Home > Time's Echo (The Chronos Files #1.5)(3)

Time's Echo (The Chronos Files #1.5)(3)
Rysa Walker

“Tell you what,” I say, kissing the side of her neck. “You can check out the assistants at my first performance. Assuming I get the job, that is.”

“You’ll get the job. You have sterling recommendations.” Her voice is a wee bit smug, and I can’t help grinning.

“I have forged recommendations. Skillfully done, but forged nonetheless.”

She shrugs, reaching over me to grab a peppermint from the nightstand. “Houdini is in Scotland. At the Gaiety Theater in Leith. Won’t be back until next month.” She pops the mint into her mouth. “That should give you a bit of time to start building up a reputation as the Amazing Boudini. From everything I've read, he'll take the bait and confront you.”

“Or he'll sue me."

"Either way, you'll have his attention and then we can confront him. It would have been a lot easier if Houdini had fallen for the photograph. Apparently, I'm not his type, since one of his bodyguards showed up at my hotel instead."

I remember that photo and how little she was wearing in it. I'm not exactly happy about it being passed around by a bunch of hired thugs. "You didn't tell me anyone came to your hotel."

Another shrug. "I slammed the door in his face when I saw it wasn't Houdini."

"And you’re sure he's using a CHRONOS key?”

“I know what I saw, Kiernan. There was a bright blue glow—exactly the shade of light I see from the key—coming from behind the curtain when I saw him in New York and again in London. He has a medallion."

"And as you noted, he also has bodyguards. I don't think he's going to cheerfully hand over the medallion just because we ask nicely. It's how he makes his living."

"We'll think of something," Kate says. "He doesn't like people who trick others using fake religion, so I doubt he'll approve of the Cyrists. Right now, you just need to focus on getting the job. The flyer I left with his booking agent in New York will get his attention.”

"You left the flyer? I haven't even auditioned yet!"

She nudges my face toward hers. “You'll get the job, Kier. You're good. I don’t mean the disappearing. That’s just the CHRONOS key. But the other stuff—you've been doing those tricks for ages. You’re really good with your hands.”

When she catches my expression, she kicks me, not exactly gently, on the shin.

“I didn’t mean that kind of good.”

That she can still blush this far into our relationship strikes me as incredibly sexy. If I don't pull my thoughts back into line, however, I'll never get to the trolley on time. I walk my fingers down the side of her leg like a spider. “How about I give you a personal demonstration of that kind of good when I'm done? You’ll be here, right?”

I immediately wish I hadn’t asked that, because her smile fades. I've reminded her of where else she should be. Of where she doesn't want to be. And why.

“I’ll be here,” she says, her eyes narrowing. “But I’m going to go and have this out with Katherine while you’re gone. While I’m still really, really angry.”

"You're tired, love. Why don't you get some more sleep first? Katherine will still be there, and I'm certain you'll still be really, really angry six or seven hours from now."

Kate cried for ages last night, before collapsing, exhausted, into bed. I’m glad she didn’t go directly home, because I'd give solid odds that she'd have slugged her own grandmother. That’s frowned upon in 1905, so I’m guessing it's doubly true in her time, when people don’t even smack misbehaving kids on the bottom. And Kate would have regretted it later, even if she doesn’t believe that right now. What happened in 1938 wasn’t Katherine’s fault. Not really.

I glance at the display on her phone and realize I’ll have to run to reach the station on time. And yes, I could jump back twenty minutes and avoid rushing, but I'd rather not push my limits with the medallion. Who knows how many times Easley might want to see my finale before making a decision?

I cross over to the mirror and pull a comb through my hair, still damp from the shower. It's several inches too long for the current fashion and I'd planned to ask Kate to cut it last night. Scissors, tears, and anger are a dangerous combination, however. Even if I wasn't the person who'd made her angry.

Kate is behind me in the mirror, sitting cross-legged on the bed, watching me. The gold ring on her finger catches the glow from the lamp. It's been over a month, and I still feel a sense of wonder each time I see it.

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