The Marriage Spell

The Marriage Spell by Mary Jo Putney Read Free Book Online

Book: The Marriage Spell by Mary Jo Putney Read Free Book Online
Authors: Mary Jo Putney
hand, she closed her eyes and gradually reduced her shields to nothing. Never had she focused so much power, and it was easy to see how the process could go dangerously awry. But she took every precaution, and even when her shields were entirely down, she felt that she was in control of the power that channeled through her.
    In control, but also transformed. In a trance state, both detached and aware of the smallest details, she scanned Frayne’s damaged body, able to see much more deeply than she had earlier. She must learn the full extent of his injuries, and she would probably have to make choices about what to attempt, since her supply of healing power wasn’t unlimited.
    She frowned as she sank her consciousness into Frayne’s body. His life force was dangerously low, no more than a flickering ember. Worried that he might not survive the stress of the healing circle, she decided to give him some of her own vital force. Life force was different from magic. Though she could channel magical energy from everyone in the circle, when it came to lending life force, she had control over only her own, and that was as it should be.
    Mentally she spun a golden thread of vital force from her solar plexus to his. Her power caused his flickering life to glow more steadily. The thread connecting them also allowed her to feel the pulse of his personality, deeply hidden now, like a bear in hibernation. He had great kindness and compassion. The world needed him as much as his friends did.
    Returning to her scan, she confirmed that his brain had suffered only the concussion she had sensed earlier. That bruising would heal on its own.
    Next she looked for internal bleeding. As she suspected, he had lost a great deal of blood from both his external wounds and his internal injuries, which included a damaged spleen. The power she commanded enabled the ruptures to mend, ending the bleeding.
    She studied the badly splintered bones in his leg and decided it was worth expending some energy to ensure they would heal clean and straight. She visualized phantom bones that were solid and healthy and would act as a template for the real bones as they healed. If the broken leg had been his only injury, she would have fused the bones outright, but she couldn’t afford the huge amounts of energy for that when his other injuries were so much more life-threatening.
    Noting that inflammation was flaring up at several injury sites, she flooded his body with a spell designed to eliminate all feverishness. Infected wounds were often fatal, and he didn’t have the strength to fight the inflammation.
    Aware that she had already expended a substantial amount of the available power, she focused on the most critical injury: Frayne’s broken neck. Not only must she repair the cracked bones, but also the blood vessels and the ruptured nerves that carried messages from mind to muscle. If those couldn’t be fixed, there was no chance for Frayne to live a healthy, active life. Far kinder to withdraw and let him die in peace.
    She moved her hands down to the sides of his throat, feeling the rasp of whiskers against her fingertips. First, the shattered bones…
    After charting the cracks and breaks, she created a phantom template of healthy bones, as she had with his leg. Then she poured energy into the template with the force of a foundry fire.
    She didn’t have enough power.
When she realized that, she wanted to weep with frustration. She was so close to being able to fuse the bones, but there simply wasn’t enough magic available to finish the job. Surely she could do something.
    Desperation reminded her that there might be one last resource available: Lord Frayne’s own power. As Ashby had noted, a magical gift could be suppressed, but it was an integral part of one’s nature and could not be destroyed.
    Would Frayne approve of her using his magic when he didn’t approve of magic at all? Well, he wanted to live, and she

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