Spy Glass Page 25

When Tama and Zebb entered the reception area, I put the files away. Color had returned to her face and she fired off a list of things she needed me to accomplish for the day. I asked her about taking tomorrow off.

She bit her lip as panic flashed in her eyes. “Come in my office, please,” she said. Then Tama turned to Zebb. “You can maintain my null shield from out here, right?”

He hesitated. “Yes, but—”

“Wonderful. Opal, when we’re done, have another desk brought up here for Zebb.” She entered her office.

I ducked Zebb’s glare as I followed her and closed the door behind me. Tama stood near the window, hugging her arms.

“Magic can’t reach you now,” I said. “You’re safe.”

“I don’t feel protected.” She rubbed her hands along her white silk shirt. “I only feel safe when you’re nearby.”

“But I was here yesterday, and that magician—”

She cut me off. “Yes, I know. I’ve been thinking about the attack all night, trying to deduce a motive for it. Nothing made sense until I remembered the magician’s strong desire to lock you away.”

“I’m not very popular with the guards we fired.” I debated telling her about the attack, but she had enough to worry about without me adding more.

“This was…different. And you saved me. Blocked the magic. How did you do it? You have no powers and you sent for Zebb to build a null shield.”

I had hoped she wouldn’t recall any of the details of my “rescue.” Should I formulate a creative explanation or should I tell her the truth? Tama held herself as if my words could knock her over. She had been lied to, betrayed and ill-used. I would undo all the good progress if she discovered I hadn’t been frank with her. She needed to trust.

“I’m immune to magic. That’s how I was able to block the attack. But I can’t shield you. Remember when I touched your wrist?”

“Yes.”

“It didn’t work, so my efforts were a temporary fix until Zebb arrived. If the magician had been prepared for my interference, I wouldn’t have saved you.”

“Why didn’t you tell me this before?”

I sighed and explained my reasons. She sank into her chair as I talked.

“And Zebb knows?”

“He figured it out the first day.”

“Why didn’t he tell me?”

“Because I asked him not to.” Before she could respond, I added, “I wanted to keep the knowledge of my immunity from the Council until I decide what I want to do with it. His primary concern is keeping you safe. Since my immunity wouldn’t harm you, he respected my request.”

“You do plan to tell the Council. Right?”

“Yes. It’s inevitable. Anytime I interact with a magician, he or she will figure it out. I’m just waiting for the Council to…settle down and be a little more receptive to listening to me.”

She laughed. “You’ve been hanging around here too long. That was very diplomatic.” Tama paused for a moment. “At least my instincts are still reliable. When you asked for a day off, I sensed your presence was linked to my feelings of safety.”

“But—”

“I know, I know.” She waved me off. “Feelings are not logical, Opal. And I’m not going to let my fears stop you from taking a day off. You need it. No offense, but you look terrible.”

“Gee thanks.”

“Why don’t you take today off, as well?”

“I’m fine.” When she didn’t appear convinced, I added, “Your list of tasks won’t take long. I’ll leave early. Okay?”

“Good.”

I turned to go, but she asked me to wait. She scooted her chair closer to her desk and stacked a few papers. “Can you take these to the realty office?” She held out the sheets.

“Sure.” I reached for the papers and hit an invisible wall. My fingers bent back as I tried to pierce it. The barrier felt solid and hard. Not magic. Magic moved like thick syrup, and I could put my hand in and swirl it around.

“Opal, what’s wrong?”

“I think…” I leaned my weight on the invisible barrier. “I think—”

Zebb burst into the room with Tama’s two bodyguards right behind him. “She’s being attacked,” he cried as he rushed over to us.

“Relax, Zebb,” I said. “It’s just me. I got too close”

“Oh.” He dismissed the guards, and waited for my explanation.

When the door closed, I said, “The shield must have reacted to my immunity.” I thought it through and followed the logic. My immunity was created by magic. A null shield blocked magic. I couldn’t reach Tama through the shield. Another interesting quirk to my new status. Another thing to keep quiet.

As I saddled Quartz early the next morning, Finn arrived on the back of a beautiful golden quarter horse. Her blond mane and tail had been braided and her legs had white socks.

I couldn’t resist running my hand along her long neck. “What’s her name?” I asked him.

“Sun Ray.”

“Perfect.” I tightened Quartz’s girth strap. Anxious to go, she fidgeted.

“Is she a Sandseed horse?” Finn asked.

I looked over. “Yes.”

“I thought they’re rare, and only given to…”

I finished for him. “Councilors, Master Magicians and powerful people like the Soulfinder?”

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