On the colony world of Emeritus, where cold science reigns supreme, Elise has gone to the University of Eruditus to deal with a mysterious problem - spontaneous levitation.
The University's Scion introduces Elise to Luke, a Guild Pilot and Peregrine Knight - one the Magicians of Night. Luke is to teach her to control her odd talent. But Luke did not agree to teach her of his own free will. He was forcibly taken and his powers bound.
After a single kiss everything changes; for Luke, and for Elise, forever. Innocent Elise, a fledgling magician destined for the Pilot's Guild, is caught in a subtle game of manipulation where desire and sexual release the keys - to power.
His Eminence, the Scion of the Eruditus University strode down the narrow hallway with Elise in his wake. He turned and smiled, his striking sea green eyes crinkling only the tiniest amount at the corners under his arched golden brows. “Luke is a fully trained Peregrine Knight from the pilot’s guild. He will be able to help you with your…problem.”
Elise winced under his devastating smile. Mother of Mercy, she hoped somebody could help her. She tugged her hand from her pocket, lifting a finger to curl it around one of the uneven locks of the unseemly bright red hair brushing at her chin.
Someone had once said, what goes up, must come down. Well, not in her case. That was the problem.
Small lights glowed along the upper edges of the walls, casting a gentle golden wash across the hallway’s peaked, plaster and oak-beamed ceiling. The Scion’s flowing cobalt blue and opalescent white teaching-master’s robes seemed to glow under the sparse lighting. His slippers made no sound on the smooth floor.
In complete contrast, Elise’s serviceable ankle-boots thunked loudly and clumsily on the stone flags. She swept her palms across the soft gray canvas of her coveralls, then stuffed her hands in her pockets. Next to the Scion’s silk-robed elegance she felt like a complete drab, but her simple moss-green short-sleeved top and coveralls were comfortable, and very practical for her work.
The silk robes the Scion wore didn’t appear to be all that comfortable, or have any practical use whatsoever, but they were lovely to look at.
He was lovely to look at; broad shoulders, nice hands, gorgeous green eyes. His long pale gold mane was pulled back in a snug and precisely trimmed tail that fell down to the center of his back.
She rolled her eyes. The women were probably throwing themselves at him.
“Ah, here we are…” The Scion stopped at a tall, heavily carved door of dense black Emeriti oak. He pushed it open.
Elise ducked through the door to avoid another of the Scion’s lethal smiles. He really needed to point that smile at someone else. All that blinding masculinity was completely wasted on her. She was engaged.
Elise blinked and squinted. After the brightness of the well-lit hallway, the stone-walled chamber was dark. The heavy black velvet curtains were drawn tight across the entire row of gothic arched windows on the facing wall. Only one lamp was lit, in the very far right corner
A man stood in the center of the shadowed chamber with his back to the door. His bone pale hand, resting on the back of the chair he stood beside, seemed bright in the room’s darkness. His snug black throat-to-wrist ship-suit made him near invisible, though the fabric shimmered with midnight rainbows. His knee-high boots gleamed a highly polished black.
The Scion lifted his chin. “Guild Pilot Luke, this is the young woman I spoke to you about.”
The man in the room’s center turned his head slightly showing pale cheek. Light caught in the sun-tinted bronze hair falling about his shoulders in a tumble of unruly waves.
Elise frowned. She’d expected a dark sorcerer to be a bit more…intimidating. He wasn’t particularly tall; the Scion had to be a full head taller. His shoulders were fairly broad and his waist narrow, but he clearly wasn’t as heavily muscular as some of the foresters she worked with. She nibbled on her bottom lip. He just didn’t look...evil.
The Scion cleared his throat. “Guild pilot?”
Luke’s pale fingers dug into the chair’s arched back. “Leave her and get out.”
Huh? Elise blinked.
The Scion’s gaze narrowed. “You’ll have to forgive him. He can be a little…direct.”
No kidding. Elise felt a smile lift her lips. That was pretty direct.
Luke turned to face the chamber door, moving behind the chair. His face was fine-boned and rather nice-looking, but not screamingly masculine, like the Scion. His eyes seemed huge; the color of summer skies, framed with long dark gold lashes. His pale mouth was set in a tight line, but color pinked his cheeks. His gaze narrowed on the Scion. “I said, get out!”
Elise rocked back on her heels. That wasn’t direct. Luke was seriously pissed off. Something definitely wasn’t right. She turned and offered the Scion a friendly smile. “Why don’t you go? I’m sure I’ll be fine.”
Luke choked out a sour laugh. “Oh, you are perfectly safe with me.” His gaze razed the Scion, and then Elise, and then slid away. “The school-master has me collared and leashed. I can’t lay a finger on you.” One hand fisted on the back of the chair. “Not even if my life depended on it.”