This week’s offering is an excerpt from my second novel in the Armageddon’s Ward series, Irregular Magic (#ad). Immediately after a major event in the novel (if you want to read it, you can check out my book 😉😉😉 ), four young apprentice magicians commandeer a mundane human’s vehicle. Unfortunately for the main character, her recent stint at the bottom of a river left her with a cold.
Hitchhiking was easy when you were a magician. Set off a Come-hither spell, and then a Nothing-to-see-here so the mundane humans didn’t pay attention to their passengers. Since we were on the run, we would take the precaution of making our driver forget he had ever picked us up, much less remember he took a detour north and over the border into Idaho as Seth suggested.
“You sure you want to skip Wenatchee?” Peter asked. “They’ve got an airport, too.”
“Yeah. I’m pretty sure it was the Taines who attacked us,” Seth said. “Mort and Ged told us they’ve been monitoring the nearby towns in case we passed through. They haven’t been in this area for weeks. Or so we thought. If they were in Cashmere, I don’t want to find out they’re still in Wenatchee, too.”
“Sucks,” Peter said. He shifted deeper into the torn fabric on the back seat of the SUV. The two of us were in the rear, crammed in near some old car parts and dirty red shop rags. Seth and Harris occupied the middle two seats, which were a little better but covered in animal fur, probably a white dog with really long hair.
Peter looked at me with concern, and I shrugged. My throat felt funny and my ears clicked when I yawned. I was sick, and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it.
“Yeah. Frank here will take us where we need to go next,” Harris said. Frank, the man who picked us up off the side of the road, ignored the four of us as if we weren’t in the car. Seth said he was good with memory spells, and I could tell he wasn’t exaggerating. Frank wasn’t woozy or confused like most people under a spell that shut down their memory center. Mort told me it felt like blacking out after drinking too much, but I had to take his word for it. Rectors were too close to the edge of darkness to lose control like that. Ever.
We had to find other ways to be the life of the party, I guess.
I sneezed again, and sure enough, Peter pulled out a handkerchief and handed it over. I dug around in my backpack for some tissues to blow my nose because it was too gross to do that in a snowy-white fluff of pretty fabric like Peter’s handkerchief. I used it to dab my watering eyes, instead.
“Are you sick, or is it allergies?” Peter murmured close to my ear. I leaned closer, my heavy head dropping onto his shoulder.
“I think I’m sick,” I whispered. The other two heard me anyway if the groan Harris let out was any sign. Seth punched him on the arm and shook his head. He was probably telling his brother to shut up since I saved their lives and deserved to be babied and coddled. At least, that was my hope.
Peter slipped his arm around me, and I closed my eyes, exhausted. The best thing about traveling with the three of them, besides the fact that Peter was always willing to be my personal heater and pillow, was there were enough powerful magicians to remain on alert so I could relax. Not that it was all that likely the Taines would guess we were in a beat-up old SUV driven by a guy named Frank.
“Take a nap, Rector,” Seth ordered quietly. “We’ll be in the car for a while. Maybe some rest will help.”
“Thanks,” I mumbled. I slipped my arm around Peter’s waist and clung to his shirt. I hated being sick. It always made me feel like I would slip and fall, even when I was sitting down. Peter tightened his grip. I think he remembered that from when we were in the infirmary. We had both been injured, not ill, and we talked a lot since there wasn’t much to do. It was one of the thousand things that came up as we fought to stave off boredom. I was glad he remembered or else I would worry he would think I was trying to get fresh with him.
Nah. Peter knew better than that.
I sank down into sleep, relieved to let go.
Excerpt used with permission from the author. Irregular Magic, ©2018 T.J. Kelly
Book Four in the series will be out in February 2020! In the meantime, check out the other three novels in the series, free to read with your Kindle Unlimited subscription! Book one only 99 cents!