Spider's Trap(Elemental Assassin,book 13)(85) by Jennifer Estep
He shoved his arms forward, trying to skewer me. If he stabbed me with those blades, I was dead.
Desperate, I flung a ball of Ice magic at him, but he just stood there and took it, letting the Ice hit and then crack off his makeshift metal armor. The iron bands were hard and thick enough to render my Ice power useless. I couldn’t even get close enough to freeze him to death with my power, since I’d have to actually touch him to do that, something I couldn’t do with all those damn spikes sticking out everywhere.
Pike kept laughing. In that moment, he looked and sounded exactly like his father, eerily so. I would have a whole set of fresh nightmares from this fight.
If I lived through it.
But I kept flinging my Ice magic at Pike, stalling for time to figure out how I could end him. Despite the fact that we were in a garden, Pike was completely wrapped up in his element. So how could I counter that?
I glanced at Lorelei, who was sprawled in the same position as before. No help there.
In between flinging balls of Ice at Pike, I scanned the rest of the garden, searching for some sort of inspiration in the pagoda and trees and flowers and rocks—
And I finally found it, glimmering oh-so-innocently in the moonlight.
Now I just had to set one final spider’s trap for Pike.
I raised both hands, sending out another, stronger blast of magic. But instead of directing it at Pike, I aimed low this time. In an instant, three inches of elemental Ice anchored his boots to the ground.
He laughed again, leaned down, and started stabbing through the Ice with the two metal swords sticking out of his fists. “You think that’s going to save you? Pathetic.”
It didn’t have to save me. It just had to buy me some time. Instead of answering, I turned and hobbled deeper into the garden, thumping up into the pagoda and then down the other side and out into one of the themed areas.
A loud crack! tore through the air as Pike blasted his way through the Ice around his feet.
Then his singsong voice echoed through the garden. “Oh, Gin . . .” he crooned. “Come out, come out, wherever you are . . .”
I rolled my eyes. He really needed to figure out a new game to play. The creepy psycho stalker act had gotten old a long time ago. I ducked around a patch of bonsai trees and hobbled forward. Besides, Pike shouldn’t have been worried about losing track of me.
My blood trail was easy enough to follow in the moonlight.
Behind me, I heard the steady scuff-scuff-scuff of Pike’s boots through the leaves, along with his crazy laughter. All the while, the metal encasing his body creaked, the iron bands protesting their grotesque shapes. I didn’t look back. Instead, I focused all my energy on getting to the exact spot I wanted. I rounded another row of bonsai trees, looked over this part of the garden, and grinned.
I stepped forward, the ground shifting under my feet and making enough clack-clack-clacks to let Pike know exactly where I was. But it didn’t much matter. I couldn’t touch Pike with his metal armor, but he couldn’t touch me now either. As I trudged forward, I pressed my hand against my side and fed a small stream of my Ice magic into my stab wound, replicating Lorelei’s trick. I winced at the cold, biting sensation, but the wound froze over, stopping the blood loss—for now.
I let go of my power, staggered to a halt, and turned around.
Pike was about thirty feet behind me. He was so confident that he’d already beaten me that he was whistling a jaunty tune. Fool. He hadn’t won anything but a cold, quick death, courtesy of the Spider.
He seemed surprised that I was standing upright instead of hiding in the shadows, but it didn’t stop him from smirking at me again.
“What’s wrong?” Pike crooned. “Too tired to keep running away?”
“Nah. Just catching my second wind.”
He laughed again, but then he noticed the grin on my face, and his chuckles cut off into uneasy silence. “What are you up to?”
“Me? Nothing much. You’re the one who fucked up, sugar, just by following me over here.”
Pike scanned the landscape, looking at the bonsai and cherry trees and the hedge maze beyond them. He was probably searching for my friends, since they would find us sooner or later. But I didn’t need them. Not for this.
When Pike didn’t see any obvious threats, he started walking toward me again.
Come on, you bastard, I thought. Come to Mama.
Pike knew that something was up, but he couldn’t figure out what. And in the end, he was too arrogant to really care. Fool.
He left the path behind and stepped into this section of the garden, stopping about five feet away from me. He was still holding on to his magic, the iron wrapped around his body making him look like some horrible abstract sculpture—a nightmarish metal monster come to life.
He was a monster, all right, inside and out, through and through to the core of his black, rotten heart. But unfortunately for him, I was the more clever monster here tonight.
“Tell me,” I said, “what did your mysterious contact, the one who’s been such a fount of knowledge, say about my magic?”
Pike shrugged. “She said that you were a very strong elemental. One of the most powerful she’d ever seen. Apparently, you killing Mab and then Madeline Monroe only reinforced her opinion. But I told her that I could handle you. After all, metal is everywhere, and that’s my element, my specialty.”
“Very true. And you are very clever with it. Even I have to admit that your makeshift armor is pretty snazzy.”
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online