Spy Glass Page 31

My escort ordered me to sit and said in a monotone, “Do not approach the bars. No touching and no inappropriate language or topics of conversation. Any of these things will result in your immediate ejection from Dawnwood. You have ten minutes.” He stood by the door with his arms crossed and his face devoid of emotion. His bored demeanor an act to make me relax and forget he existed so I might blab something important.

The door across the room opened and Devlen entered, followed by Pellow. Devlen’s hands were manacled behind his back, but he smiled at me. Pellow unlocked the cuffs, pushed Devlen into the chair and then shackled him to the chair’s arms. The guard stationed himself behind Devlen.

“I thought this was low security,” I said.

“It is. But you’re my first visitor, and they don’t know how I’ll react. Better safe than sorry.”

His first visitor? A pang bounced in my chest. He wore another short-sleeved blue jumper and black boots. A number had been printed across the front of the shirt with Dawnwood written underneath. I noted he’d kept in shape. The uniform clung to his powerful frame.

Pulling my thoughts to the present, I asked, “So if you play nice, then you won’t be cuffed to the chair next time?”

“Yes. I earn points for being well behaved.” He tilted his head. “I told you back in Hubal I’d cooperate fully.”

“I was still having trust issues.”

“And now?”

“It’s better, but it will take me a long time.”

“I’ll be patient.”

Another oddity about him struck me. “What happened to your Sandseed accent?”

“Gone for now. I already stand out in here so I don’t need another…quirk.” He leaned forward. “Now, tell me why you’re really here in Fulgor?”

“My answer hasn’t changed since this morning.”

“What about your Stormdancer? Does he know why?”

“Of course. Kade is in Ixia. The Commander has agreed to allow him to harvest the blizzards.” I spotted the next question in his eyes and explained why I wasn’t with Kade. “Cold season. Northern Ice Sheet. Icy wind.”

He nodded. “You hate the cold. You use to shiver at night and I’d—”

“Don’t go there. Working on trust, remember?” Memories of my time with him when I had thought he was Ulrick threatened to bubble to the surface. I squashed them deep down where they belonged. “Sorry.”

We kept on safe subjects for a few minutes, catching up on news. He leaned back in his chair, looking relaxed despite his situation. And happy. Robbed of his freedom for the next four and a half years, his magic gone and yet he seemed at peace. Was it his Sandseed heritage?

“How do you do it?” I blurted, interrupting his description of lights-out.

“Do what?”

I searched for the proper words. “Be so…calm…so…” I waved my hands as if trying to pull what I wanted to say from the air and shove it into my brain. “Be so…content without your magic?”

He considered my question. “I’ve lived a year now without magic. A…difficult year. At first, I was furious, and I vented my anger on you. That’s one difference between us. You sacrificed your magic. No one stole it. So you believe you have no one to be mad at but yourself.”

“But—”

“Listen. How could you be angry at yourself when you did the right thing? You can’t. Instead, you swallowed that resentment, and are pretending to be fine. However, that emotion is smoldering inside you, burning a hole in your soul.”

“You’re an expert now? Do you do group therapy for your fellow prisoners?” Sarcasm laced my voice. How could he know how I felt?

“I trained as a Sandseed Story Weaver. Magic was but one of the many tools we learned to help others.”

“That was long ago, before you turned into an evil Daviian Warper who tortured me.” A small part of my mind was shocked by my cruel words, another part cheered me on.

But he remained calm. “There’s your anger. Good. Now direct it at the proper place. I said you believe you have no one to blame but yourself because of the person you are.”

“According to you, I’m a nice accommodating doormat.” I spat his words back at him. No reaction.

“You’re tenacious, intelligent and kind, but you’re hard on yourself. You believe there was something you could have done better or smarter at Hubal. If you had only been quicker, you wouldn’t have had to make your sacrifice.”

I sucked in a breath, feeling as if I had been slapped.

“You need to realize you did your best in an extremely difficult situation. Most people wouldn’t have survived at all. Your anger is valid and needs to be directed at the men who forced you to make a sacrifice.”

“Time’s up,” my CO said.

Devlen said in a rush, “Allow yourself to be furious at Ulrick and Tricky. Purge it from your soul and come back to see me.”

“Why?” I stood before the CO could grab my arm.

“Because I will help you take the next step and fill the emptiness inside you.”

“How?”

“Like I have. You motivated me to be a better person and in the process the emptiness filled. We need to find something or someone who will encourage you to move past it.”

The correctional officer hustled me from the room. With my thoughts on my visit, I had no memory of the trip through the darkening streets of Fulgor. Devlen’s words swirled in my mind. He had always been an expert at twisting logic and playing with my emotions. If I repeated our conversation enough times, the flaw in his argument would appear.

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