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  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(74) by Anne Bishop
  • “Connections,Theran. Connections.”

    Talon sagged suddenly, and that was more frightening than his anger.

    “I’m just as much to blame,” Talon said quietly. “Didn’t look closely enough. Didn’t think to ask until it was shoved in my face that I hadn’t asked.”

    “Talon,” Powell said. “It would help the rest of us understand the danger if you could be a little less vague.”

    Theran eased around to the other side of the table but didn’t take a seat. What sort of tale was Cassidy telling that would get Talon that pissed off at him?

    “We’ve got Lucivar Yaslana—yes, that’s who that Eyrien was—honing his weapons and looking in our direction. Which means Sadi is also going to be looking in our direction and honing his own brand of weapons. And don’t think for a minute that Yaslana isn’t going to report to his father—who happens to be the High Lord of Hell.”

    Some of the men sucked in a breath. Others groaned.

    “And worst of all,” Talon said grimly, “I don’t think Lady Cassidy’s friend is going to be looking kindly at us.”

    “Friend?” Ranon said, glancing at Theran. “You mean Sadi’s wife?”

    Talon looked at Theran, and there was a bleakness in the older man’s eyes that made Theran shudder.

    “Sadi’s wife,” Talon said softly. “Who was the Queen of Ebon Askavi.”

    Shocked silence.

    “Witch,” Talon continued, “chose Cassidy to be our Queen. So we’d all better start looking beyond a Rose Jewel to figure out why. Gentlemen, we’ve already made one bad mistake. We can’t afford to make another. So we’re going to study those books of Protocol, and we’re going to learn what we said we wanted to learn. And if the Darkness is merciful, the next time Lucivar Yaslana shows up here, he won’t invite all of us to step onto a killing field.”

    Ebon ASKAVI

    Lucivar stepped into the sitting room and stopped. He’d expected to find his father waiting for him, but . . .

    “What are you still doing here?” he asked Daemon as he approached a low table filled with different kinds of edibles.

    “Waiting for you.” Daemon put a thin slice of cheese on top of a triangle of toast and added a spoonful of chopped spicy beef.

    “Wine?” Saetan asked, indicating the open bottle.

    “I’d rather have ale,” Lucivar said as he took the remaining seat around the table.

    Saetan smiled dryly. “I thought as much. That’s why there’s some on the way.”

    Lucivar filled a plate while he considered the other two men. Saetan was . . . Amused was the politest word that came to mind. Daemon was definitely grumpy.

    “How was your day?” Lucivar asked, watching his brother.

    “Fine.”

    “And you’re still here because you were waiting for me?”

    Daemon made an inarticulate sound.

    Saetan said, “He’s trying to figure out how to explain a certain bit of Craft to his wife.”

    “Oh?” Lucivar said.

    Daemon was paying an awful lot of attention to making little sandwiches he wasn’t eating.

    “Marian is pretty sure she can clean the paint off the floor,” Daemon muttered. “Eventually.”

    “Oh?”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire