Spy Glass Page 120

Eve followed them, bringing the glass ball, but she soon returned with a wad of towels. We packed them around Devlen’s wound. I held his hand, willing him to live.

What would I do if they couldn’t find a messenger? Quinn’s power wasn’t enough to even seal a cut. Would Kade and Heli be willing to help? They had kept their distance. I met Kade’s gaze. Anger and pain flared and he looked away. Did I have the gall to ask him? To save Devlen’s life, I would do anything.

Valek returned. He sat next to me and said, “Since you can’t talk, let me tell you a story.”

Eve seemed a bit awed by Valek. She asked, “Should I go?”

“No need. You already know most of this.” He squirmed into a more comfortable position. “Devlen was well aware of Galen’s eavesdropping on our plans to rescue you. In fact, he purposely kept them on the surface of his thoughts. We had another way to free you. Easier by far. Quicker. We would have been gone from this horrid place days ago. I liked that one very much. But it included only you and Galen, and would have kept the status quo. The Bloodroses would have continued to be passive sheep.” Valek shrugged. “If they give him the power, they’re equally at fault.”

I would have argued the point, but Valek continued. “Devlen wished to guide them. To help them help themselves. He claimed it was what you would do. He understood the risks were significantly higher and reduced the chance of success. Counting on people who have been repressed for decades isn’t a sound tactic. But he convinced everyone it was the right thing to do. Even me. Don’t tell anyone.” He pushed his sleeves up, showing me his forearms. Tiny cuts crisscrossed his skin. “I never thought I would be sick of teaching knife fighting.” He paused. “Is it a knife if it’s made of glass?”

I made a slicing gesture across my throat.

“Yes, it does have a deadly sharp edge. No worries about it dulling with use, either. Just with it shattering.” He mused, staring off into the distance.

I nudged him.

“Oh yes. And the moral to this story is Devlen is good people. I’m always leery around the so-called reformed, but I trusted Devlen with my life and my team’s lives and he came through.”

But not without paying a price. How high? Too high in my mind if he died, but I was sure Valek would see it as one life given in exchange for seven—or rather an entire clan’s lives—a bargain.

Devlen struggled to breathe. I hovered over him, not knowing what to do. Should I ask Kade and Heli? A shout cut through my panic. My name. I glanced up in time to see Janco running full out.

He skidded to a stop. “Is this what you’re looking for?” Opening his hand, he revealed a bottle of ink.

I punched him in the leg.

“Ow! That’s payback for letting us all believe you were dead.” He dropped a super messenger into my lap.

Magic flowed through me, energizing me.

Valek grabbed the sword’s hilt. “Ready?”

I nodded and he yanked. The injury was extensive, but I ignored the jagged flesh and broken bones. Concentrating on repairing the damage, I gathered magic and pretended I fixed a glass statue. I drained the messenger dry, healing him until nothing was left but a nasty purple scar along his torso.

Too tired to stand, I snuggled next to Devlen in the warm sand, letting the day’s heat soak into my bones. Truly happy for the first time in seasons.

The next few days ran together. We were moved to one of the cottages to recuperate. Valek poured endless amounts of Leif’s teas down our throats. Devlen had lost a lot of blood and needed to drink the one that tasted like dirty wash water.

“You can laugh. You don’t have to drink this stuff,” Devlen complained.

I grunted and pointed to my cup. My tea smelled like moldy mushrooms. I sipped. Compared to the slimy seaweed Mother forced on me, it was actually quite good. I glanced at my nightstand. Mother had visited, bringing me a single purple flower in a white vase and a dose of moon potion in a sealed vial. I had set both aside for now.

“Where did Valek get all these potions?” Devlen asked.

“From Leif,” Valek said from the doorway. “Are you feeling well enough to discuss what must be done with Galen?”

I picked up a tablet and wrote: No need to discuss. We drain him dry and kill him.

“I thought you couldn’t siphon his magic,” Devlen said.

I slid from the bed and reached under it. Pulling the orb and the two syringes out, I showed them to Devlen.

He understood. “Are they filled with your blood?” he asked.

I nodded.

“Are you sure?”

I tapped on the tablet, circling drain him dry and kill him.

“What’s going on?” Valek asked. Devlen explained.

Valek met my gaze. “Is this what you want?”

I wrote yes on the paper in big capital letters.

“Sounds like a plan,” Valek said.

Claiming prior experience, Devlen offered to inject my blood into Galen. He wobbled a bit when he stood, but he shooed away my efforts to help him change clothes. I handed him the syringes.

“Are you sure?” he asked for the tenth time.

I pushed him toward the door.

“Okay. I believe you.” He kissed me and followed Valek.

I changed, as well, and visited the small stable. Quartz’s happiness at seeing me almost knocked me over. I had been avoiding her since I was bound to Galen, trying to hide my shame and the taint of him.

Feeding her a handful of peppermints, I scratched behind her ears.

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