Scent of Magic Page 61

Flea’s pout had turned thoughtful. “I don’t feel any different.”

“Did you experience anything when you touched me?” I pointed to my neck. “Skin on skin. It doesn’t work through clothes.”

“I...” He bent his head so his hair covered his eyes. “I dreamed you were in trouble, and when I woke up, I couldn’t breathe.” Flea played with the bottom of his nightshirt. “But I knew exactly where you were. Now that I think about it, that’s really weird.”

“What type of magician has that kind of power?” Ryne asked me.

“I don’t know. Not a healer or a forest mage, as we’re inside a building. An air magician? Perhaps he was drawn to Jael.”

“Ugh, I hope not,” Flea said.

“She did kill you. Perhaps her magic stayed with you,” I said, thinking about how Tohon’s magical taint must still be lingering inside me.

“Can you move the air?” Ryne asked Flea.

He lifted his head and scrunched up his nose. Nothing happened.

I mulled over what he’d said about knowing my location. “What did you feel when you touched me?”

He shrugged. “Your skin was cold, but I felt your pulse and was relieved. Other than that...tired.”

When two magicians shared energy, both felt the exchange. One was strengthened while the other weakened. Usually the link could only be between two of the same magicians, but Kerrick and I could share. This puzzle would have to wait. My head ached, and my throat burned from Jael’s attack.

“Ursan might be able to sniff out his magic when he returns. In the meantime, we can do a few experiments.” I rubbed my neck. “But not now. I should grab breakfast before reporting to the infirmary. Flea, do you want to meet me there after you get your stuff?”

“I guess. Where is it?”

“I’ll show you,” Ryne offered.

“And can you extend my...regrets to Lieutenant Thea and her sergeants?” I asked Ryne. I was already missing the sergeant’s fire.

He agreed, but before he left, I asked about Belen. “When do you expect him to return?”

“Soon. Don’t worry about Belen.”

But the flash of concern in Ryne’s brown eyes was hard to miss.

* * *

I spent the rest of the day working in the infirmary, reacquainting myself with the staff and the layout. Most of the staff remembered me. The young woman in charge of the caregivers, Christina, took a little more convincing. She tucked a strand of long black hair behind her ear as she eyed me with suspicion. I had to demonstrate my magic in order for her to cooperate.

Only a few patients occupied beds. I visited each one, assessing injuries and sicknesses. All would heal on their own.

Satisfied no one needed me, I scanned the infirmary. Estrid had converted a ballroom to take care of her soldiers. The four long rows of beds would hold a significant number of injured. She also spared no expense with the supplies. The cabinets were well stocked with clean bandages, basins, sponges, needles, thread and medicinal herbs.

My pleasure at returning to my job was tempered with the fact that these beds and supplies would be needed in three days if Ryne was right about Tohon. Plus worry for Belen, Ursan, the jacks and especially Kerrick never faded from my heart.

Flea’s arrival distracted me from my morbid thoughts. We moved a bed into the small room next to the infirmary. Flea insisted it be stationed along the right wall near the door so an intruder would have to trip over him before reaching me. My trunk had already been delivered. It sat at the bottom of the other bed in the back left corner. The room also contained a desk, chair, night table, couch and an armoire. I offered the armoire to Flea since I had the trunk.

He touched the sword he had taken from the ambush. “Aside from this and the trio of juggling stones, I’ve nothing but the clothes on my back.”

“Well then, tomorrow we’ll go—”

“No. Prince Ryne told me to make sure you stay in the manor.”

“It’s just into town to buy you a few things. Surely there won’t be any danger at the market.” I sensed a softening. “And we’ll take along Saul or Odd.”

“No. We’ll send one of the caregivers with a shopping list,” Flea said.

“Hey, that’s...”

He waited.

I huffed. “A good idea. But don’t be so smug. You’re not going to win every argument.”

“Oh, yes, I am.”

“Oh, no, you’re not.”

Flea straightened to his full height. When did he get so tall? He rested his hands on his hips. “I am. Prince Ryne trusted me with the task of keeping you safe. And I’m not going to disappoint him.”

I crossed my arms. “You sound like Kerrick.”

“Thank you.”

“Uh-huh. You do know I disobeyed almost all of his orders. Right?” I suppressed a grin.

“I do. But I’m smarter than Kerrick.”

“You are?”

“Oh, yes. I know the magic word.”

“And that would be?”


* * *

Over the next two days, I worked in the infirmary. The injuries I treated were mostly minor. The first day, I healed a soldier who had sprained his ankle because it would have taken him weeks to recover, while it would only take me a couple days.

Liv and Wynn visited me on the morning of the second day. They hovered in the doorway, eyeing the room as if seeking evidence of an ambush. Flea juggled for a young patient who had hit her head. She giggled as he pretended to lose control of the stones and pratfell into another bed.

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