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  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(150) by Anne Bishop
  • “Not enough.”

    She sighed. “All the more reason for me to see this part of the town.”

    Exactly the reason she shouldn’t be there. But it was pointless to argue now that they’d crossed that boundary, and there were other Blood wandering these streets.

    Market day, Theran realized. When power—and the unspoken threat of its being unleashed—was another marker on the table, a few coins could buy a Blood family provisions for a week at the landen markets.

    “What’s that?” Cassidy asked, sitting up straighter.

    “A craftmen’s courtyard,” Theran replied, glancing in that direction. “Potters, weavers, and others of that sort put out their wares. Some even work on a piece to—”

    “Stop,” Cassidy said. “Theran, stop the cart, I want to—”

    “No.”

    *Theran? Theran!*

    Shit. The little bitch would yap at him for the rest of the day. And Cassidy wouldn’t be much better.

    He gave the guards a psychic tap to alert them as he reined in.

    Cassidy and Vae were out of the cart and walking back the way they’d come before he could set the brake and tie off the reins.

    One of the guards dismounted and came to stand at the horse’s head. “I’ll keep an eye on the cart, but you’d best shield those packages. Lots of quick fingers here could lift a package and be on the next street before you know you’ve been robbed.”

    “Thanks for the reminder.” Theran put a Green shield around the back of the cart, then hurried to catch up to Cassidy. If the packages were stolen, it would give the Blood a reason to shake this part of town. If the Queen was injured . . . Well, he wasn’t sure who would be going to war with whom, especially once Sadi andYaslana heard about it, but no matter who stepped onto the battleground, a lot of the town would burn before the fighting was done.

    Cassidy had stopped before a weaver’s table.

    Family group,Theran decided. Man, woman, adolescent boy, and young girl. The man had a hard face and a look in his eyes Theran recognized.

    Fighter.

    “This is lovely work,” Cassidy said, smiling at the girl. “And this is yours?”

    “Y-yes, Lady.”

    Cassidy stepped closer to the loom and the unfinished piece—and the girl.

    The man stiffened.

    Theran descended to the depth of his Green Jewel and prepared to rise to the killing edge.

    But Cassidy pointed at the loom, not touching child or work.

    “What kind of pattern is this?”

    “It’s a traditional pattern, Lady,” the woman said. “Dena Nehele has traditional patterns for each season. The girl is weaving a summer pattern.”

    “Lovely colors,” Cassidy said, directing her remarks to the girl. “Did you choose them?”

    The girl nodded.

    “You have a good eye for color.”

    By now the other merchants and their customers had stopped their own bartering to watch this exchange. A few had even sidled closer.

    But not too close. One slashing look from him was enough to have them reconsidering the wisdom of getting too close.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire