Saved at the last minute from certain death at the hands of a Fae Witch, Rose Burke discovers that she and her brother-in-arms, Micah, are not yet out of trouble…

His hair was blacker than ash and choppy, hanging past an angular jaw and full lips to barely brush broad shoulders. His cheekbones were sharp, defined, and even though his face was long there was a strength to it that immediately intimidated me.

Clad in mostly leather, with shining bits of armour spread over him here and there, he looked exactly like what I’d always imagined. Exactly like any fable would have described; beautiful and powerful, a living, breathing myth. And his eyes, a golden-green, softly glowed like an animal’s from under black brows.

Sketches and paintings did not do this elf justice.

He moved fluidly as he straightened up to a height I could feel the power of from the ground. He was lean, long, lithe, but there was something unmistakably huge about him as well. Like he was too long, too tall, too broad…a sinewy threat taking up too much space.

I brought my one remaining short sword up in a flash, pointing it at his unarmored, terribly beautiful face. I could make out the points of his ears enough to feel my head turn light, but I fought hard not to tremble.

He stared at me with unwavering, unblinking eyes, before tilting his head just slightly. “That is how you treat someone who saves your life?” he mused as my sword held firm. His voice was lower than I expected, so low that I could hear it rumble through the cave for long seconds after he spoke. “I am not likely to kill you after letting you live moments ago.”

My throat was dry. My eyes were the size of dinner plates. “Aren’t you?” I spat, breathless.

As if to prove his point, he sheathed his sword at his hip in one incredibly swift motion. “You have picked a poor time to enter the forest. You should head south and leave this place,” he mumbled, meandering away from me as I blinked through his words. I stood up the moment his back was turned, sword still held tight, knees weak, and watched him kneel down by Micah.

“Stay away from him!” I snapped, mortified by how my voice wavered.

“I’ve no ill intentions with him,” the elf said. He reached forward and I opened my mouth to yell again, but all he did was lift one of Micah’s lids and peer at the blue iris beneath. “He will wake in a few hours, no worse for the magic.”

I swallowed hard as the elf stood and looked back to where the witch’s head lay. To my disgust he went towards it and picked it up by its hair, the jaw hanging loose and the eyes half lidded. I gagged but kept it down.

Then the elf simply sauntered to the cave entrance. “There are more of us,” he warned. “You should flee.”

Flee? “You aren’t going to kill me?” I asked stupidly.

He paused, then turned over his broad shoulder and eyed me with those shining irises. “Surprisingly, no,” he mocked. “I’ve little interest in killing fools. Or victims.” He looked at Micah as he lay sleeping on the ground, then stared back at me. “I have watched you for a time,” he said softly, making me tense. “You are too good for this place. I hope you find peace.”

He touched two fingers to his forehead, then bowed deep at the waist with his arm out to me. With his head down I could have struck, but I didn’t move. I didn’t want to. I was breathlessly, dangerously, enraptured.

He turned towards the cave entrance, perfectly fine to leave me here alive and unharmed, and I almost called to him. I almost begged for him to stay, to wait with me, to tell me whatever he could about…about anything!

But he froze on his own, solid as a statue. “It is too late,” the elf breathed.

I felt sick. “What do you mean?” I heard voices echo through the cave mouth towards me, and my vision wavered.

The elf whirled back around so fast that I jumped, my arms tensing as he took a quick step closer. “Do you want to live?” he asked sharply.

I blinked and felt unspilled tears in my eyes. My head was spinning. “What?”

He moved closer and I shifted back, tightening the hand on my sword. “Do you want to live?

I didn’t speak, but my eyes gave my answer.

“Then don’t fight,” he said sharply, “just serve.” In two fluid strides he was standing in front of me again, towering over me. I raised my sword high, but he grabbed my wrist and twisted it until I cried out. I dropped my blade as if I’d wanted to.

The elf hauled me forward and I stumbled into his side, the top of my head barely reaching past his shoulder, and he pulled me to the mouth of the cave. My stomach fell to the muddy ground below me…

Download The Light in the Dark to discover Rose’s fate…