Home > Witch's Cauldron (Legion Of Angels #2)(8)

Witch's Cauldron (Legion Of Angels #2)(8)
Author: Ella Summers

Firetrucks pulled up on the street, their lights flashing and sirens blaring. Two dozen men and women in rubber suits piled out of the trucks and hurried toward the building, blasting it with their magic. Streams of water and ice joined Nero’s magic in the battle against the flames. The fire spat and sizzled in protest, countering with fiery whips, but after a few minutes under that constant barrage, the flames went out. As the water and ice elementals approached the smoking building, Nero landed beside us, his wings vanishing in a whiff of golden smoke as his feet touched down.

“My team has entered the building,” a fireman wearing a headset told him.

“They will find nothing,” replied Nero. “The fire consumed everything. The bodies are gone. The evidence is gone.” He looked at us. “What do you have?”

I pulled out the plastic bag containing the residue the police had found. Surprisingly, the bag had survived. It was a good thing it had because that bag was the only evidence we had left.

“Someone didn’t want you to investigate this,” the detective commented.

“No, they didn’t,” Nero agreed, giving the building a dark look.

The firefighters said the building wasn’t stable, but that didn’t stop Nero from going in anyway. The hard look in his eyes said he wasn’t going to allow a collapsing building to keep him from figuring out who’d tried to blow us all to pieces. So while he proved how badass he really was, I waited outside with Jace and Mina. Apparently, we weren’t invincible enough to go in with him. After a minute of standing with the silent staring twins, I was ready to take my chances with the collapsing building.

Unfortunately, I was supposed to behave myself and follow Nero’s orders like the good little soldier I was most certainly not. I was smart enough to know my own mind and crazy enough to listen to it. The problem was my mind was feeling rather bipolar at the moment. We’d all just nearly died. One part of me felt this restless need to be doing something other than standing here. The other part, the rational part, reminded me I needed to behave if I ever wanted to receive the magic I needed to save my brother. Today, I listened to the rational part of my brain, which was truly every bit as exciting as it sounded.

Mina glared at me, as though it were my fault I’d witnessed her freezing up inside the building. Maybe she was afraid of fire or of collapsing buildings. If so, she clearly didn’t want me to know about it. Weaknesses made a person human, and the children of angels prided themselves on their utter lack of humanity.

Jace wasn’t glaring at me, but his stare was certainly unsettling. He was looking at me like warts had sprouted up all over my face. I slid my finger across my cheek and found only smooth skin still warm from our dash through the fire. And yet Jace continued to stare in silence. I’d just saved his life. The least he could have done was say thank you.

Insults were preferable to this silence. I wished he would just go back to making fun of me like he and the brats had been doing since I’d joined the Legion. After I’d rescued Nero from vampires on the Black Plains, my actions had shocked the brats enough that they’d given me a week of respite from the taunts. But as soon as that had worn off, they’d grown worse than ever before. One night, they’d even tried to jump me as I was returning from a run outside. My extra training with Nero had made me strong, but not stronger than two people who were descended from angels and had been training to join the Legion their whole lives. It was only by luck—and a bit of scrappy fighting I’d picked up from my days of living on the street—that I’d managed to knock them out. After that, I’d dragged them down the hall and deposited them inside Captain Somerset’s office.

“Well, well, what do we have here?” she’d said, her lips curling up with amusement. “A kitten bringing me mice?”

“These mice tried to beat me senseless.” And I’d had the bleeding lip to prove it.

“It appeared that plan backfired. Two against one and they still lost. How embarrassing. I don’t think they’ll try that again.”

“Or they’ll just bring more people next time.” That’s me, the eternal optimist.

“Then you’d better get practicing, Pandora. Have Nero teach you to fight with an electric whip.”

So I had—and immediately regretted it as Nero demonstrated the electric whip by using it on me. He claimed this was the best way to learn, but I had a sinking suspicion he just liked to torture me. Every time he’d hit me with that electric whip, it had felt like I was being struck by lightning.

When I’d complained to Captain Somerset about her brilliant idea, she’d laughed and told me I had to learn to move faster. Eventually, I did. The next time the brats came for me, they brought three people. When I pulled out the electric whip, they’d been surprised—but not as surprised as they’d been when I’d defeated them again.

“Well done,” Captain Somerset had laughed the second time I dragged unconscious brats into her office.

They hadn’t attacked me since then, but I knew it was only a matter of time. I didn’t wonder why the brats hated me. I’d humiliated them by standing up to their attacks—and winning. But what else could I have done? Laid down and let them beat me bloody?

“The Magitech in the whole building was out,” a fireman told Nero as they walked up to us, breaking through my self-reflection. “That’s why the sprinklers and other anti-fire measures weren’t working. The explosions were centered around the Magitech generators in the building, so we suspect sabotage, but we didn’t find any evidence of it. It must have all burned up in the explosions and resulting fires.”

   
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