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Meet Andromeda Bochs--better call her Andee

LOVES: Weapons, chocolate, and boots
HATES: Griffins traveling in flocks and small talk
LIFE GOAL: Don't die by any monster that doesn't at least breathe fire.


Andee frustrates Mac . . . Again.

“You had all that power at your disposal, and you didn’t use it.”


“To do what?” I jumped up, automatically stifling the glow that rose to my skin with my emotion. That part was easier, at least. “The magic didn’t come with any instructions that I suddenly found buried in my brain when I needed them. I felt power, but my only instinct was to deal with the threat the best way I knew how. Weapons are what I know, Mac.”


“You felt no connection to the Earth? You were even barefoot! It should have been filling you with power through the soles of your feet.”


My anger deflated a little. “Well, my feet were off the ground a lot. When I said, ‘Wait,’ in your doorway, I could see the slight disturbance of the trees across your yard. Was that Earth awareness?” I couldn’t help the touch of sarcasm with the last two words. It was just too alien to me, still.


“Yes, but with the power you gather you should hear the trees calling warnings, the Earth offering help.”


“Did the magic turn me into a fairytale princess? Will animals come to my rescue?” Full sarcasm on that one.


Mac threw his hands up and leaned back in his seat then crossed his arms and closed his eyes. He looked ridiculous with his lanky frame folded into that chair; like a father at a tea party in his daughter’s bedroom furniture.


I sat in the chair opposite him. It bothered me that I didn’t feel this connection he thought should be naturally present. Even worse, I’d felt the pull of darkness deep inside me, instead. It had been as intoxicating as the world’s best lover dipped in chocolate: a temptation I might not resist if it happened again. I’d had no such desire when I fought the wolf-apes. Then again, I hadn’t held back to avoid killing them.


Studying Mac’s tired face, I knew he’d stay awake with worry if I told him about the remaining black magic’s influence. He’d said it would disappear, eventually. I had to wait it out. Too bad my few and simple characteristics didn’t include patience.


“Sorry,” I said, no longer able to stand the guilt that his silence heaped on me. “I get rude when I’m frustrated, or nervous, or scared, or . . . breathing.”


A puff of laughter escaped him, and he waved dismissively, keeping his eyes closed. “We’re both frustrated. I know I could use a nap.” He smiled then opened his eyes. “It will just take time.

The ingots worked against you for over twenty years. Once we have the proper environment, I’m sure we’ll manage.”


I nodded to humor him. I knew they still worked against me.

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