Blood Politics Page 45

She continued. ’’Therefore, we have decided that the most appropriate course of action is to appoint Mackenzie Smith as head of the council that will deal with his demise.’’

I could see Corrigan stiffening in the chair opposite me. I closed my eyes briefly as everyone swivelled back round to face me.

’’As neither Fae nor mage nor shifter, she will be able to bring everyone together.’’

There was a moment of pure silence.

Mack? The wary doubt in Corrigan\s Voice was clear.

’’Hold on,’’ said Beltran. ’’I don\ deny that she\s powerful. And that she has the makings of an effective leader, but isn\ she kind of a shifter?’’

’’No. She\s a Draco Wyr. It\s different,’’ stated Lucy firmly. ’’I think it\s a brilliant idea.’’

What exactly is going here, Mack?

’’Yeah, but, her and him,’’ Larkin jerked his head towards Corrigan, ’’don\ they kind of have of a thing? She\ll be looking out for his interests. Not ours.’’

Oh, Larkin, I thought sadly. Please shut up. Please, please, shut the hell up.

’’I\ll let Miss Mackenzie answer that one,’’ said the Arch-Mage.

Don\ make me do this here, I pleaded silently. It\s not fair.

’’Mackenzie?’’ The Summer Queen arched her eyebrows at me.

Blast it all. Surely there had to be another way? I looked round at all the faces turned expectantly towards me. Most were displaying open hope. Corrigan\s expression was blank, his eyes cold chipped jade.

I\m sorry, Corrigan.

He didn\ answer. I took a deep breath. ’’The Lord Alpha and I will maintain a purely platonic relationship. There is nothing more between us. Not any longer.’’

Lucy was staring at me, shock in her gaze, while Staines had a vaguely unsurprised expression. Corrigan didn\ move a muscle.

’’How do we know that\s true?’’

’’Because I give you my word,’’ I said quietly. I felt sick to my stomach.

’’Excellent!’’ The Summer Queen clapped her hands. ’’Now can I suggest that we reconvene in, say, three days\ time? You\ll set up the divination spells at the Ministry?’’ The Arch-Mage nodded. ’’And Balud, you\ll begin research on a weapon.’’ The troll grunted. ’’Miss Mackenzie, I\ll leave to you to decide who to contact amongst the shifters to get some help with your transformations.’’ She stood back up. ’’Ladies, gentlemen. I think that\s what you call a success.’’

It had all happened so quickly. Clearly, the Seelie Queen could be lethal when she needed to be. I watched from my chair as she walked out, the other Faes trailing in her wake. Solus didn\ look at me. The Arch- Mage and his minions followed, along with Balud and Aubrey, then Lucy and Staines both got up. They seemed reluctant to leave, but Corrigan flicked his wrist, and they both gave short bows and disappeared.

’’Corrigan, I\m sorry. I didn\ want to do things this way. You have to believe me.’’

I stared at him searchingly, waiting for him to give me something, anything in return. Eventually he lifted his eyes. The look in them was so cold and so hard that I recoiled.


He stood up, pushing his chair backwards. It slammed hard against the wall, making me jump. ’’Who\s the power hungry maniac now, kitten?’’

I clenched my teeth, unhappiness seeping through every bone of my body. I opened my mouth to speak, but no words came out. What the f*k could I say?

’’I don\ ever want to see you again. Do you hear me?’’

I nodded miserably.

’’If you want help transforming then you can damn well contact Staines or Lucy or Tom. Leave me out of it.’’ His tone was quiet and even, but the tension and anger he felt were visible. His hands shook as he gripped the edge of the table.

’’Have you got that?’’

I nodded again.

’’I said have you f*king got that?’’ he snarled.

’’Yes,’’ I answered in a small voice. ’’I\ve got that.’’

’’Good.’’ He pivoted on his heel and stalked out without so much as a single backwards glance.

I got back home via the tube. Everyone else had already left. Even Aubrey seemed to have disappeared somewhere, realising that now was not the time to be getting in my way. My shiny red door gleamed as I approached, as if it were mocking me. I fumbled with my keys, finally managing to fit them into the lock and get it open. Then I carefully shut the door behind me and leaned my back against it. The pain in my chest was unbearable. Had it really only been a couple of hours since Corrigan and I had stood here holding each other? I\d hurt him so badly. I didn\ blame him for never wanting to have anything to do with me again. I\d effectively just completely humiliated him in front of the mages, the Fae, and even his own shifters.

I walked into my little kitchen, shoulders sagging. The broken china, dribbles of coffee and collection of dead flowers still lay where I\d thrown them. I sighed and bent down to pick them all back up and dump them in the bin. Then I opened up the window to let in some fresh air and get rid of the faint smell of rotting garbage. A gust of wind sneaked in, ruffling my hair. A single tear dropped slowly down my cheek, and I wiped it angrily away. The papers on the table - the Fae translation of the story of my heritage - caught in the breeze, and several fluttered to the ground. With a heavy heart, I scooped them back up and attempted to put them into order.

As I did so, some words caught my attention. I stared at them unblinkingly. Of course. I let out a sharp humourless laugh that echoed sadly round the room.

Draco Wyr do not generally possess the ability that shifters do of being able to communicate telepathically with others. Occasionally they are able to receive such communications, but they are virtually never able to initiate them. However, it is generally acknowledged that when a Draco Wyr meets their soul mate, that is the one partner in the world with whom they are both physically and emotionally compatible, they are capable of not only receiving telepathic messages from that one person, but are also able to independently send them.

My legs gave out from under me and I sank down onto the cold floor. And I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed.

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