Distantly, Regis became aware of someone shaking him. “Regis, it’s over.” He squinted up.
Crow picked up his knives, wiped off the bloody one, and sheathed them. He knelt by Regis. “You all right?”
“Jonathan,” Regis said. Crow pointed, and Regis looked. Jonathan lay on his side, still as the grave. All Regis could see of him was his back. “No. Is he, is he dead?”
It seemed ludicrous. Jonathan couldn’t actually be dead. And yet there he was, unmoving, his face turned away. Regis could see faint bruising on his nape. “I told you not to get attached,” Crow said.
“No,” Regis gasped. “No, he can’t be.” He crawled to his feet. “I can fix this. I took some power from the amulet. I can fix him.” His hands shook. “Maybe he’s almost dead. Maybe this counts. Maybe—maybe I won’t have to kill him, now. So if—so if I can just heal him—”
Crow hugged him gently. “Regis… no. Honey. He’s dead.”
And Regis utterly lost it. “No! Don’t you dare speak to me!” He shoved, but Crow caught his forearm. “Let me go, you awful excuse for a human being!”
“Don’t you dare call me that! I can’t believe you. I liked you! I defended you!”
Regis thought of Jonathan then: big hands around his waist, hot breath in his ear, the hidden truth in his voice when he’d said you know damn well why, and something inside him snapped.
He had enough energy to kill a man. He threw it all at Crow. An invisible force ripped Crow away and hurled him into a bookcase, toppling it. Crow’s feet slipped and tore pages as he was lifted into the air and held a hairbreadth above the ground, so close his boot scraped the floor as he was dragged to the wall and pinned like an insect. Held there, he would suffocate by inches. His face was whiter than it’d ever been. There was terror in his eyes, real terror, and seeing that expression on another human being made Regis feel exactly like Belcane.
Regis sat heavily on a fallen bookcase. “You said you were on my side.”
“I… am on your… side.”
“You’re not like her,” he said. “You wouldn’t do this. Not if you didn’t have to. Crow, did you… did you really kill him?”
To ask was absurd. Jonathan lay ten feet away. The easiest thing to do would be to go check his throat for a pulse. Regis didn’t quite dare.
Crow rested on the wall. “Hear me out. I understand why you’re angry. I’m not blind. I know you had feelings for him, and I know you wanted to betray Belcane. Which is fine, by the way. I’ve been trying to kill her for ages. And it’s a pity he had to die, yes. But it was you or him. What, did you expect me to sit idly by while you got yourself killed?”
“Don’t you dare make this about you.”
“You weren’t going to kill him, and it had to be done. Someone had to do something. Why not me?” Regis curled into a ball and said nothing. “Get up,” Crow said.
“No.” His voice hurt coming out. “Leave me to rot here. Belcane can kill me for all I care.”
Spell Slave: Book One
Morality is relative. At least that’s what young sorcerer Regis Teller convinces himself. He’s done what he must to survive: working for a witch since he was nine, helping her throw the kingdom into anarchy, and taking his only comfort in her mysterious son, Crow. And soon, Regis is going to commit his first murder.
A do-gooder named Jonathan White has information the witch needs, and it’s Regis’s job to get that information and slit Jonathan’s throat. But then Regis actually meets Jonathan. And Jonathan is perfect—a hero with a passion for justice and little regard for civility.
Lucky for Regis, Jonathan has a weakness for attractive men. Lucky for Jonathan, Regis is fast developing a conscience and a heart. But for Regis, keeping both of them alive at their adventure’s end means breaking a magical oath and surviving his ruthless boss—all without telling Jonathan the truth. Falling in love is never easy, especially when everyone involved is lying through their teeth.
Tour Dates & Stops:
12-Apr: Havan Fellows
15-Apr: A.M. Leibowitz
19-Apr: Kirsty Loves Books
21-Apr: Oh My Shelves