A prophesy that rules me.
A curse that ruins me.
A wolf shifter pack who claim I am theirs.
It wasn’t my choice to be sold to a powerful psychopath by my mother when I was a baby. It wasn’t my choice to be tortured for magic I don’t possess but on-one says no to Esoti and lives.
There are worse things than death. Not dying for one.
In a world ruled by The Six, anyone magical is put to death, shifters are slaves and I am the lowest of the low. Until alpha wolves Alerick, Jarom and Eike capture me. The thing is, I don’t want to be anyone’s mate, or toy, or plaything.
They insist I’m anything but human, mastering my body and unleashing ancient magic hidden deep inside me.
The magic is untameable. Unpredictable. But it just might give me the one thing I’ve always dreamed about — revenge.
I’m captured by dragon shifters.
They say I’m their fated mate.
If they discover I’m magical, I’ll be put to death.
I reject them, but they don’t take no for an answer. It doesn’t matter how they soften my heart or make my body sing. The rule of The Six is absolute. If I don’t keep my secret, then Drisella will kill them. I can’t let that happen.
I have to get back to the wolf shifters who’ve protected me all my life. I’ve learned what The Six are planning to do and I must warn them.
Ancient Fae magic has awoken inside me. A little piece of the fabled Fae King’s grimoire demands to be let loose and I can’t control it.
The secret of my past is remembered. A decades long plan has started that the parents I never knew died for.
The Six are coming for us. My dragon mates are in danger. I must control the untameable magic locked inside me and take down the most powerful beings to ever have lived.
I’m a despicable spy.
A woman feared and scorned for good reason.
An accidental touch will trigger my Change and reveal the truth.
My reputation has kept my secret safe but the ancient magic hidden deep inside me must be protected at all costs. I must complete the life’s mission my parents gave their lives for and unite myself with the other Chosen. It’s the only way The Six can be defeated and Earth freed from their tyranny.
In death, my mates find me. We’re caught in the wastelands, trapped in a labyrinth of tunnels deep underground and the bond is clouding my mind. Ancient magic leaches from me the more my mates wear me down.
We won’t survive if The Six finds us. My piece of the grimoire will be lost. Titan will kill my mates before I can claim the one thing I’ve not dared dream about. The only thing that will make me whole — love.
A blind mage.
An unknown land.
Mates who can never bond.
My lack of sight has made me invisible. I’m nothing. Unworthy. Until I’m thrust into the unknown land of Faerie and the arms of two powerful Griffon shifters. They say I’m their mate, but a missing bond brother and a frozen wasteland stand between us and the mate claim.
I can’t let them claim me. A woman who will never complete them.
They think I’m one of the true Chosen. The key to saving Faerie and all who reside here, but I’m not who they think I am. If I had the grimoire inside me, surely I'd know?
I’m not magical. I’m not a shifter. I’m not really their mate. Their trust in me is misplaced. But as our enemy hunts us down they do the unthinkable and bond me to them. They see my soul and their greatest mistake. Am I about to cost us all our lives?
Blurb coming soon
Blurb coming soon
Cook’s jowls wobbled as she stabbed me with a stare that might burn if I cared what she said. Maybe it would have if not for the shadow of ingrained fear in the depth of her eyes as she slid the tray across, piled with more food than I ate in a month. “Take this to his Lordship and take care not to drop it, vermin.” She stepped away from me as though I had a communicable disease and her ample backside hit the workbench behind her. The delicious aroma of Esoti’s dinner teased my nostrils.
Esoti, my master, my ruler, the insane immortal lord of this land. Esoti my jailer. My torturer. I would kill him if I could and leave the bones for the wolves.
“Get out of my kitchen lest I’ll have to scrub the stones you stand on.” She wiped her hands on the cloth tucked into the band of the apron tied about the dent in her waist that disappeared between her first and second stomach. Her gaze flicked to the door behind me, fast and nervous, willing me out.
I gave her a hard stare, satisfied when her face paled, then hefted the tray into my arms. Scullery maids darted out of my way as I stepped into the dark hallway that would take me from the kitchen to my master. I didn’t give them a backward glance as I walked from the kitchens through the castle’s underground labyrinth. Firelight danced across rough stone walls that held light, but no warmth.
