Authors: Jacob Z. Flores
Tags: #Gay Romance
By Jacob Z. Flores
The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge: Book Two
Thad Blackmoor’s heart is as cold as his icy magical abilities. He considers emotions a waste of his time and prefers to study the arcane, using the sacred books of his coven to grow in his craft. He aspires to supersede his father and elder brother Pierce in power, and now that his younger brother, Mason, has tapped into the rare warlock power of darkness, he needs to work harder than ever.
But Thad’s ambitions are halted when he saves Aiden Teine, a fire fairy, from a banshee. Thad’s immediate attraction to Aiden catches him off guard and thaws his cold heart for the first time. As Thad, Aiden, and his brothers investigate the connection between the banshee attack and the vampyre and shadow weaver who almost killed them, Thad tries to dodge Ben, a sexy warlock who won’t let him be after a one-night stand.
Their search for answers leads them to the Otherworld, where something even more insidious is at work—something Thad will need more than logic to stand against.
To Amy, Alma, and Dani: Your help has been invaluable. Thank you so much for being there when I needed you.
To Jacob’s Junkies: Your encouragement and friendship makes me smile every day. I don’t know where I would be without all of you.
To my family: Your support has made me the man I am today.
I’m so happy to be blood tied to each and every one of you!
Introduction and Dramatis Personae
Magic has existed since the dawn of mankind. Its source is the Gate, a portal to the astral plane that powers the wonders of the world. From this gate, a new species—the
—evolved from humans and divided into three different subspecies:
homo ater magus
homo albus magus
or witches, and
homo neuter magus
From the first moment the humans witnessed the power of this new species, homo magus were hunted without mercy and brought to the brink of extinction.
But the homo magus survived by forming a secret society that lives amid humans.
The witch hunters still exist today, continuing their pursuit of eradicating magic. As long as they are hunted, warlocks, witches, and wizards will continue to live in secret, protecting themselves from extinction while saving humans from the new enemies and ancient threats they know nothing about.
THE BLACKMOORS (WARLOCKS)
is the oldest of his siblings. Upon his father’s death, he will assume the role of high priest of his coven. He commands lightning and often charges into battle without thinking, relying solely upon the powerful magic he wields to win the day.
is the middle child. He is coolly logical and often aloof. He uses his ice abilities to strategic advantage. Knowledge is far more important to Thad than defeating his enemies.
is the youngest of his siblings. Until recently he couldn’t control his magic or access his active power. Mason has since learned he is a shadow weaver, which means he can bend the darkness to his will. This is a rare and powerful warlock ability that has led to the corruption of every warlock who has ever wielded it.
a human and boyfriend of Mason, has recently been made an honorary member of the Blackmoor coven. His last surviving relative, Aunt Millie, was murdered by a vampyre. Drake is under the protection of the Blackmoors due to his part in the death of the vampyre that killed his aunt.
is the head of his family and the high priest of his coven. He is the most powerful warlock in the family, especially once he turns his entire body to stone. Though he is often distant and irritable, Oliver loves his sons and still grieves for his wife.
was Oliver’s wife and mother to Pierce, Thad, and Mason. She died from breast cancer nine months ago.
THE PROCTORS (WITCHES)
Charles and Camille Proctor
are the high priests of their coven. Charles, who works for the Havenbridge Police Department as a detective, is capable of commanding fire, while Camille has dominion over plants. The Proctors pride themselves on the white magic they practice, which connects them to the spiritual forces of the universe.
is the oldest of his siblings. His guiding element of magic is air, which allows him to use it as an offensive or defensive ability. Adam has a rocky past with former friend Pierce Blackmoor. He also nurses his wounds for the unrequited feelings he had for Mason Blackmoor.
finds herself bookended by two strong-willed siblings. She is the peacemaker in the family, and this characteristic manifests itself in her powers. Charlotte taps into the element of water, which grants her astounding healing abilities.
fancies herself the rebel in her family. She is loud and opinionated, which often gets her in trouble and sets her at odds with her family. This likely explains why Miranda and Mason Blackmoor do not get along; they are two peas in a pod. Miranda’s active ability derives from the spirit element, which grants her a unique ability to teleport objects and people at will.
THE STONEWALLS (WIZARDS)
Lawrence and Rachel Stonewall
are the high priests of their coven. The gray magic of wizards gives them direct access to the spirit element, which allows them to tap into powerful abilities that are kept in check by their logical ways. Lawrence is able to control minds while Rachel can cast illusions.
is the eldest of her siblings. She can erect invisible force fields for protection. She is also the most like her parents. She rarely engages with others outside her coven and is closest with her twin brother, Elliot.
is Edith’s younger twin brother by three minutes. He is mute and cannot access his magic like others in the community. He does, however, have the ability to speak to others telepathically.
Kate and Keaton Stonewall
are the youngest members of the family, and they are also twins. Neither of them has tapped into their active powers because they are still too young. Once they turn sixteen, they will learn what ability they will have at their disposal.
OTHER CHARACTERS AND ENTITIES
is the governing body of the magical community. The three most powerful warlocks, witches, and wizards serve on the Conclave. They are charged with making and enforcing magical laws as well as ensuring the Gate is protected from all threats. The word of the Conclave is absolute, and their power is feared across the magical community.
