Spy Glass Page 62

“They’re magnificent,” I said. “Are they—”

“Emeralds. Of course. Nothing but the best for my little sis.” She kissed my cheek.

I gestured to my dress. “How did you know I’d wear green?”

She gave me a don’t-be-stupid look. “Sisters, remember? Besides it’s Tula’s favorite color.”

I had forgotten! How could I? I swallowed the knot in my throat. “Thank you for the gift. I’m sorry I didn’t have time to get you anything special.”

“You paid for the wedding. And by the stack of bills Mother has collected, you might regret your generosity.”

“I won’t.” I had plenty of diamonds. More than enough, even after I bought the factory.

“I’m not going to be able to get rid of you, am I?” I asked.

“I’m family, Opal. And a colleague,” Valek said.

Which reminded me. “Have you found—”

“No business talk today. I promised Yelena.” His gaze swept me. “Killer dress. I told you emerald was your color.”

“Yes. You were right.”

“Do you really think you need your switchblade?” Amusement sparked in his eyes.

“That obvious?”

“Only to me.” Valek extended his elbow, inviting me to link my arm in his.

I wasn’t too surprised Leif chose Valek as his Man of Honor. He wore his Ixian dress uniform with all his medals glinting from his chest. An impressive amount had been pinned to the black jacket.

Holding onto Valek’s arm for balance, I navigated the stairs without falling on my face. “New shoes,” I said. I used the word shoe loosely. Torture device would be a better term. The heels had to be at least four inches high. Sarrah’s doing, no doubt.

Arm in arm, Valek and I walked down the aisle. My attention switched from my feet to the assembled guests. So many happy faces beamed at us and we were just the honored couple. I grinned, thinking of how Mara and Leif would be received.

Kade caught my eye. He oozed dignity in his formal Stormdancer attire—a gray long tunic with black piping that reached to his midthigh and cinched around his waist with a black leather belt studded with silver. Black leggings and knee-high black boots completed his clothing. He had a silver lightning bolt pinned to his shirt. Best of all he smiled at me.

Past Kade, I spotted Ari and Janco, both fidgeting in their Ixian dress uniforms, making their medals flash in the sunlight. But they froze when they saw me. Janco’s lower jaw dropped open, and I glanced behind me to see if Mara had already started. Not yet.

Standing with my parents in the front row, Irys Jewelrose winked at me. The Second Magician had arrived late last night, looking exhausted. But today she wore an elegant copper dress and showed no signs of weariness.

Next to Irys, my brother looked debonair in his formal clothes. He had actually combed his hair away from his eyes. Who knew he could appear to be a handsome young man? Not me.

After we reached our designated places, Mara and Leif entered. The gasps and ohhs and ahhs thrilled me. Leif wore black pants, a cream shirt and a black vest all made of silk. Jungle vines had been embroidered on the vest and accented with pearls, matching the pearls on Mara’s gown.

The wedding ritual passed by in a blur. During the reception, I hardly tasted my food before the dancing started. All the work and preparation for just a few hours. I think I would prefer to have a simple ritual with a few guests. Perhaps on the beach. Or perhaps not. Yelena and Valek hadn’t made a for mal commitment, but they were devoted to each other—true heart mates. Could they say the same about Kade and me? Could I?

Before I could answer, another song started and Kade pulled me to my unsteady feet to dance. One good thing about four-inch heels, they brought me closer to his eye level. And being wobbly had its advantages. Kade held me tight.

“I’ll have to thank my mother,” he said.

“Why?”

“For helping you pick out that dress.”

“You like it?”

“Yes. In fact, I’d love to see it off you,” he whispered in my ear.

His lips brushed my neck, sending a sizzle along my skin. “So you can examine the stitchery up close?” I teased.

He bit my earlobe playfully before drawing back. “No. So I can get a good look at your shoes.”

I laughed.

As the evening progressed, I also danced with Valek, my father and Leif. I traded insults with my brother. Near the end, Ari and Janco found me taking a break from the party behind the factory.

“Damn, Opal,” Janco said. “I didn’t know you could look that good!”

“Nice.” I swatted him on the shoulder. “How did you find me?”

“I tracked you. Ari didn’t think I could,” Janco said.

“I didn’t doubt you,” Ari replied.

“But you gave me that look.”

“Which one? The exasperated one? When I’m with you that’s my normal expression.”

“Really? I thought your standard for tonight was surly. You managed to scare off all those who may have been brave enough to talk to us,” Janco said.

“It was the uniforms, genius. At least I didn’t squirm like a little kid in his father’s dress clothes.”

I interrupted their argument, otherwise we would have been there until dawn. “I think Janco looks—dare I say it?—dashing in his uniform.”

Janco preened, flashing Ari a superior smirk.

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