It didn’t matter what I might or might not say. Prejudice isn’t based on fact or logic. It was far too insidious for that. Instead, it relied on years and years of decayed judgments based on unjustified opinions of circumstances that had happened to nameless ancestors who’d passed to their next life generations ago.
My fate was not as easy as death. No. My fate hinged on a series of events that happened to me long ago. A fate that kept me a prisoner of time with a body that could never die no matter how much I might wish it.
Fate labelled me a pariah while I’d been too young to know better. An anomaly that nobody understood, and what society didn’t understand, they shunned. It was ironic. From what I could gather of my unfortunate beginnings, magic had shaped me and yet I could no more wield magic as stop the sun from rising in the morning and setting at night.
Believe me, I’ve tried.
If there was a way to end this nightmare I would have done so long ago.
I rounded a corner and headed for the five flights of stairs that would take me to Esoti’s quarters. Life in this part of the world was filled with stairs and hills. What was once known as the Swiss Alps was now Exertor. The Six has renamed the world when they’d seized power after the Bloodthirsty wars a millennia ago. As a member of The Six, Esoti could live anywhere in the world he wanted to, including this fortified castle.
His living quarters were on one entire floor, while I didn’t have a broom closet to sleep in. A being as powerful as Esoti could damn well do whatever he pleased while the lowest lived in the shadows - except when called upon.
My stomach turned to lead as I made myself walk the well-worn path to Esoti’s rooms, wondering what he might do to me this evening. I was his gutter-rat. His vermin. His slave. His beating post when he was angry, or frustrated, or tired, or whenever he felt the urge.
I was indestructible and he hated anything he couldn’t destroy.
My throat tensed beneath the band of silver that encircled it. My life centred around his every whim; drawing his bath, cleaning his clothes, changing his bed sheets, bringing him meal after meal after meal.
I had no choice.
Then again, few did. Freedom was a carefully woven fabrication manufactured by The Six. Their laws defined this world.
If society saw what I did on a daily basis, perhaps they’d see our all-powerful leaders in a different light, although it wouldn’t matter. They’d follow. There simply wasn’t a choice. The Six were all powerful, but at least people would know they were being controlled instead of thinking they had choices.
It was easier living a lie.
I passed a guard. He didn’t move a muscle, but his eyes tracked every move I made and his fist tightened on his long-handled axe. I gave him a death stare and smiled to myself when he flinched. That’d teach him to cut off my fingers with that axe. They grew back overnight and ever since he’d kept well away from me.
I made my way up the third flight of stairs and past another guard where I knew there was a blind spot. I shoved a roll into my mouth and slipped another into the deep pocket of my ragged skirts. My stomach clenched. Cook wouldn’t allow me back into the kitchens unless Esoti requested more food for the night and gods knew she made nothing for me.
I didn’t expect it. It had been that way since I’d been a young girl. One of my first memories was her smacking my hand away from a bruised apple when I’d been so starved I’d gone through kitchen scraps for food. She’d grabbed my slave collar and sent me flying out of the kitchen shouting that the pigs should be fed before I ever needed to be.
After that, I’d learned quickly to take food from Esoti’s tray when I could or fight the pigs for kitchen scraps at the end of each day. Esoti ate a lot, but had no idea how much food Cook really put on his tray. I gobbled down a few bites. I’m sure I would have died of starvation long before now, but every day I breathed, my eyes opened and I was still a slave despite my best efforts wishing it was anything different. It would go on this way until the day I drew my natural last breath, or so Esoti told me many times.
Why I couldn’t die, I didn’t know. I’d asked once. He’d killed me hour upon hour for three days in a row in every way imaginable until he lost interest and I’d never asked again.
The fires from the sconces on the walls flickered. Golden globes spiralled from the tips of the flames to the ceiling and bubbled along the join where wall met the ceiling and congregated in the corner.
I picked up my pace despite my weary muscles and hurried the rest of the way to Esoti’s personal chambers, knowing he would be agitated if I tarried. I knocked on the door and quietly let myself in. I kept my gaze lowered and waited. I never knew where he wanted me to set the tray and failure to do everything he asked was met with a painful spell. If only I had the magic in me everyone thought I did, life would be very different. Oh, the things I could do to Esoti. Beautiful, torturous things that ended in lots of bloodshed and severed limbs. Those thoughts were the only things that kept me sane.
