Shadowed(Legend of the Ir'Indicti,Book 2)(13) by Connie Suttle
"Chad must pay restitution. That money will come from an emergency fund set up by the werewolf government, and Chad must work to pay that money back within a reasonable amount of time. Should he not do so, he will be judged again—as an adult. He also will serve a sentence through the rest of the summer—he is under house arrest and will be caged during the full moons." Sali, Jeff and Hayes stifled gasps—being caged during the full Moon was the equivalent of solitary confinement. Wolves were compelled to run during the full Moon and it was bad enough that those under the age of fifteen were confined to their homes. A cage was very small—barely large enough to hold a werewolf.
"What about the other one?" Peter Jansen asked.
"He will be caged during full moons as well, and is under house arrest just as the other one is. And since he received a new car as a graduation gift; that will be taken away and parked elsewhere. I don't want them sneaking out somehow and driving off, so I have the keys." Marcus held up the keys in question and jangled them.
"But they'll have to finish school and graduate with the rest?" Ashe asked.
"Yes, but all the teachers and the Principal are expected to keep a close watch on them. If they act up or cause trouble, they may be doing their final assignments from home. One or both parents are expected to pick them up from school every day."
"Poor Mr. and Mrs. Booth," Ashe sighed.
"It's only for two weeks, Ashe, and they won't get to deliver a speech at graduation. Part of the punishment."
"In their case, that might be a reward. Have you seen their writing skills?" Dori huffed. Sali snickered.
"What did you write your end-of-year essay about?" Sali asked as he caught up with Ashe on their way to school the following day. The essays were due that morning in English class. Sali hated that English was their first subject of the day; Ashe didn't mind at all.
Mr. Garnett, their new English teacher, was utilitarian at best, but he was a werewolf and that suited the community. He followed at Principal Billings' heels whenever possible. Ashe couldn't figure out if Mr. Garnett wanted to take the Principal's position someday or if he was merely trying to fit in as best he could. He'd taken Paul Harris' post—and his home—after Cloud Chief's previous English teacher had been captured the year before.
"I wrote it on the economic feasibility of a community such as ours," Ashe replied to Sali's question. "I mean, there are certain expenses that are shared by the community, and we grow our own vegetables during the warmer months. The O'Neills supply beef and mutton to the community because they raise sheep and cattle, plus they bale hay for the others that keep horses. The Thompsons raise chickens and turkeys, so we can get eggs and poultry that way—Mom seldom buys much of that stuff from the store. The trick, I think, is in keeping the communities small so we can raise enough vegetables and meat on the hoof to keep everybody. And we have to worry about keeping it small enough that we can stay hidden."
"Dude, that's something a senior ought to write," Sali said. "That makes my essay on the relationships between shifters and werewolves look like grade school crap."
"Sali, that's important and a really good idea. I wish I'd thought of it," Ashe sighed. "Sal, you're smarter than everybody thinks. I don't know why you try to hide it."
"Too much work, man," Sali grinned. "Come on, race you to school." Both boys took off at a run.
* * *
"My Queen, it is time." Hilbah hated to interrupt Friesianna at anything—she held a short and volatile temper and was inclined to use the crown she wore as extra power to hurl unsuspecting subjects against convenient trees or walls. Her methods of displaying her displeasure with those who tried her patience were legendary. Hilbah, dark-haired, blue-eyed and inwardly quaking, had dressed in his finest gold silk to come to the Queen.
He should have come months earlier, but he was afraid. It was he who'd suggested the seeding of the Elemaiyan eggs in the fertility clinics, and he'd congratulated himself secretly on the cunning plan he'd devised. They'd only managed to collect a mere three hundred seventeen half-Elemaiyan children. More than two hundred of those children had already fallen in the war with their Dark cousins. Friesianna might not accept compliments and respectful groveling much longer.
"Ah, my Miriasu," Friesianna greeted her Seer. Breathing a mental sigh upon finding her in a good mood, Hilbah bowed low and repeated his statement. "My Queen, it is time. Time to gather the last of the children. Only a few remain and it would be wise to take all of them now."
"You have the tokens from each mother?" Friesianna asked, lifting a shapely eyebrow at Hilbah.
"Yes. Here," Hilbah handed an intricately carved wood box to the Queen. "I have had them since the beginning. These six are all that remain."
"Do you have any suggestions to bring them to us quickly?"
