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Today, we’re giving you a look at one of the five stories in our Kickstarter-exclusive bonus bundle. The only way to receive this bundle is by pledging to this campaign at the $10 or $25+ levels; it will never be available for sale. This excerpt is from “The Hopeful Bodies of the Young,” by Misha Burnett, and takes place on a lovely night in Dracoheim. Enjoy!



The waiter handed them each a larger leather folder containing the day’s menu and withdrew as if on a greased track.

Ivor realized that he was hiding behind the menu and made an effort to put it down. Say something, he told himself.

“Your pictures don’t do you justice,” he tried.

She raised an eyebrow at that. But she was still smiling.

“Thank you, Magus,” she said impishly.

Ivor colored. “It’s not really that big a deal—” Then he stopped himself. He might as well be honest, even if it came across as conceited. “Well, actually, it is kind of a big deal. Eight years of schooling, then six years as an apprentice. I only graduated six months ago, I’m still getting used to it.”

“And you work for Blackstone-Tate,” she said. That had been in the profile he’d sent the agency.

He nodded. “Junior partner, but my name’s on the rolls. Along with about sixty others.”

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