I checked the guy for the key to the cuffs, found it, and set Poe free.

“Do I want to know how you know what a handcuff key looks like?” he asked.



“Let’s move.” Poe slipped his knife out of his boot and I followed him into a long, wide room with a chill factor worthy of iceberg storage. Shelves lined the walls from floor to ceiling.

Poe scanned the room, muttering under his breath. “NT27. NT27. NT27—here.”

The labeled shelf held a clock made of solid glass, with no internal hardware, but wildly spinning hands. An astrological chart beside it displayed lit, moving stars. A flat jewelry box held rings in different sizes. Some of them glowed.

“There.” Poe pointed with the knife. “To the far left.”

A small wooden chest stood open, revealing a pocket watch nestled in black velvet. It was the size of a half-dollar, the metal shiny, but not reflective. I picked it up. It was warm rather than cold. The gears on the back were exposed, but that was the only remarkable feature.

“I am not impressed. At all.”

“You don’t have to be.” Poe tilted his head toward the open door. “Let’s go.”

“What about the other stuff?” I pointed to the rings and moving star chart. “We can’t leave it here.”

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“What you’re holding was handmade by Nikola Tesla. Thanks to his skills, it’s more than a pocket watch—”


“And,” Poe continued, “worth more than everything in this room combined. Take it, and hurry, or you’re going to end up fighting your way out of here.”

I tucked the watch into my purse, and then I froze. Footsteps. More than one set.

“Too late.” I looked at Poe and then handed him my bag. “Leave. Go while you can. I’ll find a way to get out.”

“Shut up.” He grabbed my hand, pulling me away from the door to the storage room. He stopped and seemed to weigh his options. Before I could ask him what he was considering, he wrapped his arms around my waist and took a step back.

Time stopped.

Aching pressure closed around my heart and tightened like a fist. My lungs couldn’t take in oxygen; blood didn’t circulate through my veins. I was colder than I’d ever been, and then hotter. Pressure built up in my ears, like I was traveling over a high mountain or descending too fast while scuba diving.

Poe jerked me to one side and my feet were on solid ground again. All the pressure disappeared, but my head was still spinning.

I leaned over and retched.

“Hallie?” The timbre and tone of Poe’s voice resonated as if he were speaking inside my head. I opened my eyes and saw distinct variations of color in his irises. “Are you okay?”

“What … the hell … was that?”

If he answered, I didn’t hear him, because I was throwing up again.

Poe’s hand was on my back. “Tell me you’re okay.”

“If barfing in bushes equals okay, then I am super.”

He gathered my fake blue hair to hold it away from my face. I ripped the wig off and threw it down on the ground. I cupped my hands over my ears to stop the ringing before moving them to my eyes. They wouldn’t stop tearing. I sat and put my head between my knees. A few minutes later, my hearing and vision returned to normal, and my stomach ceased the Tilt-a-Whirl. I was down to dry heaves now.

“What just happened?” I stood up slowly and faced Poe.

“I teleported you.”

“But you can’t teleport anyone. That’s why I take cabs. You could’ve broken the whole of science. Or, you know, me.”

“I didn’t have a choice,” he said, smoothing back my real hair. “Besides, we only moved a few miles, so I knew it would be fast.”

I jerked away from him. “Don’t ever, ever do that again.”

“So next time, you want me to leave you to the mercy of men with guns?”

“Please do.” I answered, and then promptly vomited again. Good thing our sexual attraction had played out, or I’d be embarrassed and pissed off. Once my stomach had calmed down, I straightened up. “Where are we? Is this Lafayette Cemetery?”

“Yes, but don’t worry. No one else is here.”

“Except for the dead people. And what if a cop shows up?” After-hours entry was punishable by law, and I didn’t think Dad would be too happy if I got busted puking in a graveyard after hours. Oh, no, Officer, I haven’t been drinking. It was teleportation.

The effects were wearing off, but I still felt weak enough to wonder if there had been some kind of permanent damage. I followed Poe down the broken sidewalk in the dark. As we approached the front gate of the cemetery, the late shift of waiters from Commander’s Palace crowded onto the sidewalk across the street, laughing and teasing, not worried at all about keeping quiet or staying hidden.

“Get us out of here before someone sees us,” I said. Poe held out his hand and I took a step back. “I will only accept a cab or piggyback ride. No more whirlwinds through the space time continuum.”

“It’s a couple of blocks to your house. If you want to walk the rest of the way, will you at least let me help you?”

“Help, please.” I took the proffered arm, and we turned around.

And stopped dead.

A long trail of black-clad mourners snaked around the edge of the cemetery path. A solid mix of brass and percussion filled the air with the “Dead Man Blues,” and church bells pealed. The casket passed by, followed by a second line of mourners with parasols and handkerchiefs, stepping in time to the music.

A jazz funeral, in the middle of the night, yet somehow in the middle of the day.

Completely out of place.

Completely out of time.

Chapter 2

Dune, November, Ivy Springs

“The Infinityglass is what?”

Liam Ballard, head of the Hourglass, and my boss, regarded me from across his desk with a cautious expression. “Human.”

I sat back and let the notion settle in as I felt my eyes glaze over.

“Dune? Are you okay?” Liam asked.

I shook my head.

The Infinityglass was the freaking holy grail of time and believed to contain ultimate power over the space time continuum, among other things.

I’d been obsessed with it since I was a kid, heard endless stories about it from my dad, and imagined the Indiana Jones–type quest I’d eventually go on to find it.

Except that wasn’t going to happen now, because it was human.

“Please tell me what you know.” I leaned forward and gripped the edge of Liam’s desk.

“I did some research.” He tapped his fingers on a yellow legal pad full of chicken scratch. “Made a few phone calls. Got a few back. Went to the hospital to see Poe Sharpe.”

“Poe. What does he have to do with it?”

Liam hesitated. Did some more finger tapping. Met my eyes. “Quite a bit.”

“You’re looking at me like you think my head’s going to fly off and spin around the room.” My forced laugh hung uncomfortably in the air. “Poe’s not the Infinityglass, is he?”

“No. But you losing your head is a distinct possibility.”

“Nothing can be crazier than the Infinityglass being … human.” The word didn’t even sit right on my tongue.

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