• Home
  • Directory
  • Popular
  • Authors
  • Series
  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Shadow Queen (Chapter 81)      Page
  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(81) by Anne Bishop
  • Voices. Shouts. He couldn’t twist around to see, but moments later Theran and Ranon were there, asking questions he couldn’t answer while Cassie sobbed.

    Then Shira was there, on her knees beside him. “What’s wrong? What happened? Is she hurt?”

    “I don’t know,” Gray said, so shaken he began to stammer. “She looked at those weeds and got upset.”

    “Not w-weeds,” Cassie gasped before she started crying harder.

    “Mother Night,” Shira muttered. She called in a bottle Healers used to store tonics, yanked out the stopper, then grabbed a hunk of red braid and pulled Cassie’s head up. “Here. Drink this. Drink!”

    Cassie drank. Gasped. Gulped air.

    But she settled. When she rested her head on Gray’s shoulder, she was still shaking but no longer crying.

    Shira sat back, took a swig from the bottle, then held it out to Gray. “You too.”

    He obeyed and took a long swallow.

    “What is that?” Theran asked.

    “Brandy,” Shira replied.

    By now the rest of the First Circle except Talon had reached the spot—even Powell, who was still puffing from the run.

    Gray looked up at Theran. “I don’t know what happened.”

    “Not your fault, Gray,” Theran replied softly.

    “So many,” Cassie whispered. “So many.”

    “So many what?” Shira asked with that quiet voice Healers used when they were asking about something painful.

    “One for each,” Cassie said. “That’s how it grows. That’s how you know. One plant for each. Living memento mori. Can’t be killed once it takes root, can’t be hidden. Ground soaked in blood nourishes the seed.”

    Gray saw the shock on the men’s faces. Saw Shira pale.

    “Cassidy . . . ,” Shira said.

    “It grows where a witch was killed,” Cassidy said. “It grows where her blood was spilled in violence. So many died in that spot.”

    “Mother Night,” Ranon said.

    Gray wasn’t sure which of them was still shaking—he or Cassie—until she pulled away from him to sit up on her own.

    It was him.

    “Can I have more of that?” Cassie asked, reaching for the tonic bottle.

    Shira handed it over without a word.

    “Do you know who might have died here,Theran?” Ranon asked.

    Theran looked sick. “I’m not sure. Thera, I think. And Talon’s wife.”

    “I’ve seen so much of this stuff growing in Dena Nehele— and in the Shalador reserves,” Ranon said. “Was told it was just a weed, an invasive weed. Mother Night.”

    Feeling timid, Gray touched Cassie’s shoulder. “What do we do now?”

    “It’s overgrown with weeds and hasn’t been tended for too long,” Cassie said. “So we’ll tend that ground and the witchblood that grows there.” She paused. “The Black Widows in the Dark Court told me that witchblood knows the name of the one who has gone, and if you know how, the plant can tell you whose blood nourished the seed.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire