Broken Blade

January 2014


BrokenBlade72 (1)Kit Colbana: assassin, thief, investigator extraordinaire. Now broken. She always expected her past to catch up with her but never like this. Haunted by nightmares and stripped of her identity, she’s retreated to Wolf Haven, the no-man’s land where she found refuge years before. But while she might want to hide away from the rest of the world, the rest of the world isn’t taking the hint.

Dragged kicking and screaming back into life, Kit is thrust head-first into an investigation surrounding the theft of an ancient relic…one that she wants nothing to do with. Her instincts tell her it’s a bad idea to just leave the relic lying about, but finding it might be just as bad.

Forced to face her nightmares, she uncovers hidden strength and comes face to face with one of the world’s original monsters.

If she survives the job, she won’t be the same…and neither will those closest to her.

unedited excerpt

I never managed to finish the sentence because magic shrieked, splitting the relative quiet of the morning with a wail like a dying banshee.

Hurling the thing down, I shoved back from my desk and braced myself. Magic built around us, harder, higher, hotter.  Tighter—somehow, the feel of the magic grew tighter, wrapping around us like a bubble. Oh, hell, I hope that bubble didn’t pop with us inside.

I put myself at Justin’s side, noting yet again that the silver on his sleeves had started to spark. His dreads whipped around in an unseen wind. “What the hell is this?” I asked, but my voice was lost in the magic maelstrom.

“Old magic,” he shouted. “Not felt anything like it in a while. Just stay by me.”

I felt the odd, static warmth of his magic wrap around me—it had a strange, metallic sort of feel and made me think of blades clashing, shields flashing in the morning sun.

The two magics built and built—that foreign presence that I didn’t like at all and Justin’s familiar magic, like a giant warrior mantling over us, shield lifted and ready.

And then, as abruptly as it had started, it died. It didn’t fade; it just ended.

Justin cut a dark look my way and snapped, “Next time I tell you there’s too much magic to trust to a charm, will you listen? You know blades. I know magic and—”

I put a hand on his arm.

Somebody was coming.

I could hear her.

Felt each footstep like an echo on my soul.

“Not now,” I said, keeping my voice low as I shifted my attention to the door.

As one, as though we’d rehearsed it a hundred times, we moved back to where we’d been. Justin’s protections didn’t lower, though—that strange, mantling sort of shield stayed up and ready and I was damn thankful as I settled behind my desk and pretended to study the sheet of parchment in front of me.

The note on it was simple. It filled me with an odd sort of revulsion and curiosity.

 

Glad to see you’re still open for business. I’ll be there shortly to discuss a job.

I.

 

That was all.

I.

Okay.

Who is I.?

The door opened and I looked up. Guess it was time to find out.

 

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