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  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(41) by Anne Bishop
  • “He can’t go,” Gray whispered as he sagged against Theran. “Theran can’t go.”

    “He has to,” Talon said. “That’s part of the bargain.”

    Gray pulled away from both of them and walked over to a window.

    What was he seeing? Theran wondered. The past? The present? Was he here with them in this cabin in the mountains or locked in some room in Grayhaven, waiting for the next bit of cruelty?

    “I like growing things,” Gray said quietly, more to himself than to them. “The land was good, parched of what it needed, but still good. I could work outside.”

    “Gray . . .”

    “I wouldn’t have to live inside, would I?”

    Shock kept Theran silent for a moment. He hadn’t expected Gray to consider leaving the mountains. Not really.

    “No, you wouldn’t have to live inside,” Theran said. “There’s an old stone gardening shed.” He looked at Talon.

    “Probably filled with broken tools and such,” Talon said,“but someone could live rough out there.”

    “I could be a gardener,” Gray said. “I could take care of the land. But I couldn’t serve her.”

    “No, you wouldn’t have to serve her,” Theran said. But if the new Queen showed any inclination toward playing with a damaged male, he’d have to explain a few things to the Lady.

    “Then I’ll go.”

    “Gray . . .”

    “I’ll go.” Gray turned and looked at him—and Theran had never seen anything as bleak as the look in his cousin’s eyes. “I’m Theran’s blade.”

    Oh, Gray.

    Talon cleared his throat. “It’s settled, then. Tomorrow we’ll pack up and start getting Grayhaven ready for the new Queen.”

    Gray bolted out of the cabin.

    Theran got to his feet, feeling more exhausted than if he’d been in a fight.

    “Do you think he’ll survive going back there?” he asked.

    “I don’t know,Theran,” Talon replied. “I just don’t know.”

    CHAPTER 9

    KAELEER

    Cassidy packed the last book and closed the lid of the small trunk. Just some favorites, things she read when she wanted the comfort of a familiar story.

    She was as ready as she could be. Which wasn’t saying much, since there was precious little information about Dena Nehele. What she did know was that Dharo was on the eastern side of a mountain range and Dena Nehele was on the western side of a mountain range. Dena Nehele had a variety of seasons, so she’d packed all her clothes, figuring most would be useful.

    As for the rest . . .

    “Second thoughts?”

    Twisting around, Cassidy looked at her mother, who was standing in the doorway. “I’m on my fourth or fifth set of thoughts about doing this, but I haven’t changed my mind.”

    “Didn’t think you would.” Devra came into the bedroom and sat on the floor beside her daughter. “I’ve got something for you. I know it’s a bit more to carry, but you won’t be straining to carry all of it yourself, so . . .” She called in an open-topped wooden box filled with glass jars. “A bit of home to take with you.”

    Cassidy lifted one jar and read the neat label. Then picked up another. “Mother, these are your seeds for the garden.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire