Excerpt from CHAOS BURNING

How about we go paranormal today with a little something from the second Bound by Magick book, CHAOS BURNING?



From the *always fabulous Lauren Dane* comes her new novel of a treacherous family legacy, a temptation just as dangerous, and an evil so depraved it can only be spoken of in whispers

The life of Lark Jaansen, hunter in Clan Gennessee, has been shaped by violence and unrest and it defines her future. Well-trained and resilient, she’s met her militaristic match in Simon Leviathan, a warrior not of this world. Locked in mutual admiration, and a desire so hot it burns, Lark and Simon have something else in common: they love the dark, and as a shadow is cast over their world, they’re each coming into their own.
A mysterious war has been waged among the Others. As witches and humans turn against each other, as fae retreat in fear, and as vampires rise, Lark and Simon discover that an unseen force is behind it. A single, hungry entity older than recorded history has returned to gorge on the magick of his victims. He is the Magister, nothing less than the end of time. Finding him is Lark and Simon’s first hope. Surviving him is their last.

Copyright 2012, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group


Someone bumped into her, jostling her from her thoughts. He turned, his teeth sharp, bared in a snarl.

Not a human.

Automatically, she drew her personal shields up and balanced her stance, ready to defend.

“Watch where you’re walking.”

“Watch who you try to glamour, Faerie.”

He narrowed his gaze. “What’s it to you, witch?”

She rolled her eyes. “Really? Was your mom okay with you doing that to your teeth? ’Cause, ew.”

He jerked back as if she slapped him and it made her laugh. “Go on then. Scare someone else before I pop you one square in the face.”

“You and what army?” He leaned in closer and gave her a growl. A pretty scary one all things considered.

So she popped him one, square in the face, and he stumbled back.

Lark shrugged. “Guess I didn’t need an army. Just a solid right hook.”

He spit and straightened. “Who are you, then, witch?”

As if she was an amateur.

“No one you need to worry about as long as you leave me and mine alone.”

He looked her up and down. “You have enough trouble; I don’t need to be part of that.”

“Wanna tell me about it? I’ll buy you a coffee to make up for breaking your nose.”

Which is how she ended up sitting at a sidewalk café with a Faerie who had demon blood.

“So what’s your story then?” she asked before taking a sip of her latte.

“Shouldn’t drink caffeine so late at night. Keep you awake.”

She snorted. “This is midday for me. I’m a night owl. So back to you, Dr. Demon.”

When he looked back her way his teeth weren’t filed. He looked like an ordinary, well, close-to-ordinary guy. “Story?”

“Tell me about the trouble you referenced while your nose was dripping blood. Remember?”

“Only because you’d probably punch me again if I didn’t.”

“Don’t pretend you wouldn’t like it if I did.”

“You’re a saucy one, aren’t you? My name is Calder. You are?”


He looked up, startled, and laughed. “Lark? Like the bird?”

“My mom loves birds. What can I say? So Calder, what’s the story? Come on, I bought you coffee and everything.”

“You broke my nose.”

“Still crying over that? Sheesh. If you don’t want to get popped, don’t scare a girl when she’s out for a walk. Anyway, you’re not from around here so let’s not pretend you were out looking for kittens trapped in trees to save.”

He snorted. “You look like you spend a great deal of time in a library and could talk about Star Trek episodes in an encyclopedic manner. But you’re not like that at all.”

“I am though. After we talk business I’d be happy to chitchat about Star Trek with you. Also, I should hasten to add that time spent in libraries means I’ve got a lovely vocabulary. You should try it.”

“Fine. There are a lot of down-and-dirty cats here in town lately. They seem to like the taste of witch magick. Can’t blame ’em, I like the way you guys taste too. I just use my tongue instead of my teeth.”

Surprised, she laughed and rolled her eyes. “Some mages in town. Working with turned witches and even some human anti-Other separatists.”

“Yeah.” There was a pause and he shook his head and then shrugged her way.

“There’s more? More than just these turned witches and mages.” Even as she said it, it sank in and made sense.

He nodded. “There’s just been an odd dude, well, dude usually means human and this guy ain’t human at all. From what I hear, he’s scaring the shit out of the people I’d consider pretty scary. When scary people get scared, I get wary. Don’t know any more than that so don’t break anything else to get me to tell you.” He raised his hands as if he were swearing an oath. And given both the importance of such things to both the demons and the Fae, she believed it.

“If you knew more, would you be willing to share that information with me?” She pushed a business card across the tabletop and he pocketed it.


It was all she could ask for really. “Your time has been helpful.” She lowered her chin slightly in appreciation. You had to be careful when dealing with the Fae. Demons too for that matter.

They chatted until her phone buzzed in her pocket and she realized she was a lot later than she’d planned to be.

“I’ve got to run.” She stood and he did too.

“Me as well. It was my pleasure to meet you. Isn’t often I say that to women who’ve made me bleed.” He smiled. “Then again, more often to them than to women who don’t. I think that says a lot about me.” He turned and with a whistle, walked down the block in the opposite direction.

She texted Meriel that she was all right and on her way over and got moving.

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