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We talked about this yesterday afternoon, when you were going to lie down for a while, he said.

He knelt beside the fallen log, ready to offer a hand to the prince.Instantly, Aeduan sniffed for the prince’s blood—grappled for the new leather and the smoky hearths.

But it wasn’t there either. There was nothing but the faintest lingering of Leopold’s scent. Aeduan fell to all fours and scrabbled under the fallen oak, just in case a Glamourwitch deceived him or there was some hidden escape below.Neither was the case; Prince Leopold was gone.Aeduan crawled back out and rolled to his feet, his pulse ratcheting up and a violent sort of fear winding through him. Should Aeduan search for the prince or should he leave him?

A burst of wind lashed through the trees, breaking Aeduan’s thoughts—and then smashing them completely. There was a second blood-scent here. One that he had smelled before.Clear lakes and frozen winters.

Aeduan’s hand instantly moved to his sword hilt. He scanned the forest, his witchery racing to pin down that scent. To identify and remember.

When the recognition hit, Aeduan almost rocked back. He’d smelled this blood in Veñaza City at the pier.Cole sat at the edge of the mat, his back to me as he hunched over his knees, struggling to master his breathing. The section of the mirror in front of him was a spiderweb of cracks, stained with blood. I forced my feet under me and stood on shaking legs, taking one halting step toward him, and then another. He clutched his right hand to his chest, ignoring the way it bled onto his shirt. I walked to the towel rack and returned with a small cloth, pulling his hand toward me so I could clean the blood away. His skin was hot, boiling to the touch as he shook.

Fuck, he breathed out. I’m sorry—we shouldn’t do this anymore. Fuck.Okay, I said softly, and stayed anyway.

I was in the bathroom, still dripping from my shower, when I heard Chubs’s voice carry down the hallway. With one last glance to make sure my hoodie covered the worst of the new bruising on my neck, I dashed out of the room, calling after him.He spun on his heel, clearly relieved. There you are. You missed the others—they had to leave. Apparently it’s an eight-hour drive to Gold Beach and the idiots want to do it in one day.