Key of Light (Key 1) - Page 128



didn’t know if he spoke it, shouted it, or his mind simply screamed it, but he shoved open the car door and leaped into the surreal violence of the storm.

The wind slapped him back, a back-handed blow so intense that he tasted blood in his mouth. Lightning blasted like a mortar directly in front of him, and the air stank with burning. Blind from the driving rain, he bent over and lurched toward the house.

He stumbled on the steps and was calling her name, over and over like a chant, when he saw the hard blue light leaking around the front door.

The knob burned with cold and refused to turn under his hand. Baring his teeth, Flynn reared back, then rammed the door with his shoulder. Once, twice, and on the third assault, he broke it in.

He leaped inside, into that blue mist.

“Malory!” He shoved his dripping hair out of his face. “Dana!”

He whirled when something brushed his leg, and lifted his fists, only to lower them on an oath when it turned out to be wet dog. “Goddamn it, Moe, I don’t have time to—”

He broke off when Moe growled deep in his throat, let out a vicious bark, and charged up the stairs.

Flynn sprinted after him. And stepped into his office.

“If I’m going to do a decent job covering the foliage festival, then I need the front page of the Weekender section and a sidebar on the related events.” Rhoda folded her arms, her posture combative. “Tim’s interview with Clown Guy should go on page two.”

There was a vague ringing in his ears, and a cup of coffee in his hand. Flynn stared at Rhoda’s irritated face. He could smell the coffee, and the White Shoulders fragrance that Rhoda habitually wore. Behind him, his scanner squawked and Moe snored like a steam engine.

“This is bullshit.”

“You’ve got no business using that kind of language with me,” Rhoda snapped.

“No, this is bullshit. I’m not here. Neither are you.”

“It’s about time I got treated with a little respect around here. You’re only running this paper because your mother wanted to keep you from making a fool of yourself in New York. Big-city reporter, my butt. You’re a small-time, small-town guy. Always have been, always will be.”

“Kiss my ass,” Flynn invited and threw the coffee, cup and all, in her face.

She let out one short scream, and he was back in the mist.

Shaken, he rounded once again toward the sound of Moe’s barking.

Through that rolling mist, he saw Dana on her knees with her arms flung around Moe’s neck.

“Oh, God, thank God. Flynn!” She sprang up, wrapped herself around him as she had the dog. “I can’t find them. I can’t find them. I was here, then I wasn’t, now I am.” Hysteria pitched and rocked in her voice. “We were together, right over there, then we weren’t.”

“Stop. Stop.” He yanked her back, shook her. “Breathe.”

“Sorry. I’m sorry.” She shuddered, then scrubbed her hands over her face. “I was at work, but I wasn’t. I couldn’t have been. It was like being in a daze, going through the motions and not being able to pinpoint what was wrong. Then I heard Moe barking. I heard him barking, and I remembered. We were here. Then I was back, standing here in this—whatever the hell this is—and I couldn’t find them.”

She fought for calm. “The key. Malory said the key’s here. I think she must be right.”

“Go. Get outside. Wait for me in the car.”

She breathed deep, shuddered again. “I’m freaked, but I’m not leaving them here. Or you either. Jesus, Flynn, your mouth’s bleeding.”

He swiped the back of his hand over it. “It’s nothing. Okay, we stick together.” He took her hand, linked fingers.

They heard it at the same time, the hammering of fists on wood. With Moe once again in the lead, they rushed through the room.

Zoe stood at the attic door, beating on it. “Over here!” She called out. “She’s up there, I know she’s up there, but I can’t get through.”

Tags: Nora Roberts Key Fantasy
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