Awaken the Curse

Awaken the Curse by Alexa Egan Read Free Book Online

Book: Awaken the Curse by Alexa Egan Read Free Book Online
Authors: Alexa Egan
expression hardened to one of implacable determination.“I don’t want you going out alone, Katherine. Not until I know where the threat lies.”
    Wait a moment. Turning his attention to the obelisk was one thing. Shoving her completely out of the picture was quite another. “You mean until we know,” she clarified. “I won’t be frightened away, James, and I won’t be told what I will or will not do. My father has disappeared. I have a right to help.”
    “Does your pigheaded attitude extend to anyone who orders you about or just me?”
    She offered him a buttery smile. “You’re a special case.”
    “Glad to know you rate me as special.”
    “That’s not what I meant.”
    “No?” he asked, his expression completely earnest and completely heart-stopping. “What did you mean?”
    Back came the horrid fluttering, but this time it was accompanied by a flush of heat spreading along her limbs and a deep pulsing between her legs. She stood in a ruffle of skirts. “I’ll send for Cade. We can put our questions to him and discover if he has any more news of Father.”
    She crossed to the door, pulling it open to find Enid just outside, her wrinkled face pulled into her usual scowl. “Come to tell ye Cade’s not back yet, miss. Nor am I thinking we’ll see him before morning.”
    “Why not?” James asked.
    “The mists have come down across the valley, milord. There’s no finding your way through them. Not when they lie so thick.” She turned to Katherine for reinforcement. “You know that, miss.”
    James went to the window, pushing aside the curtain. Beyond the glass all was a swirl of damp that settled over the house like a shroud. “Surely it’s not so bad.”
    “No, I’m afraid she’s right,” Katherine confirmed. “These mists are infamous. People go missing and perish in the mountains or wind up miles from where they thought they were. Cade will have to wait until it lifts. Thank you, Enid.”
    After Enid’s departure, James continued to stare out into the night, a pensive frown drawing his brows together.
    “Do you think Monsieur d’Espe seeks the disk so he can open the tomb?” Katherine asked.
    James dropped the curtain with a shake of his head. “Could be. Or perhaps someone else doesn’t want it opened—ever.”

Chapter 3
    James squinted against the morning sun glittering across the snow. All trace of the mist had evaporated but for remnants hanging wispy round the chimney tops. The snow underfoot squeaked with every step and the air held a mind-sharpening chill that stung his cheeks.
    Katherine was already at the stable waiting for him. She wore an old coat of her father’s, a great woolen thing with a fur collar that draped all the way to her scuffed boots. With her hair stuffed under a hat and her hands encased in knitted mittens, she was as far as one could get from the bejeweled damsels flitting through London’s salons and ballrooms. And James would gladly have peeled off every bundled layer to the peach-soft perfumed skin he knew lay beneath.
    “You weren’t planning to sneak off without me, were you?” she asked with a smug arch of her brows.
    Of course, there was much to be said for those London damsels. For starters, they didn’t talk back. “That was the general idea. I don’t think it’s wise for you to be out there, Katherine. What if the shooter returns?”
    She smiled. “I’m far ahead of you. Cade returned early this morning. I’ve instructed him to accompany us. If he’s guilty, better to keep him close. And if he’s innocent, he’s another set of eyes and another weapon in case we need it.”
    Stubborn, but he had to admit, damn clever.
    “Any news of the professor?” he asked, hoisting the pack he carried farther up on his shoulder.
    The smile faded and she bit her lip, her gaze slanting away as she shook her head. “Nothing yet, though Cade said there are a few places still cut off by the snow. Father might be caught wherever he is until the

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