Spy Glass Page 104

Quinn stared at me as if I had gone insane. Perhaps I had, but as much as I wanted to fix this situation, I couldn’t do it myself.

“If I’m caught helping you, my sister…” He shook his head.

“Where are they holding her?”

“She’s Walsh’s assistant. If I make any trouble, she’s within easy reach.”

“Even at night?”

He spat in disgust. “Especially at night. Who do you think is the baby’s father?”

Bile pushed up my throat. “Walsh.”

Bitterness rolled from Quinn. “Give the lady a prize.”

Walsh already started the program, but he wasn’t the only magician. “Did he—”

“He sends a new girl to me every couple of nights.”

“Oh.” I didn’t know what else to say.

“Don’t worry. He still gives me some privacy. We rumple the bedding and make appropriate noises to entertain the guards outside my door. But Walsh’ll figure out what I’m not doing soon enough.”

“When no one becomes pregnant.”

“Yep. Then my privacy will be gone.”

“Don’t wait for that time. Take action. All those girls are probably grateful and their families would support you.”

“Won’t work. We don’t have weapons. Walsh’s guards can’t be bribed. We can’t get messages out. And now they dragged you here,” he said. “Just as screwed and helpless as the rest of us. Do you really believe you can fix it?”

“No idea. But I’m going to try.”

Over the next few days, I bided my time and worked with Quinn. With the kiln up and running hot, I created the super messengers as ordered. Galen seemed distracted and I took advantage. We experimented with the glass. In addition to creating the cold glass, Quinn could produce hot glass as well.

I dwelled on the positives. Quinn was free of blood magic. There had to be a way to capitalize on that. He could also move around the compound without causing suspicion. Each night as I slept in the brig—a large cottage with a couple of locked rooms, bars on the windows, a cement floor and an area for a guard—I planned out Quinn’s next lesson.

I taught Quinn how to thumb a bubble and we made an orb. Any glass container would work, but an orb reminded me of Kade and happier times. After I cracked off the orb into the annealing oven to cool, I showed him the amazing versatility of glass.

“If you sand the edge with the flat side of a diamond, it will become sharp enough to cut skin,” I said. I also instructed him on fighting tactics, and how to spot weaknesses in an opponent.

Quinn understood my hints. During one session, he rounded on me in anger. “It’s easy for you to talk about a rebellion. You have nothing at stake. You have all this magic, yet you obey Galen and Walsh. You can use one of those super messengers and call for help for all of us. But you hand them over. Why should I listen to you?”

“Because, if you think fighting back now is too hard, if I use my magic to send for help, you will have no chance at all.” I explained about the blood connection. “I’m saving my free magic to take out your two biggest opponents. In fact, if you organize a revolt, don’t tell me any of your plans. Don’t trust me. If Galen forces me to use my magic and I’m…lost to him, take me out first. I’ll be your strongest opponent.”

Quinn looked a little green, but he nodded.

Unfortunately, whatever had distracted Galen stopped after four days. Then he launched an aggressive campaign to get me to use my magic. I resisted even when the guards whipped a woman. Quinn needed more time, and I rationalized one person’s suffering, although horrible, was better than the whole clan being in danger. After three unsuccessful days, Galen switched to children and I could no longer resist.

The links in my chain built rapidly. Five days later the shakes started. I ignored the initial signs of withdrawal and concentrated on teaching Quinn. But once the tremors in my muscles could no longer be disregarded, I raced to the brig and collapsed on the bed. The hunger grew inside me. I fought it, keeping my thoughts on other things—my family, friends, Kade, Devlen. In time, nothing distracted me from the need. Every single part of me craved magic and I struggled with the desire to pull it toward me. The suffering seemed endless.

I was granted a moment of clarity and relief when Galen visited. He held my orb in one hand. His other rested on my arm.

He brandished the orb. “What were you planning to do with this?”

Strung out, I couldn’t produce any emotions over his discovery. “Suck you and Walsh dry,” I said.

“In order to siphon my magic, you would have to sacrifice your own again.”

I shrugged. “Unoriginal, but it works.”

“Temporarily.”

“Why?”

“Walsh and I have stockpiled our blood. Drain us now and we’ll just reclaim it by injecting our saved blood. Thanks to you, we already know it works.”

“Glad to be of service.” At this point sarcasm remained my only weapon.

Galen handed me the orb. Potential throbbed under my fingertips. Too easy. A trap. “What if I just drain myself?” I asked.

“Go ahead.”

A trick. In order to siphon my own magic, I would have to use magic. The effort would finish the chain and he would stop me. Not enough time for Quinn.

“I didn’t think you’d fall for it,” Galen said. “You’re very resistant. It’s a good quality. However Walsh is very impatient.” He removed his hand.

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