Used to life on the street, Finn never expected to be hired by a magician after saving him from a rival street gang—let alone a magician with a penchant for book hoarding and performing occasionally-exploding experiments.
But Master Kestrall is a kind-hearted man, even if he sends Finn on far too many errands to the bookstore. After all, Finn is infatuated with Jonti, the master bookkeeper’s handsome apprentice. The only problem is, Finn has absolutely no experience in matters of the body and no idea how to go about acting upon his feelings.
That all changes when, on one of his regular trips to the Crow’s Nest, Finn brings home a certain book that holds some very rare knowledge indeed—and when Finn accidentally-on-purpose summons an incubus into his midst, nothing will ever be the same again.
- 1 To Be Read list
Publisher: Extasy Books
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 3
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: Ageless/Immortal
Tropes: Coming of Age, First Time
Word Count: 35000
Languages Available: English
Finn picked up the leather-bound book. “Oh, this one the master bookkeeper gave me for free. Said the money you gave was too much, and this one might be rare.” He squinted at the cover. “Dunno what language the top part is written in, but the bottom half says…Magicks—it’s pretty faded—of the Earth…something something…Unlawful Carnal—”
Kestrall choked and snatched the book from his hands, staring at the cover. Fingers trembling, he cracked it open and turned the first page, staring down at the words speechlessly.
“What is it? Is it that rare?”
“It’s…this isn’t something I ever thought…”
“What?” said Finn again, curious. He angled his head, trying to get a better look, and Kestrall glanced up at him, snapping the book shut again, still wide-eyed and now breathing a little heavily.READ MORE
“Finn. You’re not to touch this book, understand? It’s…it’s not safe, not for an apprentice.”
“Because…it’s just not, that’s all. It contains magicks that aren’t suitable for…for…most people. There are spells here that, if performed incorrectly or…” Kestrall swallowed. “Or at all. They could do very serious things that even a well-trained magician might not be able to undo.”
Kestrall had spoken quickly, almost urgently, tripping over his words, and Finn frowned. “It’s not as though I could read it anyway—”
“Nonetheless. I will keep this book downstairs.”
Finn huffed, even more curious now but not about to argue. “Fine. And what about all these?” He waved at the mess now scattered across the table.
“Oh…” Oddly, Kestrall looked as though he’d completely forgotten about the books he’d been exclaiming over just a moment ago. “I’ll take care of those later. We’ve no more appointments today, aye? You can have the rest of the day off if you like…I’ll be busy.”
“Right.” Finn was about to ask about the love charm Jonti had mentioned but decided he’d do it later, when his master was less distracted. If he did so now, Kestrall would forget in five minutes—Finn knew that obsessive gleam in his master’s eyes all too well.
“Master Kestrall?” Finn turned from where he’d been rummaging through the cupboards, hungry and looking for the leftover bread.
“I’ll probably be downstairs much of the evening as well. If anyone comes to the door, I’m not to be disturbed. Not for anyone—is that clear?”
“Fine, I got it.”
The instruction was common enough—Kestrall often spent whole nights without sleep, tinkering with rare ingredients or sudden unconventional ideas, driven by newfound spells and ancient knowledge.
Still, Finn thought as his master all but tripped in his haste to get down the stairs, then pushed the basement door closed behind him, the book still pressed close to his chest—still, if Kestrall thought Finn didn’t know it was something in that book that had so excited him, and that Finn wouldn’t take a closer look for himself as soon as the coast was clear, then Kestrall was a fool.COLLAPSE