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  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(84) by Anne Bishop
  • It surrounded him in seconds and immediately started to constrict. If it sealed his inner barriers, it would lock him inside himself.

    Like Garth.

    And then he knew what it was.

    He poured the strength of the Red into his inner barriers, poured everything he had into his inner defenses.

    It was a tangled web. The kind of web Black Widows used for their dreams and visions. The kind they used to entangle a mind and draw it into a living nightmare.

    He struck out desperately, but the power only got through the shrinking spaces between the strands. Fed by his own strength, the strands in the tangled web swelled like fat slugs.

    Panicked, he tried again and again.

    *No, Jared! Don’t attack it! Don’t feed it!* Thera’s voice sounded like ice-coated fire.

    Trembling, he obeyed.

    Was this how Garth had felt? Had he done the same thing, unwittingly aiding in his own destruction?

    *Hold your inner barriers, Jared,* Thera said. *I know how to get rid of this.*

    She didn’t sound as confident as her words, but since he didn’t see another choice, he again obeyed. His body was shaking, but he felt distanced from it, unconnected. If he tried to raise his arm, how long would it take his body to receive the message—if it received it at all?

    Without warning, a psychic knife came whistling down— a long, sleek blade, its edge glowing with icy Green fire.

    It hit his inner barriers with enough force to make him gasp. It struck again and again, slicing through the sticky strands, charring the severed ends.

    As sections of the tangled web fell away from him, little balls of psychic fire struck them, burning them to ash.

    He endured the blows as Thera’s Green knife continued to hack at the tangled web.

    Finally, enough had been cut away for him to be aware of something outside himself. Something that sounded like a roll of thunder, like the roar of a waterfall.

    Like the sound of power gathering before it was unleashed.

    *Leave it, Thera!* Jared shouted. *Get away from here!*

    The Green knife paused.

    *Mother Night,* Thera whispered, swiftly breaking contact with him.

    Jared shook his head to clear it. His connection to his body still felt sluggish. Strands of the tangled web were clinging to his inner barriers, making him feel tainted, but he was no longer imprisoned.

    Hands grabbed him. He stumbled.

    “Jared!” Thera shouted. “There must have been another spell in those buttons. I can’t tell how strong it is. I don’t know if we can shield against it. We have to run.”

    His legs just wouldn’t obey him. “Go,” he said. “I can’t run.”

    Swearing, Thera tugged him away from the rock, toward the road. “Damn you to the bowels of Hell, you stupid man. RUN!”

    She gave him a vicious clout. He couldn’t tell if it was physical or psychic, but it got his legs moving until he was running away from the rock, running up the road.

    Feet pounded behind him. Two horses galloped toward him.

    Seeing them burned away the last of the sluggishness.

    He ran faster.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire