SHATTERED BONDS by Faith Hunter, copyright Faith Hunter.
My cell chimed. Beast and I followed Eli to my gobag in the mud room, the small bag hanging on the rack with other winter gear. He swiped the screen, tapped in my security code, and started back to the office, saying, “Molly, it’s Eli—”
Angie Baby screamed, “My Eddie is in trouble! My Eddie! No! No!”
Beast growled, showing killing teeth. My/our heart did a fearful, arrhythmic bump-and-pause, and then raced too fast. Again, I searched for the connection to Edmund. Gone. Severed. As if it had been cut out with a knife. It was a strange sensation, as if a part of my own body had been instantly amputated and I kept searching for it, feeling something but … not the missing part. Ed was mine. Ed was gone.
Molly’s voice came over the phone and my attention swept to the cell. “Sorry, Jane. Angie woke up screaming from a bad dream. We’ve been trying to calm her down, but she grabbed my cell and called.” In the background, we heard the sound of Angie Baby’s screams diminish in volume and the crooning of her father’s flute magic, calming her.
“Eli here. Jane’s big-cat at the moment. Angie may not be having a dream.”
“What’s happening with Ed?” Molly asked, a trace of fear in her tone.
“We don’t know, except that Jane heard Ed through the vamp-binding. Alex is searching for him.”
In the background Angie’s screams crescendoed, the pitch so high it hurt Beast’s ears. She turned her ear tabs down against the noise and thought, Kits… Kits in trouble. Ed in trouble.
“Eli, I—. This is … Has Ed been killed? He and Angle have a blood bond. I don’t know what to do if… ?” Molly’s voice trailed away, uncertainly.
I/we nodded Beast’s head up and down, then back and forth, an uncertain yes / no gesture. We stared at Eli, snarling and licking our jaw, hoping he would understand that this was really not right.
“Jane and Beast are upset too,” he said.
“I think we’ll come visit,” Molly said.
“We have the room,” Eli said.
“Yeah. I’ve seen the sales brochures,” she said wryly.
In the background, the screaming stopped. Evan said, “She’s asleep. Pack fast. More snow is coming.”
Into the cell, Molly said, “We’ll probably have to keep her in magically induced sleep but expect us after nine tonight.”
“The county brined the street but the drive is frozen,” Eli said. “Call if you get stuck.”
“Will do.” The call ended.
From the office, I heard the Kid’s voice in quiet conversation with Grégoire, Blondie’s and Alex’s voices barely loud enough to pick out, even with Beast’s ears. Grégoire was in France with Edmund. Good. That meant up-to-date info. I / we trotted to him.
“Send me everything you have,” Alex said.
“Oui. My people do so now. Dieu vous garde en sécurité.”
“You too, dude.”
I heard a connection end and felt a smile tug at my Puma lips. Only Alex would call a royal-born, centuries old, powerful vamp dude.
My thanks to Let’s Talk! Promotions for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials (including the book via NetGalley) they provided.