The Mage's Heart

The Mage's Heart

By:  Everleigh Miles  Completed
Language: English
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Don’t stray from the path… When Siorin encounters a mysterious black-haired mage in the forest on her way to the local good-witch, she knows better than to stray from the path. Doing so would be inviting trouble from the fairy brethren with whom mankind shares their world. His plight, however, moves her, and she rescues him despite misgivings. Rivyn has cast a destiny spell which he believes brought him Siorin, so he doesn’t hesitate to steal her, well and truly taking her off her path when he does so. The mage irresistibly draws and seduces Siorin as he leads her on an adventure that transverses their world, encountering all manner of brethren, for Rivyn is on quest is to rebuild his power so that he can return to the Fae Court and reclaim what has been stolen from him. But what Rivyn has lost is not what he needs to seek. Will Rivyn choose his power, or his heart?

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31 chapters
Chapter One
Through story, we teach the rules by which we share this world with the brethren. Around the dying coals of the evening fire, we spin tales of naughty children stolen never to return, of the brutal punishment of liars, and of trespassing travellers going astray. Tales teach us to seek out good-witches to tend to sore teeth or to help with difficult births, and diviners to foretell the weather, but to fear sorcerers or sorceresses who prey upon the unwary, sprites who blight the crops, and mermaids who drown sailors. Most of all, the tales teach us to fear the Fae with their deceptive beauty, costly altruism, and cruel punishments. - “That is not my child,” my mother’s denial was final and broken. “It’s a changeling.” The maids had let the fire die down to embers, distracted by the demands of a new baby upon their time, and the cold had seeped i
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Chapter Two
I looked in the direction of the voice without pulling Coryfe to a stop. I could make him out, a tangle of limbs and cloth, strung by a net and suspended in the boughs of a tree, a little off the path. What were the chances, I wondered, of two travellers on this road at night, and one of them being unwise enough to venture off the road and become ensnared by a net? I considered him. “You could be a trap to lure a traveller off the trail,” I told him. He laughed, dryly. “I think I am the trapped traveller.” “How did you get yourself trapped up there?” I asked him, we were drawing equal to his tree. I did not have long to decide what to do, without having to retrace my steps. I could make out details of him within the net now. A sizeable, booted foot hung out between the weave, the boot finely made and tooled with elaborate detail, the sole barely showing wear. The c
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Chapter Three
I sighed, unsure which was the least pleasant prospect, being lost alone, or being lost with this dark-haired mage. I did not argue his control of the reins and let him steer us into the trees. “I did have other plans for the night,” I muttered under my breath. “Not important ones.” “You don’t know what I was about, so how can you judge?” “Well, perhaps I should say, my needs are more important than yours.” “Excuse me,” I took the reins back from him, annoyed. “My horse. It is awfully dismissive of you to assume your needs are more important than mine when you don’t know what they are.” “That spot over there,” he pointed as we entered the trees. There was a space between the trees that I would have normally avoided, its circumference uncomfortably round, too simila
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Chapter Four
Coryfe picked his way through the trees like a child picking their way through a meal. I could not blame him. The floor was thick with undergrowth that hid hazardous roots and dips, and every now and again, an unexpected explosion of brethren folk would be unsettled by our passage. He had almost shied twice now at such an occurrence; once when little sprites that had exploded from a bush he had brushed against, their gossamer dragon-fly wings whipping against us as they passed, and the second time when a scurry of fur-clad beings I did not get a good look at had raced across our path, pursued by a fox that stopped and looked at us with too wise, unafraid blue eyes.   Rivyn was less patient. “Have you never ridden this horse across anything other than a road or field?” He demanded, reaching around to claim the reins from me. I held them out of his reach, and he blew out a frustrated breath.   “He isn’t my horse, he is my father’s,” I replied.
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Chapter Five
The stream was more of a river, too deep to ride across, and we had to ride downstream for some way before we came to a stone arch of a bridge, green with moss. I threw the last scone over the edge. “In case there’s a troll,” I explained to him when Rivyn protested.   “And if there’s not?” he wondered as he guided Coryfe across. He held the reins in one hand, his other wrapped around my middle. I was sure I was not imagining that he was riding closer to me, his chest now firmly pressed against my back and my legs resting against his. He had taken over the stirrups, too.   “Well, something will eat it, I’m sure.” Beyond the bridge, the grass began to show wear, gradually forming into a road. “We’re on a road now, so we’ll come upon somewhere eventually,” I was happy about that. I did not like being ignorant as to where we were, and hopefully, if there was a village or a town, we could find lodgings overnight. I hoped the mage would pay. I had
