It’s out! It’s here! 

No longer in exile, the rebel mage Matthias can finally return to his home enclave and settle into a new life with his beloved Solomon. As he struggles with his role leading the new town of Sanctuary, upheld by the people who once rejected him, Matthias knows all too well that the relative peace he’s found is temporary. The forces that razed Haven are still out there, still looking for him, still seeking to destroy everything he now protects. While there are alliances to make, mouths to feed, and people who look to him to protect them, his enemies will just have to wait.

When tragedy strikes, Matthias, Solomon, and Matthias’ cousin Tam are forced back onto the road again, this time seeking answers in the forbidden north; answers that may lead to new beginnings, or to the end of everything they’ve ever known. (M/M, M/F)

Here, have an excerpt:

“Sol, can I talk to you? Alone?”

Solomon looked puzzled, but he stopped and waited, listening until the front door closed and the house fell silent. Matthias let out the breath he was holding, then gestured — the library door closed and locked.

Solomon arched an eyebrow. “We’re alone in the house. Isn’t that overkill?”

Matthias smiled slightly and started to pick his way around the stacks of books, pacing nervously, drunkenly through them. It was hard to look at Solomon, hard to get the words out.

“You asked me to marry you,” he finally said.

“I remember.”

“I said yes.”

Solomon coughed. “I remember that, too.”

Matthias stopped, looking out the window. He really couldn’t see anything except his own reflection — the windows on this side of the library faced away from the square, and in the darkness, the glass was more of a mirror than a window. He could see Solomon watching him, and it didn’t make the actual asking any easier. He watched in the glass as Solomon came closer.


“Tomorrow is Midwinter,” Matthias said. “I was born on Midwinter day.”

Solomon’s hands were warm on his shoulders. “I think I knew that. What are you trying to ask me, Matt?”

“Solomon, if I asked you to, would you take me upstairs and take me to bed? For sex, I mean. Not for sleep.”

For a moment, there was no answer. No sound at all, and Matthias wondered if he was even breathing. Then Solomon gently turned him around until they were face to face.

“Explain?” Solomon asked softly. “I can’t follow you when your thoughts go off at angles like this. How did we get from one to the other?”

Thoughts going off at angles? It was a good way to describe it, and it took a while before Matthias could manage to gather his thoughts into something that might make sense to someone who wasn’t inside his head. “I’m twenty tomorrow. I’m of age by the laws of the Enclaves, and don’t tell me that those laws don’t matter anymore. I know that. But I’m used to them.”

“I wasn’t going to say that,” Solomon said, sounding amused. “I am going to say that for someone who hasn’t had a man’s status, you’ve had a man’s burden for a long time.”

Matthias nodded. “No arguments. And tomorrow… I want my life back, Sol. I want what the Elders took from me. Everything they took from me. I have most of it — I have my freedom again. I have a home, a place. A purpose. I have people who care about me, and that’s something I never thought I’d have. There’s one thing left.” He rested his hands flat on Solomon’s chest. “I want to feel whole again. I want to stop feeling broken. I want me back.”

Solomon swallowed and let out a long breath. He covered Matthias’ hands with his own and looked Matthias in the eyes. “Matt, do you understand that this might not change that? It’s not going to magically make it all better.” He grinned slightly. “I’m good. I’m not that good.”

Matthias smiled. “I know it won’t make everything right. Give me that much credit. But that’s not what I’m looking for.” He licked his lips, and saw Solomon’s eyes track the movement. “I’ve taken back control over the rest of my life. It’s time I stopped being afraid and took this back, too. I don’t know if I’ll want it ever again, but tonight? I love you, Solomon. I know you said you weren’t going to take me to bed until I was ready. I’m saying that I think I’m ready.” He paused. “No. I’m saying that I am ready.”

Solomon nodded slowly. He ran his thumbs up and down the sides of Matthias’ hands, then asked, “You’re sure?”

“I think so, yes.” He swallowed, then repeated, “Yes.”

Solomon smiled slightly. “Then ask me again.”

Matthias blinked. He tried to step back, but Solomon kept a firm hold on his hands. He nodded, wordlessly encouraging Matthias to speak. Matthias licked his lips again and softly asked, “Solomon, will you take me upstairs and take me to bed?”

Solomon smiled broadly, bringing Matthias’ hands up and kissing both palms, one after the other. “All you had to do was ask, love. And mean it.” He tugged Matthias toward the door. “Come on. We’ll eat first, then—” He smiled. “Then I’ll show you how it’s supposed to be.”

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