Strange Ways (Black Market Magic Book 2) by Gray Williams
English | 2020 | Fantasy | ePUB | 4.2 MB
No magician has ever escaped Coldwater Prison.
But that is exactly where Amanda Coleman, heist artist and Abra-killer, must go.
Somewhere in London, a mysterious blackmailer has enough evidence to put Amanda’s head in a noose and ensure her only remaining daughter, Michaela, is right alongside her when it happens.
To save Michaela, Amanda must assassinate one of Coldwater’s most infamous residents. But the only way in is as an inmate.
But a notorious Abra-killer like Amanda can expect a few old enemies in a prison full of mages, and they have their own plans…
Runes beginning to crackle, the apple-sharp smell of magic started to fill the tiny room. Though nothing visibly flowed down the tubes, the filter was dripping a clear, viscous liquid into the waiting flask.
Coleman nodded to herself. Nothing left to do now but switch out the full flasks for empties, and think on how she was going to spend the money.
But as the drums quickened and the bass kicked in, she realised relaxing wasn’t going to be an option. The speakers, little more than arm’s reach away on the other side of the wall, began to make the room vibrate around her. It was a noise more felt than heard, like it was melting her bones.
A few minutes and the first flask was already full, prompting her to set up a fresh one. Fingers in her ears, she smiled to herself. These new plates were already worth the investment. She’d had to save up to afford the engraved plates and the equipment, then spent more weeks studying the online manuals. Now it looked like she’d made the money back with just a handful of operations like these.
Excitement at a job well done starting to fizz in her breast, she raised her hands above her head, shimmying her hips in time to the music. Closing her eyes, she began to move her feet. She knew this song, she realised, enough to mouth along to the words. The big finish was coming and it was brilliant. There was probably enough room here to jump when it—
She stopped, shaking herself. Those weren’t her feelings. Shit. The seals on the tubing were leaking. That or the yield was so large that it was hard to channel all the raw emotion coming through the plates. Hugging herself tight to keep her untrustworthy limbs under control, she fought the random surges of excitement, the urges to sing along, to jump, to live in the moment.
She checked the equipment. The three plates were humming with the crowd’s emotions, channelling those feelings into the tubes, where the filter converted them into a liquid for the flasks to catch. Pure liquid feels. The kind of stuff that, for the right price, people would happily buy by the shot to get that ‘going to see their favourite band’ feeling in the comfort of their armchair, or at a party, or in the bedroom.
But the set-up was perfect. The problem was the yield, overwhelming the plates, psychic effluvia filling the air around her. There was nothing she could do except make herself comfortable and try not to let them get to her.
Leaning back, inserting herself carefully among the stools, she clamped her hands under her arms and locked her ankles. It was a strange sensation, excitement that wasn’t yours, closer to a heart attack than anything else when it was unexpected. The only way through was to accept it for what it was rather than fight it.
Eyes closed, she imagined herself swaying to the music, leaping in the air.
It was going to be a long wait. She’d have to sit tight until long after the gig had finished before she packed up and left. But as she’d been taught, the best jobs took effort, especially the not-getting-caught part.
She had this under control, she reassured herself. Crime was in her blood.