Magic. It's in his blood and out of control.
Justus Aubre is a wilder. A mage unbound to the Imperium, and therefore a dangerous wild card in their eyes. The Imperium wants him, wants his power, but Justus has hidden for many years and now has some semblance of a normal life. All that’s about to change when Sable Rounds walks through the door of his antique shop, looking for work. Justus instantly knows what Sable is, he just doesn’t know the danger he’s in.
Alone, also on the run from the Imperium, Sable longs for a normal life. For somewhere to belong. She finds this when Justus hires her, but she knows it’s temporary and fragile, an illusion. Though she hates to think about it, she knows that one day she will have to move on.
The Imperium is always behind her, waiting. When they finally find Sable, they find Justus. And all hell’s about to break loose.
“But I don’t want it.” She pitched her voice so low, it was barely audible. “It was never something I wanted, this magic thing.”
“Me either,” he said slowly. “But we can’t do anything about that, just use it in the best ways possible. Morally and physically.”
She looked up, her eyes shadowed. He smiled when she sighed. “Acceptance is the key,” she said.
She grinned, her teeth flashing.
It made her face glow and seemed to gather magic all on its own. Her personality pulled it into her eyes and face and he stopped breathing, fascinated as he watched it change her features into something that tightened his stomach into knots.
He didn’t try to resist. His qualms against touching her were gone, and he lightly traced the outline of her mouth with one finger. Her smile vanished and her lips parted as he covered her cheek with his hand and counted her breaths. In slow motion, he bent his head and lightly brushed her lips.
The silver bracelets jangled as she lifted her hand, to touch him or to hold him, he didn’t know, but the sound of the chimes made him break away and glance at her wrist. The multiple hoops and bracelets had worked down her arm, exposing her wrist. Justus frowned. She started to step away but stopped when he gently took her hand. Old scars marred the skin around her wrist. The silver coils had concealed the marks.
“My parents,” Sable said softly, “did not want me to leave.”