The Isis Collar

The Isis Collar by Cat Adams Read Free Book Online

Book: The Isis Collar by Cat Adams Read Free Book Online
Authors: Cat Adams
    Of course it’s easy to ignore a phone message. It’s not nearly so easy to ignore someone standing on your doorstep or, in this case, in your waiting room. Perhaps it was time to make an in-person visit. Not to the police station. They’d stonewall me, or throw me out on my ear. Better to go back to the grade school. Principal Sanchez owed me one. I wasn’t above playing the guilt card to get information, not if it would help me get rid of this damned headache.
    *   *   *
    The magical barrier around Abraham Lincoln Elementary had not only been reinstalled, it had also been amped up considerably if the pain I felt crossing it was any indication. It hurt , the pain almost driving me to my knees. It did cause me to stumble, which made my already-pounding headache that much worse.
    Striding up the walk to the main entrance felt … surreal. It looked so normal . There was the flagpole Harris had cuffed the first caster to. The classroom window I’d crashed through with Willow had been replaced. I could see children sitting at their desks, studying.
    Walking through the entrance, I suppressed a shudder. The floor was fine. Solid as a rock. What I’d seen inside the school—the dissolving tiles—had it been some sort of illusion? I felt strange walking on it. My pulse sped up, and I found myself stretching my abilities to the limit trying to find any trace of magic.
    Nothing. Everything was just as it should be. Which was just freaking weird.
    I hurried toward the principal’s office, the click of my high heels echoing oddly in wide corridors lined with metal lockers. I made it all of the way into the office without spotting the school security guard, or anyone else in authority. It bugged me. It shouldn’t be that easy just to stroll in like this. Of course putting in more security would be like locking the door after the thieves: too little, too late. But still, I didn’t like it.
    I didn’t run into a single adult until I reached the office door. Once I was there, though, there was quite a fuss. The school secretary jumped up from her desk. Short, stocky, and middle-aged, she threw her chubby arms around me in a huge hug that made my injured arm throb. “I’m Marjorie Jacobs. I can’t thank you enough! None of us can.” Her thanks were so loud, and profuse, that closed office doors were opened, revealing the school counselor, the assistant principal, and, finally, the security officer Jamisyn. The one person who didn’t show up was the person I’d come to see.
    “Principal Sanchez will be so disappointed she missed you.” The secretary shook her head sadly. “She’s so grateful. We all are! If that bomb hadn’t been a dud, we could’ve all been killed.”
    “They’ve decided it was a dud?” I was surprised to hear it. It sure hadn’t felt like a dud. And the bomb squad psychic had definitely said we needed to clear the building. And what about the illusion of the dissolving floor? That had to have taken a fair amount of magic. How could the authorities not have found anything? That made no sense at all.
    “Had to have been.” This from a man standing beside an office sign reading: Vice Principal Colin Parker. “They did a thorough investigation. Complete sweeps of the building. Nobody could find evidence that the bomb in the basement went off. And these were top mages brought in just for this project. We did a complete cleansing—just in case. But there’s no sign anything was wrong. Which is why we felt no need to let the press start a panic. After all, no harm done.” His smile was a little slick for my taste, his words just a bit rushed. It was obvious that he was more than willing to sweep the whole mess under the rug. Something about him bugged me. It took me almost a full minute to figure out what it was. He reminded me of Ron, the attorney who rents space in my office building. He’s a pompous ass with delusions of adequacy. This Parker was just like him.
    “Did they

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