"Send out the Call. Have them come to us," Hilbah bowed. He knew what the Call would require. It was not a simple thing to do and the Queen's Jewels—her elite guards that held the ancient talismans—might object; they were powerful in their own right and the talismans made them stronger. Diamond and his brothers would not take kindly to being weakened while the Queen borrowed their talismans to perform the Call.
"I will consider this," The Queen rested her chin on the tip of a delicate finger, the heavy gemstone rings she wore winking in the fading afternoon light. "And I will consult with the spies that my Jewels have found for me. That will tell me much. I will give you my answer in three days."
Dismissed, Hilbah bowed again and walked away, dignified and slow. He wished to slump and hurry, but that was unbecoming of the Queen's Miriasu. Gone were the days when the Queen would heed her Seer's advice and take immediate action. No—Hilbah held not the talent to command that respect and Friesianna, upstart Queen that she was, held not the wisdom.
* * *
"My King." Rend, the Dark King's Chief Destroyer stood before Baltis, King of the Dark Elemaiya and Prince Beldris, Baltis' only brother.
"Rend?" Baltis rested his chin on a fist, gazing across the wilds of Canada while his brother spoke of days long past when their numbers had been fifty times what they now were. Before Friesianna had taken the Bright throne and war between the two races had begun. Rend now stood before Baltis, interrupting the King's thoughts and his brother's speech.
"My King, our spy reports that Friesianna may send a Call for the remaining children. Only a few, as I understand."
"Will our informant know when the Call is sent?" Baltis was now sitting straight on his throne, his interest focused solely on Rend's words. How a werewolf spy could know these things puzzled Baltis, but he was grateful for the information. Obediah Tanner, a rogue werewolf, had been feeding the Dark Elemaiya information for years. For a price, of course.
"He will know—and he has not led us astray so far," Rend said respectfully.
"Then pay him and keep me informed. We will track and destroy," Baltis commanded. "Those Bright fools still don't realize there's a seventh one out there. I'd like to eliminate him before Friesianna learns of his existence." Baltis mused for a moment. "Very well, kill the others when you find them, and keep watching for the opportunity to destroy the hidden one." Baltis escaped his reverie and waved a careless hand, commanding his Destroyers. "See to it."
"As you will it, my King." Rend bowed and walked away.
"We will bring the Bright Queen down," Prince Beldris smiled at his brother.
"Of course we will," Baltis nodded regally.
* * *
"I heard Chad and Jeremy's essays won't be considered," Cori said as she walked out of Cloud Chief Combined with Ashe and Sali. Sali had gotten into an argument with Wynn and Dori during Math class, destroying the temporary peace that existed between them and reinstating the old feud. Ashe shrugged over the whole thing and resolved to wait it out. Again. At least Cori was still speaking to him, even if she was giving Sali dark looks now and then.
"That's what Marcus told us yesterday. It's no surprise, but I don't think they had a chance anyway," Ashe said. "I figure somebody in your class will get it, though."
"I could use the money when I go to college," Cori said. "But dad promised to give me a little money to fix up my dorm room."
Sali and Ashe had given their best to the essay because both wanted a cell phone. Ashe figured they would be forced to wait the extra year to get one. The five hundred in first-place prize money was the amount specified by their parents or a cell phone wouldn't be allowed before the boys' fifteenth birthdays.
"Dude, we're just not destined to communicate outside mindspeech until we turn fifteen," Sali muttered dejectedly after Cori broke away from them to walk toward her home. "And that's a little one-sided at the moment."
"Hey, Ashe. Sali," Edward was waiting outside Ashe's garage when he and Sali arrived.
"Edward, what's up?" Sali grinned.
"Not much. I had to promise Mr. Landers that I wouldn't be any trouble before he'd let me out of his sight," Edward said.
"Come on in, I think Mom replenished the supply of microwave popcorn," Ashe said, inviting Edward inside.
"Luanne and Macy can't stop talking about Wynn and Dori," Edward said as they waited the prescribed time and listened to popcorn thump against the inside of the bag as it popped. "But Lizzie is back to her grumpy old self. Philip caught it from her, so now we can't stand either one of them. Again."
"I think Wynn and Dori wouldn't mind if Luanne and Macy came to visit," Ashe said, portioning out the hot popcorn into three bowls. Sali would take the lion's share if he didn't.
"Let me call Macy. Luanne is with her right now," Edward pulled his small walkie-talkie from a jacket pocket and pressed the button.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online