Devilish Game (Shadow Guild : The Rebel #4) by Linsey Hall

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Carrow



In the last few days, my world had become nothing but bird poo and dust.

My friends and I had been cleaning the newly discovered Shadow Guild tower for three days straight, and we still hadn’t made it out of the first room.

“How the hell did those pigeons get in here?” I grumbled as I scrubbed at the floor with an ancient mop. “This tower was magically hidden for hundreds of years, and yet those flying rats still managed to get inside and roost.”

“I have no idea.” My best friend Mac dragged her forearm across her sweaty brow, her hair tied up in a messy knot as she tried to dust the ceiling. “But I must say, this place is turning into some major dead weight.”

I heaved a sigh and looked around the main room of the Shadow Guild tower. It was a lot cleaner than it had been, but it had taken us days of scrubbing.

“I’ve asked every cleaning company in town.” Seraphia, the local librarian and one of my new friends, scrubbed vigorously at the windows. “They all refused. They said the place was still too cursed.”

I like it. Cordelia, my familiar, grinned at me from her place on the only chair in the room. Somehow, she’d managed to drag the huge wooden thing in there, and she hadn’t left it since. Not close enough to the kebab place though.

“Your butt is going to become one with that chair soon,” I told her. “Why don’t you grab a rag and help me out?”

Cordelia gave a strange little chortling laugh and adjusted herself but didn’t move to help. Eve, my Fae friend, would be here after her shop closed to help out, and Quinn would swap with Mac when it was time for her shift at the Haunted Hound. There were five of us in the new guild—six, if one included Cordelia, which I didn’t since the little freeloader wasn’t doing squat to help. But Mac, Quinn, Eve, Seraphia, and I all formed the new Shadow Guild, and we needed to get our tower cleaned up if we were going to be official.

“I can’t believe all of this has been hidden so long because of Rasla,” Mac said. “That bastard.”

Rasla had been a council member hundreds of years ago—one with a serious bone to pick with anyone who was different. Since the Shadow Guild was comprised of all the weirdos in town who didn’t fit nicely into any other guild, he’d directed his ire right at it, using a combination of magic and malice to wipe it from the history books.

“I still have no idea why he hated the guild so much,” I said. “I want to figure it out, though.”

Last week, my friends and I had uncovered the mystery of the ancient guild, solving one of my biggest problems—my guildless status, which would have eventually gotten me kicked out of Guild City. Mac, Eve, Seraphia, and Quinn had all had guilds, but they’d never fit in well. As soon as the Shadow Guild had appeared, it had called to them, a more perfect fit.

Now it was the five of us, trying to make this work. But first, we needed to get it cleaned up so that we officially had a Guild Tower. Whether or not we would live there was still uncertain. Cordelia would mutiny if we moved away from the kebab place, and I liked my new little apartment.

Sighing, I looked at my phone, hoping for a text from Miranda. I hadn’t seen Grey since the battle to save the tower. Neither had Miranda, his second in command. We’d never been friendly, but she was as worried as I was. As a vampire and my Cursed Mate, he was doomed to die if he didn’t drink me to the death.

Talk about a no-win scenario.

I’d convinced Miranda to text me as soon as he returned, but I’d heard nothing still.

A tentative knock sounded at the door, and I straightened.

Grey?

My heart leapt.

Seraphia, who was closest, leapt down from the deeply inset windowsill and hurried to the door, swinging it open. An older woman with red-rimmed eyes and wild hair stood at the entrance. Even though it was early afternoon, a bathrobe hung off her shoulders.

I stepped forward. “Hello. How can we help you?”

“Are you the new mystery solver in town?” Her voice shook.

“Yes.” I gestured her inside. “Come in, please.”

Behind me, Cordelia trundled off the chair and pointed to it. She can sit.

Sometimes my familiar managed to pull some manners out of the dumpster. I gestured to the chair. “Please, sit. I’m sorry. We don’t have any refreshments we can offer you.”

“I couldn’t drink or eat if I tried.” Her voice was so thin it seemed like it would break. She ignored the chair and came to me, gripping my arms tight. “My baby has been stolen. My Katine—just nineteen. She was taken right out of her bed late last night.”