Exclusive Excerpt from Chain of Gold:
They raced away from the greenhouse, through overgrown grass and tangled weeds. When they were some distance away, in a clearing near the entrance to what had once been the Italian Gardens, James came up short.
Cordelia nearly stumbled into him. She was dizzy, her vision blurring. The pain in her leg had returned, redoubled. She dropped her witchlight into the grass, and sank to the ground.
They were in a small hollow of overgrowth; the greenhouse was a great dark star in the distance, capping a rise of garden. Dark trees leaned together overhead, their branches knotted. The air at least was clean and cool, and Cordelia gulped it in as she reached for her stele.
“Daisy.” James went down on his knees, facing her in the grass. “Daisy, let me see.”
She looked at him. He had put the gun away, though she could still see it tucked into his waistband. His black hair was tangled, full of leaves and bits of grass.
“Daisy.” James placed his hands gently on her ankle, above her low leather boots, and began to raise the leg of her trousers. The hem was soaked through with blood, and Cordelia couldn’t hold back a small noise as her ankle was bared.
The skin looked as if it had been torn with a serrated knife. The top of her boot was drenched in blood.
James drew his stele from his inside pocket. With infinite care, he touched the tip to her calf — the horror, Cordelia thought, that her mother would have experienced at the idea of a boy touching her daughter’s leg — and traced the outlines of a healing rune.
It felt as if someone had poured cool water over her burning skin. She watched as the injured flesh began to knit itself back together, slashed skin sealing up as if years of healing had been compressed into seconds.
“You look as if you’ve never seen what an iratze can do,” James said, a small quirk to the corner of his mouth. “Have you not been injured before?”
“Not this badly,” said Cordelia. She sighed. “I know I should have — you must be thinking what a baby I’ve been.”
“Not at all. I was thinking that you reminded me a bit of Catherine Earnshaw from Wuthering Heights. My mother has a favorite passage about how she was bitten by a bull-dog — “She did not yell out—no! she would have scorned to do it if she had been spitted on the horns of a mad cow.’”