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.Evil Bastard had given it to her to switch with Connul’s Orb, but she hadn’t even bothered to unpack it, since she’d had no intention of even looking for the magical item.Running, she passed her mother and Mrs.Tremky, who was holding a phone and called out for her.She didn’t pause, didn’t try to answer.The front door opened to a wide lawn.She looked around but couldn’t see any sign of the mage.Moving down the driveway, she tried to look everywhere, afraid of missing him, afraid of being too late.And then he was there—across the street, her father in a crumpled heap at his feet.She bit back a cry, not wanting to give him the satisfaction of her distress.Whether her father was alive at the moment or not, there wasn’t much she could do for him except stall.She needed to give Connul and the others time to return.She slowly walked forward.“Ah, sweet Kyriana.There you are.I was getting worried I might have to take my annoyances out on your poor, innocent father.”“So…what? Now you can take them out on me instead?” She tried to sound brave but was sure she’d failed when he gave her a big grin.“Precisely.I’m very annoyed with you.You were supposed to let that perverted asshole into your body, not into your mind.That was mine.”She came to a stop at the edge of the driveway.She could feel something in front of her, like a wall of heavier air.Given the way Guard was staying just beyond Connul’s property line, she guessed she was feeling the edges of a protection spell.“No, that was mine.How dare you invade my mind like that? It’s unconscionable.”He laughed.“Damn, you’re cute.I’m going to enjoy making you mine.”Somehow that statement allowed anger to pulse through her, pushing out some of the fear.“Like hell.I’d die before I let you touch me.It’s bad enough you’ve been in my mind, I don’t think I’d ever be able to scrub your slime off me if you actually touched me.”His face mottled with rage and he raised his arms and sent a blast of fire toward her.She hit the ground, her arms going over her head, a pathetic shield but the only thing she had.Nothing happened.She risked a glance up and saw sparks spitting against an invisible barrier in front of her.Connul’s protection.She heard running behind her but was afraid to look back.Please, don’t let it be her mother or Mrs.Tremky or—“Ah, Mr.Guard.Just the mage I was searching for.How kind of you to come to me when I couldn’t find you at your house.”Keller’s voice brought a ray of hope.She dared a quick glance at him as he strode to her side.Evil Bastard sent him a charming smile.“You must not have gotten too close, as you look to be in one piece.”Keller cocked his head.“You think not?”That unsettled the other mage, Kyr could see.“At any rate,” Keller continued, “I’m here to issue you a summons to a tribunal.Your presence is required, tomorrow, to answer charges brought by the Graysns and Miss Price.The Society is very interested to hear both sides of the story and get to the truth of the matter, as I’m sure you can understand.”“I don’t give a fuck what the Society wants.They don’t matter to me.Kyriana, give me the Orb or I will kill your father.” Instead of grabbing the still figure at his feet, though, he kept his hands free.Kyriana realized he needed them empty to direct his magic.She shivered, though whether in response to the hate in Guard’s voice or the breeze picking up, she wasn’t sure.But she was suddenly wearing a sweatshirt.She blinked and glanced at Keller, but his attention was on the mage in front of them.The breeze was cool and wet and she flicked her eyes up, not surprised to see bulging, dark gray clouds advancing on their position, though it had been a clear and sunny day just moments before.A ball of flame appeared in the bastard’s hand, which he then held over her father’s head.Her heart beat triple time and she took a step forward.“Let him go and I’ll throw you the Orb.” She held it out, and Keller jerked beside her but didn’t try to stop her.“No.I want you to bring it to me.” Guard moved the flames closer to her father, who groaned and tried to roll away, even in his unconsciousness.Alive, he was still alive.She glanced at Keller and he shook his head.Then he took his own step forward, beyond the perimeter of Connul’s property and protection.She wanted to ask him what he was doing.What she should do.But she kept her mouth closed.Trusted.Guard shouted for Keller to stay back, but Kyr’s focus was on the man in front of her.He shimmered a bit, visibly pulling power around himself.A great deal of power.And then, in a blink, her father was in his arms.Holy shit.“Dad!” She raced forward, trying to help brace both men as Keller staggered.An arc of flame shot toward them as they stumbled back onto the property.Keller went to his knees, his face gray as he lowered the other man to the grass.“No!” Guard shouted, and strode closer, the flames intensifying into a steady stream.His face was mottled with rage, and Kyr wondered how long the shield would hold against him.Rain began to fall, a small sprinkle at first, and then heavy sheets as the clouds gathered overhead rolled and billowed, multiplying before her eyes.The spray of fire stopped as Guard realized there were more players on the field.Connul stepped out into view, commanding Guard’s attention as Kyr saw Dain move into place behind him.Dain looked skyward, his arms stretched to the clouds, calling lightning down from the pouring rain.Sasha darted across the street and onto the lawn, dropping to her knees and placing her hands on Kyriana’s father.Kyriana swallowed hard at the fury written across Connul’s face.She had no idea if he had any magical weapons or could even defend himself.Why hadn’t she asked him that? She blinked and tried to wipe the water from her face, not sure if she was seeing what she thought she was amidst the downpour.It looked as if chains had sprouted out of the ground and circled Guard’s ankles.The mage realized it at the same time and threw a shield up around himself.It was apparently too late to stop the chains Connul had already conjured, but it seemed to protect Guard from further magic.Tearing her gaze away, Kyr looked down at her father.Sasha had her hands on his head, her eyes closed, her face drawn.Kyriana knew enough to realize that wasn’t a good sign.She dropped to her knees but had no idea what to do, how to help.“Sasha?” she asked, her voice shaking.“He’ll be all right, Kyr.I’m just trying to make sure all of the bad magic is removed.”Electricity crackled in the air and she flinched as a streak of lightning shot from the sky, a line of pure energy meeting Dain’s upstretched arms.Guard turned, lobbing a ball of fire.Dain lowered one arm, the line of lightning meeting the fire in a clash so bright, she had to look away.Keller staggered away from their small group and again stepped outside the bounds of the protection spell.He looked ready to collapse and Kyr had to force herself not to call him back, to trust that he knew what he was doing.Almost instantly, Dain changed the direction of his lightning stream and aimed it straight for Keller.The mage spread his arms wide, soaking in the electricity Dain provided.Kyr looked back at Connul.He’d had to make his own shield against the fire that Guard was trying to direct at him.Was she imagining it, or were the fire balls getting weaker? The rain fell so heavily she couldn’t be sure.“Give it up, Guard.There’s no way you can stand against all of us.” Connul’s voice rang out strong and sure [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]