Blood Prophecy Page 65

“I feel a little weird, but mostly okay.” I paused. “I didn’t do anything to you, did I?”

“You didn’t,” she pointed out. “And I’ll get over Viola. The bitch.”

“Maybe I’ll just hang a sign around my neck that says ‘I’m sorry.’ ”

She snorted as her phone vibrated. To my sensitive hearing it sounded like she had a grasshopper in her pocket. She checked her texts and slid me a sidelong glance. “Want to talk to Kieran.?”

An embarrassed flush crawled up my cheeks. “No.”

“He’s sent seven texts in the last half hour.” She clicked a quick message. “I’m going to at least tell him you’re okay, and then you’re going to tell me why you don’t want to talk to your boyfriend.”

“He’s not my boyfriend anymore.”

“Oh, please.” She rolled her eyes. “Sell that line to someone who doesn’t know you both better. He’s freaking out, just like you.” She put her phone away. “But since we’ve all nearly died horribly several times in the past few days, I’ll give you a free pass just for tonight. But you might, oh, I don’t know, talk to him.”

“And say what?” I asked, scrambling out of the bed. I pulled my favorite jeans out of my closet and rummaged for a T-shirt. “Sorry I nearly chewed through your jugular? They don’t exactly make a card for that.”

“I could draw one for you.”

“Ew.”

We fell into giggling, just because we could. If my laughter edged toward hysterical, Lucy didn’t comment. I was pulling on my Converse sneakers when shots rang out in the woods surrounding the house. We leaped to our feet. I pulled the window open and stuck my head out through the decorative iron bars. Snowflakes landed on my eyelashes. Sebastian was already a shadow streaking across the snow. I couldn’t see anything else.

I ducked back into the room and turned around. “I don’t know,” I said in answer to Lucy’s questioning glance. I heard the faint whistle of an arrow and instinct had me leaping aside before my brain had fully catalogued the sound. I kicked Lucy lightly as my feet left the floor, knocking her back onto the bed and out of harm’s way. The arrow thudded into the wall, cracking the plaster.

“Shit,” I said, staring at Lucy.

She stared back, equally wide-eyed. “God, you’ll do anything to get out of talking to Kieran.” She sat up, rubbing her hip where I’d kicked her. “Nice moves, by the way.” She shook her head as my phone rang in the pocket of the dress I’d just taken off. “Who could get through your defenses like that?”

I glanced at the screen, my belly going cold. It was like I’d swallowed icicles.

“Constantine.”

“Have I mentioned lately how much I do not like him?”

“Viola, wait for me. I’m coming,” I read aloud. And then I added a combination of words so foul Lucy choked.

Constantine was outside.

Worse yet, he wasn’t alone.

Because the fletchings of the arrow were the distinctive red the Chandramaa favored. And none of them knew I was the real Solange again, they only knew their queen had been captured by her banished family in a time when civil war loomed from every corner.

I did the only thing I could think of.

“Mom!”

Chapter 25

Lucy

Solange was already down in the front hall by the time I was thundering down the stairs after her. Nicholas slipped wordlessly around the banister to stand next to me.

“It’s Constantine,” Solange told her parents tightly. “And the Chandramaa,” she added, showing them the arrow she’d yanked out of the wall. “He doesn’t know I’m not Viola anymore.”

Helena started snapping orders into her cell phone to guards posted around the farm. Bruno must have already left with Sebastian because I didn’t see him anywhere. Logan was pulling a chest full of stakes out of the closet and Isabeau helped him hand them out. Marcus and Duncan went downstairs for more weapons and Hypnos. I checked the vial in my sleeve and automatically counted my other weapons out of habit: four stakes of various sizes, Hypnos, two pepper eggs, a hand crossbow, a can of mace, and a Taser.

“Here, put these on.” Liam slid a basket across the floor. It was filled with what looked like miniature shields. He wore one on a strap across his chest and it covered his heart in front with a second shield fitted to his back. It was only about the size of his palm. “Bruno’s been working on these for the last week,” he explained as I pulled one out and helped buckle it onto Nicholas.

Another shot rang out, shivering across the quiet winter night.

“I’m not letting anyone else die for me,” Solange said. She’d said it a hundred times since the summer, only this time she didn’t sound frantic, just determined and eerily calm.

There was a strange whistling sound and then something fiery crashed through the living room window. A second missile hit upstairs. The smell of smoke and winter rushed through the broken glass. Duncan dashed upstairs and Quinn and Connor grabbed a blanket from the couch to put the fire out before it reached the rug and traveled. I had to extricate myself from between the wall and Nicholas, where he’d pressed against me to protect me. It probably never occurred to him that he was flammable too.

Helena went to the glass. “Bastard’s trying to burn us out.” She checked her phone. “They’re in the back as well.”

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