Dance of the Gods Page 26

The second, he and Glenna had forged with silver and fire and magic. A team emblem, she supposed, as much as a shield, which each of them—but Cian—wore at all times.

The first had saved her life once, she remembered. So magic, she supposed, had priority over impatience.

Still, when Moira offered her tea, she shook her head.

Already she was going over in her mind what had to be done—and she didn’t like most of it. Still, it was movement, and that’s what they wanted. What they needed.

“There are two outside,” Moira said quietly. “We haven’t seen any for days, but there are two out there now, just at the edge of the trees.”

Blair moved to the window beside her, scanned. “Yeah, I see them. Just barely.”

“Should I get my bow?”

“That’s a long shot in the dark.” Then Blair shrugged. “Sure, why not? Even if you don’t hit one, it’ll show them we’re not sleeping.”

Blair glanced around as Moira went out. Cian was sprawled in a chair with a glass of wine and a book. Larkin sat on the couch, sipping at a beer and watching her.

She didn’t want the tea Moira had brought in, didn’t want to be soothed by it. Nor did she want alcohol to dull the edge.

So she paced a little more, stood at the window again. She saw the vampire on the left poof. She hadn’t even seen the arrow, but she saw the second vamp fade back into the trees.

No, we’re not sleeping, she thought.

“Sorry that took so long, but we couldn’t leave that in the middle. Tea. Perfect.” Glenna went directly to the table when they came in, poured a cup for herself and for Hoyt. “Is something up?”

“Yeah. Moira will be right back. She just went up to take out one of the vamps outside.”

“Oh.” Glenna let out a little gush of breath as she sat. “So they’re back. Well, it was nice while it lasted.”

“I could only get one.” Moira came in with her bow. “It was too dark to see the second, and I’d have likely wasted an arrow.” But she propped the bow and her quiver by the window, in case she had another chance.

“Okay, we’re all here. Morrigan paid me a visit—or had me pay her one. However it works.”

“You had a vision?” Hoyt demanded.

“I had whatever it is. At the battleground. It was empty. Just wind and fog, her. A lot of cryptic god stuff, the bottom line being she said we’re to leave for Geall a week from today.”

“We go back?” Moira stepped to Larkin, squeezed a hand on his shoulder. “We go back to Geall.”

“That’s what the lady said,” Blair confirmed. “We’ve got a week to get ready for it. To figure out what we need, pack it up, finish up what’s going on up in the magic tower. We go to the stone circle, the way you got here,” she said, nodding at Larkin and Moira. “The way Hoyt came through. I don’t know how it works, but—”

“We have keys,” Moira told her. “Morrigan gave me a key, and one to Hoyt.”

“I’d say travel arrangements are up to you guys. We’ll take all the weapons we can carry. Potions, lotions—whatever Hoyt and Glenna figure we can use best. Major glitch that I see is that for Cian to get there, we have to hope for a cloudy day or leave the house after sunset. Since we’ve got watchers again, they’ll know we’re on the move. They’ll try to stop us, no question.”

“And they’ll tell Lilith we’ve gone,” Glenna added.

“She’ll know where. When we go to Geall, we take her there.” Moira’s hand tightened on Larkin’s shoulder. “I’d bring that plague to my people.”

“It can’t be helped,” Blair began.

“You say that because you’ve grown used to living with this. I want to go home,” Moira said. “I want to go home more than I can say, but to bring something so evil with me. What if the battle didn’t take place? If we found her portal, sealed it off somehow. We could change destiny.”

Destiny, in Blair’s opinion, wasn’t something you messed around with. “Then the battle takes place here, where it’s not meant to. And I’d have to say our chances of winning drop.”

“Moira.” Larkin rose, moving around the couch until he faced her. “I don’t love Geall less than you, but this is the way. It’s what was asked of you, and what you asked of me.”

“Larkin.”

“The plague you speak of has already infested Geall. It took your mother. Would you ask me to leave my own now, to break this trust. To risk all?”

“No. I’m sorry. I’m not afraid for myself, not any more. But I see the faces of those people in cages, and they take on the faces of those I know, from home. And I’m afraid.”

She steadied herself. “It’s more than Geall, I know. We’ll go, in one week.”

“Once we’re there we’ll raise an army.” Hoyt looked at Moira. “You’ll ask your people to fight, to unify under this circle.”

“They’ll fight.”

“It’s going to involve a lot of training,” Blair pointed out. “And it’s going to be more complicated than what we’ve been doing. We’re just six. We’d better be able to pull together hundreds, and it’s not just putting a stake in their hands. It’s teaching them how to kill vampires.”

“With one exception.” Cian lifted his glass in half salute.

“No one will lay hands on you,” Moira told him, and he answered with a lazy smile.

“Little queen, if I thought otherwise, I’d toss some confetti and wish you all bon voyage.”

“Okay, here’s another thing.” Blair passed by the windows again, just to see if any vampires had chanced coming toward the house. “For all we know Lilith may be on the move, too. She may even get there before we do. Anyway, can we rig up the circle—some spell—so we’ll know if it’s been used to…open the door?”

“There should be.” Glenna looked at Hoyt. “Yes, I think we can work that.”

“You wouldn’t have to. She can’t use the Dance of the Gods.” Larkin reached for his beer again. “Didn’t you say, Moira, when we came through that a demon couldn’t enter the circle?”

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