My recent bodice-ripping affair with Canva has finally led me to redesign the cover for "Black Dragon," which you might remember was a tad too edgy. This one is a little shittier, but vastly more appropriate.
It took them hours to reach it—a flat, dark lake with coarse water, sheltered by the broken sides of what had once been a quarry. James didn’t say it, but Eric knew he could have covered three times their distance in half the time if he'd gone alone.
In 1997, Armistice Todd had a plan.
The horns of his mother and father were both armored in scars, where no smooth skin would grow—a texture somewhere between scale and bone. Blades couldn't break them.
“Naples Cathedral,” Lizzy said. “The Assumption of Mary, or the Cathedral of Saint Januarius, if you prefer.”
The hard chisels in his face and shoulders, silvering stubble, and the tic-tac-toe grid of scars up his neck reminded James of an old wolf. He held out a hand, broad and calloused, and winked a blue eye when James took it.
“Nothing to worry about,” the Aurelius assured them, setting the candlestick back in his antique menagerie. Warmth wafted into the space again. “Happens all the time. You can get off the floor, kids, don’t be shy.”
Black koi skeletons swam like they were still alive inside glass walls too thin to hold them. A plain-looking, straight-cut blazer on the floor was cordoned by chains, and smoked occasionally with black magic. Disembodied whispers leaked from vents, and the number of individuals wearing sunglasses indoors was simply too high.
When she finally came to bother James in the storehouse, Lizzy had aged by about thirty years since she’d talked to him. Quite literally. James was not, by this, point, surprised.
“A little too early, I see. In any case, call me Halcyon for now.” The man watched James another moment, then disentangled his long fingers and rose gracefully from his chair. James tracked the back of his vibrant green coat as he moved to the window.