I’m getting ready to turn in the final book of the Bound Magic Series to my publisher (Red Adept Publishing). To celebrate, I’m sharing a sneak peek from the book. This is a scene from the third and final book of the Bound Magic Trilogy. It hasn’t been edited yet, and any mistakes are all mine.
I toed off my shoes and started stretching on the mat. I’d learned the hard way that I needed more warm-up than I used to when Ethan and I had trained with Casius as teenagers. Ethan seemed more than willing to chat away as we stretched, probably intent on distracting me from my failures with the newbies, and we started to fall into old, familiar patterns of banter.
“There’s no way,” Ethan said, bending his long legs into a runner’s stretch. “I would never wear that.”
“Oh, you definitely did.” I pulled my left leg behind me into a hamstring stretch. “It was the red one. Remember John Marion? He was the black Ranger. You did poses and everything. I have a picture somewhere.”
Ethan’s handsome face twisted into an embarrassed grimace. “Please don’t find it.”
I switched to my right leg. “You were like eleven. Power Rangers were really cool.”
“What did you dress up as?” he asked. “I don’t remember.”
“If you’re just going to stand there and jabber, you should move off the mat.” Silas stood at the edge of the practice mat with his arms crossed over his chest, frowning at us.
I’d been so wrapped up in teasing Ethan that I hadn’t noticed the hushed silence that had fallen over the gym. Every pair of eyes was on us. Instead of snapping back at Silas’s rude tone, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that he was under a lot of pressure. We both were, but on top of everything else, Silas had just gotten back from another one of Four’s mysterious errands. He couldn’t talk about whatever it was Four had him doing, but every time he finished, he was pissy.
I had handled the Fate’s powers myself, and I knew how addictive they were, and how they made me feel disconnected from everything else. It was like nothing else was real except the epic power coursing through me. Silas had to keep using those powers because Four had roped him into doing his errands in exchange for not killing me after I ended the Fate of Death and used his magic to save Silas’s life. I was trying to be understanding about the yo-yo of emotions Silas was going through, especially since it seemed to be getting worse. “We were just warming up. Would you like to join us?”
Silas’s arms unfolded. “I’d rather spar with you.”
Ethan looked at me with raised eyebrows. Silas’s blunt dismissal was a little rude, but Ethan shrugged goodnaturedly. “I’ll go see if Gia needs help.”
“Ethan, you don’t have to go. We can find another partner for you…”
He flashed me his signature lopsided grin as he grabbed up his stuff. “I wasn’t really looking forward to getting my ass kicked again anyway. Have fun.”
I felt bad as I watched him leave, but I’d found that working up a sweat was the best way to work Silas out of his moods after he’d been with Four. Plus, it was a personal goal of mine to kick Silas’s ass someday, and I’d have to go all out to make him even break a sweat. So far, he’d won every match between us, but they almost always ended with a very thorough massage afterward. Win-Win.
Silas stripped off his shirt, and despite his annoyance radiating through our Aegis bond, I immediately imagined running my hands all over his muscled torso. Silas had the build of someone who used his body every day and he’d earned his hard stomach and defined muscular arms through sweat and hard work. As a hot-blooded female, I appreciated the result and he was ruggedly handsome on top of all that. His square jaw-line had a hint of beard that outlined a strong masculine mouth which he knew how to use in all the right ways. His night-dark hair had been short when we first met, but it was longer now, just begging my fingers to run through it.
My stomach did that flippity thing it did whenever I thought about alone time with Silas. I took a moment to let it soak in that he was mine. And I was his. His lips twitched up at one corner and a single eyebrow rose as he watched me drool. I wasn’t trying to hide my feelings, and an equal interest flared back through our bond. I bit my lip. I couldn’t help it—not only was he a fine specimen of a man, he was all mine.
He took a small step toward me, and the pressure between us increased like the tightening of a bow just before taking aim.
I licked my lips. “Should we skip the sweaty part and move straight to the rub down part?”
He grinned, and the expression transformed his face as the last of his coldness bled away. “Tempting. But I rather like all the sweaty parts.” He crouched slightly, preparing to pounce, and my heart picked up speed.
“The two of you are complete exhibitionists,” a new voice said.
Silas and I both startled, and then my entire body seized in panic when I realized Four was standing on the practice pad with us. The Fate of Change had a very nasty habit of causing bad things to happen in my life and his presence was like a bucket of ice water dumped over my head.
Four winked. “Every person here is watching you about to rip each other’s clothes off, and you couldn’t care less.”
“What the hell—why are you here, Four?” I demanded.