A Darker Magic This Way Comes is in essence a love story set between two worlds. A portal between modern day and Arthurian Britain has mysteriously opened bringing Merlin, a handsome young magician with all his ancient knowledge and powerful gifts into the life of Emily Hughes a bright and headstrong high school student in Exeter, England. This is their first meeting….
10.00pm, Wednesday September 8th, our time
Emily sat cross-legged on her bed in her pj’s, her bronze hair still damp from the shower. She played nervously with her phone. She’d already told Casey Madigan all she knew about what happened to her mother and revealed to Jack Devonport, her closest friend, all that she feared as a result. Curled up on the bottom of her bed was her orange and white Brittany spaniel, one eye open, one eye shut. Kelso startled her with a deep growl, only to beat his tail against her coverlet, and Emily knew that meant he was alerting her to the arrival of someone who smelled safe, like her family.
“Who’s there?” Emily whispered.
Out from the shadows stepped a very tall boy, about sixteen or seventeen, with clear white skin, a prominent nose, overlarge lips and coal-black, shoulder-length hair.
“Who are you?” she cried. “What are you doing here?”
He smiled sheepishly, jiggling the stolen sunglasses.
“This is for the woman with the pate of beaten copper,” he said, offering them to her with one hand behind his back. She jumped up to grab the sunglasses.
“Where did you find Mum’s glasses? This is a security building! How did you get in here? You have to get out, you know… because this is my private space.”
He ignored all her questions and protests, and asked instead,
“Are you alone?”
Her eyebrows flew up in mock alarm.
“That is a dangerous question for an intruder to ask. I could pull out a gun and shoot you!”
“I regret I appear to you as an intruder and someone dangerous to your welfare because I came here as your friend. I have a gift for you. Here, I picked this posy from my mother’s garden.”
And this was the moment, Emily knew later, when her life changed. If she had screamed at the intruder, her mother would have come running and called security, and who knows how this strange boy would have reacted. But she did not scream because she never felt really afraid of him. Instead, from the first time she saw him, she knew him, she just knew him, and because she felt no threat she smiled at him with her whole body, and that meant her eyes danced, her lips parted and her hands fluttered and she nervously hooked her hair, her best feature, behind her ear with her left hand while with the other she reached out for the wilted red and white field flowers. Every protest she made after that moment was undermined by her delight at seeing this graceful man in her room.
“Didn’t you hear what I just said?” Emily protested weakly. “This is my bedroom and you’re very rude barging in here!”
Very shyly he smiled back at her and bowed.
“I beg you to excuse my lack of manners, my lady, I know I should not be in your chamber uninvited because it is rude, but could you kindly tell me what you’re doing?”
“I’m texting Toby; I’m letting him know I have this strange man in my room. My mum doesn’t allow any boys in my bedroom. So you’d better get out, now!”
He threw his head back and laughed because he had no intention of leaving without her.