Bartram and Ebenezer Kane
lived during the Salem Witch Trials. Bartram was a powerful member of the Conclave of his time. He was also the last warlock to possess the abilities of a shadow weaver. When his son Ebenezer was burned at the stake, Bartram went mad. He spoke the forbidden
spell to resurrect his son, but turned him into a vampyre instead. As a vampyre, Ebenezer created other vampyren and almost destroyed the magical and human community. It took the combined might of the Conclave to end the threat of the Kane family.
It engulfed everything, as if something had consumed all light in the universe, leaving behind only a black void as a landscape. I inched forward, my hands in front of me, searching for a wall, my dresser, anything that would tell me I was still in my dorm room at Southern Salem University.
I found only empty air, but still I shuffled forward. I had to find my way out of here and get home. My family needed me. I didn’t know how I knew that, but I did. It resonated in my gut, my soul, my blood.
Something was coming. It was making its way toward us in silent bounds, and if we weren’t ready, if we weren’t together, we wouldn’t survive.
Thump, tap, thump, tap
I whirled to my left at the sound of footsteps. Someone was in here with me. “Who’s there?”
Thump, tap, thump, tap
I clenched my fists, and my hands tingled as frost coated my palms. I was ready to fight.
“Answer me or I’ll turn you into an ice sculpture.”
The slow, measured steps circled around me. I knew the drill. My enemy was sizing me up before devouring me whole. He’d quickly learn he was about to bite off more than he could chew.
I let loose my magic in the direction of the footsteps. Ice crackled from my fingertips, and I imagined the bastard would now be frozen solid. All it would take was a good kick and whoever he was would shatter into pieces.
Thump, tap, thump, tap.
It hadn’t worked. How was that possible?
I uttered an immobilization spell, a sleeping spell, and even a warding spell, but nothing worked. It continued its leisurely stroll around me.
My magic was useless. Whoever or whatever was in here with me was either immune to my power or so beyond my abilities, I was little more than a mosquito buzzing around his head.
That was a terrifying prospect.
“What do you want?” I asked, embarrassed by the slight tremor in my voice.
“You will be mine.” The four words echoed in the darkness, growing louder with each reverberation until they became a deafening wail.
I covered my ears, trying to block them out, but the words sliced through me like a razor. I fell to my knees, trembling as the words continued to explode around me and as the footsteps drew closer.
I opened my mouth to speak, to utter some spell that would save me, but the only sound to escape my constricted throat was a scream.
I sat up in bed, perspiration dripping down my back. The sheets were tangled around my clenched fists, and even though I was shivering, I wasn’t cold.
Terror seized my heart in its iron grip and squeezed.
I took several deep breaths, trying to calm my jackhammering pulse. Once my heartbeat returned to normal, I could hopefully relax the muscles that refused to let loose of my bedding, which had suddenly become some lifeline that, once released, would send me tumbling into a pit of despair.
It was just that stupid dream again, so why did I want to throw the covers off my bed and turn on all the lights?
I wasn’t some cowardly mouse, hiding away in the corners of life. I was Thad Blackmoor, a warlock, and my family was one of the covens elected to protect the Gate, the source of all magic, from harm.
We’d recently fought off a vampyre, one of the deadliest and most powerful magical creatures in existence, and won. I hadn’t cowered when it attacked and almost killed me, so why couldn’t I stop shaking?
It was the voice and what it said. Its words were spoken with such conviction, such absolute certainty, they’d chilled me to the bone.
“I will never be yours,” I whispered to my empty room. “I belong to myself and no one else.”
My response jumpstarted my confidence. I wasn’t like my older brother Pierce or my father, both of whom relied on their powers or their muscles, and I sure as hell wasn’t like my younger brother, Mason, who preferred to get by on a wing and a prayer.
Their dependence on external forces made them vulnerable.
That was not who I was. I relied on myself, on my intellect, to see me to success. That was what made me different from my family and every other warlock, and I wasn’t about to let some silly recurring nightmare rob me of that.
I threw the covers off my naked body and stood up in an act of defiance against the dream I couldn’t help but feel had seeped into the waking world.
Dark forces were gathering and unseen enemies waited. I already possessed knowledge of this, but there were too many unanswered questions.
I had to find the answers, but in order for me to do that, it was time for me to go home to Havenbridge.
hours later, I made my way from my dorm room to the Starbucks on the campus. I’d lived here for the past five years, working on my doctorate on witchcraft and historical occult practices. I’d narrowed my field of study to examining the historical conflict between mainstream religion and witchcraft.
It was important for me to understand our history, not just from a personal perspective, but also from an academic one. By studying our past through how humans viewed us, I hoped to gain knowledge on how to better deal with our hidden role in society and avoid the pitfalls when human and magical worlds collided.
This might be the only way to remain off the radar of the witch hunters who knew of our existence and sought to eradicate my species.
I still had two chapters left to complete on my dissertation, and with all the distractions in my life lately, namely that damned vampyre and the foe the Conclave, our governing body, had warned us about, I’d begun to doubt I’d finish them by the end of the semester.