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Chapter Six
Mages spell components were both odd and slightly disgusting, I decided, as I picked through the inn keeper’s kitchen. It was a large room, used not just for the preparation of food, but for much of the family’s time.   The walls were lined with shelves holding everything from crockery to buckets, and the roof was strung with hocks of meat and drying herbs. Rivyn had to duck to avoid some of the beams, warped and roughly shaped, they seemed to sag in places. The floor was stone, scattered with thresh and debris from the cooking, resulting in a less than savoury scent if it was kicked up underfoot.   A bench was set along one wall, and shelves on the other. The shelves held a fascinating array of jars and items I could not even begin to identify. From the dust that gathered around and on top of most of the items, I imagined the innkeeper’s wife could not identify them either.   In the centre of the room was a large table
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Chapter Seven
Stable boys waited in the shade of the pillars and ran up to us as we dismounted Coryfe. Rivyn exchanged a coin with one of them and I watched them take the horse behind the imposing building wondering if I would see him again.   Rivyn took my hand in his as we began to mount the stairs. “We shall lead them to believe that we are married,” he looked down at me. “Understood?”   “Yes.” Did he say to do so to preserve an element of respectability, or to prevent our separation? Either way, I was happy to continue under the guise of his wife. I might be facing ruination in my village having been stolen by a man from the road and having spent many days and nights in his company now, but that did not mean I wanted to advertise it to others.   Following the steps led us between the pillars. There was a space held between them and the face of the building, along which I could see seating had been placed. There were no windows. I
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Chapter Eight
“We’ll discuss this further in less formal settings,” the woman announced grandly. The figures on the raised seating rose and began to shuffle out murmuring amongst themselves, as if her words were some pre-arranged signal for them to depart.   The woman stepped off the dais and walked towards us. Her eyebrows and eyelashes were the same white as her hair. Her eyes were cold and speculative, I thought. “You can drop your guard,” she told Rivyn. I felt him relax, and he dropped his arm. “You are a very interesting couple,” she looked at us with interest but not hostility. “Come, we will have something to drink, and discuss why you are here, and where you came from.”   “Siorin?” Rivyn murmured as he took my hand and followed her to the door which the robed audience had used to exit.   I looked up at him, meeting his eyes. There was concerned enquiry in his. He wondered where it was that I had been taken and whether I had e
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Chapter Nine
She is precious to me. I turned that odd statement over in my head as I followed the boy out of the building. We passed the stables, and a kitchen garden, before passing through a door in a wall, out onto a side street. Rivyn was referring to either his source of virgin hair or his belief that I was part of his destiny spell, I decided.   I doubted very much that I had anything to do with his destiny. The fact that he had cast the spell and then I had passed by on the road did not mean anything. If he had cast the spell, and then my mother had decided Fiane was a changeling would have been different. But I had been already set on my path before the spell was cast, it had not changed anything.   Except... it had been a contributing factor to him taking me through the portal with him, changing my destiny. I did not yet know if that change was for the better or worse.    “What sort of supplies do you need?” the boy ask
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Chapter Ten
I began to pin the excess material at the waist and down his thighs, fitting the trousers around his legs to be more pleasing to the eye. By necessity, this fitting meant I was touching him in an overly familiar way, and I knew the colour was rising in my cheeks. He watched me, his eyes smouldering in a way that made my skin feel hot and my body ache.   “You can take them off, now,” I said to him. Our eyes locked. His were a true blue with no shadow of other colours in them, no flecks of brown or gold. I drew in an unsteady breath and released the ties that closed the front.   His hand closed over mine, and he pressed my palm against the hot skin of his stomach, sliding it down, through the crisp hair at his groin, to close over his hardness. His eyes closed and his head rocked back on his neck as he guided my hand along him.   “ -  Siorin,” he moaned, his other arm coming behind my back, drawing me closer.
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