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"DO YOU HAVE TO LEAVE TONIGHT?" Ravenna's voice was soft, barely above a whisper

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"DO YOU HAVE TO LEAVE TONIGHT?" Ravenna's voice was soft, barely above a whisper. She leaned against Caelan's desk, her arms folded across her chest. Uncertainty whispered through her, twisting her stomach into knots. She didn't like that Caelan was leaving her so suddenly, so completely out of the blue.

"I apologize for telling you at the last minute. I was just informed this morning about the ingredients whereabouts, and it's imperative that I arrive before sunrise to receive it," Caelan remarked. His arms were also folded across his chest. He stared down at Ravenna with gentle eyes and an expressionless face. Various objects floated around him, glazed with a soft white glow. As they conversed, the items moved around them, sorting themselves into a satchel on his desk.

She fiddled with a strand of her hair. "Is the ingredient outlawed? Is that why you have to rush to trade for it at night? Or will it just disintegrate the moment that the sun has fully risen?"

His eyebrow arched. "Something of that nature," he answered.

Her eyes narrowed. She pressed her lips into a wrinkled line as a small smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. Glancing at his satchel, he said, "Actually, the ingredient itself is highly frowned upon. There is only a single vial of it in existence, and I have to get there before its location is revealed. The moment the sun rises, the moment the humans wake and it could be moved."

"What is it, exactly?"

Caelan didn't respond at first. Instead, he lifted a hand and snapped his fingers. The objects that floated around the room quickly returned to their original spots on the shelves. Ravenna watched, mildly impressed, as the satchel tied itself and lifted from the table. It flickered from existence, only to reappear on Caelan's shoulder mere seconds later. He lifted his hand to his collar, tugging lightly on the cloth of his shirt. She blinked, surprised, as dark fabric spilled out from beneath his fingertips, trailing down toward the floor. Then he reached back and pulled a hood up over his head.

"It's a secret," he told her with a chuckle.

Ravenna grunted. "That's not a real answer."

"It will have to do."

Caelan stepped forward, moving dangerously close to Ravenna. He didn't stop moving until his body almost brushed against her own. Her eyebrows furrowed with confusion and a flare of heat exploded across her cheeks. She could feel the material of his cloak brushing against her arm, and all she could breathe in was his scent. "What are you doing?" she asked.

"Almost forgot this," he told her as he took a step back, holding a small scroll in his hand. A smile had taken his lips. "You really need to work on that whole lust issue. It's quite obvious."

Outraged, Ravenna shot forward. "I am not lusting after you," she snapped at him, jabbing a finger into his face. "You just got entirely too close for comfort."

He winked. "Sure."

Her hands curled into fists at her sides. A moment passed, and the amusement started to fade from his expression. Caelan's eyebrows furrowed.

Ravenna started to feel uneasy. "What is it?"

"There is no ice around your hands," Caelan remarked. His voice sounded distant, as if his thoughts were elsewhere. "Usually, when you are upset, your ice reacts to your emotions."

Her gaze dropped down to her hands. He was right. Her ice usually appeared whenever she was feeling particularly emotional. It was a major part of his initial assessment of her powers. She needed to gain control over her ice to make sure that she didn't kill someone in the heat of the moment.

She focused her attention on her ice. A small sliver of icy blue magic began to dance around her knuckles, just as it used to. The talisman began to grow hot against her chest. "There it is," she said.

Caelan didn't seem to relax. "You gained a lot of control over your ice. Almost a dangerous amount of control," he said. "While you must be able to keep from killing others, it is still important that it reacts with your emotions. Your emotions can be a very powerful element when mixed with magic, only if properly controlled."

"I thought I was supposed to ignore my emotions," Ravenna said. Another wave of annoyance swelled up within her. "You told me that my magic shouldn't be controlled by whatever I am feeling."

"It shouldn't," Caelan said. "Not completely. But if you are in the midst of a battle, and remain as attentive as you are now, then you will be easily killed. Your ice will not protect you as it used to."

A heavy frown tugged at Ravenna's lips. She immediately thought back to her training session with Vyses, and how her attack had halted the moment she lost concentration. The moment she had a panic attack. "I see," she said.

Caelan's face softened. He hesitantly placed a hand on Ravenna's shoulder. "You are at least improving."

Ravenna's heart fluttered within her chest.

He stepped back, away from her. His hood seemed to lower, encasing his face within the shadows. All she could see were his bright eyes. "I will return soon. Once I have the vial within my possession, I will be unable to teleport back. I don't want to risk the container opening while transporting. It will be about a five day walk back. You should have everything that is needed, including food and protection, within this household. The shields will also remain in place while I am away, so do not worry about any unexpected visitors."

She nodded. She folded her arms across her chest again, pressing her forearms against her stomach. "Be safe," she told him.

His head cocked slightly to the side, almost as if her statement confused him. "You as well," he said. His voice sounded distant again.

Within a blink of an eye, Caelan vanished from sight.

Remember if you ever want to read ahead, there are a solid 20+ more chapters available on the Tapas version! And don't worry

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Remember if you ever want to read ahead, there are a solid 20+ more chapters available on the Tapas version! And don't worry. If you don't think that you can spend the money, there are still ways to earn coins/keys on Tapas for free.

P.s. I am so tired. My 2018 has been nothing but non-stop sucker punches to my gut so far and I've been working my booty off just trying to stay ahead on rent and homework. Hopefully yours has been better. 

Also happy belated Valentine's/Galentine's/Palentine's Day and Happy Chinese New Year to those who celebrate! <3

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