Something intense burned in his eyes and I wasn’t sure what to say. What was really between us? Before I could decide, the look was gone and he was lifting me up and out of the cart.

“I think we’ll be walking from here,” Lucas said.


I laughed. “No kidding. I feel like living out the rest of my life, thank you very much.” I watched him as he grabbed up the backpacks again, and was kind of in awe.

At first, he’d been Mr. July to me. Just a pretty face.

He’d proven he was so much more than that. Lucas was kind and caring. Patient and protective. Yet, not overbearing.

Was perfection a wolf thing? Watching Dastien and Donovan, I’d thought they were a fluke. But now I wasn’t so sure.

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Because Lucas was pretty perfect. At least to me he was.

“Look at all the pretties!” Gobble said. For the first time, I really looked at where we’d landed. We stood at the edge of huge cavern. I could see the tracks that we’d fallen from, but in the dark, I couldn’t see where the ceiling of the cave was. I turned in a circle, taking it all in. Every surface sparkled. It was like giant diamonds encrusted the rock walls and we’d landed inside a massive geode.

“Flashlight,” I said. Lucas handed me one. Wherever I shined the light, it glittered with purples and blues. “Wow.” I walked to the closest wall and touched one of the crystals. As soon as my fingertip pressed its cool surface, it started to glow pure white. “Have you ever seen anything so beautiful before?” In awe, my voice came out a whisper. If just one crystal looked this amazing…

Could the rest light up like this?

I took a second to form a rhyme and then let out a deep exhale, allowing my magic to flow outward with the breath. There wasn’t much left, but I hoped it would be enough. “Aura strong and bright. Power good and right. Show us pure white light.”

It was as if I’d flipped a switch. The light caught like fire, spreading from crystal to crystal until the whole massive cavern was lit and glowing with bright white aura.

I clicked off my flashlight and turned in a circle again. The cavern went up at least three or four stories, and crystals glowed all the way to the distant ceiling.

I touched one, running my finger along the sharp edges. Some of them were huge, thicker than Lucas’ thigh muscle. Little ones, the size of my pinky, stuck out between them. They were all piled on top of each other, until it was impossible to see the cave wall. Their energy was so strong it made my fingertips tingle. “What are these?”

“Magic,” Gobble said. Then he wrinkled his nose in a little scowl. “Maybe you aren’t a witch.”

This time I swatted at him. “I am a witch. I’ve just never heard of crystals like these before. Ones that store aura and magical power, but something about them…” My eyes widened as I realized. “That lady from the market. She was wearing one around her neck.”

“You’re right. That one was much smaller, but they’re the same.” Lucas touched a nearby crystal and it turned from white to amber. The same color amber as his aura. Interesting, but I wasn’t sure what it meant.

“Do you…” It could be totally sacrilegious to ask this, but… “Do you think it’d be okay for me to take one? Just one of the little ones. I’m pretty sure the white mages somehow stored their magic inside, and—”

“This could be what helps Raphael,” Lucas finished for me.

I smiled, relieved that he understood.

“Sure. Let me see what I can do.”

I nodded. He was much stronger than I was and would have a much easier time getting a crystal free.

Lucas reached for a crystal the thickness of my thumb. If he could break it off, it would be easy enough to carry.

As soon as he touched it, the crystal fell into his palm. He turned to me, mouth hanging open. “I didn’t have to do anything.”

I took the crystal from him. As soon as it was in my palm, its aura changed to ice blue. “Weird.”

“Is it okay?” Lucas asked.

I put it in my pocket—not wanting it getting lost in my purse. “Yes. Thank you. I’m sure it’s great.”

“Which way?”

I looked around the cave. “I don’t know.”

“What does your gut say?”

I laughed. “My gut has no clue.” There was so much white aura here, that I couldn’t see anything beyond it. “Gobble. Do you know the way?”

“Of course I know the way.” He sounded offended that I would even ask.

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