Home > Magic Games (Dragon Born Serafina #2)(13)

Magic Games (Dragon Born Serafina #2)(13)
Author: Ella Summers

“No?” He looked amused, as though rejection were a foreign word he didn’t understand. “Oh, come on. Just give me a little taste of your magic.” He leaned forward, a wicked grin on his lips. “I promise not to tell anyone.”

“Even your mommy?” Naomi muttered under her breath.

Sera snorted.

“Playing hard to get, are you? Is that your game?” Cutler asked as the overhead lamps shuddered and shook.

“The only one playing games here is you,” Sera told him and pointed at the ceiling.

The lamps stopped shaking. Their cables went as limp as wet spaghetti. Before Sera could breathe a sigh of relief—she was not in the mood to fight Cutler—two doors blasted open behind him, expelling a tangled mass of brooms and buckets and mops. The cleaning supplies hopped up immediately and marched into picture-perfect lines, standing behind their master like an army of ill intentions. It was as though Sera had stumbled into a children’s cartoon. If it hadn’t been for the determined look on Cutler’s face, she might have even laughed.

The broom and mop soldiers charged forward, tin humming as the buckets swung above them like battle hammers being wound up for a mighty release. The buckets shot toward Sera and Naomi in a tidal wave of magic and metal. Naomi pushed out her hands, blasting them with Fairy Dust.

“Uh, Sera,” she said when the buckets cut right through the cloud of pink and silver sparkles.

“On it,” replied Sera, throwing herself against Naomi to push them both into the men’s locker room.

Zan, one of Mayhem’s veteran mages, gave them a curious look as they tripped over a bench, but he was the least of Sera’s worries right now. She hurried back to the door and peered out just as the buckets bounced past on their way back to the broom and mop soldiers. Metal echoed hollowly down the hall, bouncing off the bare concrete walls. The whole area stank of souring citric acid and wilted flowers, the after-stench of Cutler’s telekinetic spells.

“Ready to be reasonable, Sera?” he called down the corridor to her.

There was no point talking to him. He didn’t even realize how insane he was. Sera reached down, sliding two knives out of the straps buckled to her thighs. Before he could send the Army of Clean at her again, she launched the knives. They met their marks, sinking through the wooden handles of a mop and a broom.

“Cute,” Cutler chuckled. “But these aren’t monsters. And they can’t be stopped by knives.”

The brooms and mops marched forward, Sera’s two victims leading the way. Had they been monsters, those knives would have gone right into their eyes. Unfortunately, as Cutler had so cheerfully reminded her, his soldiers weren’t even alive. Sera ducked back into the locker room, scanning the area for something she could throw at them. Anything.

The only thing that might slow them down was a locker, and she wasn’t strong enough to rip one of them off the wall and hurl it at the mops and brooms. Well, she could try tossing Zan at them, but she didn’t think the seasoned mage would find that funny. Sera wished he weren’t even here. With him as a witness to this ridiculous fight, she really had to defeat Cutler’s Army of Clean—or risk becoming the laughing stock of the guild.

“Fine,” she muttered under her breath, then stepped into the corridor. If it was a fight he wanted, she’d give it to him.

The buckets were already winding up for another toss. Sera didn’t wait. She reached for her magic, deep and dark. A gust of wind rushed past her, kissing her cheeks on its way toward the buckets. It smacked into them so hard that it knocked every single one of them off its twirling axis. Spinning out of control, they shot in every direction. The veins in Cutler’s face bulged from the strain of trying to steady the wayward flights of two dozen tin buckets.

Fire poured down on the brooms and mops, bathing them in flames. Cutler spun toward them, the buckets forgotten. Wide-eyed and for once speechless, he gaped as the burning mops and brooms dissolved to ash.

The siren’s call of the fire magic sang out to Sera. It burned through her veins and bathed her skin in pure rapture. She wanted to make it blaze higher and hotter, to allow its magic to consume the world as it had her.

Whoa, there. Let’s rein in the crazy, shall we? The world doesn’t want to be consumed by fire, said the voice it her head.

As soon as it spoke to her, she knew it was right. She lowered her hands, and the flames died out. Her whirlwind fizzled out too, and the buckets that had been caught inside dropped to the floor. Sera’s plunging magic almost made her drop too. She wiped the sweat from her forehead and scanned the battlefield. Thankfully, the only casualties were a few brooms and mops.

“You’re a freaking psychopath,” Cutler said, his eyes still wide in shock. He didn’t even notice that the tips of his hair were on fire.

“Your hair,” she coughed out. It felt like a car engine had exploded in her lungs.

Cutler patted down the tiny flames. “Psychopath,” he repeated.

“Pretty much,” Sera said.

As he met her eyes, his grin returned and manic delight spread across his face. “You’re even hotter as a mage than you were as a human.”

And Cutler was even crazier than she’d thought.

“Go out with me. Tonight.”

Sera sidestepped his grasping hand. “I’m busy tonight.”

“What could be more important than going out with me?”

Uh, anything? “Work,” she said instead, hoping that would avoid another battle with brooms and mops. Assuming she hadn’t just burned Mayhem’s entire stash of them to ash.

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