The Bloodshade Encounters & The Songspinner (Shadeborn Book 2)

The Bloodshade Encounters & The Songspinner (Shadeborn Book 2) by K.C. Finn Read Free Book Online

Book: The Bloodshade Encounters & The Songspinner (Shadeborn Book 2) by K.C. Finn Read Free Book Online
Authors: K.C. Finn
to depart. The bright sunlight and the rickety journey had made his thoughts a little hazy and the young shade passed through the hollering horde without really taking them in. He heard only snatches of the praise they were delivering to his friend as the voices cried out from all angles.
    “You have saved me a spot at the front, haven’t you Eddie?”
    “I don’t know how you’ve done it, Monsieur, but I can scarcely wait to see it!”
    “Mark this name, ladies and gentlemen: Schoonjans. The next great inventor!”
    “Edison, eat your heart out!”
    It was a slow process by which Lemarick realised that the crowd was not talking about the automobile. Edvard led the throng of people into the splendid golden foyer of the Populaire, where a circular display was guarded by a thick crimson curtain. Standing beside the veiled structure were a gaggle of dancing girls, whose costumes consisted of more beads than they did fabric. Each one had a golden veil draped across their cheekbones, leaving only their eyes visible between the veil and the shimmering headdresses that crowned their slicked back hair.
    “Do you know any old tricks to get Ed off an obsession?” Ugarte asked Lemarick as they reached the line-up of girls. “I don’t like where this fancy for harem girls is taking him.”
    Lemarick did not answer, for something about the women had taken his attention away. Ugarte gave a huff, muttering something about all men being the same, but Lemarick’s pale blue eyes had locked on one young woman in the group, one who was deliberately avoiding his gaze. Some ringlets of her dark hair had escaped the lacquer and the headdress, ebony locks drifting across an impossibly pale brow as she tilted her head down towards the floor. Her dark eyes and long lashes sparked a rush of panic in Lemarick’s chest. He raced to Edvard’s side and threw a hand to his shoulder.
    “That girl in the centre of your troupe,” he began, trying not to lose sight of her in the mass. “Do I know her?”
    Ed laughed, batting his friend’s hand away and keeping his smile turned on the crowd.
    “I don’t know, do you?” he chuckled. “They all look the same to me.”
    Lemarick Novel had been walking the earth for over a century. He had seen many faces as the years went by, yet this girl’s was one he felt he knew. He was just starting to consider exactly how improper it would seem to ask the young woman to remove her veil, when Edvard clapped his hands together loudly, drawing silence from the eager crowd. The shade was resplendent in his yellow tailored suit as he flashed his charming grin at the patrons, one hand resting on the crimson curtain that covered the stage behind him.
    “Madames and Monsieurs, it is my delight to present, for your viewing pleasure, my latest creation: L’orchestre Mecanique!”
    His attention torn away from the mysterious dancer at last, Lemarick watched as the heavy curtains were swept aside to reveal a raised stage full of musical instruments. An entire orchestra’s worth of instruments sat on the stage, but there were no seats or spaces provided for musicians to take them up. Instead there was only Ed, who turned his back on his waiting audience and stood before the stage in the style of a conductor. He raised his empty hands, fingers extended like those of a seasoned pianist.
    “One, two, three, four, one, two, three and -”
    The instruments had barely been playing themselves before the crowd broke into rapturous applause. Edvard turned to receive yet more praise but met first with Lemarick’s suspicious, questioning look. He gave his friend a smug smile in reply, his bright eyes screaming ‘I’ll tell you later’. Ed reached for Ugarte’s slender hand and guided her out in front of the stage, starting to dance to the melody that his contraptions were now unfolding. Lemarick could feel the shademagic humming from the band as other patrons formed couples and took to the floor, but he knew it would be

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