Gods and Swindlers (City of Eldrich Book 3)

Gods and Swindlers (City of Eldrich Book 3) by Laura Kirwan

Book: Gods and Swindlers (City of Eldrich Book 3) by Laura Kirwan Read Free Book Online
Authors: Laura Kirwan
legislative branch of city government like a club, retaliating for every perceived threat or slight, but Meaghan now understood the fear behind it. Even Emily’s betrayal of Jamie back in June, when she’d helped the Order kidnap him, had been motivated by her mistaken belief that Jamie was a threat.
    Then came Labor Day, and Jhoro, and Emily’s mystical mind-meld thingy, and Emily had been reborn. Except nobody in city hall, other than Meaghan, believed it. Emily didn’t even always believe it, resulting in a few instances of her old self returning. But Meaghan—although still somewhat a neophyte about magic—was an old hand at politics and could tell the difference. Politics she could deal with. At least now she could talk Emily down when she started overreacting.
    “Jhoro left, by the way,” Meaghan said. “He’s in Peru.”
    Emily’s mouth dropped open. “What’s he doing down there?”
    Before Meaghan could answer, something in the solicitor’s office exploded.

Chapter Fourteen

    “A GAIN?” MEAGHAN WRENCHED open the office door and a cloud of smoke rolled out. Except it wasn’t smoke. It was mist. And it smelled like . . . “Doritos?”
    Emily shook her head, a dazed look on her face.
    “Come on,” Meaghan said, dragging Emily through the door into the new reception area, which was blocked from the rest of the office by a wall and a security window. Visitors had to be buzzed in. No more wandering into the solicitor’s office unannounced.
    Meaghan had pushed for the increased security. While the old office had been heavily warded with spells to keep magical bad actors out, not all of their enemies were affected. The Order relied on guns as much as they did magic. Kady now had a panic button to alert the Eldrich police, as well as a hex bag to call the coven.
    But security doors only worked when they were shut, which this door wasn’t. “This way,” Meaghan said. “Get a hex ready. We might need it.”
    Emily nodded and began muttering an incantation.
    “Who’s supposed to be up here?” Meaghan asked.
    Emily held up her finger and muttered something else. “There. I’m ready. The designer was supposed to be here waiting for somebody. That’s where I was going when I ran into you. To see if we could do anything about the carpet.”
    Meaghan looked down at her feet. “Oh, God. It really does pulsate, doesn’t it?”
    Emily eyed it, a suspicious look on her face. “Yeah, it does. This isn’t right. This is—” She stared at Meaghan, fear on her face. “This is magical. Some kind of key.” She pulled Meaghan’s arm. “We have to go. They’re back. The Order is back.”
    “Dude,” a male voice said, “that’s harsh. We hate those guys.”
    A pimply faced young man, barely out of his teens, wearing a robe of rough brown linen that matched his shaggy hair, stepped out of the steam. He smiled and waved a pudgy hand. “Hi. Are you Meaghan?”
    “Who the hell are you?” Meaghan stared. “Is this the designer?” she asked Emily.
    The kid looked at her and then Emily, and his smile disappeared. “Designer? No, I’m one of the keepers.”
    Meaghan shook her head.
    “You know,” the kid said, “the Brothers of the Word? The keepers of the archive? Didn’t the leprechaun guy tell you about us? He’s been bugging us for months. You were supposed to come see us? To explain why you wanted the . . .” He looked around, then leaned closer. “You know. The stuff”—he glanced at Emily—“about the guys? Who do the thing?”
    Meaghan shook her head.
    “With the magic?” he asked. “You know,” he glanced around, then whispered, “the war ?”
    The pieces fell into place. Meaghan nodded. “My father’s lost journal entries. The fair folk.”
    The kid looked panicked and shook his head. “Don’t say their names,” he squeaked. “Never say their names.”
    “Oh, for God’s sake,” Meagan said. “I can’t say their names, remember? Don’t have enough vocal

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