[Merry Gentry 04] - A Stroke of Midnight

Free [Merry Gentry 04] - A Stroke of Midnight by Laurell K. Hamilton

Book: [Merry Gentry 04] - A Stroke of Midnight by Laurell K. Hamilton Read Free Book Online
Authors: Laurell K. Hamilton
Tags: Fiction
the precaution. She was not acting like herself. Andais was temperamental and a sadist, but she never let either interfere this badly with the business of her court. We had a dead human reporter, and cameras still in the faerie mound. It was an emergency, and we needed to act swiftly to minimize the damage, no matter what choice we made. Even if the choice was to hide the bodies and act as if it hadn’t happened, it needed to be done quickly. The more people who knew the secret the less chance of keeping it.
    If the police were going to bring in forensics for the crime scene, every minute contaminated the crime scene. Every second might be losing us some clue.
    â€œMadeline told me that our Frost had lost control in front of the cameras.” She paced a tight circle, then turned back to look at Frost. It was as if any target, any problem, was better than addressing the murders. Did she think Cel’s people had done this? Was that why she didn’t want to decide on a course of action? Was she afraid to find the truth, afraid of where it would lead?
    â€œAre the reporters gone then?” I asked softly.
    â€œThey were about to file out all nice and neat,” she said, and her voice was rising as she spoke and paced, naked and dangerous, “until one group realized they were missing a photographer. A photographer!” She screamed the last word. “How did he break through the spells that were supposed to make it impossible for him to leave the guarded areas?” She didn’t seem to be asking anyone in particular, so no one answered.
    â€œWas there a camera found?” she asked, and her voice was almost normal.
    â€œYes, my queen,” Doyle said.
    â€œWould it have pictures of the crime?”
    â€œPerhaps,” Doyle said.
    â€œWe’ll need to send the film out to be developed,” I said.
    â€œHave we no one of faerie who could do it for us?”
    â€œNo, my queen.”
    â€œWhat else did you find on this reporter?”
    â€œWe haven’t searched the body thoroughly,” I said.
    â€œWhy have you not searched the body thoroughly?” she asked, and the edge of near hysterical anger shadowed the last word.
    I swallowed, and let my breath out slowly. It was now or never. Doyle’s hand squeezed my arm, as if he was saying, “Don’t.” But if I were ever to be queen, Andais would have to step down for me. She was immortal, and I was not, so she would always be a presence in the court. I had to get some control between her and me now, or I would never truly be queen. Never truly be safe from her anger.
    â€œThere are clues on the body that a scientific team could find. The less we touch it, the better the science will work.”
    â€œWhat are you babbling about, Meredith?”
    Doyle squeezed my arm tighter. “Do you remember what you said when my father was killed?”
    She stopped her pacing and looked at me. Her eyes were wary. “I said many things when Essus died.”
    â€œYou said we were not to allow the human police inside the faerie mounds. That no one was to talk to them or answer their questions, because we would find the assassins with magic.”
    She stood very still, and gave me unfriendly eyes, but she answered. “I remember those words.”
    â€œWe failed with magic because the assassins were as good or better at magic than those who bespelled the wounds and the body.”
    She nodded. “I have long thought that among my smiling court, my toadie nobles, the murderer of my brother sits. I know that, Meredith, and it is a small constant torment that that death went unpunished.”
    â€œAs it is for me,” I said. “I want to solve these murders, Aunt Andais. I want the person or persons responsible caught and punished. I want to show the media that there is justice in the Unseelie Court, and we are not afraid of new knowledge and new ways.”
    â€œYou are babbling again,” she

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