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  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(88) by Anne Bishop
  • “I’m not letting anything—”

    “You’re the Master of the Guard. Stand up for your Queen. Even if it means standing against Theran.”

    Talon said nothing. What could he say?

    “Do you want to know who would have liked Cassidy?” Saetan asked. “Jared would have liked her. Thera would have liked her. Lia would have understood her. I can’t say how Blaed would have responded, since he never made it to the Dark Realm.”

    “You saw them?” Talon whispered.

    “I saw them, briefly, and got a feel for the kind of people they were. Lia stayed the longest because she waited for Jared. Once he arrived, they had a little time together. Then their power faded and they became a whisper in the Darkness. Thera’s power was almost burned out by the time she made the transition to demon-dead, so she didn’t stay in the Dark Realm for long.”

    “My wife?”

    A hesitation.

    “There are some things that are said at the end that would never be said otherwise,” Saetan said softly, “and I don’t break the confidences of the dead. But I can tell you this. She loved you,Talon, and she understood why you felt you had to stay. She hoped you understood why she couldn’t.”

    Talon closed his eyes and nodded.

    “Tell Cassie it will take a couple of days, but we’ll take care of her request.”

    There was nothing in the High Lord’s tone that invited him to ask about the request, so he didn’t. He just thanked the man for his time and gladly followed the servant who responded to the High Lord’s summons and escorted him to one of the landing webs.

    He didn’t feel easy until he was riding the Sapphire Winds and heading home.

    Jared would have liked her. Thera would have liked her. Lia would have understood her.

    Yes, he had a lot to think about.

    Saetan walked into a sitting room similar to the one he’d left at the Keep in Terreille, but this one held a golden-haired treasure.

    “Before we were interrupted, I believe you were going to tell me why you’re spending a few days with me here,” he said as he settled on the sofa next to Jaenelle.

    “Because my moontime was supposed to start this evening, and Daemon politely requested that I spend the three days when I’m vulnerable here instead of remaining at the Hall.”

    “With him.”

    “With him.” She looked tired and sad.

    “Was he right? Did it start?”

    She gave him a sour look. “You know it did.”

    Of course he knew. He smelled the change in her scent the moment he walked in the room.

    “Give him time, witch-child. He’s running scared. He loves you with everything that’s in him—and he’s just beginning to understand that it really is everything that’s in him.”

    “I miss him.”

    Saetan drew her closer and put an arm around her shoulders. “Not half as much as he’s missing you. And right about now, he’s wondering why he’d been such a fool as to ask you to come here.”

    “How do you know?”

    “Because he’s a mirror.” He kissed her head. “So tomorrow when he shows up, don’t tell him he looks like he hasn’t slept, because he hasn’t slept. And don’t bristle over whatever paltry excuse he makes about you needing a nap. Just tuck in with him so he can get some sleep—and let him heal his wounds in his own way.”

    Those sapphire eyes looked at him, looked through him.

    “Will he heal, Papa?”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire