Rising Darkness (Rylee Adamson #9) - Page 49

He stood and shuffled away. Shock was the first emotion that hit me, and shame a close second.

“Pamela, he’s wrong. You know that.”

Sobs rippled my chest, making it hard to breathe. I didn’t fight the tears as they drained from my eyes and pooled into my lap. Charlie was right, I’d let everyone down. I’d let the darkness seduce me, believing I was strong enough to face it on my own.

“I always knew something was wrong with her,” I whispered. “I just wanted to believe I was strong enough. That I could face her if something went wrong. To prove I was worth it.”

Frank shifted in his seat. “Pam, stop it! You made a mistake. Sure it was a big one, but you’re just a girl. How could you know? It’s not like you’re smart enough to figure it all out yourself.”

My jaw dropped open and I turned slowly to stare at him. “What did you say?”

“You can’t help it that you’re not as smart as others. You’re blonde, what do you expect?”

“You son of a bitch,” I screamed, so angry I couldn’t think straight. I stood and lurched toward him. He stood too, leaned over and slapped me.

My head snapped to one side so hard that I spun where I stood. And then the cool rush of clean water over my wrists and onto my fingers cracked through my anger.

“I hate you, Frank,” I yelled, sidestepping back to my seat. “Don’t you ever touch me again! I hope you die!”

He gave me a wink and I would have tried to wink too, but my cheek was swelling from his slap and the blow had triggered the pain from my concussion. I carefully reached for my magic. There it was, humming under my skin.

Tiny detail magic was not my strong point, but it was what I had to do now. Sending miniscule tendrils of it through the bindings on my wrist, I unraveled the rope until my fingers were free.

Step one.

But now what?

Charlie shuffled back our way and I stuck my hands behind my back again.

“The master says we’s going to be in the air for another hour. Yous two aren’t to bother him with any more shouting or he’ll throw that one”—he jerked a thumb at Frank—“out the door.”

“Charlie, I . . . I’m so sorry.” My voice broke on the words. “I am so very sorry.”

“Some lessons cost more than others,” he said, his face grim. His peg leg thumped as he turned and sat in the aisle in front of me.

No, it wasn’t Orion. He wasn’t truly here, he just controlled Milly. Milly. I didn’t think there was any way we could save her. I snorted to myself. What was I thinking? There wasn’t any way I could save us, either. I stared out the window, my head pressed against the thick glass. It fogged under my heavy breathing which made me think I was seeing things at first.

A flash of blue scales and a dip of oh-so-familiar wings.

Mentally I reached for Blaz, screaming his name.

Pamela? What are you doing?

I let him see inside my mind, something I’d never done before. He got pictures of everything that happened. Of Milly and Orion, of Frank and me almost duping the demon with the salt water.

The plane is too fast, even now I’m being left behind. You have to jump, I’ll catch you both. Trust me.

There was no time to think this through, no time to consider the possibilities. I suddenly knew how Rylee felt when she said that the moments coming at her gave her no choice.

I leapt from my seat and grabbed Frank. “Hang on, Charlie!”

What happened next was a blur. I knew I was killing people, but maybe I’d be able to kill Orion too. Charlie took one look at me. “I hope yous knows what yous doing.” Then he grabbed my leg as Orion spun in his seat, eyes blazing.

“You little bitch!”

“Not so

little.” I grabbed hold of my magic and blasted the plane in half with a single flick of my wrist.

The air pressure sucked us out, flinging us into the atmosphere. But I trusted Blaz; that was all that mattered. Frank’s hands slipped a bit. Charlie was like a barnacle on my leg.

“Pamela!” Frank yelled as our hands, slick with moisture slid apart farther.

I fought to hang onto him, I couldn’t let him go. Something jerked him hard and we spun apart.

Yvette flew into view, Orion on her back.

Ah, I finally get to eat one of you. The purple and gray dragon darted in and scooped Frank into her claws. I shot a burst of flame at them that she dodged easily.

And then I was falling through the clouds unable to see anything. “Frank!”

“Worry less about the boy, he ain’t falling through the skies, lass,” Charlie yelled at me.

Blue scales filled my vision as Blaz scooped us out of the sky. Charlie let out a laugh, thumping the dragon’s back with his tiny hands. “I’ll be buggered! Blaz, how did you know we was here?”

Pamela saw me and took the chance I would catch you. Where is Frank?

“Yvette and Orion have him, we have to go after them.” I got myself situated on his back, strapping myself in. What spell would I use? How would I stop them?

We aren’t going after them. His voice was sorrowful and I barely registered the tone.

“What? No, we have to! Yvette said she was going to eat Frank!”

There are losses when we make a poor choice, Pamela. I believe losing Frank may be yours. He tipped his head so he could look me in the eye.

“No,” I whispered. “No, we have to go after him.”

I’m sorry, Pamela. Rylee needs us. The world hinges on her success, not Frank’s life.