Page Count: 172
Published: January 12, 2012
Everyone wishes the ancient prophecy would go away. Pixies commute to work and sirens make mp3s of their songs, yet antique forces stubbornly persist. They want to bring about a war between Light and Darkness in an era when most people just want to cash in on the merchandising.
Aki is struggling to make ends meet and hopes her scholarship can at least earn her a better apartment. Blake refuses to believe he could be something so cliché as a Knight of Darkness. Keisha is pursuing a career in law when she’s told she has no choice but to serve the forces of Light. All of them will be attending the same university, whether they like it or not.
It’s hard to think about dark omens when there’s a term paper due, much less a party that night. But they’d better relax while they can, because after college is only the real world, which is stranger and more dangerous than they could possibly imagine.
By 4:00 PM Aki was already running on caffeine. She took another drink and then tried to make the words on the page line up so she could read them. The book wasn’t magic, she was just tired. Maybe she should sleep, but her exam was early tomorrow and she knew she wasn’t going to do any studying when she woke up.
Down to one class. She’d done more than enough studying for the Maleficium exam, since she’d had one session with Blake and another with Keisha. But she didn’t have anyone to help her with Fetishism. Half the students didn’t impress her mentally, and she was worried the other half would point out “Asian” was a fetish and start making cracks. That half didn’t impress her mentally either.
What she needed was a distraction, but she had come to the student center in the afternoon because it was so quiet. She settled for staring at the doors, which is why she immediately noticed when a lean man wearing all black walked in. He had killer looks, gorgeous eyes, and a nasty set of magic hooks digging into her brain.
“Asshole.” Aki brought her Maleficium down on the lines. As soon as they were severed, her head felt much clearer. The guy looked alright, and there was something unusual about him, but without the glamour he wasn’t anything special. And his all black leather outfit looked ridiculous.
Unfortunately, as soon as she broke his spell, he glanced in her direction. He gave a wide smile and slipped onto the couch opposite her. “There aren’t many first semester students who could do that.”
“So you were looking for fresh meat? Leave me out of it.” Aki went back to her studying.
“Not at all. The effect is just part of who I am.”
She tried to stay focused on her textbook, but that line made her glance up. “And what exactly are you?”
His mouth opened and his tongue coiled around fangs.
Aki sighed. “Oh, hell, I was hoping you guys didn’t really exist.”
“There are more of us than you might think. It is said we once walked in the Night Realms, but we have been exiled to the Mundane.”
“How appropriately angsty.” She looked back down and found she was much more interested in Fetishism than before. Maybe she could figure out a way to ignore these kinds of effects automatically. “Now that you’ve introduced yourself, you can go brood somewhere else.”
“I’m more interested than I was before.” He leaned back on the couch but his eyes never left her. “So many women are limply falling over us. It’s interesting to get someone with more substance. Would you at least give me your name?”
“You can look me up in the student directory.”
“I won’t play so hard to get. My name is Reylin Shadowrunner.”
“Seriously?” Faced with that, there was no choice but to set down her book. “And you people are trying to fit into human society?”
“Ah, have I interested you in the darkness?”
She wished there was some way to record the conversation, but she would have to settle for repeating it later. “I imagine it’s probably too dark to see anything there. But if I was, I have friends who already have Darkness covered.”
“You’d think I’d threatened you somehow.” Reylin looked hurt, then his expression shifted to an unpleasant smile. “I assure you that was nothing more than the effect of my presence. If I was trying to influence you it would feel more like this.”
Even warned by his sentence, she couldn’t stop another set of hooks. They cut through her defenses and she wasn’t sure she could break the magic lines this time. But she had already made a link to fire and was ready to unleash as much as possible. She didn’t know what weaknesses real vampires had, but she was willing to bet they didn’t enjoy fireballs to the face.
About the Author – Ian Isaro
Ian Isaro has worked in computer education, search engine optimization, and development in Tanzania. The usual next step in this career path is writing urban fantasy ebooks.
Upcoming in October
The world faces an uneasy peace as it realizes a war between Light and Darkness is inevitable. Everyone sketches a different line between sides, some wanting to stop the war and some trying to take advantage of it. But the worst threat is building in the realms beyond Earth, where several groups scheme to reshape all of reality before the war can even begin.
During the calm before the storm, Aki, Blake, and Keisha have been doing their best to prepare. As they draw the attention of ever more powerful forces, they realize their preparation isn’t enough. The question becomes if this is a war they should be fighting at all…
And Now for the Giveaway!!!
Ian Isaro is giving away eBooks of Sorcery and Scholarships!
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