Forced to choose between life and love, their battle is far from over…
Melina Weaver gave up everything—for Bruno diCesare. Fire destroyed everything Bruno held dear—except for her. They have no prospects, no place to hide, and are out of options—their only hope is to join with the rogue magicks to fight to overthrow the Council’s dictatorship.
Can they forge a new world from their love or will their claim on each other damn them forever?
“I love you,” I breathed. “I love you.”
“Forever.” Melina’s lips pressed to my skin like raindrops on a thirsty man. I drank them up, but still wanted more. Her limbs quaked.
I gently set her on the ground. “We should get back. You need to rest.”
“So do you.” She nestled into my side as we strolled and sent me a lopsided smile. “But I’m glad you’re getting your strength back.”
“More importantly, my head has cleared. Elda must have tainted the treatments.” It would explain the strange dreams; Elda’s way of muddling my mind so I wouldn’t know what was real and what was imagined. So far, it hadn’t weakened the shield I’d put up to hide my thoughts and power from the Council, but I couldn’t afford even one slip. It would send an undeniable signal that I still lived. Still presented a threat.
Melina splayed her hand across my ribs. “I suspected she tried to keep us apart that way.”
“You spent a lot of time alone.” No need to phrase it as a question. Much as I’d struggled to stay conscious, I’d managed to remain awake a fraction of our time together. A great unfairness to her.
“I did a lot of reading, as you know.” Her casual tone belied her worry.
I couldn’t help my past disapproval, but I could offer reassurance. “Yes. Of course. Your studies serve you well.”
We reached the cottage, and she faced me. “It’s the only way I know how to protect you. They’ll find you here, won’t they?”
“For now, I’ve shielded my thoughts from them. They’ll sense magic in use, however. Most who practice tap into a main source. Those with the greatest power learn to wield it with little effort, and create our own. It’s one way you’ve proven yourself to be a great talent already.”
“But I know so little.”
“You learn fast. And you command your magic well.”
“Teach me to use it better.” Urgency edged her tone. And excitement.
I dreaded the responsibility of the task. “I’m not the most patient teacher.”
“And I tend to be a hardheaded student.” She linked her arms around my neck. “But we’ll make it work.”
She made everything so effortless. Even when I imagined problems between us, she made them disappear. But how long would she grant me such grace?