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  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(156) by Anne Bishop
  • “Uh-huh,” Theran replied as he hauled her to her feet.

    Vae was stretched out on the seat, looking quite pleased with herself. Theran dropped the Green shield around the packages and said, “In the back.”

    She grumbled a bit, but she stepped over the seat and walked on air while she nudged packages around until she’d made a Sceltie-sized spot. Then she lay down with a sigh.

    Cassidy was more of a handful since the liquor and the fight were catching up to her and coordination became a vague concept. But he finally got her on the seat and wrapped a Green shield around her to keep her from falling out of the cart.

    When he turned to find out what was keeping Shira, he saw Ranon holding the Healer back—and the landen man standing within reach.

    “I’ve got something to say to you,” the man said.

    Theran stiffened. “Then say it.”

    “What happened today . . . What those boys did . . . That’s happened before. Not to me and mine, but to others.”

    He nodded.

    “Been a long time since someone looked at us and saw people instead of less.”

    He nodded again, not knowing what to say or what this man wanted.

    “I fought in the landen uprisings.”

    “So did I,” Theran replied.

    The man glanced at the cart. “If there had been someone like her around two years ago, maybe we wouldn’t have felt the need to fight. I just wanted you to know that.”

    His throat closed. Something ached inside of him. He raised a hand in farewell, then climbed up to the seat. A moment later, Shira joined him, and they drove away with Ranon riding behind them as escort.

    “Exciting day,” Shira said.

    “Yeah.” Too many things had happened too fast. There were too many things to think about.

    And he wasn’t sure how he felt about any of them.

    CHAPTER 29


    Daemon shifted the wooden delivery box to one hand and knocked on the cottage door.

    He understood Jaenelle’s reason for waiting in solitude. Witch would not have been an easy companion last night, and Witch wouldn’t have been soothed by the company of all the women who had rallied around Marian. Lucivar had placed the Eyrien warriors on alert, and that had been enough warning for the women. For the warriors, seeing Lucivar go to the Keep armed and shielded told them everything they needed to know. If a fight broke out at Ebon Askavi between the three strongest Warlord Princes in the Realm, it would shake the whole damn valley. Or worse.

    So the Eyrien women had gathered to keep Marian company, to keep Daemonar distracted. To wait.

    But the Queen would have waited in silence, in solitude. Because if she’d felt the need to reclaim what she had given up, she would have terrified all of them.

    He wasn’t sure who—or what—would open the door, and he began to worry when she didn’t answer.

    Then the door opened and Jaenelle stood there, studying him with those haunted sapphire eyes that always saw too much.

    “Why were you knocking?” she asked, the tension visible in her stance—and audible in her voice.

    “Because this is your private place.”

    Like his suite of rooms at the Hall.

    Relaxing, she nodded, acknowledging his reason. “What did you bring?”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire