Double check the wards, Matt, Lyrrekka said. We really don’t want to get into a fight here. She scowled back towards where Xantaria was still speaking to Kayleigh. They were just far enough away that while they could hear her voice, they couldn’t make out what she was saying. I wish we could hear what they’re saying without alerting them.
You don’t think we could take them? he asked. There’s more of us than them and we’re strong.
We wouldn’t lose but they aren’t stupid. I think they’d run, Lyrrekka said. But they’d probably do some damage before they did and they’d know we knew. Let’s keep our advantages such as they are.
She’s right, Darylyan said. Xantaria is fast and has way too many different venoms for my liking. She’d escape for sure.
Let’s wait until they leave and then grab Kay and Garrett, Adrian said. They’ll be able to tell us more. Though we’ll need to do it fast and get them warded so they can’t send a warn– He broke off as Andarian seemed to stare directly at them for a long moment before turning his attention back to Xantaria. Shit! I thought he’d seen us for a second.
I’m not sure he didn’t, Darylyan said. It certainly felt like he did.
Anda isn’t a bad person and he doesn’t share Xantaria’s ideology. He’s only with her because she’s forcing him to help her. He won’t do any more than he has to.
Is that why he looks so unhappy? Karen asked.
Yes, Darylyan said. She thinks he can’t betray her but I suspect that if she pushes him too far, he’ll surprise her.
In the picnic area, Kayleigh said something to Xantaria, who nodded and laid a hand on her forehead. Kayleigh’s face went blank and she rose to her feet and headed back down the path towards the school.
She put her back in the box, Lucas said. And I doubt she’ll remember anything about this meeting while she’s in there. It’ll be as a vague dream if she does. There was a pause. I’m going to have to pry it open, aren’t I? His mental shudder was obvious.
It seems so, yes, Matthias said. I’m sorry, I know it won’t be pleasant.
That’s an understatement, Lucas said. I hate this. Ah! That last was because Garrett had risen to his feet and bowed to Xantaria before heading in the same direction Kayleigh had gone. When he was out of sight Xantaria leaned on the picnic table in a way that suggested she was tired. Andarian said something to her but she shook her head and straightened up. Lightning crackled from her fingers and formed a gate in front of them. She hurried through it, Andarian following a moment later but he paused on the threshold and looked back towards their hiding place. After a long moment, he inclined his head, turned away and was gone.