FATHER’S DAY SNIPPET

It seemed an appropriate time for a snippet. Kami’s parents are designedly very present-and-not-evil in the Lynburn Legacy, and in Unmade Jon Glass gets plenty to do, so here’s…


Kami could intuit where her father was going: down the road by the woods and up the hill to Aurimere, but she didn’t know what his plan was. To see her mother—to beg her to come home? What if she didn’t? What if she did, and Rob Lynburn didn’t like it?

She did not know what her father intended, or what she should do. She didn’t try to stop him, but she did follow him so she could try to protect him.

It was a clear spring morning, bright as if the sun was a lamp whose brilliance had been turned up a few notches, white rays stretching out across a sky lucent as glass. Kami’d had to stop to find her shoes and her coat, and she was trying to be subtle as she hurried, so her father was well ahead of her on the path. No matter how clear the morning, she could barely keep him in sight.

There was no way her father could pass through the flames around Aurimere.

But she was only a little way up the hill when she saw her father reach Aurimere, a small dark figure outlined against the fire, and the living leaping walls of fire flickered and parted like a red sea. Jon passed through the flame. The sorcerers at Aurimere had let him in, and Kami did not know why, and she could not see him at all.

Kami charged up the hill, racing as if she could stop him though he was already gone. She mentally apologized to Angela and did not stop as she ran straight into the fire. She felt tears roll down from her smarting eyes to her scorched cheeks and smelled the smoky scent that was the ends of her hair burning.

Maybe you should wait, Ash told her, and she could feel the wash of his nervousness against her walls.

Maybe you should shut up, Kami suggested. That’s my dad.

Lillian had told Kami about the magical ways to hide yourself, how to wrap yourself in shadows and fade into stone. There were not many shadows on a morning like this, but as Kami pushed open the door and walked into the vast hall she found a few. She took the darkness lurking in the alcoves where marble busts stood, the shadows in the corners of the high ceiling and the dark stairs, and wound them around herself.

She did not think it would stand up long to a sorcerer’s scrutiny, but she went running through the hall toward the sound of voices anyway. If they were distracted, they might not notice, and her father had no magical protection at all.

The voices were not her mother’s and father’s. This was no private meeting between them.

Rob Lynburn had been redecorating Aurimere, Kami saw, to be more appropriate for his evil masterminding needs. In the parlor there was only one of the red sofas left, pushed up against the farthest wall, where the windows were tall, curved at the top like church windows. There was stained glass, too, like a church, but instead of saints and angels the windows showed a blue glass river, a girl’s face, and vivid green leaves in the drowned girl’s sun-yellow hair.

Rob was sitting on the red sofa, talking to other sorcerers who were standing. Kami recognized Hugh Prescott, Holly’s father, who was laughing at something Rob was saying.

They all stopped laughing when they noticed Ruth Sherman at the door, holding Jon Glass’s arm.

“He came to the house and asked to be let in,” said Ruth. “He asked to serve you.”

Rob leaned forward in the same instant Kami hurried forward, through the door, hardly caring if she shoved into a sorcerer or if they all saw through her cloak of shadows.

Nobody did. They were all focused on her father, who was standing in a puffy black jacket, his black hair ruffled by the wind outside, and giving Rob Lynburn a little crooked smile.

“Did you?” Rob asked.

Jon nodded.

“How interesting,” Rob said. “Tell me more.”

Rob did not even bother to climb to his feet. He was a big guy, bigger than either of his sons and a lot bigger than Kami’s dad. His shoulders strained against the material of his checked shirt, his smile was genial, and he looked like a perfect down-to-earth example of English manhood. All except for the cold gleam of contempt in his blue eyes.

“I’m not an idiot. There’s no point fighting you,” Jon said. “I want my wife back, and my kids to live happy and safe. You seem a reasonable man. Your family looked after mine once, didn’t they? I’m willing to offer my services as a source. I’m willing to do whatever you want.”

Kami didn’t know what her father thought he was doing. Lillian had already examined him: it might run in the Glass bloodline, but he wasn’t a potential source for any sorcerer. Kami and her brothers were.

Of course, Lillian and Rob were not exactly on speaking terms right now, and maybe Ruth Sherman did not know how to read the signs that identified a source.

“Come here,” said Rob, which meant Kami was right but also that Jon’s bluff was being instantly called.

Dad did not look dismayed. He kept smiling—like a small black terrier stepping up to face a golden retriever confident that he could handle the situation—and walked over to the very edge of the sofa. Rob leaned back farther into the sofa cushions, hair gilded in the light of the stained glass windows, looking up at Jon. For a long moment, blue eyes focused on black, and held.

At last, Rob said softly: “You’re no source. Did you think you could trick me? What were you hoping to do?”

Jon Glass’s smile spread into a grin.

“I was hoping to get close enough to do this,” he said, and Kami’s father—the graphic designer with funny t-shirts, the man who always laughed at farmers and their guns and made jokes about getting one that nobody took seriously—produced a gun from under his puffy jacket. He took aim in one smooth expert motion, moving quicker than anyone in the room, and shot Rob Lynburn.