Rebel Mage – Book Two
Haven had been their goal since escaping the destruction of the School. Haven had promised safety, rest, an end to running and death. But things had gone badly wrong in the mountains. Tam and Linnea had to leave Matthias and Solomon behind to face the Elders, hoping to return for them once they’d found Haven. The reality does not live up to the promise. Isolated and dying, Haven fears outsiders almost more than it needs new blood. With only the griffon Dancer and the human healer Ilane for allies, Tam and Linnea fear that Haven’s rulers will prevent them from going back for their friends—then fire rains down from the sky, and things became so much worse for everyone. (M/M, M/F)
Solomon looked at Matthias’ hand, then up to meet Matthias’ eyes. He smiled broadly, clambering to his feet before pulling Matthias closer. He cupped Matthias’ cheek in his hand. “I’m not leaving you alone. Not ever again. I promise.”
Matthias smiled, leaning into Solomon for a brief moment, breathing in his warmth before letting him go and offering his hand again. This time, Solomon took it, scooping up his own pack as they followed Dancer and Tam off the sleigh. For the first time, Matthias looked around, and stopped in his tracks, unable to do more than stare. They were in a valley, surrounded on all sides by high mountain peaks. Heavy, gray clouds scudded overhead, and Matthias could have sworn he saw a swirl of snow, but none drifted down to the ground.
“There are shields up there,” Tam said, coming to stand on Matthias’ other side. “The dome keeps the weather out, and keeps it livable inside. Linnea says it glows from the power in it.”
“Shields?” Matthias gasped. “How can they manage to control shields that size?” He looked around, seeing a man and a woman coming through a gate and approaching. He ignored them for the moment. Dancer had landed the sleigh in the middle of what appeared to be an open space meant especially for sleighs — there were several crafts of different types all around them. Beyond them, Matthias could see peaked roofs, taller structures that seemed to be made of windows and light, and four slender towers that seemed to scrape the skies.
Welcome to Haven, Dancer murmured.
“You just beat the storm, Dancer,” the approaching man called out. “And you finally found them? Very good.”
The woman sniffed. She was taller than Matthias, almost as tall as Solomon, and everything about her seemed narrow and pinched. She reminded Matthias strongly of one of the Enclave women he’d known as a very small boy — a widow who didn’t care what others thought of her. She’d deeply disliked Matthias’ mother, and the two of them had often had the brunt of her abuse when they’d come into the Enclave to trade. He couldn’t think of her name anymore, but he still remembered the sharpness of her tongue, and her complete disdain of anything that didn’t fit her idea of order. This woman had the same air to her. She stopped not far from the group, folded her arms over her chest, and narrowed her eyes.
“Which is it, Dancer?” she demanded. “Which one is the murderer?”
Matthias gaped at her, stunned into immobility. Murderer?