Tainted Victory – Chapter 10, Part 6 (Page-a-Day)

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“So you’ve had an escape plan the whole time. Why haven’t you used it?” Hugh crossed his arms now. 

“I figured we could solve this. Instead we are just truly out of our depth.” She turned and started walking down the hallway. “First thing you learn as a thief is when to call it a wash and get out. I honestly should have left all of you guys the second Raisor was found dead. Ridiculous.” She shook her head, but kept up the pace. 

“Wait!” Hugh ran to catch her. He could feel his lungs exploding. He reached for her hand. 

“Don’t.” Evelyn pulled away before their hands touched. “Don’t say anything.”

“We are here to stop the killing. We need to help the others. I can do no harm, but that doesn’t mean I can do no good.” He pointed you himself. “You can do good too.”

“Not what I was hired for.” 

A new voice joined their conversation. “What were you hired to do?” 

The two pivoted around. Goblet, Claudia, and Olivier all stood in the doorway. Goblet supported Olivier. Olivier had his hand wrapped around the back of Goblet’s neck. Claudia raised her crossbow at Evelyn. “What were you hired to do?” she asked again. 

“Oh for the love of…” Evelyn rested her hands on his hips. “I don’t know what the old geezer told you, but he’s the killer. Or well that’s not entirely accurate…”

“He was Colt’s accomplice,” Hugh said. 

“What?” Olivier said. His voice cracked and drifted. “I didn’t help kill anyone. I am only here to help sort out the dragon situation. That is all.” 

“Ah huh,” Evelyn said. “Then why did you hide something behind your back?” She tilted her head up. “I saw it when you came in. It was something, an object, in the back of your pants.” She smiled. “What is it?”

Hugh answered without skipping a beat. “It’s the knife that was used to control people.” 

Claudia eyed Olivier. She took a step back and saw the outline of an object press against the fabric of his robe. She looked back to Evelyn and Hugh, then lowered her weapon. “Don’t move.”

“Wasn’t planning on it,” Evelyn said. 

“I wasn’t talking to you.” Claudia stepped behind Goblet and began reaching out for the protruding object. Her hand began to shake. She looked at the object, but realized she was really just looking at her own hand. The bones in the fingers were sticking out. Her nails were dirty. She couldn’t figure out why she was focusing on her hands. The possible key to everything was just mere inches from her touch. She felt her fingers touch the object. It was hard. She realized why she couldn’t focus. She closed her eyes. She could feel Olivier’s inner magic cast off his body like an aura. It made her frizzled hair stand even further on end. A tingle zapped it’s way through her finger and into her heart. A pit opened in her. She felt like she couldn’t get enough air in for a full lung. 

“What’s happening?” Goblet asked. He peeked his head over his shoulder. He could only catch her hair and calves. He tried to look over his other shoulder but only got Olivier’s robed arm. 

“Nothing,” Claudia said. She shook her head. “Nothing.”

“There is something,” Olivier said. 

“Shut up,” Claudia said. 

“You’re the only one tuned to the magic coming off of me. It’s seeping into you. If you do this you can feel what will happen to you. You’ll lose any chance to gain my knowledge and experience.”

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