“On my desk.”
Esoti stared through the window as he sprawled in the chair behind his desk.. His full head of salt and pepper hair spiked in all directions. He rubbed the stubble on his cut jaw-line with long, lean fingers that hadn’t seen hard work in millennia. The way he sat, his strong hooked nose was in profile, as were his smooth brow and chiselled cheeks. For such an evil son-of-a-baseless-whore, he was handsome, but I’d learned that evil had no face. He idly twisted his favourite wand in his dexterous fingers.
I set the tray on his desk and stood back, hands clasped behind my back, waiting for my next command. Tonight, the band about my neck felt exceptionally tight.
“You really need to take a bath more often. It’s putting me off my food,” he drawled.
I clenched my teeth so hard my jaw cracked. If I had access to any sort of facility, I would. I used the hose they washed down the horses with, but it was the middle of winter and I didn’t want to die of pneumonia. It wasn’t a nice way to go. I knew that from experience.
I dug my fingernails into my palms behind my back as Esoti spun in his chair to face me, his light blue eyes raked my body. The end of his full lip curled in disdain. I knew what I looked like. My face was smeared with dirt. My hair hung in lank strands down my back. The dress I’d found in the rag bin was three sizes too large, but at least it was warm and I used a long scarf to bind it around my middle to stop the hem dragging on the floor.
He placed the wand on the desk and picked up a steaming fresh roll. He plunged two thumbs into the middle, tore it apart, then slathered a chunk of butter over the fluffy insides. My mouth watered as he slowly ate the doughy, buttery goodness. He licked his fingers and regarded me thoughtfully. “I find your presence bothersome.”
My blood turned to sleet. I knew that look and I knew what it meant. If I could run, I would, but the pain from the magical collar he’d put about my neck was far worse than the pain of dying. At least, with death, the pain ended. For a time, at least.
Esoti cut a hunk of steak and chewed it. His lips shone with the grease. “I’ve ordered a new wand from Samuel. I want you to retrieve it for me. It’s powerful. I want to test it out on you.”
I flicked a gaze to the window. Rain struck the glass against the inky darkness. As though sensing my trepidation, wind howled and hammered the pane. My mind whirled. Esoti hadn’t given me a time when he wanted me to return from this task and often liked to keep me guessing so he could punish me when I got it wrong. I wondered if he was in one of those moods. If so, I was in for a long night.
I swallowed heavily and took the chance to speak. “In the morning?” Esoti’s brow lifted. “Master?” I continued. I wished to the seven hells and back he wasn’t my master, but he insisted I call him that. As if his ego needed any more of a boost.
“This is a matter of some urgency. You will go now,” Esoti said. A shadow flashed in the dark depths of his eyes as his gaze raked me over like I was his favourite mystery waiting to be solved. If I knew the answer, I’d gladly give it to him if it meant I’d never have to see his face for another second.
Below the hem of my dress, my bare toes curled on the cold stone and dread made my limbs heavy. I’d be lucky to get back to the castle unscathed in this storm and at this time of night.
I didn’t know why he wanted me to go, but I knew better than to ask. Sometimes he liked to settle in his quarters to his own devices for the evening and he’d forget about me. I counted those evenings lucky. Tonight wouldn’t be one of those evenings.
Samuel was the county’s best wand-maker. Esoti often had him craft numerous wands for himself, as well as his best sorcerers. Humans he deemed worthy of being gifted with his magic.
“That is all.” His eyes were glacial. Until later. My mind supplied the rest of his sentence.
“Yes, Master.” The words were sludge on my tongue when I really wanted to tell him to fuck off. He turned to his meal, and I took it had finished with me for now. I opened the door to slip through, when he said, “I’ll have that roll you stole.”
I froze, my gaze finding him over my shoulder. He didn’t look at me. Just speared a perfectly cooked carrot and popped it into his mouth. Slowly, I pulled the roll from my pocket and left it on the corner of his desk before hurrying from his quarters.
Tonight I’d pay for that, as well as the crime of my existence.