When Darkness Ends(Guardians of Eternity,book 12)(67) by Alexandra Ivy
“Labyrinth?” She shook her head. “I’ve never heard of it.”
“The ancient druids used to cast them to trap unwary fey.”
She looked puzzled. “Why?”
“They could force them to share their potions that magnified the druid magic.”
“Oh.” She cast a glance around the empty landscape, almost as if she expected a cloaked druid to appear from the shadows. “I knew that sorcerers were rumored to force the fey to prolong their lives with potions, but I always thought druids were peaceful.”
“Sariel discovered what they were doing and threatened to slaughter every one of them if they used fey magic again,” Magnus said.
“He did?” The emerald eyes widened in surprise. Magnus grimaced. Why did she assume that the Chatri males were ineffectual wimps? Sariel had enough power to make most vampires quake in fear. “Well, I suppose the threat of complete genocide would make a druid think twice about disobeying the royal command.”
“It should have.” Magnus waved a disgusted hand toward the fields. “Clearly our time away from this world has emboldened the magic-user.”
“Why would a druid want to trap us?”
It was a question that had been nagging at Magnus since he’d realized they’d triggered the spell.
“It could be nothing more than a precaution used by the druid to ensure he wasn’t followed,” he said, choosing the most logical explanation.
“Or?” Tonya prompted.
“Or he learned a Chatri had returned and was afraid I might punish him for breaking our law,” Magnus said, knowing he couldn’t overlook that this might be more personal. “The death of the imp could have been used as a way to lure me here with the intent to kill me.”
Tonya shivered, but she didn’t panic. Magnus gave a faint shake of his head. Why did he feel a stupid prick of pride at her composure? Dammit. Her foolish courage might very well lead her into danger.
“Tell me about the spell,” she demanded. “What does it do?”
“It works like a maze,” he grudgingly revealed. “The magic has us locked in a bubble where we can move forward but we can’t leave.”
“Holy shit,” she muttered. “It’s Hotel California.”
He frowned. Hadn’t he told her they were in Ireland?
“Never mind.” She waved a hand toward the distant loch. “If this is a maze, then why does the scenery keep changing?”
“I have been using my power to alter our perception,” he said.
“Because the spell shouldn’t be capable of holding a Chatri,” he said, his voice edged with frustration. “And certainly not a prince.”
“Of course not.” Tonya rolled her eyes.
“I am a prince because my bloodline possesses superior powers.”
Magnus scowled. Annoying female. Did she think he was bragging?
He had been born with a power that was second only to the king. Which was precisely why Sariel had chosen him to wed his daughter.
“It’s truth, not arrogance,” he snapped.
She folded her arms under her breasts, emphasizing their lush beauty.
Not that he actually noticed, he hastily assured himself, wrenching his appreciative gaze from the decadent swell of her bust that was showcased by the low scoop of her neckline.
“If you’re so freaking powerful, then why are we still stuck?” she taunted.
“The spell has been modified.” He used his senses to touch the illusion surrounding them. As soon as he brushed against the magic it instantly shifted, the hills replaced by a barren tundra. He made a sound of disgust. “I should be able to break the illusion and find our way out. Instead, a new illusion simply replaces the old.”
“Then how do we get out?”
She sucked in a shocked breath, revealing the first crack in her grim composure.
“Are you shitting me?” she rasped, the scent of stewed plums filling the air. “We’re stuck in this . . . illusion for eternity? Just the two of us.” The emerald eyes darkened with an indecipherable emotion. “I must have died and gone to hell.”
Outrage flared through him. How dare she imply that it would be a punishment to spend an infinity in his company? She should only be so lucky.
“Fey don’t believe in hell,” he said stiffly.
“I do now,” she muttered, hunching her shoulders. “So what do we do? Sit here and twiddle our toes for the next millennium?”
His annoyance was forgotten as he caught a glimpse of the fear she was trying so hard to hide.
She was terrified beneath her prickly sarcasm.
Barely aware he was moving, he stepped forward, his voice unconsciously gentle.
“I said we couldn’t get out, but the spell is connected to the druid.”
His fingers brushed a soothing caress over her cheek. “Eventually I’ll follow the trail of magic to its source.”
Her expression was guarded, although he was pleased to note she didn’t try to pull away from his touch.
“You really think you can?”
This time he didn’t take offense at her seeming lack of confidence in his abilities. Eventually she would be forced to admit that he possessed more than superior manners and an exquisite taste in clothing.
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