Null and Void
(Royal States #2)
Publication date: November 15th 2017
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Born without magic, Mackenzie Little has few prospects. In a futile attempt to break her out of the null caste, her mother ropes her into participating in a charity auction, where anything can be bought with enough money.
She never expected her ex-boss would buy her company, but for one day, she lives a fairy tale.
Nine months later, despite their precautions, Mackenzie’s little miracle is born.
Armed with Texas pride and New York viciousness, Mackenzie must fight through hell or high water to protect her family of two from a society obsessed with the magic they lack.
If I adhered to popular belief, every living thing possessed a spark of magic. The trick was discovering that spark and coaxing it to life.
I wanted to find the bastard responsible for propagating that load of drivel and knee him in the groin so hard his descendants felt it while his ancestors rolled in their graves. Giving nulls like me false hope only made life more difficult. Without magic to ease the way, I needed pointless, wishful thinking like I needed an extra hole in my head.
The extra hole would put me out of my misery, and some days, the thought of escaping the incessant prejudice appealed. I always came back to my senses, and when I did, I became even more bitter about my lot in life.
If I had possessed a spark of magic, I would’ve used it to light a fire under my boss’s ass so he’d get back to work instead of hovering over my shoulder watching me plug numbers into a spreadsheet. What use was magic if I couldn’t do something productive with it? I’d already lost three hours of my day to someone else’s accounting error, and no magic on Earth could tap into a computer and force it to spill its secrets.
Magic could work with technology, but for whatever reason I couldn’t fathom, no one had figured out how to use magic to populate spreadsheets. Sitting straighter, I kept my gaze locked on my monitor to maintain the illusion of productivity. “Can I help you with something, sir?”
“I couldn’t help but notice you’re doing Abigail’s job, Mackenzie Little.”
I twitched at the mention of the woman, who often served as my supervisor when my boss, one Dylan Mason, didn’t feel like dealing with me. I really wanted to know why he always insisted on calling me by my full name. One day, when I tired of having a job, I’d tell him exactly what I thought of him and his obnoxious ways. I’d also give him an earful about the failings of his precious executive secretary.
I kept working and forced a smile. “She asked for help with a report as she has a very busy day today.”
Liar, liar, pants on fire. By help, I meant fix. By asked, I meant demanded. Abigail thanked no one, especially not a worthless null like me, even when I busted my ass making sure she didn’t lose her job. If I had had a single spark of magic, I would’ve started fires to watch them burn.
Most people didn’t want fire as their element; firebugs were as common as dirt, ranked low on the talent totem, and had a reputation of being dangerous without true benefit.
If it meant being something other than a null, I would’ve embraced even the weakest flame.
To cover my growing agitation over my lot in life, I hunted for the nefarious errors in Abigail’s formulas, making my boss cool his heels.
His impatient sigh pleased me.
“I see,” he muttered, hovering over my shoulder and watching me do his secretary’s work.
If I had possessed the power, I would’ve considered damning Dylan to the darkest corner of hell I could find. Ignoring his presence tested my patience, but unlike him, I showed no sign of my annoyance.
Within a few minutes, I found the problem: Abigail liked taking shortcuts and often forgot—or refused—to double-check her work. One corrected formula later, I emailed her the report.
I returned to the daily grind, checking the output of scripts for the marketing department so they could build the reports people like Dylan would use to make deals with other companies—or swindle clients out of their money. My boss continued to hover, leaning forward until I caught glimpses of him out of the corner of my eye.
Were all men such children? Why did such a handsome man have to be so insufferable?
For the sake of my peace of mind, it was a good thing Dylan irritated me so much, else I’d spend every night fantasizing about stripping him out of his shirt.
Susan Copperfield is the royal romance, urban fantasy loving alter ego of award-winning & USA Today bestselling novelist RJ Blain.
Under the super not-so-secret identity of Susan, the Royal States of America is explored, where the work of sixteen founding royal families preserved the United States from destruction and civil war when magic swept over the world.
In the Royal States, life, love, and magic always finds a way.
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