Home > Magic Games (Dragon Born Serafina #2)(6)

Magic Games (Dragon Born Serafina #2)(6)
Author: Ella Summers

Sera and Alex had been two of those desperate mercenaries four years ago when they’d come to San Francisco with Riley. Their genius brother had gotten into the prestigious program at San Francisco University of Magical Arts and Sciences, but tuition wasn’t cheap. They’d had to kill a lot of monsters to keep him in college. But overtime was better than death, which was what would happen if anyone found out Sera and Alex were Dragon Born. So they’d taken the crap pay, hiding their magic just like their father had always told them to do.

Sera’s new salary would kick in after the Magic Games. Simmons, the head of Mayhem, was a stickler for protocol—and a complete cheapskate. He wasn’t going to pay her a penny more until her results came back. Sera only hoped that those results wouldn’t be her death sentence. She had to stay focused, no matter what the Game Architect threw at her. And above all, she needed to remain calm. Kai was more right about that than he knew. She couldn’t afford for them to crack her mind. Or her secrets.

So since she couldn’t pay her entrance costs herself, and she didn’t want to be in debt to the Magic Council, that left only the private sponsor option. When Kai had made the offer, she’d taken it, knowing it was the best she was going to get. His condition was that she do a few jobs for him. Since all her jobs had to go through Mayhem, he and Simmons had hammered out a deal behind closed doors. Kai must have offered him a lot of money because Simmons had looked really happy after that meeting. He’d even whistled down Mayhem’s main corridor. And Simmons never did anything as whimsical as whistling. Especially not anywhere that anyone would catch him at it.

“What is the job?” Sera asked Kai.

“I’ve received a tip that a group of vampires is planning something at the Magic Games,” he replied.

“Something bad, I take it?”

“It didn’t sound like they wanted to throw us all a party.” Looking up thoughtfully, he rubbed his chin, which was sporting a two-day stubble. Usually, he was so well-groomed. “Have you heard about the Blood Orb being stolen?”

“Yes, Alex told me about it. She said a group of supernatural haters is trying to use the Orb to control the vampires.”

“They aren’t just trying. They’ve succeeded,” he said. “Over the past few weeks, there’s been an increase in attacks perpetrated by vampires. After each attack, the vampires claimed they were being controlled by magic.”

“And you think this hate group is planning to unleash vampires on the Magic Games?”

“I’ve heard rumors to that effect, yes.”

“Ok.” She swung her legs around the chair and stood. “I wanted to give Alex a call anyway. I’ll ask her if she knows anything more about the Blood Orb or the vampires.” Sera started to walk away from the table.

“Hey, where are you going?” Riley asked her.

She looked over her shoulder. “I need some privacy. I have to talk to Alex about…something personal.”

Riley turned his head toward Kai. “Do you think that’s code for girl issues?”

Kai shrugged.

“Do you want me to give her a message from you?” Sera asked Riley.

“Tell her I liked her latest photos from Madam Meringue’s chocolate factory,” he said with a grin.

Sera nodded and continued walking in the direction of the Brooklyn Bridge. When she felt she’d gone far enough, she stopped and pulled out her phone. She didn’t want Kai to overhear what she had to say to Alex.

“Uh, hi, Sera,” her sister answered after a few rings. A bed creaked, probably as Alex sat down on it. “How are you?”

“I…well, I’m managing.”

“The Magic Games are tomorrow, right?”

“Yes.”

“Good luck,” Alex said.

“Thanks.”

Neither of them mentioned that Alex was an unregistered mage too. Maybe the Magic Council hadn’t figured it out yet, or maybe Alex’s super-important client was protecting her. In any case, Sera wouldn’t have wished the Games on her worst enemy—and certainly not on her own sister.

“Alex,” Sera began. “I wanted to talk to you about the Blood Orb.”

“The Blood—” Alex paused. “Just a minute.” Something thumped in the background. It sounded like a shoe hitting the wall. “Logan, get your paws away from my underwear drawer!” she shouted away from the phone, then spoke into it again. “Sorry about that, Sera.”

“Am I interrupting something?”

“No.” A second shoe hit something—no, make that someone. A man grunted. “That’s just the assassin in my room.”

“An assassin? You might want to hit him with something harder than a shoe. Like a knife,” Sera suggested.

“Na, then he’d just bleed out all over my floor.”

“That would be a huge mess to clean up.”

“Exactly,” Alex agreed. “So, the Blood Orb, you said?”

“Yes. Apparently, someone looking to stir up trouble is sending a bunch of vampires to the Games.”

“What kind of trouble?”

“We don’t know,” said Sera. “But we think it might be the same people behind all those recent vampire attacks. The ones controlling the vampires with the Blood Orb.”

“The Convictionites,” Alex said, her voice devoid of humor. “They’re called the Convictionites.”

   
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