Spy Glass Page 98

Galen withdrew a package wrapped in leather. With theatrically slow movements, he peeled the layers off. The vibrations reached me first, humming deep within my chest. He uncovered a glass tiger—one of mine! An inner fire glowed from its depths and the magic trapped inside sang to me, welcoming me. My heart squeezed with a moment of joy. Then despair crushed it. Even though my magic had returned, it wouldn’t do me a damn bit of good against Galen.

He had watched my face as he sprang his surprise. “You can thank me later.” Setting the tiger on the ground near my head, he reached into his pack and drew out a vial filled with a bright red liquid.

My blood?

He flourished it. “This isn’t what you think it is. I already injected all your blood back into you.” To emphasize his point, he touched the sore spot on the crook of my right arm. “This blood is mine.” Galen set it next to the glass tiger, then retrieved a couple syringes from his pack, lining them up in a neat row.

“I told you Vasko’s been experimenting with blood magic. He hasn’t discovered the perfect combination, yet, but his tests have produced a number of strange results. A few of them caused the complete opposite effect—test subjects who craved even more power.”

Questions formed, but they stuck to the roof of my mouth when Galen began rolling up my right sleeve past my elbow. He picked up one of the syringes and filled it with his blood. Then did the same for the second syringe.

“When you inject a magician’s blood directly into another magician’s bloodstream, it doubles the receiver’s power. It also quadruples the consequences.”

He tied a rope around my upper arm and rubbed a thumb over the crook of my arm.

Panic burst from my chest with one word. “No!” I thrashed and strained, channeling every bit of strength I had into breaking free. Nothing worked.

Galen didn’t have to wait long until exhaustion swept over me and I stilled. No food equaled no energy. Unable to watch him, I turned my head.

“You may be interested to note that injecting a magician’s blood into a regular person does nothing but make them stink of magic. They remain unable to access the power source.”

A prick of pain then pure fire raced through my arm. Another prick sent it rushing across my shoulders. I screamed when it engulfed my heart and magical energy consumed me as if I burned alive. Power flowed through my body, sending a healing wave. All my aches and pains disappeared. Strength returned and instinctively I knew I could pick Galen up and smash him into a wall.

The magic swirled around me, loose and messy and growing. I realized I had grabbed too much just like Teegan. Modifying my advice to him, I imagined the power as molten glass. I gathered it and returned it to the cauldron or rather the blanket of power. The effort left me shaking.

“Impressive,” Galen said. “You have excellent control. You must have learned something useful at the Keep after all.” Galen repacked his supplies. “With my blood, you have my skills as well as your own glass magic. I can move objects, heal and read people’s emotions enough so I know if someone is lying or not. And there might be a few hybrid powers with the mix.”

When he unlocked the cuffs holding me down, I puzzled over why he would give me such power, but after sorting through his explanation fear bloomed in my chest.

“You mentioned consequences,” I said. “What are they?”

He shouldered his pack and helped me to my feet. I wobbled as a dizzy spell threatened.

When I steadied, he grabbed the lantern. “I’ll tell you on the way.”

I followed him through the mines. We encountered no one. After we navigated a series of turns, he slowed so I could walk next to him. “There are four side effects to your current condition. One. You can’t harm me with your magic. Or, more accurately, our magic.”

Icy fingers stroked the back of my neck as I remembered Galen had injected his blood into me. A creepy sensation flowed over me as if a million ants crawled on my skin.

He tapped a finger on his chest. “Every beat of your heart mixes our blood together.”

I stopped. “I was hardly a threat to you before.”

“Remember when you insisted to Ulrick you wouldn’t be ruled by an addiction? That you were smart enough to avoid blood magic?”

“Yes.”

“Well.” He spread his hands wide. “You weren’t smart enough to avoid it. As for the question of addiction, time will tell. You feel fine now, but it won’t be long before you’re begging me to give you more power.”

“I—”

“That’s two consequences. Do you want to know the other two now or later?”

I leaned against the wall. “Now.”

“Brave girl. The third side effect is we’re connected. You can block your emotions from me by using magic, but each time you use our magic, our connection grows stronger. Eventually, you’ll be unable to resist my orders.” He smiled. “I’m looking forward to that one. Especially since right now you’re stronger than most magicians.”

Panic squeezed my insides. I panted with the effort to draw in a breath. The tunnel spun and Galen blurred. This was worse than being tortured. I reined in my swirling emotions. Think! Plan!

The obvious answers appeared first. Don’t use magic. Kill Galen. Find Yelena.

He laughed. “You can try to kill me, but you lack that killer instinct.” He resumed walking.

I fell behind, hoping distance would help dilute the connection.

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