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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Shadow Queen (Chapter 99)      Page
  • The Shadow Queen(Black Jewels,Book 7)(99) by Anne Bishop
  • “He could have said something,” Theran snapped.

    The whole household had been in a state of quiet panic since Cassidy walked out the door.

    A vulnerable Queen is a dead Queen.

    Even if you couldn’t get the Queen the first time, you could start picking off her protectors, could get a feel for who was loyal—and, therefore, a traitor to his own people—and who wouldn’t get in the way of the fighters trying to hold on to the little in Dena Nehele that hadn’t been corrupted.

    He hadn’t been out in the open—not like Ranon or some of the others—but he’d done his share of fighting. And he knew there were plenty of men out there—including some of the Warlord Princes who had presented themselves for consideration—who wouldn’t hesitate to attack a Queen because that’s what they’d spent a lifetime doing.

    “Is she all right?” Shira asked, rushing up to them.

    Theran glanced over his shoulder and swore silently. With the exception of Talon, who would surely have a few things to say when he joined them at sundown, the whole damn First Circle was there, waiting for Gray and Cassidy to take the last few steps across the terrace and enter the house.

    He didn’t give anyone else time to voice an opinion. As soon as Gray crossed the threshold,Theran stepped forward.

    “Gray, what in the name of Hell—”

    Gray snarled at him, and the glazed green eyes that stared at him held no recognition.

    “It’s all right, Gray,” Cassidy said quietly, trying to slip her hand out of Gray’s grasp. “It’s all right.”

    Gray tightened his grip and snarled, “Mine.”

    Before Theran could respond, a sharp whistle from the back of the room caught their attention. Power and temper formed a wedge that had the rest of the men scrambling to get out of the way as Lucivar crossed the room and stopped when no one stood between him and Gray.

    “Mine,” Gray snarled again.

    “I don’t hear anyone challenging your claim, boyo,” Lucivar said,“but there are things that need to be done, and we’re going to take them in order. First.” He pointed to Gray’s Jewel, then his own. “Purple Dusk. Ebon-gray. I have no quarrel with you. In fact, I’m here to help. But if you start a pissing contest with me, I will rip you apart. Are we clear on that?”

    Gray nodded once, sharply.

    “Second, ease up on her hand before you crack a bone.”

    Theran saw Gray’s hand jerk open, then close again. But not as tight.

    And he noticed how intensely Cassidy watched Lucivar.

    “Third,” Lucivar said, “is the Healer present?”

    Since Shira was standing beside Ranon, it was obvious she was present, but she stepped forward and said, “I’m here.”

    “Do you know how to make moontime brews?” Lucivar asked.

    “Of course I—”

    A small sound from Cassidy.

    Shira pulled back. “Yes, Prince,” she said courteously. “I’m well versed in brews that can ease moontime discomfort.”

    Lucivar nodded, his gold eyes fixed on Gray. “The Healer will go with Lady Cassidy up to the Lady’s suite. The Healer will make the brew and Lady Cassidy will have some private time to take care of personal needs. Vae will go with them. If there’s anything that needs our attention,Vae will let us know. We clear so far?”

    Gray nodded.

    “Let go, Gray,” Cassidy said. “It’s all right. I need to go with Shira now.”

    Reluctance. Resistance. Theran watched Gray struggle with conflicting instincts—and knew the only reason things hadn’t turned bloody was Lucivar’s overpowering presence.

    The moment Cassidy eased her hand out of Gray’s grasp, Shira hustled her out of the room, followed by Vae.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire