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  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(61) by Anne Bishop
  • “All women may look the same in the dark, but all men don’t feel the same. In fact, a woman will find out more about a man’s true nature in the dark than she’ll ever see in the light of day.”

    Hell’s fire. She was the one who had been standing outside the door. “Look, I just—”

    “I don’t need your penis, and I don’t need your pity.”

    She slammed the door in his face, and a moment later he felt a Rose lock on the door.

    “Shit,” Theran muttered. He folded the shawl and left it outside her door—and wondered how much groveling he would have to do in the morning.

    CHAPTER 13

    TERREILLE

    All women look the same in the dark.

    Did you really think I was excited about being with you? I worked damn hard in your bed, Cassidy, and thank the Darkness you never wanted a ride in daylight.

    All women look the same in the dark.

    Five years when you were all I could have. At least with Lady Kermilla I won’t need a drug to keep myself hard in order to fulfill my duties.

    All women look the same in the dark. All women. All women.

    Dreams. Memories. Lashed by words spoken by her previous Consort on the day he left her court and by Theran last night, Cassidy headed for the gardens as soon as there was enough light. She couldn’t stay in the house, couldn’t breathe in the house.

    It hurt to think, hurt to feel, hurt to remember.

    Theran didn’t want her, wasn’t even supposed to make that kind of offer. A First Escort wasn’t a Consort. She didn’t want a Consort. Didn’t want another man telling her she wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, hot enough, arousing enough, whatever enough she wasn’t, because she could only be who she was, and she didn’t want to be hurt like that. Not ever again.

    And even now, when she should have been free of that kind of pain because no man here was required to warm her bed, Theran had shoved that truth in her face.

    She was good enough when bedding her could be used to feed ambition or provide relief, but she would never be wanted for herself.

    “No tools,” she muttered. “Need tools.”

    She entered the big stone shed as quietly as possible, but the clunk of shovels was enough to have Gray pulling aside the old blanket that served as a door to his room.

    “Cassidy?”

    Couldn’t talk to him now. Couldn’t talk to anyone. “Go back to sleep, Gray. It’s early. I just needed to get some tools.” Shovel, hoe, rake, short-handled claw.

    “You’re going to start weeding now?”

    “Yes.” Hard to hold all of them. Easier to vanish them and call them back in when she got to the bed where she planned to work. But she didn’t want easier. Not today. Easier wouldn’t help her run from the words.

    “Okay,” Gray said. “I’ll just—”

    “No.” Cassidy tried to hold back anger, hurt, all the feelings that wanted to lash out at someone, anyone. “I need to work alone. You need to leave me alone.”

    She ran from the shed and stopped at a part of the garden that looked like it hadn’t been touched in years. The ground here wasn’t soft like the bed she’d been working on with Gray. This ground would require muscle, sweat, even pain.

    Nothing easy. Not here.

    All women look the same in the dark.

    Did you really think I was excited about being with you?

    She had to move. Had to. Work. Move. Keep moving. Don’t think. Because if she let the words keep ripping at her heart, she’d simply lie down and not get up again.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire