Scent of Magic Page 83

“It’s not so bad,” Flea said. He was  lounging on a mat in the next cell.

“Flea, what are you doing?” Kerrick  asked.

“Hiding. This is a great spot. No one will  think to look for me here.”

“Who are you hiding from?” Kerrick  asked.


“We need to go, now.” Kerrick held out his  hand to me.

Feeling as if my legs were mired in mud, I  took a step toward him. Our hands almost touched.

“Not so fast, my dear,” Tohon said. He  breezed pass Kerrick and snatched my hand. “You have a lot of explaining to  do.”

Pain shot up my arm, waking me. The fingers on my right hand tingled, and my heart thumped in my chest. My sheet was tangled around my legs. Giving up on sleep, I rolled out of bed and changed.

A loud and fast knocking sounded as I buttoned my shirt. Muffled words, “ emergency...the High Priestess...” reached me. I sprinted for the door. Christina stood with her fist raised in midknock. Her red cheeks and messy hair indicated her distress.

“You’re needed in the infirmary now,” Christina said.

We ran the short distance. Estrid waited with two of her priests. She didn’t appear to be sick or injured, but she was clearly upset.

“What—” I started.

“Wake her.” Estrid pointed to a prone figure on a nearby bed.

Recognition spurred my steps. Noelle was unconscious, and her face was as pale as snow. She had no visible injuries, but blood stained the pillow.

“What happened to her?” I demanded.

“That’s what we want to know,” Estrid said.

I gasped. “Did someone attack her? Where’s Jael?”

“Wake her and we’ll find out.”

When I placed my hand on her forehead, her eyes fluttered open. My magic sought her injury. There was a serious gash and lump along the back of her skull. She must have hit her head pretty hard. She also had a few bumps and bruises on her limbs, but nothing serious.

As I drew her injury into me, she blinked. “Avry?”

“Who hurt you?” I asked.


Pain exploded in my head. I would have to wring the bitch’s neck when I recovered. Groping for an empty bed, I collapsed onto it, squeezing my eyes shut against the searing lantern light. I teetered on the edge of consciousness.

“Where’s Jael?” Estrid asked.

“I tried to stop her, High Priestess,” Noelle said.

“Stop her from what?”

“From leaving.”


His dream seemed so real. The tips of Kerrick’s fingers tingled and Avry’s scent lingered on them. Longing and fear filled him. She was in trouble. But he couldn’t do a damn thing about it. Probably why Flea was in the dream, as well. Another he couldn’t save.

As he lay in bed, he concocted an escape plan and calculated how long it would take to reach Avry. Thirty days if he was on foot, ten by horseback if he managed to find a horse and it didn’t balk at crossing the Nine Mountains. Either way too long.

Giving up on sleep, Kerrick rose and headed downstairs to the library. Danny had discovered an apartment on the second floor when he’d collected the books. Noak had allowed them to use it while they researched.

Kerrick lit a lantern and opened a book on herbal remedies. He read through the descriptions, but his thoughts returned to Avry. Lately, anything he did reminded him of her. The bone-deep ache never left him. To avoid slipping into a self-pitying sulk, he concentrated on the list of green ferns, which had different properties than the yellow variety. No surprise, his mind wandered again.

Kerrick and Danny had spent the past two days researching a possible cure for the sick tribespeople. After Kerrick had stopped the boy from healing him, Noak had questioned them on what they’d been doing with the stacks of books.

Although seeming to be perplexed that they would put so much effort in finding a cure for their enemy, Noak had allowed them to work together.

When Noak had left, Danny had grabbed his own stomach. “Avry was right. The desire to heal just...grew from my core and then tugged hard, pushing to get out. Why did you stop me?”

“I don’t want the tribespeople to know. Not yet. They could force you to heal this disease, and it might kill you. We need to learn more about it.” Kerrick rubbed his neck. The cuts had already stopped bleeding. “Besides, you don’t need to heal minor injuries.”

“But I’d like to experience how it works before I need to save someone. What if I do it wrong?”

“I don’t think there’s a wrong way, but when we have some privacy, I’ll cut myself someplace that’s easy to cover and let you heal me. All right?”

Danny had agreed to keep his new healing powers under wraps. Over the next two days Noak had stopped by from time to time to check on their progress. Otherwise, he left them alone.

Kerrick felt better having the boy close to him, but his dream about Avry still haunted him. Danny joined him after dawn, and by the time Noak arrived late in the morning, they had a list of possible plants that might work as a substitute.

Noak and two of his men escorted them into the forest to collect samples. Kerrick had seen the first plant when they’d searched for the venite, so he didn’t need his magic to find it. A slight breeze blew through the trees, and he breathed in the comforting scent of the living green.

As they hiked, Kerrick asked Noak about his ice magic. “Can anyone else in your tribe do the Winter’s Curse?”

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