I’m heading out to England today. When I get to the airport I’ll work on a blog posting for you. While you’re waiting I’ll give one last sneak peak for Keys. Today is the last day you can pre-order it for 30% off. It comes out September 30th. There is mystery and magic and suspense. The premise is a city has locked all of its magic underground to protect the inhabitants but who are they really protecting? The hero is a man with the ability to unlock any door, a secret he keeps to himself until the world as he knows it is at risk.
“You blame the Lock Lords for the conditions of First Quarter, don’t you?”
“You’re in charge of the city, and you let the magistrate whore out little boys and girls and let the rest of them starve in the streets. You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t think you’re doing enough for the people.” I let years of bitter anger seep into my tone. So much for playing nice with Thorne’s brother.
“What are you talking about? We have food kitchens and clothing handouts,” Duke Lear protested.
I folded my arms over my chest. “And one of you has gone down there to make sure that’s where your funds are being spent, right? None of the Lock Lords has ever checked that we were receiving food and clothing. Did you just pass it on to others and assume things were being done?”
Duke Lear opened and closed his mouth but didn’t speak for several minutes. “You’re right. We’ve been so absorbed with the big picture we’ve ignored a lot of problems over the years.”
“If you’re not careful, those problems are going to bomb the Tower and take out the government.”
The duke narrowed his eyes at me. “What do you know?”
“No details, not specifics where I can point to one person, but words have become angrier lately, as those who seek to suppress us live in finer and finer homes. The rest of us are lucky to find a leaky roof over our heads and cheap scraps of food sold out of the backs of houses while you Lords eat like this every day.” I waved a hand at the enormous tray of eggs, meats, and assortment of breads. “That could feed five starving children. Think on that while you sit here.”
I took a deep breath.
“Easy, Oss. When I get back on my feet, I will look into your notions.”
“Will you? From what I can see you are at the mercy of the other Lords, and one of them tried to end your life yesterday.”
“I’m not without power, and Orpheus will pay for what he did.”
“Not today he won’t. We need to hide you until you can regain your strength. Nothing positive will come from you confronting your enemy while you still show signs of weakness. The doc said you need to wait a few days before we move you, but I don’t think we have the time.” I might be a street rat but I knew more than most about the
rules of a power struggle.
“And where would you stash me? Among your starving hordes who hope to do me harm?”
“Tempting, but no. I’m checking with a friend. I’m waiting to hear back from him.” I glanced out the window, sweeping my gaze across the street. I caught sight of Affie, but he didn’t beckon me over, so I ignored him in return.
“Does this friend have a name?”
The duke grinned. “The mechanical inventor? He’s brilliant. I didn’t know you two were acquaintances.”
The intrigued expression on the duke’s face gave me hope for my friend.
“We’ve been friends for many years. I just have to find him first. He went into hiding.”
“Why?” The duke tried to sit up straighter.
“Someone was stalking him, and since he didn’t know who, he thought it better to run off for a bit. That’s what we do when you Lords send people after us.”
“I’ve never hunted anyone down,” Lear protested.
“Well, your fellow Lords aren’t so nice. In some ways you are as naïve as Thorne.”
“Maybe I am at that. You saved my life, Oss. I will look into these issues you are raising.”
“Thank you.” I didn’t quite believe him, but I would wait and call him a liar after he’d healed and still done nothing.
A knock at the door preceded Brenson entering and carrying Amalia. “I thought at first she failed in her journey but the paper color is different.”
I walked over to them and saw Brenson was right. Instead of yellowish paper, it had a whiter tone. Grinning I pulled off the note.
Search for me at the corner of Fife and Perch.
“We have an address, Your Grace. Let’s get you moved.”
I’d never been so happy to get rid of someone before without killing them.