Ordinary Magic

Ordinary Magic by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway Read Free Book Online

Book: Ordinary Magic by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway Read Free Book Online
Authors: Caitlen Rubino-Bradway
regulations?”
    “That would be Mom and Dad,” Jeremy said. Olivia shot him a savage look. “It’s true.”
    “It is true,” Gil said before Olivia could start sputtering furiously. “But you would be wasting your time. They’ll give you the exact same answer. Abby is not for sale. No ord is. According to ‘regulations,’ buying and selling children is illegal.”
    The woman shook her head, muttering something about amateurs. “Look, pretty boy, we’re not leaving until—”
    “We would prefer to make a formal offer to the legalowners,” Barbarian Mike interrupted. “Just to keep everything simple. We can wait here while you go get them.” He smiled at me. “It will give us a chance to get to know Abby better.”
    Gil put a hand on my shoulder, his fingers digging in so hard it hurt. “No thank you. Abby can get our parents. We’ll stay here with you.” He shoved me toward the door.

    Dad was in his workshop, needle flashing as he frowned over a complicated section of embroidery on a special order. “Hello, brown-eyed girl,” he said without looking up. “What’s up?”
    “They want to make a formal offer,” I finished after explaining what had been going on.
    Dad set his needle down and pulled on his mustache. He has one of those dashing pirate-type mustaches, and occasionally he still swings in on chandeliers and sweeps Mom off her feet. “Whose turn is it?”
    “It’s Mom’s, but they’re not very nice—well, one of them isn’t—and you know how Mom gets when people are mean. They’re insisting that they have to tell you their offer.”
    “You want to stay here while I get rid of them?” he asked.
    “No way,” I said. “This is my favorite part.”
    “Come on, then,” he said, putting his arm around me. “Why are they here again?”
    “They need an artifact to fulfill a prophecy and stop an evil king.”
    “They need a new story. That one’s getting old.”
    Barbarian Mike’s voice carried all the way down the hall. It held an indulgent “let me explain it to you again” tone. Thekind that makes you want to do the exact opposite of whatever someone tells you to do. “Look, I get that you’re attached to the girl, but she’s not your sister anymore. She’s an ord, and ords are dangerous if you don’t handle them right.”
    Olivia started to tell him exactly what he could handle and how he could handle it when Dad charged into the living room. “What’s your offer?” The guy was huge.
    “Ten—”
    “No thank you. Good-bye,” Dad said.
    “—thousand. Ten
thousand
,” Barbarian Mike said.
    “No thank you. Good-bye.”
    “Twelve thousand. Fifteen.”
    “Good-bye,” Dad said. My brothers and sister were grinning.
    “What do you want? We’ll pay anything.”
    “I want you to leave.”
    The woman threw up her hands. “You people are unbelievable. I’m going to take this up with the Guild. They told us there’d be an ord. That’s our ord, we get dibs.”
    “Dibs?” For the first time ever, Dad sounded dangerous.
    “Yeah, dibs,” Barbarian Mike said. He looked at us. “You guys have an ord, how can you not know this? It’s basic procedure, man. Okay, so when an ord is discovered, if the town’s Guild doesn’t want it, they send out a call.” He pointed at me. “That’s our ord. Name your price, dude.”
    “Ellen,” Dad called. “Get the police, would you? We have trespassers.”
    The next moment Mom was there, her wet hair leaving damp blotches on her robe. She sized up the situation and tookhold of me so tight I had finger marks on my arm for two days after. “You’re trying to buy my child. My daughter will be very interested to learn this.” When they glanced at Olivia, Mom added, “My oldest daughter. Who works for the king.”
    The adventurers stiffened at that. Barbarian Mike looked around at all of us and then at his companion. His face was friendly, with a slightly doofy smile, but I have been around Mom and Dad long enough to know

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