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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Shadow Queen (Chapter 83)      Page
  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(83) by Anne Bishop
  • Then Gray’s voice rose in a kind of desperate keening. “I’m Grayhaven! I’m Grayhaven!”

    “Gray!”

    She rushed to the doorway and pulled the blanket aside—and saw him shivering on a pathetic excuse of a bed, caught in some kind of nightmare. He was wearing trousers and nothing else, and she felt her knees grow weak as she stared at the scars on his back.

    “Mother Night, Gray,” she whispered. “What did they do to you?”

    “I’m Grayhaven!”

    She wanted to touch him, wanted to shake him out of the nightmare—or the memory—but she was afraid touching him might frighten him even more.

    She braced herself and said in a firm voice, “Prince Gray, your presence is requested.”

    He jerked, whimpered. But she thought her use of Protocol had pulled him out of the dream-memory, because the next thing he said was, “Cassie?”

    It took him a couple of tries to turn himself so he was facing the doorway. “Cassie?”

    His dark hair was matted with sweat, and his face had the drawn, exhausted look of a man who had endured too much.

    “What’s your name?” Cassidy asked, keeping her voice Queen firm. “What’s your full name? Your real name?”

    He hesitated, then said, “Jared Blaed Grayhaven.”

    She looked at the room—at the straight-backed chair that had a flat stone under one leg to keep it from wobbling, at the broken-down chest of drawers that had a single lamp, at the bookcase that had only one unbroken shelf.

    “This is the best he could do?” she asked too softly as she looked at the room, piece by piece. “You’re his family, and this is the best he would do?”

    She backed out of the room, letting the blanket fall across the opening.

    “Cassie?” Gray called.

    She walked out of the shed, her stride lengthening with every step she took toward the house.

    “Cassie!”

    She couldn’t stop, couldn’t answer. Because every step stoked her fury just a little more.

    “This was your idea to begin with,” Ranon said, dogging Theran’s footsteps with as much persistence as that damn Sceltie. “Why are you so determined now to stand in the way?”

    “I’m not standing in the way,” Theran tossed over his shoulder.

    “You won’t even give Cassidy the courtesy of listening to what she has to say.”

    He turned on Ranon. “If Warlord Princes are going to rule Dena Nehele, what was the point of trying to get a Queen?”

    “And what’s the point of having a Queen if you won’t let her do anything?” Ranon snapped. “I can understand not wanting her to travel around the Territory right now, but why are you so determined not to have the few Queens who are left come to Grayhaven to meet her? After all, she rules them now.”

    “And how many of those Queens that we passed over are going to be impressed with a witch who wears a Rose Jewel?” Theran asked, feeling bitter again. He had to hide that bitterness from Talon, but he’d be damned if he’d hide it from the rest of the First Circle. Especially Ranon.

    “The Shalador Queens might be willing to come and talk to her—and listen to what she has to say,” Ranon said.

    “Shalador. Shalador. That’s all you harp about, isn’t it? Every meeting of the First Circle, you bring up something about the reserves.”

    “Someone has to remember our people,” Ranon said with his own touch of bitterness.

    “Just because our Queen has given her consent for you to mount a Black Widow—”

    “Watch your tongue, Grayhaven,” Ranon snarled.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire