5 FLAMES: "I so enjoy jumping in to a brand-new series, especially one involving the paranormal as it is a favorite genre of mine. Having read other books by A.M. Halford, I felt guaranteed that Aiden and Daniel's story would keep me interested. I definitely wasn't disappointed and I loved learning about the world of the Nether, mages, and a powerful Medium."—Christy, Rainbow Book Reviews
“I call upon you, Lord of Flame and Light. Appear before me. Illuminate my path!” The green stone on Aiden’s necklace glowed dimly before a spark lit before him, casting shadows across his emerald eyes. Joy built up inside him as the spark grew into a glowing ball the size of a baseball. Light spilled over the room, chasing the darkness of the cellar away.
“I did it!” Aiden shouted in triumph. “I did it!”
Jumping in a circle, he rejoiced in finally succeeding in making the light spell work. Coming back to face the ball, he widened his eyes. The ball grew in size, feeding off his celebration.
“Damn it.” Aiden pouted just as the ball burst. Magic raced from the orb, throwing Aiden against the cellar wall and toppling crates, jugs, and boxes over. Cursing under his breath, he rose to his feet, dusting himself off as he looked at the mess he’d made. Again he’d lost his focus. Again he’d failed to do such a simple spell. His family was going to lecture him if they saw this.
Walking over to the door, he turned the light on and got a good grasp on the destruction. At least this time nothing caught fire. It was a small comfort, but it helped take the sting of failure away.
Rolling his sleeves up, Aiden moved to straighten the mess. Nothing seemed to be broken in the boxes and crates. He didn’t want to listen to another of his father’s rants about the goods being destroyed. Why they had to practice in the cellar he’d never understand. There was too much down here that could be damaged.
After cleaning the mess up, he moved to the dais standing before the magic circle on the floor. He checked the grimoire and then looked to the circle. The circle was right. He knew he’d said the incantation correctly. The orb should’ve held even if he’d lost focus for a mere couple seconds.
Pulling at his black hair, he grumbled under his breath as he reviewed his notes. This spell was so easy, yet he couldn’t grasp it. He hated his inability to use such basic magic. His ancestors were laughing at him. He knew it.
“Aiden? Is everything okay down there? We heard an explosion.” His sister’s voice had him cursing under his breath. This was not what he needed. His ever-talented sister, Camelia, coming to see his mistake.
“I’m fine! Nothing’s wrong,” Aiden shouted up to her. Hopefully she believed him and went away.
The footfalls on the steps told him his luck, as well as his basic spell casting abilities, was gone. Turning, he glared as the young woman came into view. Camelia’s long black hair fell in ringlets around her. Dark blue eyes were veiled by thick lashes, a beauty mark adorning her right cheek. Even if she was his sister, Aiden had to admit Camelia was beautiful, taking after their mother in all things. Including being a talented Mage.
“You blew up again, didn’t you?” Camelia sighed as she looked around the dark room. Even with the light on, the cellar never seemed to completely lose its shadows. “What happened this time?”
“Nothing,” Aiden bit out. Turning from his sister, he flipped through the pages on the grimoire.
“Aiden, why do you keep trying? You have an amazing gift, you don’t need to trouble yourself with these simple spells,” she entreated.
Aiden swallowed his first response. He didn’t see it as a gift like the rest of his family. He couldn’t cast the simplest of enchantments, but he could summon everything from a fairy to a demon, so long as he made a contract with it. His parents had rejoiced in learning Aiden was the Medium, a gift only one was entrusted with each cycle. It was torment knowing he couldn’t practice the Craft like his ancestors before him. Instead, he was cursed to call upon others to fight for him.
“Easy for you to say,” Aiden grumbled. “You are talented in the Craft. A proper Mage.”
Camelia glared at him. “Your self-pity is starting to get annoying. So you aren’t a standard practitioner like our parents and me, big freaking deal! You have a talent not given to many by the Powers and you shun it like a spoiled child.”
“Enough, Camelia.” Both looked up to see their father descending the stairs. He glared down at them. His emerald-green eyes, a match to Aiden’s own, reflected his irritation. “Go help your mom with the store. We’re starting to pick up.”
“Yes, Dad.” Camelia smiled and hurried up the stairs and out to the storefront.
Aiden pivoted around, closing the grimoire. Grabbing a broom, he erased the chalked circle. Taking the grimoire from the dais, he placed it on the bookshelf along with multiple tomes about herbs, rituals, creatures of the Nether, and their family history.
Out of all the books on the shelves, the grimoire was the most important. It held all of his family’s magical records. Every spell ever used by his ancestors adorned its pages. Despite the many pages, only a few were of any help to Aiden. The sections dealing with summons and contracts was short, taking up a whole three pages. He’d memorized every word. Including the part that spoke of his inability to control the regular Craft.
“Son.” His father’s strong voice carried with it patience. “You need to stop this. The Medium cannot use the Craft like the rest of us. You know this.”
Reaching for the shorts he’d stacked on the bench previously, Aiden jumped when two arms wrapped around him from behind.
“No. Don’t put more on,” Daniel purred into his ear. “I was enjoying your little strip show.”
Shit! I forgot he’s in here. His face felt like it was burning. He hadn’t meant to strip down in front of Daniel like that. All Aiden had considered was getting comfortable for bed. Now though, with his boyfriend’s arms around him, thoughts of sleep were quickly fleeing into the night.
“You know, I realized it earlier”—Daniel hummed, his hands rubbing up and down Aiden’s torso—“but you have a really great body. Definitely not what I’d expect from a shut-in Goth.”
“Yeah, I get that a lot,” Aiden mumbled. Thanks to his family’s hellish training and his continued efforts to improve, Aiden had compact muscles on his seemingly thin body.
“I like it,” Daniel confessed, tracing each of Aiden’s abs with his fingertips.
He shivered under Daniel’s touches, his muscles flexing. Aiden wasn’t sure if his body was trying to get away from Daniel’s touch or get closer. Either way, he wasn’t refusing his advances.
When Daniel started sucking at his neck, Aiden moaned, his head falling to the side, giving the Mage further room to continue. Daniel growled his approval before he stepped back, pulling Aiden with him. They stopped at the bed, Daniel sitting and bringing Aiden to sit on his lap. His large smooth hands massaged his chest, teasing their way down to his abs until they dipped past his boxers and cupped his awakening cock.
Aiden tried to hold still. He didn’t want to come off as needy. But when Daniel’s fingers slipped inside the thin cloth and grasped his warm length, Aiden moaned, his hips thrusting up into Daniel’s hand.
“So responsive,” Daniel purred. “Nice.”
Daniel increased the pressure of his hand as he began to pump Aiden’s cock steadily. Leaning back, Aiden gave himself in to the pleasure Daniel was giving. If he didn’t have a problem with him being responsive, then Aiden wasn’t going to hide his desire to be held.
“That’s right, let me hear you,” Daniel encouraged. “It’s only me listening.”
Aiden didn’t have the mind to consider what those words meant he was far too busy enjoying the sensations racing through him. Daniel bit and sucked at his neck. His free hand teased Aiden’s chest, pinching his nipples alternatively, and sending electric shocks rocketing along his nerves.
“Sensitive too.” Aiden felt Daniel’s smirk.
“Daniel,” Aiden moaned. He pushed back against the firm body behind him. He could feel Daniel’s erection pressing into his ass. Aiden ground down on that hard shaft, mewing softly.
“In due time,” Daniel promised, thrusting up into Aiden and grinding his cockhead against the swell of his ass. “First I’m going to have you come for me.”
A sharp moan left Aiden as Daniel bit at his ear and his hand on Aiden’s cock sped up. “No, Daniel.”
“Come on,” Daniel encouraged. “Come for me.”
Aiden was powerless to Daniel’s instructions. Crying out, Aiden came, his essence bathing Daniel’s hand and soaking his boxers. Feeling boneless, Aiden slumped against Daniel, his body jerking slightly as Daniel milked his cock dry.
“Mm, that’s right.” Daniel kissed his neck. “Just give yourself over to me.”
* * * *
Carefully, Daniel maneuvered Aiden so he was lying down on the bed, on top of the sleeping bags. The sated, dazed looked in those emerald eyes had Daniel’s hard cock pulsing. Precum leaked freely from the tip as he stripped Aiden of his boxers. The remains of his orgasm glistened on his softening cock and thighs. It was quite the sight.
Wanting a taste, Daniel brought his fingers, still coated in Aiden’s cum, to his mouth and licked them clean. Aiden, watching him intently, blushed. He tasted just how he looked, wonderful.
“You don’t think I’m done, do you?” Daniel asked as he spread Aiden’s legs and sat between them. “I know you want me here.” He tapped at Aiden’s entrance with one finger.
Aiden shivered, his hips pushing down to impale Daniel’s finger. He’d gotten a glimpse of Aiden’s desire when they jerked each other off earlier, but this was something else. If he wasn’t mistaken, his lover craved contact.
“Daniel.” Aiden reached for him, pulling Daniel down for a searing kiss. Daniel responded in kind, taking control of the kiss and guiding Aiden into a more comfortable position.
“Easy,” he soothed when Aiden wrapped his legs around Daniel, trying to get him closer. “I promise we aren’t stopping.”
Hesitation entered Aiden’s eyes before he set his legs aside and lay there completely still. Those emerald eyes closed, and Daniel had to stop himself from laughing. Aiden was lying there as if he was restraining himself from moving with sheer force of will.
“I didn’t say you can’t move.” Kissing Aiden’s nose, Daniel smiled at him. “Just slow down a bit. I promise I’ll give you what you want.”
“And if I don’t want to take it slow?” Aiden asked, his eyelids half-mast. There was a fire smoldering in those emerald eyes, one that lit Daniel up even hotter.