Home > Boundary Crossed (Boundary Magic #1)(10)

Boundary Crossed (Boundary Magic #1)(10)
Author: Melissa F. Olson

“Of course,” Simon said with a straight face. “Bloodsucking scum.”

“Devil-worshipping mama’s boy,” Quinn retorted cheerfully.

“You’ve been saving that,” Simon accused. His eyes flicked over to me as he approached the bed. It made me a little nervous, having two strange men in my hospital room while I was incapacitated, but Simon looked harmless. He wore an oversized gray fisherman’s sweater and jeans over brown Doc Martens, and he had a canvas messenger bag looped across his body. He shoved his hands in his pockets as he approached, like a little kid looking at a delicate museum exhibit.

“‘Luther’ like the shoes?” he asked me. I nodded. Luther Shoes was the second-biggest private employer in Boulder, so half the town either worked for my dad or knew someone who did. I gave up trying to hide the connection a long time ago. “Strange,” Simon mused. “Luthers have been in town for a while, and I’ve never heard of you guys having any witchblood.”

“I still don’t know what that means,” I pointed out.

“Sorry. The fact that you have witchblood—one word, by the way—means that one of your ancestors was a full-blooded, extremely powerful conductor of magic,” he explained. “The ability to manipulate magic gets passed down through generations, like having blue eyes or being tall. It usually gets watered down over time, though.” He gave a little shrug. “Witches who marry witches have more powerful babies than witches who marry humans. You get the idea.”

Sam and I had been adopted when we were babies, but I saw no reason to tell either of these men about that, not until I understood what was going on. “Even if I do have . . . that,” I began, “—and I seriously doubt it—this is America. The great melting pot. Lots of people must have some witchblood.”

Simon shook his head, his hands still in his pockets. “Yes and no. Witchblood children come into their powers around puberty. Then they have a window of time to actually activate that power.”

I considered that. “And if you miss the window?”

“Then your magic lies dormant for the rest of your life,” he replied. “Probably the majority of people with witchblood never know they have it.”

Well, at least that explained what “active” meant. “But if you were one of those,” Quinn broke in, “I should have been able to press your mind. No magic, no resistance.”

“You’re suggesting I ‘used magic’ during that window,” I said skeptically, fighting the urge to make quotation marks with my fingers, which would have hurt. They were very convincing, but the whole thing was just absurd. “That’s just stupid. There’s no such thing as magic. Or vampires. There’s a lady at my job who claims she’s a witch, but I’m pretty sure it’s just so she can smoke a lot of pot.”

Quinn snorted, and Simon gave him an annoyed glare. “It is real, Lex,” he said gently.

“This has been fun and all,” Quinn said, checking his watch, “but if you’ve got it from here, Simon, I’m gonna take off. Say hey to Tracy for me.” He tipped an imaginary hat at me. “It’s been interesting, Lex.”

Overwhelmed, I just raised a hand in farewell. “Take care, man,” Simon said to him. Quinn nodded and headed for the door. “Okay if I sit?” Simon asked me.

I nodded, but before he could say anything else, Quinn’s phone rang when he was just a few feet away from the exit. He dug it out of his jacket pocket. “Hello?” he said, reaching for the door handle. Then he froze. “When was this?” Slowly, he spun to look at me, and a chill jolted through me when his eyes met mine.

At that moment I realized that I was starting to believe him. Both of them. “Ah, shit,” Quinn said into the phone. “Thanks, Luce. I’m on it.” He hung up.

“What happened?” Simon asked.

Quinn hesitated for a second, still looking at me. “My 911 dispatcher just intercepted a call from John Wheaton’s house,” he said soberly. “Wheaton thinks Victor and Darcy are sitting in a car in front of his house.” He nodded at me apologetically, then turned and vanished through the doorway.

Chapter 6

The familiar way that Quinn said “Victor and Darcy” made me suspect that he knew exactly who they were and what they wanted. But by the time that thought registered, I was already getting out of the hospital bed—or trying to, anyway. I managed to sort of sit up, but when I went to swing my legs over the side of the bed, the movement sent pain rocketing through my back. Trying to ignore it, I grabbed a tissue from the wheeled table next to me and pulled out my IV, which set off an alarm on one of the machines next to the bed. I clutched the tissue against the spurt of blood on my wrist.

“Jesus,” Simon said, shocked. He got up and hovered over me, not wanting to touch me without permission. “You need to lie back down. Quinn can handle this. It’s what he does.”

I gritted my teeth, panting through them in short bursts as the pain in my back roared in protest. Simon held out his hands like he was spotting me. Which, I suppose, he was. “You have a family, right?” I said through my teeth. Quinn had said he was part of some sort of clan.

“Yeah, so?”

“So John is my brother-in-law, and he’s home with my eighteen-month-old niece. You must know why I have to go.”

Simon’s eyes widened a little, but he didn’t back down. “You can’t even stand up!” he argued. “How do you think you’re going to help them?”

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