All Mariamne Niege wants is to finish her thesis and get a job. Unfortunately, she’s a Guardian now, and her visions of the future have grown so intense she’s blind to the world while in their grip. Her Watcher, Hanson, is sleeping on her couch and scaring her roommates when he’s not shepherding her through the visions and calming her worsening nightmares. Then the earthquakes start, warning of an even bigger disaster—a cataclysm that could level her beloved city and claim countless innocent lives. A disaster her visions say are triggered by Hanson, even though he’s sworn to protect her . . .
Hanson joined the Watchers to atone for a life of lies, but the only way he can stay close enough to Mari to protect her is to use some of his less-than-honest talents. She is the only witch who can ease the agony of being a Watcher, and the only woman in the world he wants. Then Mari’s house is broken into and her roommates slaughtered, and in order to save his witch, Hanson is going to have to become more vicious than the Dark—even though it might mean losing her forever.
Bounced around the world as a military brat, Lilith Saintcrow fell in love with writing in second grade and never looked back. She currently resides in Vancouver, Washington, with two children, a menagerie, and books. Find her on the web at lilithsaintcrow.com.
Read an Excerpt
He tore the thick, wooden, iron-barred door off its hinges by the simple expedient of sinking his fingers into the metal crosspieces and setting his feet, then yanking back with every erg of strength he possessed. Metal squealed and snapped, wood exploded, and a wild-eyed Mari scrambled out of the stinking darkness inside the crypt. Her hair curled wildly, streaming back from her face. She was still screaming, her cheeks paper-pale except for splotches of hectic color high on each cheekbone.
Hanson's hands closed around her shoulders. He half-spun, bringing up the gun, pointing at whatever Dark lurked in the crypt's chill blackness.
She struggled frantically, kicking and clawing at him, probably mad with fear. "Easy, sweetheart," he said, the undertone of Power in his voice slicing through her screams. "Easy. I'm here. It's all right. I'm here."
Whatever was inside the crypt retreated. A foul stench of rotting flesh and swamp water boiled out of the stone cube. She was in there alone for how long? I am going to torture that gargoyle to death. I swear it on my sword, I am going to clip his wings down to nubs and pull out his claws before I slit his throat an inch at a time. "Easy, sweetheart. Shhh, Mari, Mariamne, I'm here. It's me. Relax." Come out so I can kill you, he thought, the gun never wavering. Come on. "Be easy, sweetheart. I've found you, it's all right. What were you thinking, hmmm?"
She stiffened, staring up at him, her blue eyes ringed with white. The perfume of her fear, Power trembling, ready to escape her control, folded around him. His nerves tingled, bathing in it, drinking in the smell of his witch. In that moment heunderstood far more about the Dark than he ever wanted to. He was hungry for her, hungry for her light. What would he do if she denied him?