Page 29

Tove was attractive, though. His dark hair had soft natural highlights coursing through it, although it was longish and unruly, settling below his ears. His skin had a distinct mossy undertone, the green complexion that occurred in some powerful Trylle. Nobody here had skin like that, except maybe his mother, but hers was even fainter than Tove’s.

I didn’t know why Tove would be training me. I’m not sure that Elora approved of him, even if he had connections. Besides that, he was scatterbrained and a little strange.

Tove did have the strongest abilities out of any of the Trylle I’d met. This was particularly weird since men usually had weaker abilities than their female counterparts.

But I wanted to get a handle on my abilities, so I figured it’d do me good to spend the day doing something other than moping around. I dressed quickly and left my room to find Tove chatting with Duncan.

“Ready?” Tove asked without looking at me. He started walking before I answered.

“Duncan, you don’t need to come with us,” I told him as I hurried after Tove. Duncan followed me the way he always did, but he slowed.

“It’s probably best if he does,” Tove said, tucking his hair behind his ears.

“Why?” I asked, but Duncan smiled, excited to be included.

“We need someone to test on,” Tove replied matter-of-factly, and Duncan’s smile instantly faded.

“Where are we going?” I nearly jogged to keep up with Tove, and I wished he would slow down.

“Did you hear that?” Tove stopped abruptly, and Duncan almost ran into him.

“What?” Duncan looked around, as if expecting an attacker to be waiting behind a closed door.

“I didn’t hear anything,” I said.

“No, of course you didn’t.” Tove waved me off.

“Why wouldn’t I? What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Because you’re the one that made the sound.” Tove sighed, still focused on Duncan. “Are you sure you didn’t hear anything?”

“No,” Duncan said. He looked over at me, hoping I could shed light on Tove’s random behavior, but I shrugged. I had no idea what he was talking about.

“Tove, what’s going on?” I asked, speaking loudly so he’d pay attention to me.

“You need to be careful.” Tove cocked his head, listening. “You’re quiet now. But when you’re upset, angry, scared, irritated, you send things out. You’re not controlling it, I don’t think. I can pick it up, because I’m sensitive. Duncan can’t and the average Trylle can’t, because you’re not directing it at them. But if I can hear it, others might too.”

“What? I didn’t say anything,” I said, growing more frustrated with him.

“You thought, I wish he’d slow down,” Tove said.

“I wasn’t using persuasion or anything.” I was dumbfounded.

“I know. You’ll get a handle on it, though,” he assured me, and then started walking again.

He led us downstairs. I’m not sure where I thought he’d take us, but I was definitely surprised by where we ended up—the ballroom that had been devastated by the Vittra attack. It had once been luxurious, very much like a ballroom from a Disney fairy tale. Marble floors, white walls with gold detailing, skylights, diamond chandeliers.

After the attack, it looked very different. The glass ceiling had been crashed in, and to keep the elements out, blue and clear tarps had been laid over it, giving the room an odd glow. Shattered chandeliers and glass were still on the floor, as well as broken chairs and tables. The floor and walls were blackened with damage from the fire and smoke.

“Why are we here?” I asked. My voice still echoed, thanks to the room’s massive size, but it wasn’t as crisp thanks to the tarps.

“I like it here.” Tove held his hands out, using his telekinesis to push the debris to the sides of the room.

“Does the Queen know where we are?” Duncan asked. He was uncomfortable being here, and I tried to remember if he’d been present during the attack. I hadn’t been paying that much attention, and I’d met far too many people that night to say for certain.

Tove shrugged. “I’m not sure.”

“Does she know you’re training me?” I asked. He nodded, looking around with his back to me. “Why are you training me? Your abilities aren’t the same as mine.”

“They’re similar.” Tove turned around to face me. “And no two people are exactly alike.”

“Have you trained anyone before?”

“No. But I’m the best suited to train you,” he said and started rolling up the sleeves of his shirt.

“Why?” I asked, and I could see Duncan wearing the same dubious expression I was.

“You’re too powerful for everyone else. They wouldn’t be able to help you tap into your potential because they don’t understand it the way I do.” He’d finished rolling up his sleeves and put his hands on his hips. “Are you ready?”

“I guess.” I shrugged, unsure what I needed to be ready for.

“Move this stuff.” He gestured vaguely to the mess around the room.

“You mean with my mind?” I shook my head. “I can’t do that.”

“Have you tried?” Tove countered, his eyes sparkling.

“Well … no,” I admitted.

“Do it.”