One last post for Love & Magic Week! Here's a sneak peek, with some romance and magic, into Bad Hunting, Book 2 of Daughter of the Wildings (first draft) (this is in the aftermath of a harrowing battle, and something has happened that's going to make things even worse for Lainie and Silas):
“I’m sorry,” she wept. “You got yourself stuck with me, and now you’re in trouble--”
“It’s all my fault. You had to--”
“Lainie, look at me.”
Sniffling, tears running, she looked across the shallow cave at Silas. Blue light danced in his left hand. “I’m a mage, Lainie. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do.”
“I could have sent for someone to come and take you back to Granadaia if I didn’t want to deal with you myself. I didn’t have to try to think of another way. I didn’t have to hang around Bitterbush Springs after we were done with Carden, trying to think of what to do with you and worrying about if you would be okay. And do you really think that your Pa could have forced me to do anything I didn’t want to do?”
“I...” She looked at the mage light in his hand. Sometimes she forgot exactly what and who he was--what and who she was dealing with. Even after a couple of months together, even knowing what she was capable of, the thought still frightened her. “No, I don’t think he could have.”
“I’m in this with you because I want to be. I wouldn’t have turned you over to the schools in Granadaia, to be chewed up and spit out or turned into something you’re not. And I wouldn’t have dishonored you in your father’s eyes--at least not any more than I already had--by taking you away with me unmarried.”
“Is that the only reason why you married me?” she asked, feeling very small and not sure she wanted to hear the answer. He might not have been forced to marry her against his will, but she also didn’t want it to only be out of a sense of obligation.
“Why do you think those other things mattered so much to me? I love you.”
He had said it many times before, but she had never been quite sure whether or not to let herself believe him. “Why?”
He gave a brief laugh. “Too many questions, darlin’. I’m starting to run out of answers. Why do I love you? Because... Because. I can’t not love you, that’s why.”
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