In a city of mages, guild slave Lysium dances every night, magical stars drifting from her hair that whisper veiled persuasions into the minds of those watching. She’s married to Loren, also a guild slave, who keeps secrets he hopes she never remembers. A poem called “The Dark Lover” irrevocably draws her, because unbeknownst to her, it evokes a past that was stolen from her.
The poem appears only in part in Heiress of Magic, but for anyone who ever wanted to see what the whole looks like, eat your heart out, because here it is 🙂
He creeps through the night, through the tunnels of night,
Slinking in darkness, alien to the light.
He hunts for his prey, a girl soft and fresh,
To appease his dark hunger for innocent flesh.
He finds her asleep, her breath pure and sweet,
And, winking in slyness, he spins his deceit;
Creates in her dreams a false shining man,
Weaving lush lies on his lips as only he can.
But unquenchable heartbreak stirs in her sleep,
A ravenous wrongness incites her to weep,
Her soul clings to truth tangled in webs of lies,
Tricked into loving what she should despise.
He struggles to hold onto his precious prize
While she struggles to waken and open her eyes.
She’s imprisoned so she exiles his lonely dreams,
But her soul wants escape, and shatters, and screams.
She breaks the enchantment; and wakes to his face;
Sees the smile of the fiend she was duped to embrace,
She mourns her true love, who died while she slept,
Now a sorrow enshrouds her that she can’t accept.
Cheated, loving one while her true heart was lost,
She takes up a knife and pays this last cost.
The dark lover’s left holding the heart that he stole,
As it bleeds out her life and sets free her soul.
Her freedom finally bought at the cost of her life,
The dark lover left naught but her blood-spattered knife.
He picks up the blade, face reflected blood-red,
And slices out his heart and the torment it bred.
No emotion now hurts him; naught rends him apart,
Because he is now living without any heart.
Book progress! Once at 100%, it means it is a version that I will only have to read through for minor typos before handing over to beta readers.