Spy Glass Page 58

The rows of scars on my arms had caught her attention. Sarrah also noticed. Great.

Tori patted my shoulder. “No problem. I have a pair of long white gloves and some extra dye. Plus I can dye a pair of shoes to match. Can you wait until tomorrow?”

“Yes.”

She quoted a price and I paid her without looking at Kade’s mother. It was the most expensive garment I ever bought, but it was worth every extra silver.

Mission accomplished, we walked back to Sarrah’s house. We didn’t talk, but it was a comfortable silence. When we arrived at the kitchen door, I thanked her for taking me to Tori’s.

She nodded. “It’s the perfect color for you.” Then she went inside.

Her comment reminded me of a similar one from Valek three seasons ago. He was going to be smug and all I-told-you-so when he saw me in emerald green. I still hated him and thought he was evil, but the man did have an eye for color.

Early the next morning Heli visited. At seventeen, she was the youngest Stormdancer, and her enthusiasm for life was contagious. Bounding into the kitchen with a wide smile, her energy spread to all of us in the room, including Sarrah. I marveled at the first sign of happiness from Kade’s mother.

“Opal,” Heli cried, spotting me sitting at the table. “Good to see you! Are you why Kade sent me a message?”

I glanced at Kade.

He flipped sweet cakes. “One of the reasons,” he said.

Sarrah set another place at the table. “Stay for breakfast.” She tsked at Heli. “So thin! You need to eat more.”

Heli plopped into the chair next to mine and rolled her eyes. “You sound just like my mother.”

“At least no one nags you on the coast,” I said.

“I wish.” Heli sighed dramatically. “If Kade isn’t fussing at me about something, Raiden thinks he’s my surrogate father. It’s why I spend so much time on the beach.”

“So you don’t really like hunting for treasures from the sea?” I asked.

She slapped the table. “That reminds me! Remember that sea glass I found?”

Hard to forget the glass that had caused everyone to fight over it. A magical compulsion had been attached to it by an uncontrolled young magician named Quinn. I wondered if he could purposely attach magic to glass now that he should have control over his power. Then I recalled the cold glass Mister Paul had in Hubal. The two bits of information linked and I felt as if I’d been smacked. If Quinn made the cold glass, he might be able to do more.

“Opal? It wasn’t that hard a question,” Heli said.

I pulled my thoughts back.

Heli waited for my answer.

“Sorry. What was the question?” I asked.

“Sea glass?”

“Of course. What about it?”

“I’m this close to deciphering the message scratched on the pieces.” Heli held up her finger and thumb with a half-inch gap between them.

“But the markings were just a way for Quinn to keep track of his collection.”

“Did he tell you that?” she asked.

“I don’t remember.”

“From your description of the Bloodrose family, I think the glass was a call for help.”

I shook my head. “Heli, the family was… All right, they were creepy, but I didn’t see anything illegal going on. They’re just oyster farmers who don’t want to be bothered by outsiders.”

Kade served the sweet cakes. “That sea glass already caused enough trouble, Heli. Just leave it alone.”

She snapped her mouth shut, but the gleam in her eyes gave away her intentions to continue despite Kade’s order. Ah. Youth.

After breakfast, Sarrah and Ink went to the shed, and I cleaned up while Kade and Heli discussed the upcoming storm season.

When she shrieked with delight, I looked over. Kade wore his sternest frown, but Heli practically bounced in her seat.

“It’s a huge responsibility,” Kade said. “Their safety is in your hands. If anything should happen—”

“Don’t worry. Nothing’s going to happen. I’ve got it covered. Thanks, Kade. Have a great trip!” She hugged him around the neck, waved goodbye to me and dashed off.

“That may have been a mistake,” Kade said.

“What?”

“I’ve put her in charge of the Stormdancers until I arrive on the coast.”

The other three dancers were older and more experienced. “Why?”

“She’s the strongest of the four, and when it comes to unpredictable storms, brute strength can be more valuable than experience.”

“At least it’s the heating season.” The storms were milder in comparison to the cooling season. “She’ll be fine.” Then I grinned.

“Should I even ask?”

“You may have an…interesting reception when you return. I’m sure Prin and Raiden will not be happy about the new boss.”

He laughed. “She’ll drive them crazy. Good. Maybe they’ll appreciate me more.”

Kade and I left the next morning for Booruby. Fitting a silk gown into my packs wouldn’t work, so I had to tie the box to Quartz’s saddle. There were twelve days until Mara’s wedding and it would take us seven to reach my house, leaving five days for me to help my mother. I was in big trouble.

I set a quick pace. When we arrived at my family’s home, I paused before pushing through the gate. The house seemed quiet. White smoke billowed from the glass factory’s chimneys. No one was in sight. Our courtyard had been transformed for the wedding ceremony and reception. Large arches decorated the space, tables and chairs had been set up and a fabric ceiling hung above the yard to protect everything from the rain.

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