Pack of Lies (Shadow Guild Pack of Lies (Shadow Guild Wolf Queen #3) - Linsey Hall Page 0,1
Mac said. “I saw him turn the corner right before the lorry hit.”
“Thank fates.” Kind of. We needed to catch him, but more importantly, I needed not to kill him.
As I staggered up to the lorry, I noticed the bin on the other side of the road. It had tumbled onto its side, but it hadn’t moved.
Damn it. My damned magic was so broken, and I hurt like hell.
Mac put an arm around my waist to help me walk. Gratefully, I leaned into her. We neared the building, and I prayed that no one had been hurt. Fear turned my insides sour, competing with feeling of being ripped apart.
Fortunately, the sign above the door indicated that it was a dentist’s office, closed until midmorning.
Thank fates. Gratitude welled within me. No one had been hurt.
“Did you mean to do this?” Mac asked.
“No.” I looked toward the bin that had tipped over. “I was going to try to hit him with that.”
“Shit.” She turned to me. “You look bad.”
“I feel bad.”
“Oy, what’s going on here?” A rough, masculine voice sounded from behind us, thick with a London accent.
We turned back to see a man in his dressing gown staring at us from his front stoop a few buildings down.
Mac and I looked at each other.
How to explain this?
The thing was…we couldn’t. Humans shouldn’t know about magic, but how else would a lorry slam side-first into a building?
“We need to get out of here,” Mac murmured. “We can find a way to help pay for the damage once we’re safe.”
I nodded, wincing at the idea of how long it would take me to pay off this debt. I’d have to, though. I couldn’t just leave this poor dentist up a creek.
Together, we turned and staggered off down the street. Every step was agony, and Mac had to put more and more strength into keeping me upright. Several blocks down, we heard the sound of police sirens and ducked into an alley. They weren’t likely to question us, but better safe than sorry.
Mac leaned me against a wall, and my chest heaved as I used all the energy I could muster to stay upright.
“What happened to you?” she demanded.
“Like a muscle?”
“Like…” I frowned, searching for the word. “My soul, maybe. Fates, I don’t know. But it hurts.”
“Yeah. Like the magic went wild and something real bad happened.” I clutched my stomach.
Mac nodded, her jaw set. “We need to fix this shit.” She gestured up and down my body. “Whatever is wrong with you, we need it sorted.”
“Yeah.” The word escaped on a gasp. “I’m just not sure how much longer I’m going to be conscious.”
“You’d better not pass out on me.” She reached for me again, wrapping an arm around my waist. “Come on, we’re almost to the Haunted Hound.”
“Sure thing,” I mumbled, but as soon as the words escaped my lips, darkness took me.
* * *
Awareness returned slowly, my vision going from black to gray to color.
A furry face stared down at me, nose twitching.
You need vodka.
“No, Ralph,” I croaked. “I’m pretty sure I don’t.”
Ralph patted my cheeks. Well, Quinn doesn’t have chocolate. Which I’m planning to take up with his supervisor.
I blinked and realized that I was lying on the bar at the Haunted Hound. No wonder Ralph had recommended vodka.
All around, my friends’ faces came into focus. Mac, Carrow, and Quinn all leaned way too close.
“The others are at the scene,” Carrow said. “Trying to sort things out.”
I groaned and sat upright, my insides still feeling like I’d been ripped apart. It was a physical pain, kind of. “How long was I out?”
“Twenty minutes since we brought you back,” Quinn said, his eyes dark with concern.
“I couldn’t carry you on my own,” Mac explained.
“Thanks.” I looked at Quinn. “You?”
He nodded. “You were like a sack of potatoes the whole way back.”
“I’ve been called worse.” I climbed off the bar and sank onto a stool.
“You don’t feel any better, do you?” Mac asked. “Still look like warmed-up porridge.”
I grimaced. “And that’s the worst.”
Friends tell the truth.
“Thanks, Ralph.” I tried to catch my breath, but it was hard. I shouldn’t be panting. Not now. Not after resting for twenty minutes.
“I don’t have a ton of seer power,” Mac said, “but I can give it a try.”
“Do it.” I stuck my arm out toward her, hoping her magic would let her get a feel for what the hell was wrong with me.
As Mac rested her fingertips gently on my skin, I could