A sample of today’s writing:
“You want to what?”
Daniel winced, but Mari didn’t bother caring. “Are you out of your mind?” she continued, putting her hands on her hips. “You are not going to use a child as some kind of—of—locator spell!”
“With all due respect, Princess,” Tae said, leaning against the wall of the sitting room in Mistwood, “it isn’t up to you.”
Dona Alice cleared her throat delicately, crossing one leg over the other from her perch on the sofa. The motion was visible under her rustling skirts, and Mari resisted the urge to roll her eyes at the woman’s blatant attempt to get her brother’s attention. “If I may,” she said, glancing at Tae before turning back to Daniel, looking up at him. “I’m not quite sure about having that…man back in my house. Are you certain he wasn’t behind all of this?”
“Tae has convinced me that he had nothing to do with Ella and Raya’s disappearance,” Daniel said, crossing his arms. “I’d think you’d be glad to hear it, Dona Alice, given that he’s the father of your granddaughter.”
“Step-granddaughter,” Tae corrected, not looking at the Dona, who narrowed her eyes almost imperceptibly at him. “And in any case, Your Highness, Isabel is my daughter. What she does and where she goes is my decision.”
Mari frowned at him. “And you approve of this ridiculous plan? Using blood magic to track them?”
“It’s the only plan we have,” Gaius said. He looked unhappy, even though Daniel had told her that this whole idiotic idea had come from him, but resolve was clear on his features. “I should have thought of it six years ago, when Don Raul went missing, and I didn’t. We have a chance to find his daughters, and I don’t mean to squander it.”
Mari hesitated, looking at Daniel. He held her gaze, his chin firmly raised, and she wrapped her arms around her chest, hugging herself tight and casting a glance down the hallway, down where she knew the servants’ quarters lay, where she and Lucia, Mistwood’s cook and Isabel’s apparent godmother, had tucked the exhausted girl into bed while Daniel and Gaius had been off interrogating Tae—and, apparently, cooking up absurd plans. She dragged her eyes back to the rest of the room. “I don’t like it,” she said flatly.
“Mari,” Daniel said, almost pleading. “It might be the only way we can get them back. Don’t you want to rescue Raya? You told me that she made you feel—”
She turned on him, glaring. “I know what I told you,” she snapped. “I also know, Dani, that she’s a mother, and her child will always, always come first. What would she think of me, letting you take her daughter off into heaven knows where, into who knows what kind of danger—”
“Princess,” Tae interrupted, “I will reiterate, again, that this is not your decision.”
Mari bristled. “I am your princess,” she began.
“And I’m Isi’s father,” he retorted. “And Raya is my best friend. I’m taking my daughter, and I’m bringing her mother home, where the two of you can get married and have as many new kids as you want, for all I care, but I am bringing. Her. Home.”