Spy Glass Page 47

After spending a day here, I understood. “How about if I promise to inform the Councilor about the horrid conditions?”

“Can you kill Finn for me?”

“Tempting, but no. I could try to get him fired.”

“Not enough.” He considered. “And Miss Goody-Goody wouldn’t help me escape. Would she?”

“No.”

“You don’t have much to offer.” He stared at me a moment. “I wasn’t planning on telling you, but I changed my mind. Since Miss High and Mighty thinks she can resist the lure of blood magic, I’m going to tell you where you can find your blood.” Ulrick explained where he hid it. “The rules still apply whether the blood is yours or not. You’d better talk to the Councilor about the conditions in here before you become an inmate. See you later, Opal.” Ulrick retreated into the darkness of his cell.

I slid the window shut as a variety of emotions twirled in my chest. Relief mixed with fear—he could be right about becoming addicted even if I’d use my own blood. I shoved my concerns aside. It was time to escape.

A good plan, except a sizzling whoosh sounded as all the lanterns blazed at once. Squinting into the sudden brightness, I froze.

Finn and his goons—Erik, Carrl and Lamar—stood between me and freedom.

13

NOT WAITING FOR FINN TO MAKE THE FIRST MOVE, I threw a dart at him, aiming for his neck. He deflected the weapon with his magic, sending it skittering along the wall before it landed on the ground.

He advanced. “What a lovely reunion. I think I might cry.” Finn mimed wiping tears as he sniffed. “I knew that rat would squeal to you. He resisted my torture and my tricks, guarding his precious little secret. Even my truth serum failed to work. Unfortunately it’s a hit-or-miss type of drug. You babbled on and on about searching for your blood and about your immunity to magic, but I couldn’t get you to tell me how you managed to become immune.”

“Why do you care about my blood?” I asked.

“It’s very valuable. Gentlemen, please escort Miss Rhea Jewelrose back to her cell.”

In the narrow hallway, only two men could rush me. Though they were skilled fighters, I jabbed Erik with my last dart and held off Carrl with a flurry of palm heel strikes until Lamar joined in. Even with my intensive training, the two of them overpowered me. Held between them, I struggled to no avail. They anticipated all my self-defense techniques, rendering them useless.

“Someone’s been practicing. Bravo,” Finn said. He picked the dart from the floor. “A sleeping potion?” he asked me, but didn’t wait for an answer. “I must say I’m impressed with your efforts. When you left Fulgor, I set a watch for you, but I expected you to get caught sneaking in.”

“Councilor Moon knows I’m here.”

He smiled, but the humor failed to reach his eyes. “No she doesn’t. Nor will she. Whatever insurance you left behind will be intercepted before it arrives. Didn’t her new assistant seem too qualified?”

“But her background—”

“Impeccable.” He cocked his head. “Are you going to cooperate or do I need to incapacitate you?” Finn raised the dart.

Horror swept through me at the thought of being unconscious. “No need for that.”

“Secure her hands,” Finn ordered.

On my right, Lamar released his grip. With Finn aiming the dart only a few feet away, I couldn’t resist. Lamar pulled my arms behind me and nausea bubbled in my throat. He snapped the cuffs on my wrists, but he didn’t tighten them. Then he slipped a round object into my palm. Trying to keep the surprise from showing on my face, I automatically fisted it, recognizing the shape.

Finn stepped to the side as my escorts guided me past. They would never be this close again. It was now or never. I held my breath, yanked my arm from the loose cuff and from Lamar’s weak grip and flung the glass ball to the floor.

It shattered on impact, releasing a bright flash and a noxious gas. Finn and Carrl coughed and sputtered and were soon prone. It was one of Valek’s toys, but it had been too big to conceal on my body. I met Lamar’s cocky gaze. Despite the gas, he remained standing.

Several clues clicked together and I groaned. “I shouldn’t have worried,” I said, being careful not to breathe in. “It was a classic damsel-in-distress situation. Who else would save me?”

He grinned. “Better hurry, Opal. I can’t reveal myself. This guy is brutal.” He nodded at Finn. “And hard to figure.”

“Thanks, Janco. Guess you shouldn’t have pissed Valek off or you would have gotten Pellow’s—or should I say—Ari’s cushy job at Dawnwood.”

“And be bored? No thanks.” He shooed me away and crouched in the fumes, inhaling deep breaths. By the time I reached the door, he was unconscious, as well.

The outer entrance to the wing was quiet, but when I slipped into the stairwell, the shouts and pounding of boots echoed below. My exit route was blocked. I had spent too much time with Ulrick and Finn. Panic rolled through me. I allowed the fear to crash and settle before reviewing my options. It was time for my backup plan.

With no way to get past the commotion below, I went up instead. I reached the warden’s office without incident. The lack of COs meant the warden wasn’t inside. Good. Using my lock picks on the four complex locks, I eventually let myself into his office and relocked the door.

Exhausted, I collapsed on his desk chair, wondering how long it would take the COs to inform the warden of my escape. I lounged back and put my feet on his desk to appear casual. My heart, though, didn’t get the whole acting relaxed order and insisted on knocking against my breastbone.

Prev Next