Spy Glass Page 117

Devlen entered, leading a dozen guards.

“Show Opal what you caught on your fishing trip,” Galen said.

The guards parted, revealing two figures wrapped in null shield jackets.

29

MY LEGS REFUSED TO SUPPORT MY WEIGHT ANY longer. I dropped into a chair. This nightmare would never end.

“Heli has returned and she brought a friend,” Galen said. “Is he your Stormdancer, Opal?”

I met Kade’s gaze. “Yes.”

“He came to rescue you. How sweet.” Galen rubbed his chin as if considering. “And despite Devlen’s assurances that the Bloodroses have meekly accepted me, I’ve been picking up an undercurrent of unrest from them. Which is concerning. Opal, has Devlen been lying to me?”

“Yes.” The word burned my throat.

“Is he planning on helping you?”

“Yes.” I tried to catch Devlen’s eye, but he kept his attention fixed on Galen.

Galen said to him, “You were worried Opal would endanger her own rescue so you kept her out of the loop. But all this time, you’ve been a wonderful source of information. Your blood magic isn’t strong enough to block me from your emotions.” He gestured to the guards. “You believe they are loyal to you, when in fact they are still mine. And I know all about the fog. How many people have you sneaked into the compound?” He didn’t wait for Devlen to reply. “I counted six—the Minister and his wife, two disguised as guards and the Stormdancers.”

The small bit of hope clinging to me kissed me goodbye. Listening to Galen gloat was like watching someone burn to death and not being able to throw water on the poor soul.

Drawing power, Galen concentrated on Kade and Heli. “The jackets aren’t tied. They’re supposed to rip them off and cause problems when given the signal,” Galen explained to me. “Go ahead, Stormdancers, take them off.”

Kade and Heli shrugged free of the jackets. They exchanged a look.

“I’m more than capable of producing a null shield. Everyone was so worried about Opal’s power, you disregarded mine.” He tsked. “And is she really worth six lives? If she’s so devoted to her Stormdancer, then why did she sleep with Devlen?”

Dead silence. No one said a word. Beyond horrified, I stared at the floor.

Finally, Galen ordered his guards to wrap up Kade and Heli in the jackets and to secure Devlen.

As if on cue, Kade, Devlen and Heli fought the guards. But they were outnumbered, and Heli didn’t know how to defend herself. She was the first to be subdued and tied into a jacket, followed by Kade and then Devlen.

“Announce a mandatory clan meeting to start in one hour,” Galen ordered his guards. “Escort the three of them to the dining room. I’ll join you there after I finish.”

I returned my gaze to the rug until the rustling sounds of movement faded.

Galen crouched in front of me. “Feel terrible?”

“Of course.”

“You’re going to feel worse after you kill your friends.”

Before we left, I used the washroom near Penny’s area and was alone for a few precious minutes. Opening the drawer, I took out the syringes Walsh had left me. I shoved them deep into my pocket as Galen stepped from his office.

He grabbed my hand and we walked to the dining room. All the clan members sat around the tables. Armed guards ringed the large space and lined up along the front wall were Nic, Eve, Kade, Heli, Ari and Janco. My friends. My family. My reasons to stop Galen.

Unfortunately having reasons gave me no power. I couldn’t meet anyone’s gaze.

Their disguises had been ripped off and they were either manacled or wrapped in null shields. All had been secured to the wall. At least Valek wasn’t among them. I’d like to think he remained off-site to call in reinforcements. A valiant gesture, but they wouldn’t arrive in time.

Galen stood with his back to the prisoners and made a speech to the Bloodroses. I scanned their faces. Quinn sat next to Penny, but his attention was on Galen. I opened my mind to them. Anger and resistance simmered, but worry and fear also churned. And if I dipped deeper… No. I wouldn’t invade their privacy.

“…the outside world has forgotten you,” Galen said. “Do you think these people are here to help you?” He swept an arm out, indicating the prisoners. “They came to rescue Opal. They’re professionals and powerful magicians and they failed. Now you can witness what I do to those who try to upset my plans.” He handed me my switchblade. “Kill Devlen,” he ordered.

I triggered the weapon and the blade shot out. The Ixian battle symbols Devlen chose for me marked the steel. I ran my fingertip along the flat side of the blade, feeling the ridges of the etchings. I offer my heart, entrust my soul and give my life to you.

“Now, Opal.”

I turned toward Devlen, but stopped. He had given me his heart, soul and life. Therefore, in order to kill him, I would have to kill myself. Without hesitating I put the blade to my own throat, and pulled.

“Stop!” Galen ordered.

Too late! Warmth gushed down my neck, soaking into my shirt. I smiled until he ordered me to heal the wound. As I used magic to seal the skin, I realized the cut hadn’t been deep enough to finish the job anyway.

“What the hell was that?” Galen asked.

“Magic is very literal. Devlen had given me his life. I was following orders.”

“I take it back,” Devlen called, trying to protect me.

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