Kana spent his life hiding from those who might take advantage of his power. Now that he’s living with his lover, werewolf Alpha Ember, hiding is impossible. However, living in the open means accepting the inherent risks. Kana hopes he and Ember together are strong enough to survive whatever might come. Then a new witch moves to town.
Dealing with the witch should be the most important thing for Kana, the pack, and their allies, but something else is lurking in the shadows—something dark, and evil, whose only goal is to destroy everything Kana holds dear.
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“Magic is about precision, Kana,” Dad said, his voice firm, but understanding. He gently repositioned Kana’s hand around the chalk. “Now, hold it steady, but not too tight. Pivot with your feet and keep a stiff elbow. Now place the chalk to the floor and spin.”
Kana spun, the chalk scraping along the smooth floor as he tried to keep his arm completely still and allow his momentum to direct the chalk. When he finished a complete turn and the two lines of the circle intersected exactly, Kana pulled the chalk back and grinned up at Dad.
“Very good!” Dad crowed. “Look how exact this circle is compared to the one you drew before.”
Kana stood to look. Where the previous circle was a wiggling wave that suddenly arced to force the two ends to meet, his new circle was almost perfect. A few bits were still slightly skewed, but overall, it was a circle whereas the old one was more of an awkward oval.
“Practice makes perfect, though,” Dad continued. “You need to draw at least ten circles a day, until it becomes second nature. An imperfect circle will lead to an imperfect spell, and an imperfect spell can be very dangerous.”
Kana nodded. Dad was right. Kana’s wobbly circles were harder to call magic into, and the results didn’t always match what he wanted the spell to do. If Dad said Kana needed to write ten circles a day, Kana knew he ought to instead do twenty. He had to perfect his spell circles so the coven and his mother would accept him as a witch.
“Dad?” Kana asked, reminded of a question that had been bothering him since Dad began this lesson. “Momma’s the witch in the family. You don’t have any magic, so how come you know so much?”
Dad’s smile was a little sad as he patted Kana on the shoulder. “It’s a long story. I’ll tell it to you when you’re older. Now, why don’t you draw your ten circles for today, and then we can go out for ice cream?”
Ice cream? Kana grinned and hurried to a clean spot on the floor. Ten good circles in return for some ice cream was a great bargain! He put chalk to the floor and got to work.
Four years later, when Kana was thirteen, Atlantea, one of the head witches on the coven council, pulled him out of class. His parents’ car had been found at the bottom of a ravine, their bodies still inside. Her arms were warm and comforting as Kana cried, but it was also the only time he could remember her ever being nice to him. Certainly after the funeral her cold attitude toward him returned.
Kana quickly learned the magic lessons his dad had been giving him were lessons he should have been receiving from the coven, but they had refused to include him. He was a male witch and therefore not worth the coven’s time, according to them. Why and how his dad had been able to provide those lessons instead, Kana never learned, but he was grateful for every one as he fought his way into the high school’s magic classes.
Thoughts of his dad soon faded, however, beaten down under the onslaught of the coven’s vitriol, but Kana knew someday he would be free of the coven. Someday, all the magic lessons he had been hoarding would be of use, and until then he would continue to perfect his spells through constant practice and repetition.
And then, once he was eighteen, Kana had forced them to allow him to cast the spell to call his familiars. He had run away right after that, tired of the coven’s mistreatment and knowing it would only increase after he walked out of the testing room with two cat familiars—cats being the strongest familiars, and Kana had received two of them. His only choice was to leave, so Kana had run as far and as fast as he could.
Meet the Author
When Mell Eight was in high school, she discovered dragons. Beautiful, wondrous creatures that took her on epic adventures both to faraway lands and on journeys of the heart. Mell wanted to create dragons of her own, so she put pen to paper. Mell Eight is now known for her own soaring dragons, as well as for other wonderful characters dancing across the pages of her books. While she mostly writes paranormal or fantasy stories, she has been seen exploring the real world once or twice.
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