A cat-and-mouse queerplatonic love story for fans of SERPENT & DOVE:
Prison-born Tory's kept his magic under wraps for seventeen years―but when he uses it to stop a carriage-accident-in-progress, he knows the military will hunt him down and lock him away again. Lt. Sena Vantaras despises having to hunt Tory, but the kill-switch his father embedded in his spine means he has no choice. It's hate at first sight―and their only hope of freedom lies in each other's hands.
The earth folds in on itself without ceremony, startling birds from the vine-choked wall around Hulven up into the orange afternoon sky.
The collapse—and if he can feel it this far from the mines, it’s a bad one—shudders up through Tory Arknett’s bones. Teeth clenched so tight his jaw aches, Tory splits firewood in brutal strokes. They’ll be here soon.
Sure enough, a clump of miners hunches through the gray fuel fog that eddies around Thatcher’s crumbling repair shop, the leader smeared fingertips-to-elbows in red.
Tory swings the ax. “How many?”
“Just one,” the bloodied miner breathes.
He’d rather heal a thousand small wounds. Just one means blood collecting in pools, means shattered bones and shredded organs. Tory squeezes his eyes shut and bids farewell to his ability to walk for the next few days. He twists his mouth into what he hopes is a meek smile. “Where to?”
The miners shift, murmur, and examine their feet.
Just like that, Tory knows where. The ax slips from his hands with a hollow thud out of tune with his hammering heart.
“He’s…just outside the mine.”
The mine, guarded by cruel soldiers in familiar, charcoal-gray uniforms. He’ll bite off his own tongue before he goes near them again.