“Did Ты get it?” Marius demanded.
Энджел was too busy choking up water from her lungs to answer. Gabriel was all but passed out on the snow beside her.
“Well, did you?” Chloë inquired eagerly. The blonde nodded, finally regaining her breath. “Then let us see it!”
“Not here,” Энджел wheezed, “Not with-” It was only then that it occurred to her how red the soft blanket she sat on. There were bodies laid across the courtyard. Some were entombed in caskets of ice, their expressions of shock and horror Холодное сердце as if they were displays in a museum. Others had been ripped apart by icicles that had been flung through the air like daggers, staining the ground with their entrails and blood. Not a single one had been left alive.
“She’s right,” Gabriel muttered, making Энджел jump. He had been laying so still that she thought he might have been.. “We don’t have time.. To mess around...”
Энджел pulled herself to her feet, only to fall to her knees in exhaustion once she reached Gabriel’s side. He was much less still close up. Shivers were running up and down his body. His face was pale, eyes closed, and blood still seeping from his wound.
“We need to get to the extraction point,” Энджел commanded, her energy renewed by the new, urgent task. She looked up to the twins only to find them standing leisurely near the wall. Chloë was fixing her braids while Marius toyed with a shard of ice. “We only have a few hours until sun up, and if we aren’t there, then they’ll leave without us.”
“We know,” the twins replied in unison.
“And we should leave,” Marius agreed.
“But he’ll only slow us down,” Chloë finished, pointing a blood painted nail at the unconscious boy at their feet.
“We can’t just leave him here to die,” Энджел argue. Marius nodded in agreement and drew his dagger. He made it three steps before a foot shot out, connecting with the back of his knee, and sending him to his knees with a cry of surprise. He was pounced on from behind and pinned on his stomach.
“Angel! What the-” He was stopped as the lips of his attacker grazed his ear, her venomous words murmured just loudly enough for them to reach his sister, who had already drawn her dagger. “We are going to get to that extraction point in time. All four of us. And we will do so on time. Either Gabriel или I have the Gift in our bag. I will not tell Ты which bag, and Ты will not check either of our bags. If Gabriel has it, and Ты leave him here, then Ты lose what we came for. We will be killed if we return without it. So Gabriel comes with us. If I catch Ты checking his bag или mine, I will put Ты in an even еще uncomfortable position and cut off Ты magical icy fingers one by one. Do Ты understand?”
Marius stayed silent, his jaw set as his face was pushed into the red snow. The dagger at his neck threatened to add to the paint. “Oui!” Chloë answered for him, “Yes, he understands, Angel! Now leave him be!”
After a moment of his sister’s palpable anxiety, Энджел raised her dagger and released the boy. His sister went to his side and helped him to his feet. “And how to Ты propose we drag Gabriel all that way?” Marius questioned.
“All what way?” Энджел inquired. She had already spotted a guard wearing a red пересекать, крест on his uniform. She knelt beside him and searched his blood stained pockets until her fingers closed around what she was looking for. She tossed the medic’s hat the dead man wore to the twins and held up the keys to a medical vehicle. “We only need to take him as far as Ты can get a truck to this... Grave yard.”
The better driver between the two, Chloë snatched the hat from her brother’s hands and pulled it on, then caught the keys thrown to her. She darted away, toward the garages. As she left, Энджел retook a сиденье, место, сиденья beside Gabriel. She checked his pulse to ensure that her efforts had not been in vain and was rewarded with a faint, but definite, thrum of his heart.
“Why did Ты do that?” Marius asked. His voice was less vicious, not at all oblivious to the throwing knives along the girl’s belt. He was sure that she would be able to hit him with one before he could freeze both her hands. “You know the code of the League. If Ты cannot support yourself, Ты do not survive-”
“I’m not a part of your Order,” Энджел replied as she tightened the makeshift bandages around Gabriel’s leg. “I have my own code.”
“But Ты are, или at least, Ты will be soon enough,” he pointed out. When he got no reply, he kneeled beside the dying man only a couple years older than his own 17 years. “Do Ты think Gabe would have done the same for Ты if your places were switched?”
“I know he wouldn’t.”
“It is true what they say. Ты are like your mother,” he leaned вперед the slightest, as if she would better hear him. “She was well known for making enemies easily.”
“And even better allies.”
“Today, Ты have made enemies of my sister and me. But no allies.”
“I know.” She finally looked up from her patient as the medical truck’s engine neared. Her features were blanched with exhaustion, but there was a determination lurking in the stormy gray of her eyes that made the French boy no less weary of her. “Even if Gabriel does not take my side the Далее time I’m in trouble, he will remember this. And so will you. I am only thinking of myself. Ты know how it goes: assassins are selfish creatures, Marius.”
Энджел slipped one of the man’s arms around her shoulder. “Now, help me get him to the truck,” she directed. And the French boy complied.