Natural Mage (Magical Mayhem #2)(7)

“Yeah, well, consider the source.”

Veronica burst out laughing. “This is true. She is a bit on the eccentric side.”

“She’s a looney. Clearly that’s where I got it from.” I massaged my eyes with the heels of my hands. “Was this the right choice? Moving here, being a part of mage society, getting trained by Callie and Dizzy—”

“Yes. And do you know how I know that?”


“Your mother stayed in Seattle to passively spy on the Guild, and she left you in their care.” Veronica poured the margarita into a glass. “There is no way she would’ve done that if this wasn’t the absolute best thing for you. Maybe the only thing for you.”

“True.” I sipped my drink and my face instantly contorted, my eye squeezing shut. “You didn’t get that drink quite right.”

“No?” She tasted it and jerked back. “Definitely not, no. Man, I thought I was better at making these.” She dumped the contents back into the shaker. “Anyway, you don’t have to fit in, but you should make friends. Acquaintances, at the very least.”

“True.” I slumped. “Which means I should go back out there and apologize.”

“Yeah, probably. Though that guy had it coming. I mean, what sort of douche planet did he come from? Oh, and he wants to be—”

“Knock, knock.”

Veronica froze mid-rant with wide eyes and an open mouth. We both snapped our faces toward the archway to the kitchen, where John stood with his charming, toothpaste-commercial smile. “Penny, got a minute?”

Veronica shot me a what should I do? glance.

“It’s okay,” I said softly, clasping my fingers in front of me.

“Right.” Veronica set the mixer on the counter next to my drink. “I’m probably needed out there, anyway. For some reason.”

“I just wanted to apologize,” John said after she stalked from the room with a straight back. “It sounds silly, but you get caught up in all the politics when it comes to this stuff, you know?”

I didn’t, so I chanced a smile.

“You get into the upper levels of magic, and people start expecting certain things from you.” He peered into the shaker. “Oh. Here.”

“No, it’s—” But he was already pouring the still-unsweetened contents into my glass. I chanced another smile. “Great. Thanks.”

“Your perspective is fresh.” He paused for a beat, and it seemed like he was chancing his own smile that he clearly didn’t feel. “I like it.” He pushed the glass forward. “Anyway, I get where you’re coming from. And I believe you. I mean, I saw it with my own eyes, right? You made magic without having any ingredients in your hands. Unless you were holding a casing I couldn’t see…” His voice drifted away and his eyes delved into mine, searching. A moment later, he laughed. “Just kidding.” He stuck out his hand. “Friends?”

Veronica was right, this guy was definitely from a douche planet of some sort, but I still needed to make friends and somehow immerse myself into the magical world. He had power and knowledge—he could learn to fight. And would have to, because I’d plop him down on the front line when the Guild charged me.

I put my hand in his. “Friends.”


The next morning, I awoke from a bang!

“Farmer John’s Sausages!” I threw off the covers, waved my hand through the air, and sprang from my bed—all in one harried, dizzied moment. I hit the ground with a solid thunk, echoing the door hitting the wall and rattling off its hinges. A heavy boot landed on the hard wooden floor, and I popped up as streams of magic swirled through the air.

Before my spell was fully realized, the magic dissolved like cotton candy in the rain. Absolutely nothing remained in its absence—no intent, emotion, or residue.


Reagan was back in town.

“White flag, white flag,” I yelled, waving my hands above my head.

“Your mom really has you trained not to swear, huh?” Reagan stood with her hands at her sides, decked out in head-to-toe leather and thick-soled black army boots. Dirty blond hair was pulled back into a tight ponytail and no eyebrows adorned her expressionless face.

I’d always thought she’d be a real beauty if she weren’t so jaw-clenchingly frightening. The no-eyebrows thing only made that worse.

“I mean, you weren’t even totally awake, someone barged in, and you yelled about some guy’s sausages…” Her bare brows pinched together, which was a very strange sight. “Ah. I get it. Sausages. Okay then, that makes it marginally better.”

I decided not to ruin my almost-cool factor by mentioning that I hadn’t been thinking of that kind of sausage.

“First things first—that was some shoddy spell work.” She shifted and I flinched. I couldn’t help it. She was one of the most unpredictable people I’d ever met in my life. “Were you even trying on that ward covering the door? It took no time at all to get through it.”

“I just learned that ward last week,” I said in a slightly higher pitch than I’d intended. “It is the most advanced ward I’ve ever seen. Callie and Dizzy can’t break it.”

K.F. Breene's Books