Spy Glass Page 108

He gloated. “Good.”

Walsh interrupted us. “What if the Stormdancer informs the Master Magicians? I didn’t want to attract attention.”

Galen downplayed his concerns. “She won’t. You keep forgetting, Walsh. Opal’s under my control. I could order her to go to the Citadel and drain both Masters dry right now.”

Walsh’s concern hadn’t softened with Galen’s reassurances. “Opal, come here.” He pushed back from his desk, but remained sitting.

“Go,” Galen said.

No choice. Walsh grabbed my wrist and tugged me closer. “Since you are part of my family now, we will have a celebration on the night of the full moon, five days hence. We do it for all our new members and for the children when they reach maturity. It’s a special night. We have a big bonfire and clambake, we tell stories and sing songs. Every clan member attends and everyone has a wonderful time.”

It was an odd speech and I braced for the bad news. He didn’t disappoint me.

“There is a little ceremony where you are inducted into the clan. First your old clan name is written on a piece of wood and we’ll burn it in the fire. It’s all very dramatic.” He smiled. “Then you marry me.”

“What?” I jerked back, but his grip was strong.

“Keep still and listen,” he ordered. “All the men of the clan pledge an oath of loyalty to me, and all the women vow to be my wife and we consummate the marriage following the ceremony.”

Horror welled. “You’ve slept with all the women?”

“At least once,” he said with pride. “Although, I must admit some I favor more than others.”

“But…before…when I visited there were families.”

“Of course. The woman can marry another as long as I approve. And it’s a source of pride for her husband when I choose his wife for a night of pleasure. He is pledged to me.”

Finally, the reality of my situation sank in and I cast about for a way out. “I’m experienced. And you don’t need my vow; I already have to obey.”

“Relax. Many of our members have come to us experienced. For those, there is a cleansing ritual before they are inducted to the clan.”

Galen’s sadistic smirk didn’t bode well for the ritual.

“Besides, you are in luck, my dear,” Walsh said. “You will stay with me every night until you are with child.”

Lucky would be the last descriptor I would apply.

After our meeting with Walsh, Galen proceeded to issue orders. “Never tell Walsh anything I say or do. Comply with all requests for the ritual, the ceremony and with the commands Walsh makes to you in his bedroom. For any other tasks he assigns you, you must clear them with me first.”

Fury simmered, but I concentrated on the wording of Galen’s orders, searching for loopholes.

When I woke on the morning of my wedding, a thick fog had settled over the compound. It gave me an idea and I searched the area for a good hiding spot. If Galen couldn’t find me, he couldn’t order me, cleanse me or marry me. A desperate plan, but I had no other options left. I had considered every angle, but couldn’t find a loophole.

I had tried running away two days ago. But since I had completed the binding with Galen, the tolerable distance between us had shortened considerably. When I reached the outer limit, the physical weakness and pain had been so intense, I couldn’t move. The guards had no trouble dragging me back.

Between the north and south beaches, the tip of the peninsula extended out like a finger. The surf had dug nooks and crannies into that outcropping. I found one above the waterline big enough to fit into and not be seen. It was a little damp as a few of the stronger waves sent sea spray into my spot.

I squirmed into a comfortable position. With the low ceiling, I lay down. Crossing my arms under my head as a pillow, I reviewed everything since Galen injected me with his blood. One bright spot, I hadn’t had withdrawal symptoms since the binding. But each time I was with Galen, he added to his list of things I was forbidden to do. The most frustrating part was I felt strongest when Galen stood next to me and I couldn’t do a damn thing!

Except make super messengers. Before I didn’t use them to avoid being bound to him, and now I wasn’t allowed to use them to call for help.

Focusing on what I could do, I created a mental list of possible ways to cause trouble.

No one came near my hiding spot until the afternoon sun burned away the fog. A few shadows crossed the small opening, but so far no one spotted it. I could use my magic to ensure my spot remained hidden, but then the power would tip off Walsh and Galen.

Finally one shadow paused. I knew it was inevitable, but I had hoped for a couple more hours. I debated if I would go quietly or kick and scream the whole trip back.

When Devlen entered, relief and fear swirled together in a confusing mixture. I had been avoiding him since Heli’s escape, but now I wanted to throw myself into his arms. Must be my blood inside him calling to me. Yeah, right, and I wanted to be Galen’s slave. When would I stop lying to myself? About the same time a miracle happened and I was free.

He crouched in the small space, looking downright miserable. “I didn’t want to be the one to find you,” he said. “But you need to be caught. It’s important for you to be at the bonfire party tonight.”

“So I can marry Walsh?”

He shook his head, but wouldn’t explain. Smart.

“Is this the blood magic talking?” More tattoos stained his skin.

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