Key of Light (Key 1) - Page 48

“They had to get all that stuff in there somehow,” Dana protested. “They didn’t just click the heels of their ruby slippers together.”

“Just giving you the facts. The real-estate company didn’t make the arrangements for them, either. At this point, I h

aven’t found any trail leading Rowena or Pitte to the Peak. Not saying there isn’t one,” he continued before Dana could protest. “Just saying I haven’t found one through the logical sources.”

“I guess we have to look at the illogical ones.”

He shifted to beam at Zoe. “There you go. But I’ve got one more logical step to take. Who do I know who collects art seriously, someone I could use as a source? The Vanes. So I gave my old pal Brad a call. It so happens he’s heading back here in a couple of days.”

“Brad’s coming back to the Valley?” Dana asked.

“He’s taking over the local headquarters for HomeMakers. Brad’s got the Vanes’ passion for art. I described the painting to him, or started to. I wasn’t close to being finished when he gave me the title. The Daughters of Glass.”

“No, that can’t be. I’d have heard of it.” Malory pushed herself to her feet and began to pace. “Who’s the artist?”

“Nobody seems to be sure.”

“Just not possible,” Malory continued. “A major talent like that, I’d have heard. I’d have seen more of the artist’s work.”

“Maybe not. According to Brad, nobody seems to know much about the artist. The Daughters of Glass was last seen in a private home in London. Where it was, by all accounts, destroyed during the Blitz. In 1942.”

Chapter Eight

MALORY closed herself in her apartment for two days. She submerged herself in books, telephone calls, E-mail. It was foolish, she’d decided, to run around chasing a dozen different angles and suppositions. Better—far better—to conduct the search with technology and systematic logic.

She couldn’t function, simply couldn’t think, in disorder. Which was why, she admitted as she carefully labeled yet another file, she’d failed as an artist.

Art, the creation of true art, required some mysterious, innate ability to thrive in chaos. Or that was her opinion. To be able to see and understand and feel dozens of shapes and textures of emotions at one time.

Then, of course, there was the little matter of possessing the talent to transfer those emotions onto a canvas.

She lacked the gift, on all levels, while the artist of The Daughters of Glass had it in spades.

The painting at Warrior’s Peak, or one done by the same artist, was the path. She was sure of that now. Why else did she keep coming back to it? Why had she somehow in her dreams walked into it?

Why had she been chosen to find the first key, she thought, if not for her knowledge of and contacts in the art world?

She’d been told to look within and without. Within the painting, or another by the same artist? Did “without” mean to look at what surrounded the painting?

Opening a file folder, she studied the printout of the painting again. What surrounded the daughters? Peace and beauty, love and passion—and the threat to destroy it. As well as, she mused, the method to restore it.

A key in the air, in the trees, in the water.

She was damn sure she wasn’t about to pluck a magic key out of the air or from a tree branch, so what did it mean? And which of those three was hers?

Too literal? Perhaps. Maybe “within” meant she was to look inside herself to her feelings about the painting, both the emotional and the intellectual response.

Where the goddess sings, she reflected as she rose from her piles of research to pace. No one had been singing in the dream. But the fountain had reminded her of music. Maybe it had something to do with the fountain.

Maybe water was her key.

And, she thought in frustration, she might not have left her apartment, but she was still running in circles.

There were only three weeks left.

Her heart jumped at the quick rat-a-tat on her glass patio doors. There stood the man and his dog on the other side. Instinctively she ran a hand over the hair she’d yanked back into a ponytail sometime that morning. She hadn’t bothered with makeup or with changing out of the baggy cotton pants and tank she’d slept in.

Not only was she not looking her best, but she was pretty sure she’d dipped below her personal worst.

Tags: Nora Roberts Key Fantasy
Source: Copyright 2016 - 2023