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  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(118) by Anne Bishop
  • “Well, then . . .”

    “I have scars.”

    The pain in those words ripped at Theran’s heart.

    Another beat of silence.

    “If you kiss a girl the right way, she won’t notice the scars,” Daemon said.

    “The right way?” Gray slowly lifted his head. “There’s a right way?”

    Daemon smiled.

    Gray stared at Lucivar, and there was a hint of challenge in his voice. “You didn’t tell me there was a right way.”

    “You’re in the first stage of courtship,” Lucivar said. “Beginner kisses. As long as you don’t drool on the girl or chew her face, you’re doing fine.”

    Saetan and Daemon made pained sounds.

    “What?” Lucivar said. “Let him figure it out for himself. He’s not kissing her below the neck—or he shouldn’t be.”

    “I’m not,” Gray said hotly. “But—”

    “We’ll discuss technique later,” Daemon said quietly.

    Gray swallowed whatever he’d been about to say and sat back.

    “Oh, the joy of dealing with young men,” Saetan said dryly as he looked toward the sitting room door. “Thank the Darkness, I think the Ladies are returning.”

    Theran rose to his feet with the rest of the men, feeling awkward, exposed. Gray had been the one dumping intimate worries in front of men he barely knew, but Theran felt as if he had been stripped naked as well.

    Then Cassidy walked into the room between Jaenelle and Marian—and Gray gasped and rushed over to her, knocking Theran out of the way.

    Gray clamped his hands on either side of Cassidy’s face, his expression horrified.

    “What happened to her face?” His voice began rising to that desperate keening. “Where is her face?”

    “Gray,” Cassidy said, “what’s wrong?”

    “WHERE IS HER FACE?”

    Saetan and Daemon grabbed Gray’s wrists, trying to pull his hands away from Cassidy’s face.

    Theran leaped toward them, wanting to stop them before Gray got hurt, but Lucivar grabbed his arm and yanked him back.

    “Easy, Gray,” Daemon said.

    “WHERE IS HER FACE?”

    Saetan snapped out a sentence that sounded like a command. Theran didn’t recognize the language Saetan spoke, but the tone was sharp, commanding, and angry—and Jaenelle jerked back as if she’d been slapped.

    A moment later, Gray’s keening changed to gasping sobs as he smiled and said, “There it is. There’s her face.”

    “Gray,” Saetan said. “Come with me now. We need to talk.”

    Seeing naked fear on Gray’s face, Theran tried to shake off Lucivar’s hold on his arm—and almost got yanked off his feet.

    “Jared.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire