#ThrowbackThursday: Tabernam Mea by Marley Mars


There's nothing like the magic of #ThrowbackThursday and today, we celebrate with an excerpt from Marley Mars's magical Tabernam Mea

From the Blurb:

Magic is a tool. This was a lesson that had been ingrained into the very bones of Sebastian Crow from the moment of his birth. Magic existed to be commanded by those of certain breeding. It did not possess an agency of its own, it was not a living or feeling thing. Any personality contained in certain spells or enchantments were a remnant of the mage who had performed the casting. Therefore, it was best to only perform great acts of magic when one was possessed of a calm mind, emptied of superfluous thought or emotion. This was what Sebastian had always believed. Until he met Asher Lewis.An urban fantasy, queer romance, set within a magical shop that guards against ancient curses. A tale of self-discovery and finding the strength to stand against corruption. 


On a wet day in late summer, Sebastian opened the shop just as he would on any other day. For over a week the shop had been relatively quiet. No one had come poking around in search of illicit magic or to browse through the curiosities. He had had no visitors from the Collective in quite a while either, no company but for the small black and white television on the shop counter. Most of his days were spent behind that counter where he studied old spell books or read one of the terrible romances that his associate, Friedrich, left lying around. Occasionally, he would walk to the market down the street and stop for coffee on his way back, but for the most part he rarely ventured out into the city on his own.

This day would turn out to be very different, however. Not five minutes after he had flipped the sign in the window to the Open side, the bell above the door jingled. Sebastian had only just settled down in his seat behind the counter with a rather ancient grimoire opened before him. Thankfully, the counter had a raised lip around the edge that was about six inches high, hiding what he was reading from any nosy customers.

Still, he sat up straight and instinctively placed a hand over the priceless book, protecting the diagram he’d begun to study. The young man who stood just inside the doorway hadn’t noticed him yet, however. This was probably a good thing, because the moment Sebastian laid eyes on this stranger he felt a strange flush suffusing his skin.
Nothing about the young man was outwardly untoward, but there was something about the way the sun shone through the front windows that almost made him seem to glow. That was nonsense, of course. Those windows hardly let in any light at all—it was the young man himself who was bright. Blond hair, pink skin—not unusual traits in the least. He was dressed in greys and blacks, though, which didn’t suit him at all. The only color on him was a red t-shirt underneath his black denim vest and a few of the patches on the bag slung across his body.

After a moment the blond took a step further into the shop, his gaze roving along the rows of shelves. Slowly, in an inevitable arc, his head swiveled toward Sebastian and their eyes met, gazes locking together with a nearly audible click.

Sebastian was quite frozen for a long moment, nearly too long. Somehow, he managed to remember himself and raised a hand as he cleared his suddenly tightened throat.

“Ahem. I... was there anything I could help you with?” he asked. This young man did not look like the sort who usually came into the shop hoping to buy something. There was an air of...freshness about him, as if he were the physical embodiment of an early spring day.

Good gods, get ahold of yourself, Sebastian chided himself silently. The person before him was just a young man, nothing more. Easy on the eyes, but Sebastian had seen handsome men before and hadn’t lost his head over them.

“Oh,” the young man said, frowning slightly.

For a moment, he looked as though he didn’t know why he was there. That happened, occasionally. People would walk in without realizing what they were doing, unaware that the magic of the shop had drawn them inside.

“We’ve a wide variety of antiques and curios from around the world,” Sebastian said gently, hoping to direct the befuddled fellow to browse around the store. Usually these curious types of people would be sated by a good perusal and would go on their way, none the wiser. Usually. “Was there anything in particular that you wanted to see?”

“Um...actually,” the young man smoothed a hand over his bag. “I was wondering...could I take some pictures?”

“Pictures?” Sebastian echoed, bemused.

“Yeah. I’m a photographer,” the blond blurted. He stepped right up to the counter then, magical daze broken, and Sebastian nearly gasped at the energy that coalesced around the other man in glimmering golden bands. “I was hoping I could take some pictures of the antiques and stuff? Would that be okay?”

“I... I suppose,” Sebastian said, mouth gone dry. This...stranger didn’t seem to notice the magical energy radiating around him. As quickly as it had come it began to dissipate, though, dimming and settling. Overhead, a light flickered and then began to glow more brightly.

“Really? Thanks, man! I don’t think I’ve ever even noticed this place before, but I’ve wandered around this neighborhood, like, a million times. I’m Asher, by the way.”

Sebastian’s jaw worked for a moment before he could respond. “Sebastian Crow. I’m the proprietor.”

Tabernam Mea is available for purchase and as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription.