Shimmer – Snippet 3

Hey, S. M. Boyce here. Shimmer is the second book in the Fairhaven Chronicles, a series inspired by the beauty of the west coast. Enjoy the first 6 chapters on the house and ride along as Victoria Brie (yes, like the cheese) and her best friend Audrey Xavier continue their journey.

Did you miss the previous chapters? Here they are:

Chapter 1:

Chapter 2:

Here’s chapter 3:

Glow: The Revelations of Oriceran, The Fairhaven Chronicles, Book 1

By S. M. Boyce & Martha Carr

Chapter Three

Sitting in his office, Fyrn pushed aside yet another envelope with the United States government seal across the back. He had received a dozen of these in the last few months, all with the same request: Come to Washington.

The Order of the Silver Griffins might have excommunicated him for the snafu that gave Victoria’s parents the means to blackmail him, but the human governments still reached out to him regularly. They didn’t care if he didn’t have a shiny badge anymore. As long as he could do for them what they needed done and took care of the magical creatures that threatened their cities, they called on him and paid him well for it. In fact, they had bankrolled several of his private projects without even knowing it. Their money kept him afloat.

But Fyrn had a more important project now: Victoria.

He couldn’t deny the truth. Victoria would be massacred in a fight with Luak if she didn’t get stronger. She could now produce and wield either the shield or the sword, but not both at the same time. If she were to succeed in a real fight—especially against someone as experienced as Luak—she would need both, as well as her magical ability to heal the blows she inevitably would take.

No matter how hard she trained or for how long, human bodies had limitations below what was required to master this particular Rhazdon Artifact. She was pushing her physical limits already.

She wouldn’t be able to do it… not without help.

Fyrn had mastered more spells during his early schooling than most wizards mastered in their entire lives, but even he didn’t know of any spells that could give Victoria as much strength she would need. He had spent days poring over the hundreds and hundreds of books in his collection. He had even inquired of some of his wizard contacts who still spoke to him, and though he never told them the full story, no one had an answer.

This Rhazdon Artifact had been made for an Oriceran being, something she wasn’t and never could be. No spell could help her, and Fyrn was out of ideas.

Well, that wasn’t entirely true. He had one idea—one Victoria herself had given him.

Find another Rhazdon Artifact.

He pushed himself to his feet and paced his study in an endless circle. What a horrible idea. He shouldn’t even be considering giving her another Rhazdon Artifact, much less thinking about which one she should look for. It was a terrible idea, one he could never condone.

… and yet here he was.

Rhazdon Artifact, or failure. Those appeared to be her only options.

Videtur,” he said to the air.

Quick as a whip, one of his fairy spies appeared in the doorway. She was never far from him, and their magic word allowed him to summon her regardless of where she was. The beautiful fairy’s red hair spiraled around her tiny face, nearly as long as her body. With her blue eyes focused on him, she wrung her hands with concern. “Yes, sir? Are you all right?”

“I am. I need you to find a particular Rhazdon Artifact.”

She gasped, tiny hands covering her red lips. Her surprise lasted only a second, however, and she quickly nodded. “After everything you’ve done for us, we’ll do anything for you, sir. You know that.”

Fyrn nodded. “I do. It’s an onyx bear figurine. Look everywhere.”

“It will take me quite a while, sir. I’ll have to make new contacts.”

“Do what you must, but find out where it is. Don’t retrieve it yourself, do you understand?”

She nodded. “Will it kill me if I try?”

“Most likely. Don’t get hurt, little one.”

“Yes, sir.” Her gossamer wings beat the air and turned her toward the door.

“And Melzzie?”

She paused, hovering in the air as she peered over her tiny shoulder.

“Thank you,” Fyrn said.

A thin smile crossed her lips. She nodded and whizzed off on her errand as quickly as she had come. His fairies had their own access doors to the house, which let them in and out even when he wasn’t home. After all they had done for him through the decades, he knew they and they alone could be trusted with that sort of access.

He slumped in his chair, rubbing his temples as he stared at the mess of parchments on his desk. He had kept so much from her about Luak, about all the other people the monster had killed. But it was time. This would be one of her final tests: did she have a good heart, or would she be consumed by bloodlust?

In his soul, Fyrn knew she had the capacity for greatness. Not just because she was headstrong and determined, but because she was kind. She’d shown compassion when most hosts would have surrendered to greed.

But would it last?

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