There’s something in the forest.
Alain senses it, like a wordless voice at the back of his mind. The voice grows stronger when his father, after a failed attempt to regain the family fortune, returns with tales of a hideous creature in the woods. For his trespass upon her estate, she demands a payment – one of his sons.
Alain goes, motivated as much by curiosity as selflessness. In the creature’s estate, he soon learns of his untapped affinity with the Other World, the realm of magic that exists alongside the regular world. He learns just as quickly that when it comes to magic, curiosity can lead to such things as having his essence ripped from his body, or being crushed by a black cord of dire power. To safely navigate these perils, he needs a teacher.
The creature is his only option. She detests his company almost as much as he dreads hers, insisting that she had nothing to do with his imprisonment. But he arrives at a bargain that suits them both.
Neither of them bargained on falling in love with each other.