Chapter Thirteen

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         Siobhan tightened the strings of her cloak and pulled the hood lower

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         Siobhan tightened the strings of her cloak and pulled the hood lower. She borrowed the cloak from one of Rosie's girls because her cowl wouldn't have done much to protect against the raging blizzard outside. So few people had the gall to venture out in a storm this bad, Siobhan would've called too much attention to herself wearing only her cowl.

Visibility was zero from the moment she stepped out of Rosie's to when she reached the iron doors of the old run-down church. Snow instantly erased her tracks as if she'd never been there. She glanced up to where the iron steeple should've towered over the city. Instead, she saw a sheet of white, mist twirled around the gargoyle statues overlooking the entrance, dimming them. It was ironic to her that something as illegal as the black market would be held in some place as revered as an old church.

She didn't know how long it stood abandoned in favor of the newer, shinier church with flaked gold decorations in the center of the city. It didn't matter. The black market took hold and nobody appeared to mind, another odd aspect of humans she could never understand. Again, they turned a blind eye to something they were supposed to be adamantly against.

Her gaze turned back to the heavy doors, coated with chipping red paint to cover the less inviting black iron. At one point, someone had carved magical sigils into the metal. There was the claw of the lioness, the full moon of the wolves, the oak tree of the fairies and elves, and even the mark of her people—twin dragons, their bodies entwined like a braid. One head spouted fire, the other, ice. She brushed a finger over the dragons, her lips twitching. Among the lowlands, that was an emblem long forgotten by any not within the magical bloodlines.

Siobhan sighed and sniffed the air. All storms had a scent to them, though few could sniff them out. It was her favorite part of winter as a kid, the air mixed with an array of smells—though some were rancid. Lightning storms were the worst. Electricity in the air burned her nostrils as if she were smelling flames. She enjoyed being able to tell a storms length from its scent.

Before the snowstorm arrived, it was rain dewed on the petal of a flower. Soft, sweet, romantic in a way. At the peak of the storm, it was fierce, angry. It was flames dancing on the wood embers mixing with acid tearing through metal. Toward the end, it softened, becoming berries drifting on the wind. This storm was a cross between the berries and the acid. She guessed it had three hours, tops, before it would pass, and the calm would settle until the next storm rolled in.

As a kid, she used to adore snowstorms. She spent hours sitting in the drifts, manipulating the flakes to her desire. Ice castles, snow creatures, and cyclones of frost—she created it all. Part of her longed to sit in front of the church and make the snow bow to her every whim. Nobody was on the streets and even if they were, it would be hard to see her through the white. Unfortunately, she didn't have the luxury of releasing her inner child.

She reached into the cloak and found the hidden pocket of her clincher. One finger dragged over the ring tucked against her breast. An internal debate raged through her mind. With enough coin, she could get all her totems charged and procure the rare stone needed to determine if magic hid inside Wren. On the other hand, wearing her ring again would guarantee a fairer price. She removed the ring from her pocket and stared at the diamond eye of the dragon.

Draygon Frost | Book 1 | ✔️Read this story for FREE!