IN THE MORNING, Nicholas has Fergus bring us breakfast in bed. I hide in the bathroom when he actually brings it in. Nicholas says Im being silly, that I have to get used to the fact that Fergus doesnt give a shit that Im in his bed or that we had crazy, fantastic, would-make-the-Beast-blush sex last night.
Sarah blushes deeply—almost purple. But she still shakes her head at my brother—pityingly. She opens the book and holds it up near his face.After a moment, Henry leans down and sniffs the pages distrustfully.
What do you smell? Sarah asks.Henry gives it another sniff. It smells…old.Exactly! She smells the pages herself, deep and long. Paper and ink—theres nothing like it. The only thing that smells better than a new book is an old one.
Someone drops a tray of glasses behind the bar, and the shattering crash reverberates throughout the room. And Sarah Von Titebottum goes very still, her eyes blank and her skin whiter than the pages shes holding.Lady Sarah, I ask, are you all right?
Its okay, her sister whispers, but she doesnt seem to hear her.
Henry presses his palm to her arm. Sarah?You didnt see the painting. You dont understand.
The only way to truly stop the painting is to kill the King, Loki said. And youre the only one strong enough to do that.But I dont know how to, I said. And youre strong. You can do it. I need to do something to divert the outcome of the painting until you can figure out how to stop him.
Wendy, if I could kill him, I wouldve done it by now, Loki said with a lopsided smirk. You know that.It doesnt matter. I waved my hands and stepped away from him. This isnt open for discussion. Ive decided what Im going to do.