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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Shadow Queen (Chapter 129)      Page
  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(129) by Anne Bishop
  • That wish pot had been in the shed for centuries too and hadn’t been found.

    “Get out of there,Vae,” Cassidy said. “I have to move the bed, and I can’t do that while you’re under it.”

    She waited impatiently while Vae wiggled out from under the bed. Then she used Craft to lift and shift the bed as far as she could.

    Vae went back to sniffing the carpet, then began scratching.

    “Wait,” Cassidy said firmly. She moved the night tables and rolled up the carpet.

    No trapdoor. No visible sign that there was anything different about that part of the floor. No lock embedded in the wood.

    *Here,*Vae said, placing a small white paw near the spot that held the smells.

    Cassidy ran her fingers over and over that spot. And found nothing until she held the key over that part of the floor.

    A shadow so subtle she wasn’t sure she was seeing anything. But the key slipped into that shadow like a well-oiled lock, and when she turned it, a rectangle of floor as long as her arm popped up. When she moved it aside . . .

    Vae sniffed. Sneezed.

    Ignoring the box in the secret compartment, Cassidy took out one of the books and opened it to a random page.

    Like the letter in the wish pot, the ink had faded, although not as badly.

    “A journal,” she said softly.

    Paper?Vae asked, sounding disappointed.

    “Yes, paper. But valuable.” It didn’t take more than reading a few lines to realize this was Lia’s journal—and a few lines more to realize the entries were made near the end of her life.

    Cassidy riffled the pages until she found the last entry. Which was written by a different hand.

    Lia is dead. And Dena Nehele grieves.

    Without the Gray Lady, Dena Nehele will fall to the twisted ideas Dorothea SaDiablo spews. It won’t happen next year, or the year after that. The dreams and visions I see in my tangled webs all show me the same thing—Lia’s granddaughter will hold the land for a while. Long enough to keep the bloodline from dying out with so much else that will die in the years ahead. And Jared and his grandsons will continue fighting to keep the shadows at bay.

    I will die before the seasons change, slaughtered here at Grayhaven, which should have been the safest place, while Jared, Blaed, and Talon are fighting elsewhere. I will not tell them because if they are here, they will not survive—and they must survive a few years longer. They must.

    Lia is dead. Tomorrow I will grieve. Tonight I will set in motion all the spells we created to keep the treasure safe—and the hope that is hidden with it.

    Thera

    Cassidy closed the journal and started to put it back. Then she hesitated. If she left it all where it had been safely hidden for so long, would the key work a second time? Or was this part of the spell done, and this was the only opportunity to retrieve these items?

    Not willing to take that chance, she pulled all the journals out of the compartment and set them aside before she removed the last item—the trinket box.

    During all this, Vae stayed with her, not really interested or curious, but still watchful.

    Cassidy opened the trinket box and smiled as she lifted a few pieces from the jumble of jewelry.

    No expensive pieces here, no precious stones. She imagined that, during Lia’s lifetime, the pieces weren’t jumbled to deceive someone into thinking they weren’t important. Because these trinkets were important. When she went through the journals, she’d find each piece recorded. Gifts from Lia’s children. Sentimental presents from her husband. Not expensive, but priceless nonetheless.

    She spent an hour wiping the journals and trinket box clean of dust before hiding them in the bottom of a trunk of her own belongings.

    Then she put the piece of floor back in place.

    *The smells are gone,* Vae said.

    The key was embedded in the wood, and when she tried to remove it, it broke cleanly, becoming nothing more than an odd gold glint in the wood.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire