Spider's Trap(Elemental Assassin,book 13)(64) by Jennifer Estep
I wondered who Pike was talking about and how that person could know who Lorelei really was. Fletcher had never been a slouch when it came to helping people disappear. So who had been able to see through the new identity he’d given Lorelei all those years ago?
Owen and I reached the end of the hallway, and I glanced around the corner. Pike stood in the middle of the next hallway over, about twenty feet ahead of us. Too far for me to try to stab him in the back. He’d hear me coming and pelt me with nails, just like he had done to Corbin. I thought back to the mansion blueprints in Fletcher’s file, but there wasn’t another room or hallway that would let me get any closer to Pike or come at him from a different angle. So I was stuck, waiting for him to either go forward or head back in this direction.
“Oh, Lorelei . . .” Pike called out in that creepy voice again. “Where are you . . .”
A door opened at the far end of the hallway, and something tink-tink-tinked across the floor. A grenade spun to a stop right at Pike’s feet, twirling around and around like a toy top. Looked like Lorelei had stocked up on some of those weapons she smuggled.
But it didn’t work.
Pike cursed and flung his hand out. His metal magic sent the grenade skittering back down the hallway in the direction it had come from. The door at the far end slammed shut. I counted off the seconds in my head. Five . . . four . . . three . . . two . . . one . . .
The grenade exploded, blowing large chunks out of the walls and incinerating the closed door. But Pike didn’t flinch at the shooting flames and resulting debris. Then again, he built bombs. He probably enjoyed those sorts of things.
“Oh, Lorelei,” Pike purred, once the noise of the explosion died down. “Your weapons won’t do you any good. Not against my magic. Metal is in practically everything. Just the smallest trace of it, and I can control it with ease. Even here, in your carefully arranged house, there’s still more than enough of it for my purposes. And you know how creative Dad taught us to be with our magic, all the tricks he made us learn, even you, with your weak powers.”
A floorboard creaked, and Lorelei darted from one room to the next in front of Pike. He growled and went after her—
But Lorelei must have dropped another grenade behind her, because Pike lurched back out into the hallway and flattened himself against the wall.
Another explosion ripped through the mansion.
“Enough of your stupid games!” Pike roared. “Come out and fight me!”
Lorelei’s mocking laughter floated out of the intercom system. “You always were a sore loser, even when we were kids and Dad would pit us against each other. If you couldn’t win the game right off the bat, then you just didn’t want to play at all, did you, Raymond? You might have more raw magic, but I was always more creative with my power. All you were ever interested in making were those stupid spikes, maces, and bombs. Dad was always so disappointed in you about that.”
Lorelei tossed another grenade into the hallway, but Pike used his magic to send the device skittering back into the room it had come from.
The grenade exploded, and a loud scream sounded, as though Lorelei had been caught in the blast. Pike laughed and rushed forward, with Owen and me hurrying to follow.
We reached a wide archway that led into a kitchen, with a series of glass patio doors that overlooked the backyard. What looked like blood was spattered on the white tile floor, with a smear of it going behind the island in the middle of the room, as though Lorelei had dragged herself back there to hide. Pike headed in that direction.
I motioned to Owen to circle around and approach Pike from a door on the far side of the kitchen so we could flank him. Owen nodded and hurried down the hallway.
Pike crept closer to the bloody trail. His back was still to me, so I eased into the kitchen. Approaching him was a calculated risk, but I had to get to him before he noticed the knives I was carrying and tried to use the metal against me. But he was moving slowly, and I was coming on fast. Another ten seconds, and he’d be mine.
Ten . . . seven . . . five . . .
I tightened my grip and raised my knife.
Three . . . two . . . one . . .
Pike whipped around and snapped up his hand, magic surging off his body. My knife got stuck in midair, as though I were trying to slice through a brick wall instead of empty space. I grunted and struggled, pushing back against his power with my own Stone magic. It took me a second to break free of his invisible hold and stagger back.
Pike arched an eyebrow, more amused than concerned. “You again with the knives. When are you going to learn? You can’t sneak up on me with those.”
I bared my teeth. “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe when you’re dead.”
I faked that I was coming at him with my knife again, then raised my free hand and blasted him with Ice magic. But Pike was as quick as I was, and he reached into his satchel and flung out a handful of nails. The metal met my Ice, crushing the deadly shards and sending them all crashing to the floor between us.
Even as I started forward again, trying to get close enough to just stab him already, Pike darted around the island, reached down, and yanked Lorelei to her feet. I stopped short.
“Hello, sis,” he crooned, holding the spiked ball of his mace up against her throat. “So good to finally see you again after all these long years apart.”
“I wish I could say the same,” Lorelei muttered.
If Pike and I resembled commandos in our black clothes, then Lorelei was loaded for bear. She too was dressed in black and wearing enough weapons to start a small war. A bandolier studded with grenades was cinched across her chest, a brace of knives circled her waist, and her elemental Ice gun was holstered to her thigh.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online