Shadow Heir: A Dark Swan Novel#4

Shadow Heir: A Dark Swan Novel#4 by Richelle Mead

Book: Shadow Heir: A Dark Swan Novel#4 by Richelle Mead Read Free Book Online
Authors: Richelle Mead
to have your room ready by the time we got home, so he better have listened to me,” she continued as we headed toward her car. “You know how men are. He’d be off daydreaming all the time if he didn’t have me to keep him in line. Let’s hope he didn’t burn dinner either. I started it and told him exactly what to do, but knowing him, he probably got distracted. Could be a baseball game on TV or a woodpecker out back. Probably nothing but a pile of ash in the oven now. It’s pot roast. Do you eat that? You should, you know. Protein’s good for you and the baby. So are the potatoes.”
    “Babies,” I corrected as we reached the car. “I’m having twins.”
    “Oh. Oh my!” This revelation left her momentarily speechless, and a look of wonder fell over her features, along with a softer emotion I couldn’t quite place. “Oh, that’s just lovely .”
    She went to put my suitcase in the trunk, and as I sat down in the passenger seat, I caught a glimpse of some familiar tools in the backseat. A silver athame lay near a suede bag, out of which peeked another hilt that I was willing to bet belonged to an iron athame. Near those was a necklace consisting of raw smoky quartz beads. I couldn’t help a smile. Candace’s chatty Southern charm in no way meant she wasn’t a fully active, totally deadly shaman who could combat any creature that messed with us. I wouldn’t have been surprised if there was a gun and a wand somewhere in the car too.
    Candace had recovered herself when she rejoined me and soon picked up her breezy conversation style. I was happy to let her do the talking. It gave me the chance to take in the sights as we drove to her house. The airport was situated a little outside downtown, and Candace and her husband lived farther out still, though she assured me I could reach the city from her place in a little over a half hour. That wasn’t much different from my own house back in the Catalina Foothills near Tucson, and again, I felt a small twinge of reassurance about this new locale.
    As we drove away from the airport and the more populous areas, I saw that the trees remained green but that the grass and low plants were yellowing. Candace explained that they were in a drought right now. As much as I loved the dry weather I’d grown up in, there was a part of me that hated to see the land around us so parched for water. It wouldn’t be that big a strain on my magic to summon a quick rain shower ... but, no. I didn’t even need Roland’s instructions to know how foolish such an act would be. I couldn’t attract any attention to myself. These conditions were normal for summer around here; the land would survive without my help. Just worry about yourself, Eugenie , I chided myself.
    Candace’s house was situated on a heavily wooded street. She had neighbors, but they were spread out, giving the illusion that each house on the road was in its own private forest. I’d gotten used to the Rowan Land’s greenery, but the castle was set on cleared land, and seeing large trees right outside this house’s windows was a world away from what I’d grown up with.
    “This is beautiful,” I told her as we got out of the car. She’d retrieved her arsenal from the backseat and was going for the suitcase, despite my offers of help. Twilight was casting shadows on everything, but the little house’s windows lit up the darkness.
    “It is, isn’t it?” she said, gesturing me to follow. “We’ve been here ’bout fifteen years.” She took the steps onto the house’s wooden porch, which even had a swing for two. A screen door kept insects out and let evening air inside, in an effort to cool the house. As though thinking of this, Candace cast me an apologetic look. “No air-conditioning. It can get pretty hot.”
    “I’m used to it,” I assured her. Compared to my castles, the ventilation here was state of the art. Screens would rock the Thorn Land’s world, if I could figure out how the gentry could

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