Mercenary Magic Page 35

“Is this your car?”

The headlights blinked. Well, I guess that answers that question.

“That’s not a parking spot,” she told him.

He held open the door for her. “Really? The car seems to fit just fine.”

“That’s not the point. You’re illegally parked.”

“Everything else was full,” he said with a shrug. “And the only reason I had to come here in the first place is because you weren’t answering my calls.”

“So it’s my fault then?”

“No, it’s no one’s fault because there is no fault. My car fit here, so I took the spot.”

“And if it hadn’t fit here? If you’d driven the tank?”

“The tank?”

“Your big black car from yesterday,” she said. “So if your car hadn’t fit, would you have just parked here anyway, smashing the flower pots into tiny little pieces?”

“We’re facing a major threat to the city, and you’re worried about a couple of flower pots? You really have your priorities mixed up.” He pointed into the car. “Get in. We have to hurry.”

Thus told off, she sat down and pulled the door shut after her. Kai had a point, but so did she.

“You can’t just do whatever you want,” she told him as he started the engine.

The car roared across the pavement, scaring seagulls and scattering tourists. It shot out onto the street and squeezed between two cars. Brakes screeched, horns blared, and two angry—and completely freaked out—drivers shot him rude hand gestures.

“You did that to prove a point,” she said.

“I don’t need to prove anything.” He sped up, and the engine purred in appreciation. “Now tell me about the mages who attacked you this morning.”

Sera gritted her teeth at the order but told him anyway. She needed to see what he made of Harrison Sage’s part in it and the Magic Council’s interference. After all, he knew them all a whole lot better than she did.

“So Harrison sent one of his lawyers,” he said when she was done.

“That means he’s involved.”

“Not necessarily. But likely.”

“Maybe he sent the mages after me.”

“Maybe.”

“The Magic Council signed off on this. They gave him the authority he needed to waltz in and whisk the mages away. Do you know anything about that?” she asked him.

“Why would I?” He looked surprised. Then again, he was a manipulative beast. There was a reason dragons were often the villains of the story.

“Why would you? Because you sit on the Council,” she shot back. “Which you failed to mention, by the way.”

“Do you mention everything about yourself? No, you have it all tucked away in protective wrap like a snowball in July. And just like that summertime snowball, you cannot escape your fate.”

Sera went cold. Her fate. If the Magic Council got its way, that meant death.

“Look, I don’t care that you think you have weird magic, and I don’t care why you’re hiding it. People have all kinds of crazy reasons for doing foolish things, and I’m not going to try to stop you from being crazy or foolish. I don’t even think that’s possible.” He sighed. “So be crazy and foolish and whatever else you want. But I’ve tasted your magic. I will find out what it is. And when I do, I’ll be keeping you and your magic all to myself.”

The possessiveness in his voice almost earned him a well-deserved punch to the face. But he was driving, so that would be stupid. And the need in his eyes threw her for a loop. And the way he was angled toward her…like he meant to protect her. She definitely believed him when he said he wouldn’t tell anyone.

Games. More games, a voice said inside her head.

Right, she agreed, even as she realized that only crazy people heard voices in their heads.

The voice spoke again, Don’t trust anyone. You can protect yourself. Just like it’s always been.

Yeah, she’d taken care of herself, but her life had pretty much sucked up to now. Riley was right. This was no way to live. Sera didn’t point that out to the voice. Arguing with the voices in your head was even crazier than hearing them.

“Kai—”

“I’ve said all that I mean to on this matter for now, Sera. If you still want to pretend to be offended, we can discuss that after we’re done saving the city from the League of Mad Mages.”

He was right. Work first.

“Why did the Magic Council give Harrison the authority to deal with those two mages?” she asked him.

“I don’t know. I haven’t met with them since I started working on this case. I didn’t even know they’d met. I sure wasn’t told about it. Harrison must be behind this,” he said. “Well, I’ll just ask him when we find him.”

“Is that where we’re going now? Is that the lead you mentioned?”

“Yes, my people have been trailing Harrison. They followed him to Acceleration Magic.”

“The indoor recreational area near the Palace of Fine Arts?”

“Yes. Have you been there?”

“I corralled a herd of unicorns into there once.”

His gaze flicked briefly to her before returning to the road. “How do you even corral a herd of unicorns?”

“With much difficulty,” she told him. “So Acceleration Magic. That’s where you’re taking us?”

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