Spider's Trap(Elemental Assassin,book 13)(65) by Jennifer Estep
Despite her previous scream and the blood on the floor, Lorelei didn’t have a scratch on her. No blood, no cuts, no bruises of any kind. I knew a feint when I saw one, and there was still one other person in the mansion who hadn’t made an appearance yet: Mallory.
Lorelei stared at me, then deliberately flicked her eyes to the right, toward the glass patio doors. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a small shadow creeping up to the doors, and I realized what their plan was. Lorelei would lure Raymond into the kitchen with her fake scream and blood trail. Then Mallory would step up to the doors and shoot him.
It might have worked too—if me and my do-gooder intentions hadn’t come along and messed up the whole thing.
Even as I cursed myself for ruining their plan, Raymond dug the mace’s spikes into Lorelei’s throat, making her tilt her head to the side to keep from getting skewered.
“I was already going to kill you slowly,” he hissed. “Draw it out for a few hours. Now, I’m going to make it last for days.”
Even if Mallory had been in the kitchen instead of outside, she couldn’t have taken out Pike now, not with Lorelei in the line of fire. It would have been a difficult shot even for Finn.
Good thing I had some backup.
Owen slipped through the kitchen’s back entrance, raised his hammer, and crept toward Pike. I stared at the metal elemental, not giving any indication that he was about to get his skull smashed in.
“You wanted to help me, Gin,” Lorelei drawled. “I’d be all right with that happening any old time now.”
“Don’t rush me,” I drawled back. “These things take time—”
Pike’s eyes lit up with his magic again, and another wave of power rolled off his body, ripping Owen’s hammer out of his hand. Pike had sensed the metal weapon the same way he had sensed my knife.
I surged forward, hoping to take him by surprise, but Pike saw me move and let loose with another burst of power.
Even though Lorelei had eliminated as much of the metal as she could from her home, there was still one room where there was plenty of it: the kitchen.
At Pike’s command, a butcher’s block of knives zoomed off the counter and slammed into my right arm, opening up deep cuts. One of the knives stuck in the tendons in my wrist, and I barely managed to hold on to my own weapon.
“Gin!” Owen yelled, and stepped forward, his hands clenched into fists.
Pike turned and threw his mace, causing Owen to drop to the floor. The heavy weapon zipped over his head and thunked into one of the cabinets behind him.
While Pike was distracted, Lorelei grabbed her elemental Ice gun, pressed the muzzle against his leg, and pulled the trigger. The gun shattered in her hand as the icy bullet punched into his thigh just like a metal one would have. Nice.
He screamed and let go of her. Lorelei ducked.
“Now!” she yelled.
Crack! Crack! Crack!
The glass doors shattered as bullets punched through them, and I spotted Mallory standing outside, revolvers in her hands. But Pike held up his own hands, sending out blast after blast of magic, the invisible waves of his power catching the metal bullets and sending them ping-ping-pinging all over the kitchen. Owen and I both ducked to keep from getting shot by accident.
Mallory ran out of ammo. She cursed, tossed her guns away, and reached for two more that were holstered to her waist, but Pike was quicker. He shoved his hand into his satchel, came up with a handful of nails, and tossed them at her. He used a much stronger blast of magic than he had used with Corbin, and the nails zipped through the air and punched straight into Mallory’s chest.
The dwarf grunted at the hard, brutal impacts and staggered back, out of my line of sight.
“Grandma!” Lorelei yelled, scrambling to her feet and running around the island.
Pike sent an iron rack full of pots and pans mounted to the ceiling crashing down on top of her. Lorelei hit the floor, groaning.
“You’re not getting away this time,” he growled.
I got to my feet and darted forward. Pike let out another soft, deadly laugh and raised his hand.
The kitchen knife still stuck in my wrist jerked loose, and I screamed as it sliced through my tendons. The pain was so intense that my own silverstone knife slipped from my bloody, nerveless fingers. It clattered onto the top of the island, and Pike used his magic to send it skittering off the countertop and right into his hand.
Owen yelled, surged back up to his feet, and charged at Pike, who whipped around and sliced out with my knife. Owen jumped back, but his foot caught in the bottom of one of the pans on the floor, and he lurched to one side, his knee letting out an ugly pop. Owen yelped, clinging to one of the counters just to stay upright.
Pike put his back to a row of cabinets, his eyes flicking back and forth between Owen and me as he flipped my knife end over end in his hand.
I grabbed hold of my Stone magic and used it to harden my skin, just in case he decided to throw my own knife at me.
“Whom to kill first?” Pike murmured.
He was so busy looking at us that he didn’t notice Lorelei reach out from under the rack of pots and pans and start fumbling with a drawer in the bottom of the island.
But I wasn’t going to wait for her to act. My hands curled into tight fists, blood squeezing out between the fingers of my injured right arm. I didn’t bother palming the knife hidden up my left sleeve. The way this fight was going, Pike would just use his metal magic to disarm me again. So this time, I reached for my Ice power. A silver light flared, and a long, sharp dagger appeared in my left hand.
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