Ink Bound (Ink Born 3) goes live on Friday! In celebration I’m sharing the first chapter with you. As this is book 3 I highly recommend that you don’t read this chapter unless you’ve read Stolen Ink and Blood & Ink.
Get Stolen Ink for just 99c here:
I’m assuming you’re here because you’ve already read those two books and you’re eager to read Ink Bound. So, without further ado, Chapter One of Ink Bound!
I was quickly growing to hate Fein’s office. The damn elf sat behind his desk like a college principal. His leaf-green eyes were hard and predatory, the knife he was idly playing with only adding to the predatory sensation. Tyn was curled up in his small black cat form on Fein’s otherwise bare desk. The Cait Sidhe appeared to be sleeping, entirely uncaring about the meeting I had to endure.
The cougars were standing next to me, seemingly completely relaxed while Fein looked over the small group before him. I’d put my hands behind my back to try and hide my clenched fists. He still hadn’t allowed me to return to tattooing, despite my having stopped the art thieves and finished his fucking sigils.
Caiden, the hound I’d met in Wildrun, stood on my other side. I’d been informed that Caiden and Fein had worked together in the past. The hound seemed like a nice enough guy. He’d helped me out of a few holes in Wildrun.
“I’m sure Mr. Corbeaux will be happy to hear I called you here today to help me deal with the slave trade present in the underground market,” Fein said, his eyes dancing with humour.
I had demanded to know why he was allowing beings to suffer in the market. The image of the emaciated incubus slowly being drained of blood and the familiars with their filthy cramped cages and dull eyes had haunted me after I’d accompanied the cougars on a trip to the market in question. At the time, Fein had told me that it was a delicate situation and he was waiting for the appropriate time. Of course, I hated the snarky tone of his words, but I was glad to hear something was being done. No one should suffer like that. Still, I was a tattoo magician. There was no reason for me to be involved in whatever plan he had to stop the market.
“Luka and Shadow, you will begin gathering information; I fear Mr. Corbeaux’s personality isn’t quite suited to that task. Mr. Corbeaux, you will be working with Caiden to bring your hand to hand combat up to scratch,” Fein said.
I rolled my jaw. Tattoo magicians didn’t need to be versed in hand to hand combat. I could hold my own in a bar fight, and as far as I was concerned that was enough.
“Don’t worry, Dacian, we’ll have you up to grade in no time,” Caiden said with a smile.
I gave him a tight smile, not wanting to offend him.
“You will return to tattooing in the short term, Mr. Corbeaux. Make sure to dress smartly and conduct yourself in an appropriate manner,” Fein said.
I gave him a small nod of acknowledgement. I’d turned up to one job hung over; you’d think I’d tried to rob someone while wearing hole-y jeans, the way he acted. The fact he’d said, ‘in the short term,’ didn’t escape my notice, but I let it slip. I had to pick my fights very carefully.
Fein continued to address the cougars for a moment, giving them instructions to speak to people I wasn’t familiar with. The ink network probed the back of my mind, testing me.
“Kindly return Tyn before dawn,” Fein said, his gaze on me.
I’d tuned out what he’d just said as I’d been focused on putting up mental defences against the network. I didn’t know if they’d work, but I wasn’t going to allow it to creep into my mind as and how it saw fit.
“Of course,” I said politely.
I didn’t know why it mattered when he returned home, he was far older than I was. Whatever, it was time for pizza and movies.
Ink Bound will be 99c until August 6th.