• Home
  • Directory
  • Popular
  • Authors
  • Series
  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Shadow Queen (Chapter 32)      Page
  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(32) by Anne Bishop
  • “They need a Queen who knows the Old Ways, who lives by the Old Ways, who knows Protocol, and who knows how to rule fairly,” Jaenelle said. “They need someone like you, Cassidy.” She placed one hand over Cassidy’s. “Look at me.”

    She didn’t want to look into those sapphire eyes. They saw too much. Understood too much. But she obeyed because it didn’t matter if Jaenelle officially ruled or not. She was still the Queen. And no one disobeyed Witch.

    “They aren’t going to understand you,” Jaenelle said. “Most of them aren’t going to see who you really are. They’ll be disappointed by the surface.”

    Cassidy winced—and winced again when Aaron snarled his opinion of her former court.

    “Most, Cassidy. But some will see who you are as a woman, and in time the others will appreciate who you are as a Queen. You can do this. I wouldn’t be here if I had any doubts about that.” Jaenelle patted her hand and sat back. “You’ll have a few days to think about it.”

    Living in a strange Territory. In a different Realm. In Terreille. People didn’t go to Terreille. They ran from Terreille.

    But she could make a difference to these people. She could help them remember who they were, help them rebuild.

    “How long would I be gone?” Cassidy asked. Would she ever see her family again? Could she go home to visit, to reassure her parents that she was all right?

    “There would have to be terms, conditions,” Aaron said as he continued to pace. “We are not letting her go to that damn Realm without some assurances.”

    “Who is ‘we’?” Cassidy asked, bristling. “No one makes decisions about my life except me.”

    “Think again,” Aaron snapped.

    Cassidy blinked. “You’re a distant cousin!”

    *Don’t yank that leash,* Jaenelle warned on a distaff thread.

    *When it comes to family,Warlord Princes are only as distant as they choose to be. He’s already angry about your former court and didn’t trust himself to come here on his own.*

    Cassidy glanced at Aaron, then fixed her eyes on the carpet between her feet. She’d been curious when she’d received Aaron’s note, requesting a visit at a specific day and time, but she’d thought he was going to give her a pat on the shoulder and a little sympathy about losing the court. Then, when Jaenelle showed up with him and began telling her about Dena Nehele, she hadn’t been sure what to think about the visit. But it hadn’t occurred to her that Aaron, who really was a distant cousin, would be angry enough to come to Dharo with the intention of going after the males from her former First Circle.

    *You weren’t aware that Aaron has already had a “discussion” with Sabrina about your court breaking for the reasons it did?* Jaenelle asked.

    *No.* Thank the Darkness. *What kind of discussion?*

    *The kind that ended with them yelling at each other.*

    Aaron had yelled at the Queen of Dharo—who was a member of Jaenelle’s coven and a longtime friend of his—because of her? Mother Night.

    “I believe Daemon has already drafted a list of terms,” Jaenelle said. “And the High Lord is reviewing it.”

    Aaron finally stopped pacing. “Daemon wrote the terms? The males will have to answer to him?”

    Jaenelle nodded. “Or the High Lord. Or both.”

    Aaron sat in a chair, all his tension and temper gone. Cassidy, however, felt a lot more nervous. Knowing two Black-Jeweled Warlord Princes—the two most powerful males in the entire history of the Blood—were taking an interest in her life wasn’t a pleasant feeling.

    She looked up in time to see Jaenelle’s lips twitch in a knowing smile.

    Of course, long-distance interest would be easier than living in the same house with either man.

    “I’d like to see a copy of those terms,” Cassidy said.

    “I’ll arrange for that,” Jaenelle replied. Then she slanted a look at Aaron. “And I’m sure your father—and the other males in your family—will want an opportunity to voice their opinions.”

    “Couldn’t we skip that part?” Cassidy asked.

    “Not a chance,” Jaenelle said cheerfully. She stood up. “Well. You have plenty to think about. If you decide to accept the challenge, come to the Keep a week from today.”

    Cassidy rose to see them out. “Who else have you asked to consider this?”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire