Magic in the Shadows (54 page)

I want you
, he whispered in my mind. We kissed again, his tongue tracing the edge of my bottom lip. I felt his desire burn through me like a hot wind, making my skin prickle with tight heat.
A rock hit my arm.
I twisted, my palms up, ready to cast a spell.
Zayvion was way ahead of me. One elbow braced beneath him, he rolled, putting me partially behind him, his right hand already outlining a glyph in the air, though he didn’t pour magic into it yet.
Another rock—a wet rock; no, an ice cube—hit my hip. More ice hit Zayvion’s shoulder, clattered down his chest to the mat in front of him.
Shamus Flynn stood at the door across the room, a bucket of ice tucked between his arm and chest, and a grin on his face.
“Thank God I got here in time.” He tossed another volley our way. “You might have gone up in flames. Burst into sex at any minute.”
“Shame,” Zayvion warned, “put the ice down.”
“Like hell. No need to thank me. It’s what friends are for.”
Zay didn’t take his eyes off Shame, but he shifted so that we were no longer tangled.
“Do you remember what happened to you the last time you threw ice at me?” he asked calmly.
Shame shook his head. “Doesn’t ring a bell.”
“It had something to do with you not walking straight for a couple days.”
Shame pulled out a piece of ice and stuck it in his mouth. He chewed it—noisily—as he strolled over to us.
I swore he had a death wish.
Shame did a fair job at that goth-rocker vibe. Black hair cut with the precision of dull garden shears shaded his eyes. A black T-shirt over a black long-sleeved shirt on top of black jeans, black boots. Even his hands were covered by black fingerless gloves. But behind all that black was a man who wasn’t as young as he looked. A man whose eyes carried too much pain to be hidden by that sly smile.
“That was your last warning.” Zayvion tensed, ready to pour magic into the glyph.
“Do not burn your best friend to a crisp,” I said, sounding more like a babysitter than a girlfriend.
Zay just kept staring at Shame. “He won’t burn long. Not with all that water on him.”
Shame laughed. “Bring it on.”
“No one’s going to bring anything on.” I stood and alternated my glare between Zayvion and Shamus. “No magic fights in the gym.”
Right. As if they’d do what I said.
Time to change tactics. “How about food? Zay and I were just going to lunch,” I said.
“Lunch?” Shamus said. “Is that what you kids are calling it these days? Back in my day we called it fucking.”
“Shamus,” Zayvion said, “may I have a word with you?” Zay let go of the spell and stood up in one smooth, graceful motion that showed just how many years this man had spent sparring.
Shame didn’t have time to answer because Zay closed in on him, fast and silent as a panther, and forced him toward the far side of the room.
I shook my head. Those two acted like brothers even though they were physically about as different as two people could get. Zay and Shame were far enough across the room that I shouldn’t have been able to hear what they were saying. But Hounding for a living meant I had good ears. There was a chance I would’ve been able to spring into action if Shame had needed me to save his life or something.
“. . . ever throw ice at me again, I am going to beat you with that bucket. Do you understand me?”
“Oh, please. Like I should take you seriously. You haven’t raised a finger in two months.”
“Listen.” Zay paused, lowered his voice. “This is different.” He paused again. “I need you to respect what Allie and I have or you and I are going to have real problems.”
“Respect?” Shamus asked, just as quietly. “I’m filled with envy.”
“Then stop being an ass.”
Shame snorted, then raised his voice, obviously talking to me. “Aren’t you going to ask why I came by?”
I shrugged the shoulder that didn’t hurt. “You need a reason to harass Zay?”
“Hell, no. But I’m not here to talk to Zay. I’m here for you.” He strolled across the room toward me.
“What’s up?” I asked.
“My mum wants to see you.”
“Did she say why?” I asked.
“Officially?”
“At all.”
“There’s a storm coming,” he said, all the joking gone now.
Zayvion stiffened. I watched as the relaxed, laughing man I’d spent the last few weeks with was slowly replaced by an emotionless wall of control, of calm, of duty.
“What kind of storm?” I asked, even though I was pretty sure what the answer would be.
“Wild magic,” he said. “And it’s aiming straight for the city.”

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