Home > Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9)(16)

Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9)(16)
Author: Ilona Andrews

“Why do I need a list? I kind of figured that whoever wanted to show up would show up.”

“You need a list so you know how many people you are feeding. Do you have a caterer?”

“No.”

“But you did order the cake?”

“Umm . . .”

“Florist?”

“Florist?”

“The person who delivers expensive flowers and sets them up in pretty arrangements everyone ignores?”

“No.”

Roman blinked. “I’m almost afraid to ask. Do you at least have the dress?”

“Yes.”

“Is it white?”

“Yes.”

He squinted at me. “Is it a wedding dress?”

“It’s a white dress.”

“Have you worn it before?”

“Maybe.”

Ascanio snickered.

“The ring, Kate?”

Oh crap.

Roman heaved a sigh. “What do you think this is, a party where you get to show up, say ‘I do,’ and go home?”

“Yes?” That’s kind of how it went in my head.

“You do realize most of the Who’s Who in Atlanta are going to want an invite to this?”

“They can bite me. This wedding is for me and Curran, not for them.”

Roman leaned his elbow on the table and rested his cheek on his hand, looking at me with a kind of amused hopelessness.

“What?”

“So I should tell my mother not to bother coming?”

Offending Evdokia and the Witch Covens of Atlanta wasn’t on my agenda. I was on thin ice with them as it was.

“Your mother is invited.”

“What about the Pack? The Beast Lord is Curran’s best friend.”

Grrr. “The Pack is invited, too.”

“And Luther?”

“Luther?” What did Biohazard’s self-appointed wizard at large have to do with it?

“I ran into him on the way here and happened to mention the wedding.”

Aha. “You boasted that you would be officiating.”

“Yes, I did, and I regret nothing. The entire Biohazard Department will be coming.”

I squeezed my eyes shut and tried to count to ten in my head. Sometimes it helped. One . . . two . . .

“Also, your father.”

My eyes snapped open. “What about my father?”

Roman blinked. “That was a bona fide snarl.”

Ascanio nodded, his eyes wide. “Yes, she gets scary sometimes. She’s very difficult to work for.”

“I can imagine.” Roman nodded at me. “Roland will be attending and he’ll probably invite some people.”

“By the time the wedding comes about, we may be at war. He won’t be attending, take my word for it.”

“Kate, you’re a good person. But you’re delusional. That’s okay. You’re getting married. You’re supposed to be delusional, irrational, and crazy.”

“Again, this wedding is for me and Curran. You’re not turning it into a three-ring circus.”

“No.” Roman got up off his chair. “The wedding night is for you and Curran. The wedding is for everyone else and it’s the price you pay so you can get to the wedding night. Don’t worry. I’ll take care of everything. Anyway, we have bigger problems. The Witch Oracle wants to see you.”

“No.” When the Witch Oracle had something to tell me, it was never anything good, like You’ll live long, grow fat, and be happy. It was always, The world is ending. Fix it!

“My mother was very insistent.” The good-natured amusement slid off Roman’s face, and his eyes turned grave. “Sienna foresaw something.”

I bet she did. “I’m not going, Roman. I have my hands full here, and if something bad is about to happen, I don’t want to know.”

“It’s about your son,” he said.

• • •

“HOW FAR IS this place?” I peered down the overgrown road. The Jeep roared and spat thunder, squeezing miles out of charged water. Usually when the Witch Oracle wanted to see me, I met them at Centennial Park, once the site of an Olympic Games celebration and now a dense but carefully managed wilderness in the center of Atlanta belonging to the Covens. Meeting them there also involved climbing into the mouth of a magical tortoise, which wasn’t my favorite.

This time Roman said they were waiting for me at some place called Cochran Mill Park. According to Roman, it was less of a park and more of a forest now, and getting to it apparently required two hours of driving through hellish traffic and bad roads. We got stuck behind a camel for fifteen minutes because the damn thing came to a detour around a sinkhole and refused to walk on the wooden planks. Finally, the rider got off and pulled the reins, screaming and waving his arms, and the poor camel vomited all over the man’s head. Served him right.

Now we drove on South Fulton Parkway, which had long ago given up all pretense of fighting off the encroachment of the magic woods. The maples, hickories, and poplars crowded the crumbling pavement, braiding their branches overhead, and driving down its length was like entering a tunnel of green, with the sun a hint of brighter green above.

“Why here?” I asked. “Why not at the tortoise?”

“The park is being watched,” he said.

“By whom?”

Roman gave me a look.

Right. “Why would my father be interested in the Covens?”

   
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