grandsons that there was a treasure that would help restore Dena Nehele when it was found. People have been searching ever since, but no one has found it.”

    “You said they couldn’t cut down what was left of the tree,” Cassidy said.

    “And the ground was too hard to dig it up.”

    Treasure? Why would she feel it?

    She eyed Gray and decided he’d get too upset if she didn’t tell him first. Releasing the tree, she said, “I’m going to do something you won’t like, but it’s necessary.”

    Now he eyed her.

    She kept her nails short, since it was more practical for gardening, so she called in a pocketknife, opened the blade, and sliced the tip of her little finger deep enough to have blood welling before Gray could snarl an objection.

    She closed the knife and vanished it. As she pressed her hand against the tree, she said, “And the Blood shall sing to the Blood.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire