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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Invisible Ring (Chapter 48)      Page
  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(48) by Anne Bishop
  • Blaed didn’t bother to answer. Carrying Corry, he climbed the slope as fast as he could.

    Jared half carried the Gray Lady the last few steps to the bank and didn’t think it strange that she was struggling so hard until she tried to take a step up the slope and almost fell.

    “Go,” she said, trying to push him away while balancing on her left leg. “Go.”

    “Feather-brained, mule-headed woman,” Jared growled as he ducked under her batting hands and hoisted her over his shoulder. “Stop squirming, or you’ll get us both killed.”

    “I can—”

    “Shut up,” Jared said in a deceptively mild tone that no one but a blithering idiot—or a Queen—could have failed to understand.

    Her breath came out in an angry hiss.

    Choosing to interpret that as agreement, he scrambled up the slope.

    “I told you to go,” Jared said when he reached the top and saw Blaed holding both horses, waiting for them.

    “Why should he take orders any better than you do?” the Gray Lady muttered against his back.

    Jared set her down too hard next to the bay gelding. Her gasp of pain hurt him, but he didn’t allow himself to think about it as he tossed her into the saddle and swung up behind her.

    There wasn’t time to think about anything.

    As soon as Blaed swung up behind Corry, they kicked the horses into a gallop and raced across the field, angling toward the road.

    How much time did they have? And how would the spell unleash? Would it radiate from a central point or just fan out on this side of the creek? The damage a psychic unleashing could do would depend on the strength of the person who had fed the spell. His and the Gray Lady’s inner barriers should be able to hold against that kind of unleashing, but the others might not survive it. If the spell manifested in some physical way . . .

    Wind? Water?

    They reached the road at the same moment the spell unleashed.

    Jared glanced over his shoulder and saw a mature tree explode skyward like a burning arrow released from a bow.

    The muscles in his chest locked. He couldn’t breathe.

    Behind them, a huge ball of witchfire consumed the trees around the creek and expanded outward at a fierce speed.

    Jared urged the gelding on, trying to wring a little more speed out of the animal.

    Witchfire had a radius. It had a limit that depended on the amount of power that had been used to create it. It could heat and it could burn—sweet Darkness, how it could burn!—but it couldn’t continue expanding after the power was exhausted. With all the rain they’d had over the past few days, it wasn’t likely that the witchfire would spark a natural fire. They should be safe enough ... if they could outrun it.

    He saw the wagon rattling down the road ahead of them.

    He heard the witchfire roaring behind him.

    Too slow. Too slow!

    Jared pressed against the Gray Lady. If the witchfire caught up to them, he’d risk the working distance of that twisting spell and throw a Red shield behind them. Even if that spell turned his own strength against him, the shield might buy her enough time to escape the witchfire.

    They were gaining on the wagon.

    The witchfire was gaining on them.

    The roan mare Blaed was riding squealed and shot ahead of them.

    Jared felt the heat on his back.

    He raised his hand at the same moment the Gray Lady raised hers.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire