Spider's Trap(Elemental Assassin,book 13)(67) by Jennifer Estep
He was going to bleed out in another minute, two tops.
And I had no idea how to save him.
Fear and grief crushed my heart and made my stomach roil, but I grabbed Owen’s hand and stared into his eyes, trying to come up with some sort of miraculous plan that would help him escape death the way I had so many times before. Tears slid down my face and plopped onto our entwined hands, smearing all the blood there. Owen opened his mouth, but I put my fingers against his lips.
“Save your strength,” I whispered.
He coughed up another mouthful of blood in response.
Lorelei shimmied out from under the metal rack Pike had dropped on her. She started to run outside to check on Mallory, but her eyes widened as she realized just how much blood was pouring out of Owen’s wound. She changed course, hurried over, and fell to her knees beside me.
She gave Owen the same critical once-over I had. “Forget the knife. You have to stop the bleeding—right now—or he’s dead.”
“Don’t you think I know that?” I snapped, my voice rising to a near scream that shook the entire mansion again. “Get me some towels! Now!”
Lorelei gave me a cold look. “Unless you want to kill us all with your Stone power, stop screaming.”
Another cry of fear and rage bubbled up in my throat, but I choked it down. She was right. If I didn’t get control of my emotions, I could collapse the entire mansion on top of us. Then Owen would be dead for sure.
“All right,” Lorelei said, once I was calmer. “Forget about towels. You need to freeze the wound.”
She nodded. “With your Ice magic. Freeze the wound, and lower his body temperature until you can get him to a healer. You know how kids and animals always fall into frozen rivers and ponds up north, then the rescue crews drag them out of the water and heat them back up? It’s like that, only a little different. My mom taught me how to do it, for when I would scrape my knees playing out in the woods.” Her voice dropped. “Or for when my dad would hit us.”
In theory, it should work, but I’d never attempted anything like that before with my magic. Most of the time, I just blasted people with my power or used it to protect myself. Even though I’d been practicing using my magic in all sorts of different ways, I didn’t know if I had enough finesse and control to freeze Owen without killing him outright.
“Do it,” Owen rasped. “Getting weaker . . . by the second. It’s the only way . . .”
His words trailed off, and his eyes grew glassy and unfocused. My heart dropped.
“Do it!” Lorelei snapped. “Now, before it’s too late.”
Still, I hesitated, wondering if I could really do such a thing, especially to Owen.
“Don’t be an idiot!” Lorelei snapped again. “I’ll show you what to do. Just follow my lead, and use your magic. I don’t have enough raw power to freeze him, but you do.”
She reached out and ripped Owen’s shirt away, exposing the deep, ugly wound. Then she grabbed my hands, squeezed them once, and gently laid them on Owen’s chest on either side of my knife. I stared at her with wide eyes.
“You saved me once,” Lorelei growled, putting her hands next to mine on Owen’s body. “You’re going to do the same for him. Right now, Gin.”
I nodded and let out a tense breath, pushing my fear away. I focused on Owen, staring into his eyes, then let loose with a small trickle of my Ice magic. In an instant, the cold crystals of my power coated his chest, like frost on a window. Beside me, Lorelei reached for her own Ice power, sending a small wave of it shooting down into Owen’s wound.
If my magic was a frigid hammer, then hers was a cool, delicate chisel. I was already sweating from the effort of trying not to use too much magic on him at once, but Lorelei trickled her Ice into one side of his injury, then the other, as easily and expertly as she had made all those small pieces of her Ice gun and then assembled them together.
Owen whimpered as our combined cold invaded his body, the sound tearing at my heart, and he started thrashing around, trying to escape the power that was freezing him bit by bit. Lorelei slid her hands up to his shoulders, leaning down and anchoring him in place.
“Keep going,” she ordered. “It’s working.”
Sure enough, her Ice had frozen the blood oozing out of Owen’s wound, making the drops look like rubies clinging to his chest. Lorelei pulled back on her power, leaving the rest up to me. I drew in a breath and let loose with another wave of my magic, this time sending the cold crystals shooting out across his skin and then down through his entire body, cooling his core temperature.
Owen’s eyes fluttered closed, his breath puffed out in frosty gasps, and his skin took on an eerie silvery tint as my Ice magic slowly invaded his body. His head lolled to one side, and his shoulders sagged in a way that told me he’d lost consciousness, but I kept funneling my power into him. The trick was to use just enough magic to stabilize him without putting so much of my power into him that he would never thaw out again.
“That’s it,” Lorelei murmured. “Slow and steady, Gin. Slow and steady.”
I didn’t know how much time passed. All I was aware of was Lorelei’s soft words of encouragement and the waves of my Ice magic sinking through Owen’s body, one muscle and tendon at a time, trying to preserve him on the brink of death.
Finally, Lorelei let go of Owen’s shoulders, grabbed my hands, and pried my numb fingers off his frozen chest.
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