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Authors: Eileen Wilks

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Mind Magic (58 page)

BOOK: Mind Magic
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“I see your things caught up with you,” Lily said, pleased.

One of the many things Lily had done while Rule was lying around, in bed or on the couch, was to track down Demi’s possessions, abandoned when she fled Edward Smith. She’d thought there was a good chance they hadn’t been disposed of. “Smith thought he was a super-spy,” she’d explained, “but he was really just a geek bureaucrat. Bureacracies may lose things, but they never throw anything away.”

“Yeah.” Demi smiled, looking down at herself. “Thanks for that. It feels weird to have stuff again.”

“Good weird or bad weird?”

“Good weird. Especially because of my mom’s stuff, the photos and all. There’s this necklace she used to wear all the time. I’d forgotten about it until I opened the box it was in, and then . . .” She stopped, clearly unsure how to put words to that moment. “It’s good to have it again.”

“I’m glad,” Lily said. “Can we offer you anything? A Coke maybe?”

“A Coke would be great.”

Lily left. Demi stood there looking awkward. “I’m not good at chitchat.”

Rule smiled. “That’s all right. I am. Have a seat.” As she did, he added, “You’re looking good.”

“Better than you do, I imagine. Do you hurt a lot?”

“Sometimes more than others. I’m healing. Demi—”

“Where’s Mike?” she said suddenly, looking around as if she’d just noticed he hadn’t come in with her.

“He tactfully absented himself so I could talk to you about something important.”

Wariness slid over her face. “What?”

“I’m speaking now as Rho of Leidolf. My clan owes you a great debt.”

“No, you don’t.”

“It’s not necessary for you to agree for us to feel the weight of that debt. Without your actions, I’d be in prison or dead. It is . . .” He hesitated over how to phrase this. “It is very bad for the clan when a Rho dies. Many other terrible things would have happened as well without your determination and courage, but I’m speaking now of what Leidolf owes you. In recompense for that debt, we are willing, eager, to pay for your college—room, board, tuition, books. However, we would rather handle it another way.”

“What do you mean?”

“I would like to make you clan, Demi.”

Her jaw dropped. Her eyes opened wide. She didn’t say a thing.

“I can’t make you lupus,” he added, making sure she understood. “But I can make you Leidolf, if you wish. It’s rare for a clan to adopt a human this way.” Aside from Lily, who was Chosen, he couldn’t think of any modern examples at all, though there were a few historical ones. “But I’ve spoken with Theo and a few others. They—we—want to claim you, if you agree.”

She was still staring at him in silence.

“There are female clan, you know. You wouldn’t be the only non-lupi in Leidolf.”

She nodded mechanically. “Your daughters. Not yours personally, I mean, but any daughters born to lupi. They’re considered clan.”

He smiled. She’d been a member of his fan club, hadn’t she? And obviously had read the information he provided. “Exactly. You don’t need to give me an answer right away. It’s a big decision. But you’re alone in the world, and that’s difficult. If you did agree, there would be no debt between us, but you’d be entitled to have your education paid for. You’d have a home at Clanhome if you wanted it. In addition to the rights and protections the clan offers, however, you’d assume some responsibility to the clan. Female clan don’t have to give their Rho the unconditional obedience expected of male clan, but you would owe me . . . ah, let’s say you should grant my authority respectful attention rather than blind obedience. If you—”

“Do you mean it?” she demanded, leaning forward. “I could be clan?”

“That’s what I’m saying, yes.”

“I can’t—it’s just so—it’s so perfect!” Abruptly she jumped to her feet. “I thought you’d ruined my fantasy, but then I started liking you in spite of the way you grabbed me that night. Then I met all those wolves, and Theo, and Mike, and Saul, and everyone else, and it was even better than I’d thought it would be, and—and you said they want me, too?” She stopped, swallowed. “It’s my fantasy coming true,” she whispered, her eyes shining with unshed tears. “Only better.”

“Ah . . . your fantasy?” he repeated.

“Yes, you—” She broke off, eyeing him. “You have a funny look on your face. I can’t tell what it means.”

He might as well confess. “I thought you had a different sort of fantasy in mind.”

“You mean like a sex fantasy? Oh, no.” She gave him a perfunctory smile. “I don’t think about you that way. You’re kind of old. And I don’t see why people make up fantasies about sex anyway. It’s not hard to find sex. Even I can, if I want to. But a family . . .” She blinked misty eyes. “That’s worth making up stories to dream on, isn’t it?”

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Table of Contents

Praise for Eileen Wilks’s novels of the Lupi

Books by Eileen Wilks

Title Page

Copyright

Acknowledgments

Contents

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

CHAPTER NINETEEN

CHAPTER TWENTY

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

CHAPTER THIRTY

CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE

CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE

CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR

CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE

CHAPTER THIRTY-SIX

CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVEN

CHAPTER THIRTY-EIGHT

CHAPTER THIRTY-NINE

CHAPTER FORTY

CHAPTER FORTY-ONE

CHAPTER FORTY-TWO

CHAPTER FORTY-THREE

CHAPTER FORTY-FOUR

CHAPTER FORTY-FIVE

CHAPTER FORTY-SIX

CHAPTER FORTY-SEVEN

CHAPTER FORTY-EIGHT

BOOK: Mind Magic
5.46Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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