Karen Chance-Palmer 02 by Claimed by Shadow

Karen Chance-Palmer 02 by Claimed by Shadow

Author:Claimed by Shadow [Shadow, Claimed by]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2011-10-13T03:31:13+00:00

"Billy! Just tell me already.”

He laughed delightedly, to the point that it barely missed being a cackle. "It's that bastard Tomas. He was captured early yesterday morning. I think they're trying to decide what would be the most painful way to execute him. That's why everyone's crowded into the vamp section—they want to see the show."

Billy threw his hat up into the air jubilantly. "I wouldn't mind taking a peek myself, if we had time.” The only thing that saved me from falling was that I was already sitting down. Tomas was about to be executed and might already be under torture? I sat blinking at Billy as my brain tried to comprehend it, and whatever showed on my face he didn't like. His grin faded and he started shaking his head violently.

"No. No way are you doing this! He deserves this, Cass, you know he does. He betrayed you—hell, he almost got you killed! For once, fate is taking a problem off our hands gratis. Let's smile, say thank you and stay the hell out of it!”

My face felt numb. I wondered vaguely whether that was due to the night breeze or to horror. I was betting on horror. "I can't.”

"Yes, you can." Billy flickered like a candle flame in his agitation. "It's easy. We walk into MAGIC's nice, quiet halls, make our way to the portal and pass through. That's it, that's all. No biggie.”

"Yes biggie." I stood up, wobbling a little, and Pritkin caught my arm. As usual he wasn't gentle, but this time that was a plus. I barely kept my balance even with his iron grip."Very much biggie.”

"What are you talking about? What's going on?" Pritkin was talking, but I barely heard him. All I could hear was Tomas' voice raised in agony, all I could see was him tied down like an animal, waiting for Jack.

If I closed my eyes, I could see a different scene. It was Tomas in the kitchen of our Atlanta apartment, frowning in puzzlement at the stove. It hadn't cooked the brownies he'd intended as breakfast for me, possibly because he hadn't known to turn the thing on. He'd been wearing one of my aprons, the one that saiddoes not cook well with others, over the smiley face pajama bottoms I'd bought to keep him from sleeping in the altogether. We'd had separate bedrooms, but just the thought of Tomas down the hall wearing only his skin had been keeping me up nights. I'd explained how the range operated and we'd eaten the whole pan of brownies before I went off to work, resulting in a sugar buzz that lasted most of the day.

That was the first time I'd let myself begin to hope that he might become a permanent fixture in my life.

He'd already been my best friend for six of the happiest months I'd ever known. Against all odds, I'd actually started to create a more or less normal existence. I'd liked my sunny apartment, my wonderfully predictable job at a travel agency and my gorgeous roommate.



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