“We’re not lost.” Lucas had gotten farther than I had, but he quickly moved back to me.
I scowled at him as he turned on his flashlight. “Do you know where we are?”
“Not exactly, no. But I can scent our way back to the entrance. So, we’re not lost.”
The breath I’d been holding left my lungs. Living the rest of my life wandering these tunnels until I died of dehydration sounded like a special kind of hell.
Gobble giggled again. This time I was paying attention.
“What do you know?” I angled my head to the side so I could get a good look at him.
“Witches and wolves all distracted by lights and not paying attention.” He rolled his big blue eyes. “I’ll only tell if you pay back the favor. Not helping for free.”
But he’d already said enough. We’d missed something. The exit?
I grasped Lucas’ sleeve. “We’re idiots.”
Lucas narrowed his gaze. “We are?”
“Yeah.” I laughed. “We really are. Where did you smell that fresh air?”
Lucas chuckled. “We are idiots. That’s where the exit is.”
“Exactly. Can you get us back there?”
Lucas nodded. “Sure can. Stay a few steps behind me so I can scent it.”
“You got it.”
I let him pass by me and waited for a count of five before following. After a short few minutes, he stopped.
“It’s here.” He ran the light up and down the tunnel walls, but no break or gap was visible. Even the ceiling looked solid.
“We’re missing something,” I said.
“Can you see anything? Any auras?”
I shook my head. “Just a faint residual glow from the crystals. Nothing that points the way.”
“Okay.” He squatted down, and dug a little groove in the floor to prop up the flashlight. “Our eyes aren’t seeing anything, but maybe our hands will. You take that wall.” He pointed behind me. “I’ll take this one.”
I turned and crouched down to start at the bottom I ran my hands along the crystals, not caring if the sharp edges nicked my skin. They stuck out at odd angles, growing out of each other in clusters, but there were no seams or holes. I couldn’t find a break. Not anywhere.
“Are you sure we’re in the right spot?” I asked.
“We’re in the right spot.” His voice had a hint of growl in it.
I turned to find him squatting at the ground, staring at the wall. “Sorry. I wasn’t trying to—”
“I’m not angry at you. I’m just frustrated.” He quickly stood and glared at Gobble. “And he’s not helping. He knows how to make this door appear.” Lucas tried to flick the fey, but his wings zipped into motion and he zoomed off my shoulder.
“Not my fault you’re stupid.”
Lucas’ aura was usually so toned down that I didn’t see it unless I focused. Alphas—like Teresa and Dastien—glowed much brighter than other wolves. Apparently Lucas could turn his off and on. In a flash, he lowered the floodgates and I had to blink to adjust to the blinding halo of gold and white.
Gobble shrieked and fled to hide between the crystals on the wall. “Pack Alpha means nothing to me, wolf. You can’t force me.”
Lucas moved fast, snatching a little arm in his hand, but Gobble disappeared—reappearing behind Lucas.
Lucas howled as the little beastie bit down on his ear.
I wanted to wring both of their necks. “Stop it. Neither of you are helping anything.” I turned back to the wall, ignoring those two yahoos. I crossed my arms and stared it down. There had to be something—some clue that would tell me what to do next. I stuck my finger in my mouth and pulled it out, holding it in the air to see if I could feel a breeze.
It was there. Faint but there. In front of me. I felt along the wall again, but there wasn’t a hinge or handle or anything. I pushed with all my might. Nothing budged.
“Push with me,” I said to Lucas.
He joined in, and again, nothing.
“It’s here. I know it.” God. I was so bad at rhyming. I wished my magic pulled me in a different direction, but belief gave the spells power, and somewhere along the line, I’d started believing in rhymes. “Door from here to there, give way. Let in this wolf, witch, and fey.” The magic built as I said the words. For a second after, nothing happened. I held my breath, waiting for something. Anything.
Then a creak echoed through the tunnel. It started off soft and slowly built louder.