Spider's Trap(Elemental Assassin,book 13)(68) by Jennifer Estep
“That’s enough, Gin,” she whispered. “That’s enough.”
I nodded, just hoping it would save him.
Footsteps crunched on glass, and Mallory entered the kitchen. Nails studded the dwarf’s chest, but she didn’t seem to be injured at all.
“I told you these silverstone vests would come in handy, sweetheart,” Mallory called out to Lorelei, thumping her fist on her chest. “Even if we did have to pay an arm and a leg for them . . .”
Her voice trailed off as she caught sight of Owen. Lorelei squeezed my shoulder, then went over to check on her grandmother.
Bria and Xavier rushed into the kitchen, guns drawn, with Finn and Silvio right behind them. They’d all gotten my text message and had come to help.
Bria, Finn, and Silvio hurried over to me, while Xavier moved through the kitchen and then the rest of the house, making sure that Pike hadn’t doubled back. Shocked gasps rang out as my friends caught sight of Owen’s frosted form.
“Gin,” Bria whispered. “What did you do to him?”
“I saved him,” my voice came out as a strangled gasp. “I hope. We have to get him over to Jo-Jo’s. And call Cooper Stills. He’ll have to come and help her with Owen.”
“I’m on it,” Silvio said, already dialing the numbers on his phone.
“Owen’s strong,” Finn said, putting a comforting hand on my shoulder. “He’ll pull through this.”
But the worry in his face matched the fear squeezing my heart.
* * *
Xavier came back into the kitchen, bent down, and carefully scooped up Owen in his arms. I stared at all the blood on the floor—Owen’s blood.
“Come on, Gin,” Bria said in a gentle voice. “We need to go.”
She put her arm around my shoulder. I shuddered and let her lead me out of the kitchen.
Everything that happened after that seemed disjointed and far away, as though I had stepped out of my own body and was seeing things from someone’s else point of view. Xavier putting Owen in the back of a police sedan, then getting in the front. Me crawling into the backseat with Owen, cradling his head in my lap, stroking his stiff, frozen black hair back off his face. Lorelei on the other side of him, sending a small, steady trickle of her Ice magic into the wound to keep the knife frozen in place so that it wouldn’t move and kill him outright. Bria turning on the sirens and hauling ass over to Jo-Jo’s. Finn, Silvio, and Mallory following us in another car.
All the while, I kept whispering to Owen that I loved him. That he couldn’t let someone like Raymond Pike be the end of us. I didn’t know if he heard me or not, but it seemed like some of the tense lines of pain on his face smoothed out. Or maybe that was just wishful thinking on my part.
Silvio must had called ahead, because all the lights were on at Jo-Jo’s house, and she was pacing back and forth on the front porch, waiting for us, along with Sophia and another dwarf with salt-and-pepper hair and rust-colored eyes: Cooper Stills, Jo-Jo’s gentleman friend and Owen’s blacksmith mentor.
Xavier and Silvio carefully pulled Owen out of the backseat and carried him over to the porch. Jo-Jo, Sophia, and Cooper all sucked in their breath at the sight of my knife sticking out of his chest, but Jo-Jo took control of the situation. She opened the door and waved us on through.
“Take him to the salon,” she said. “I’ve already set up a spot for him.”
Xavier and Silvio nodded, hurried into the back of the house, and gently placed Owen on a cherry-red chair. I tried not to notice how the fabric matched the bloodstains covering his chest.
Jo-Jo sank down into a seat next to Owen. Cooper, who was also an Air elemental, sat next to her, ready to help. She looked at him and nodded, and he reached out and put a hand on her shoulder, his eyes glowing an intense copper as he started feeding her his power. Jo-Jo reached for her own Air magic, and a milky-white glow coated her palm.
Bria, Finn, Sophia, Lorelei, and Mallory also crowded into the salon. We all stood there, quiet and still, and watched.
I felt the pins-and-needles of Jo-Jo’s Air power prodding at the mass of Ice in Owen’s chest and seeping through the rest of his battered body. I curled my hands into tight fists, digging my fingers into the spider rune scars embedded in my palms, resisting the urge to scream out all my grief, fear, and rage.
Jo-Jo assessed the wound for the better part of three minutes, trying to figure out the best way to get my knife out of Owen’s chest without killing him in the process.
“All right,” she said. “I’ve cleaned up as much of the damage as I can while the knife is still in there.”
“Now what?” I whispered.
“You let me worry about that, darling,” she replied. “All you have to do is pull the knife out when I tell you to.”
She stared at Cooper. “When Gin pulls the knife free, we both need to flood the wound with our Air magic. I’ll do the hard part, stitching everything back together. You just keep feeding me your power, okay? Don’t stop. Not even for an instant.”
Cooper nodded. “Anything you need, doll. Anything for Owen. You know that.”
Jo-Jo flashed him a grateful smile, then looked at me. “Anytime you’re ready, darling.”
It took me several seconds to unclench my fists, but I finally stepped forward, leaned down, and gripped my knife with my left, uninjured hand. The spider rune stamped into the hilt dug into the larger, matching scar on my palm, but for once, the sensation didn’t comfort me. Owen hadn’t stirred the whole time Jo-Jo had been working on him, but I kept staring at him, willing him to open his eyes—
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