Spy Glass Page 64

“Why do you need Kiki?” I asked.

“To cut through the plains and get to the Citadel faster,” she snapped in impatience.

“But if the boy is protected and Bain can’t get close, why do you think you can?” Yelena asked.

“The boy is terrified of Bain. He doesn’t like me, but at least he’s not afraid of me. And I have to try,” she said.

“Take Valek,” Yelena said. “His immunity—”

“A good idea, except the boy is scared of men. He’s a runaway.”

“How about Fisk?” I asked. He had been homeless, but now he was the leader of the Helper’s Guild, which gave beggars and runaways jobs.

“Tried him already. Didn’t work.” Irys turned her hands up in a helpless gesture. “I’m open to suggestions.”

“A Curare-laced dart shot with a blowgun,” Yelena said.

“The boy’s built a barrier that repels objects and people. No one can get close to him.”

“Valek could disguise himself as a woman,” Yelena said.

Irys considered. “The boy’s pretty smart. He might see through the disguise.”

“And what happens when the boy discovers he’s been tricked?” I asked. “It won’t help with his trust issues.”

“That doesn’t matter right now. Saving his life and the power blanket is the most important. If we had your…”

She didn’t need to say my glass magic. If I had it, this situation wouldn’t be a problem at all. Then I closed my eyes as I realized I’d been an idiot. When I opened them, I met Yelena’s questioning gaze and nodded.

“Irys,” I said, “I’m coming with you.”

17

“YOU HAVE WHAT?” IRYS ASKED IN OUTRAGE.

I explained to her about my immunity.

“Why didn’t you tell me before?” Her loud question caused several guests to stop their conversations and glance our way.

“Many reasons. I promise I’ll tell you everything en route to the Citadel,” I said, getting to my feet.

Sensing something was wrong, Kade and Valek joined us.

“Can you be ready to leave in an hour?” Irys asked me.

“Yes.” I kicked off my shoes and grabbed them.

Kade opened his mouth, but I pulled him along with me as I hurried to my room. Changing into travel clothes and packing a few things, I summarized the crisis for Kade. “I know. I’m rushing off again. But how can I not?”

“You can’t.”

“Moonlight’s a Sandseed horse. Come with me?” I asked.

“I won’t be much help. And I’m needed on the coast,” he said.

Although I expected his answer, regret touched me. “I get credit for asking you. Remember that.” I poked him on the shoulder to emphasize my point. He latched onto my wrist and drew me in close.

“And I want a rain check on that dress.” He kissed me with a fierce passion that left me dizzy. He stepped back. “Remember that.”

My lips tingled. “Won’t be a problem.”

When I finished gathering my travel gear, I paused for a moment to collect my thoughts. “Please make my apologies to my family. My mother’s going to be livid.”

“I’ll explain it to her,” Kade said.

“I’m glad you understand.”

He gave me a sad smile. “I do. Yet inside—” he pointed to his chest “—I’d rather you were coming with me to the coast.”

We joined Irys, Yelena and Valek by the horses. Both Kiki and Quartz had been saddled and were ready to go.

A slight brush of magic touched me as Yelena communicated with Kiki. When she finished, I asked her what name the horses had given me.

She chewed on her lower lip. “They aren’t very imaginative.”

“Glass Lady?” I guessed.

“No.” Yelena cocked her head, studying me. “I’m not going to tell you.”

“Why not?”

“You haven’t reclaimed it yet.”

“That doesn’t make sense. How complicated can it be? You just said they’re not imaginative.”

“If I told you, you wouldn’t believe why they chose that name. When you’re ready, I will tell you.” End of discussion.

Before I could protest, Valek said, “We’ll send word if we find anything.” He was referring to my blood.

“Thanks.” I hopped up on Quartz.

Irys and I said a final round of goodbyes and then turned the horses toward the Avibian Plains. When we reached the tall grasses, Irys spurred Kiki into the gust-of-wind gait and Quartz followed. The plains distorted around us as we sailed over the ground.

For the next two days, Kiki and Quartz set the pace. They stopped when they were tired, and nudged us when they wished to go. Their efforts brought us to the Citadel three days earlier than a normal horse.

We arrived in the early morning, shot through the south entrance gate and turned west. The Citadel’s streets flowed under Quartz’s hooves. Surprised shouts followed as she dodged pedestrians. Amazed at Quartz’s speed and agility after two days of hard riding, I hung on to her mane.

Zigzagging through the intricate maze of the residential quarters, I hoped we would arrive in time to save the boy.

Kiki and Quartz stopped near an entrance to an alley too narrow for them to fit.

Irys jumped to the ground. “Come on. This way.”

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