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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Shadow Queen (Chapter 119)      Page
  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(119) by Anne Bishop
  • Green eyes stared into gold. Gray’s hands relaxed and were gently drawn away from Cassidy’s face.

    “Come with me,” Saetan said, still holding one of Gray’s wrists while wrapping his other arm around Gray’s shoulders. “We won’t leave the room. We’ll just go over there so we can talk for a minute.”

    At first there was that audible hitch in Gray’s breathing, the prelude to one of his bouts of mindless terror. Then the breathing evened out. Looking beaten, he let Saetan lead him to another part of the room.

    This time when Theran tried to shake Lucivar off, the Eyrien let him go. Sadi was between him and where the High Lord was talking to Gray, and he wasn’t foolish enough to think Daemon would let him interfere with the discussion.

    “It was just an illusion spell,” Cassidy said, sounding shaken. “To hide the freckles.”

    He hadn’t noticed, hadn’t seen anything different about her. The room wasn’t brightly lit. How in the name of Hell had Gray seen the difference halfway across the room?

    “I’m sorry,” Jaenelle said, looking at Daemon. “It never occurred to me that it would upset him.”

    “Not your fault,” Daemon replied. “But I think Gray does better with changes when he has plenty of warning.”

    The movements looked casual, as if they were drifting from one position in the room to another without any real reason, but when they stopped, Daemon and Lucivar were flanking the women. Theran had the impression that no matter what they personally thought about what had just happened, they would support and defend their wives—and Cassidy.

    Gray looked anxious and uncertain when he and Saetan rejoined their tense little group, and he stared at Cassidy’s face for so long all three women squirmed.

    “Now,” Saetan said, his voice a velvet-coated whip.

    Theran felt his shoulders tighten in response to that sound. This was a voice that allowed no challenge, no discussion, no defiance.

    “Every relationship requires compromises,” Saetan said. “So those compromises are going to be established here and now.”

    A moment of silence, as if the High Lord was giving all of them an opportunity to be dumb enough to argue.

    “Since Lady Cassidy’s freckles are important to Gray, they will not be altered in any way,” Saetan said.

    “But . . . ,” Cassidy began.

    “In. Any. Way.”

    Cassidy hunched her shoulders. “Yes, sir.”

    “In return, Gray, you must accept that women like to paint their faces, adding color to eyes, lips, and cheeks.”

    “Why do they want to do that?” Gray asked, his eyes still fixed on Cassidy’s face as if something might disappear the moment he looked away.

    “Boyo,” Saetan said, “I’ve been observing females for over fifty thousand years, and I can’t tell you why they do what they do. Don’t expect to understand how they think;just understand that some things are important to them that are incomprehensible to us, and learn to work with their way of thinking when you have to.”

    “Like putting color on her face?” Gray asked.

    “Exactly,” Saetan replied. “Although . . . a woman using face paints to enhance her beauty can be intriguing.”

    Theran watched Gray’s face change, watched anxiety shift to curiosity.

    “Darkening the lashes, for instance, to draw more attention to her eyes,” Saetan said.

    “Cassie has pretty eyes,” Gray said.

    “Putting a little gold dust on the cheeks—and other places—so the skin glitters in candlelight,” Daemon purred. “But that’s usually reserved for romantic dinners.”

    “Daemon.”

    Watching Jaenelle blush gave Theran a good idea of how those romantic dinners ended—and the room suddenly got much too warm.

    “Now, the hair,” Saetan said.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire