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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Shadow Queen (Chapter 34)      Page
  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(34) by Anne Bishop
  • “Lady Vae,” the Queen said.

    *Lady Sylvia,* Vae replied. *He is Theran. He is staying with Daemon and Jaenelle. I am taking him for walkies so he can see the village. We will get some food and he will sit and watch humans so he will learn how to behave.*

    Sylvia’s gold eyes sparkled. “Are you a stubborn sheep, Prince Theran?”

    Sensing the amount of temper still focused on him, he decided not to answer, since he didn’t think he could keep his voice sufficiently civil.

    *I am helping to train him,* Vae said. *I am allowed to bite. But not hard. Not the first time.*

    Hell’s fire.

    “I see.” Sylvia ducked behind the Warlord. That didn’t muffle the snorts and giggles.

    He felt the anger break around him, and he had a feeling that whatever was coming was a harder punishment than a beating would have been.

    “Well,” Sylvia said, struggling to maintain some dignity as she stepped clear of the large Warlord. “We shouldn’t delay your training any longer. Prince Theran, just tell any of the dining houses to put your meal on the Hall’s tab.”

    Did he look like he didn’t have marks to spare?

    “It’s customary,” Sylvia added, showing more understanding than he liked.

    The men opened up a space for him but not in a way that would allow him to get within reach of Lady Sylvia.

    Accepting the dismissal and wanting to get away from the village, he started to turn back toward the Hall, then swore loudly when he got nipped.

    *This way, Theran. This way!*

    Not daring to do anything else, he let himself be herded down the main street with the Sceltie trotting a step behind him, ready to nip at his heels.

    Mother Night, it was humiliating—and him a Warlord Prince!

    *Sheep brains,* Vae said, finally trotting alongside him.

    “What?”

    *You made those males angry. You act like you have sheep brains. Foolish.*

    “I didn’t do anything!” He kept his voice low, but he’d be damned if he’d swallow being scolded by a dog.

    *You did. You made them angry. They do not fight for no reason.*

    They didn’t have a reason. Not really. Sure, he’d expressed an opinion of sorts, and he wouldn’t have if he’d caught Sylvia’s psychic scent first. But, Hell’s fire, she didn’t look like a Queen with that hair and the shirt and trousers and . . .

    He was making excuses for himself. He hadn’t been careful, and if Vae hadn’t amused them all, he wouldn’t be strolling through the village. He’d be wounded—or dead.

    He hadn’t survived in Dena Nehele by being careless. He couldn’t afford to set aside all the things Talon had taught him just because he didn’t have a clear sense of the battlefield. And he couldn’t afford to forget that the power that had devastated Terreille had come from Kaeleer.

    So he walked and he watched. Children tensed at the sight of a stranger, then relaxed again when they saw Vae. Clearly the dog was a signal he didn’t understand. He didn’t approach, didn’t talk to them, but he saw a pattern when he passed a group of children—the boys stepped forward, creating a shield between him and the girls.

    “The men who were angry,” Theran said. “Were they all members of the Queen’s court?”

    *They live in the village,* Vae replied. *They serve.*

    “But were they court?”

    No, I do not think any of them were court.*

    “Then why did they do that?”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire