Spy Glass Page 59

Leading Quartz and Moonlight to the shed/stable, I realized Kade had never been here before. I pointed out the various buildings. We removed the horses’ saddles and rubbed them down. As soon as we finished, they trotted into the Avibian Plains. The grasses in the plains had returned to green and their long stalks rippled in the breeze.

When I could delay no longer, I headed toward the house. It was time to face my mother’s wrath.

“Perhaps I should wait outside,” Kade said.

“Oh no.” I grabbed his hand. “She can’t kill me if there is a witness.”

“I think you’re exaggerating. It won’t be that bad.”

I steeled myself and stepped into the kitchen—also known as wedding central. My mother bustled about the hearth, stirring pots and baking pies. I called a hello.

She turned and gave me a cold stare. “Can I help you, miss?”

“Mom—”

“Excuse me? You must be mistaken. I’m not your mother. No. Because my daughter wouldn’t be so inconsiderate as to arrive so late for her own sister’s wedding. Especially when she knows how much work is involved. No. I’m afraid my daughter is lying dead in a ditch somewhere.”

16

I EXPECTED MY MOTHER TO BE MAD AT ME FOR ARRIVING so close to the wedding, but I didn’t think she’d be so melodramatic. “Mom, I’m—”

“Hello, Kade,” she said, ignoring me to give him a welcoming hug. “I’m sorry about Opal’s tragic demise, but I’m sure you’ll find someone more reliable and considerate. Perhaps one of Mara’s friends—”

“Mother!”

She didn’t miss a beat. “—would suit you. She invited all of them, and some are still single and quite pretty. There is an extra bed in Ahir’s room for you. Make yourself at home. Supper will be ready in a few hours.” With that, she returned to her cooking.

She didn’t murder me, but I wanted to either die or kill her. Hard to tell. “Five days is plenty of time, Mom. Mara and Leif aren’t even here yet,” I said to her back.

Glancing over her shoulder, she said, “Kade, by the time you’re settled, Leif should be back with the tablecloths. Could you help him? Mara is busy helping her father make the centerpieces in the factory.”

He looked a little queasy. “Uh…sure.”

Giving up, I showed Kade my brother’s room. There were two extra beds wedged in with Ahir’s. I recognized Leif’s saddlebags on one of them. Kade dropped his pack onto the other. I showed him my room. It used to be mine and Tula’s. A sudden sadness pierced my heart and I sank to my bed. Tula would have loved planning for Mara’s wedding. She would have been chosen as the Bride’s Maid of Honor and I would have been happy to be a regular Bride’s Maid.

Kade moved around the beds, looking at my childhood knickknacks, but there wasn’t much space. Two extra beds plus Tula’s occupied the room. It appeared Mara would sleep in Tula’s and we would have two more guests. That meant Mara’s room was also being used for visitors. Despite her complaints of all the extra work, my mother loved having a house full of people. If she hadn’t married my father, she would probably be a very contented innkeeper.

I sighed. Kade sat next to me and put his arm around my shoulder. I leaned into him.

“Don’t worry. Your mother can’t stay mad at you forever,” he said.

“She’ll make me suffer first. But that’s not it.”

“Then what is it?”

How to put my swirling thoughts into words? “After the wedding, everyone has jobs to return to. You’re needed on the coast. Mara and Leif will eventually return to the Magician’s Keep. Yelena, Valek and even Ari and Janco all have a purpose. I don’t.”

“You’ve given up on finding your blood?”

“By now it could be anywhere. Finding it would be like picking out one particular raindrop in a storm.”

“Don’t start.”

I batted my eyes, faking innocence. “With what?”

“The defeated attitude. Ha! You thought I was going to say the weather analogies. Didn’t you?”

“Yeah.”

“Well it’s not as important as your attitude. You can’t give up. This is something you need to do and I understand that. Valek has his people searching. From all I’ve heard about them, success is likely.”

“There’s still nothing I can do, but wait.”

“Really?”

“I tried thinking of who hates me enough to want my blood.”

“And?”

“No luck.”

“You haven’t thought hard enough.”

“You sound like Valek!”

He acted as if I had given him a compliment.

“I hate Valek,” I said, but it didn’t burst his bubble.

“You just need to dig deep enough,” Kade said. “I can think of two people who may be after you.”

“Ziven and Zetta, which are probably not their real names.” I shook my head. “They were hired assassins. Gressa paid them.”

“Paid them to do a job, which they failed to complete.”

Thanks to Kade’s quick thinking. If he hadn’t created that cushion of air, I would have died. Remembering the attack, I realized the assassins had put a great deal of faith in Kade. “They were supposed to fail. It gave Akako a reason to have guards watching me all the time.”

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