Thief (Academy of Unpredictable Magic #3) - Sadie Moss

Chapter 1


I plop down in a chair beside my favorite girl and shoot her a look. “Hey, Sin, love what you’ve done with your hair today.”

She hasn’t done anything new with her hair at all, but that’s the point of the joke. And yeah, I know it’s lame, but I’ve gone through most of my best material already.

“I talked to Asher this morning,” I tell her. “He’s coming back today—should be meeting up with Roman and Dmitri soon, actually. Oh, and he said not to do anything crazy while he’s gone. So, you know, try to control yourself.”

Asher’s gone home a few times over the summer to visit his family. He’s the youngest of thirteen kids, all guys—no, I’m not kidding, it’s insane—and his oldest brothers are married and have kids now, and he wanted to go see them.

I can’t blame him. I’ve been tight friends with Asher for a while now, and his family’s always been good to me. They know I don’t have any siblings or parents of my own—mine died when I was sixteen—and they’ve always made it clear they’ve got room for a fourteenth son. Real good people. And one hundred percent okay with Ash being an Unpredictable, which you don’t see too often.

Maybe it’s ’cause he’s one of thirteen—with that many offspring, his folks feel like they can afford to have one crazy kid. But honestly, I don’t think that’s it. I think it’s just that they love the hell out of Asher and would support him no matter what. Regular magic, Unpredictable magic, no magic—it wouldn’t matter to them, because it’s him they love, not his powers. My parents were the same way, and I like to think if they’d still been around when my magic sparked, they would’ve supported me like that too.

I’ll never know now, but it’s those kinds of thoughts that keep the hole in my heart from hurting too bad some days.

Ah fuck. Got off topic.

Shaking off the melancholy that’s creeping over me, I refocus on Elliot. I’m supposed to be entertaining her, after all, not wallowing in my own shit—keeping things positive and upbeat.

“‘Don’t do anything crazy,’ he says… I don’t know what he’s talking about.” I shoot her a lopsided grin. “It’s not like we nearly burned the house down with that enchanted pasta maker Dmitri got or anything. Don’t think I don’t know that wasn’t all your fault, by the way.”

The house we’re staying at is Roman’s. It’s massive, with enough guest rooms for all of us to have our own with plenty of space left over. I can’t quite figure out how he ended up with such a huge house, or why he needs it, since he’s at Griffin Academy nine months out of the year anyway. But it somehow fits his personality perfectly.

And I don’t mean that as a dig. I like the guy a lot; he’s a great dude. Intimidating as fuck though, seeing as how he’s my professor, and y’know—he’s Roman. I didn’t even know if Roman was his first or last name for a long time—turns out it’s his first—because he’s kind of one of those people you only expect to have one name. Add in that he’s tall, jacked, and has this dark, stoic thing going on, and it makes you feel like you’re a kid all over again. Which is unfair, if you ask me, since he’s only four years older than I am.

“Here’s the thing with Roman I don’t get, Sin,” I continue, “and you can disagree with me if you want—but why all the secrecy? I mean, here we are in this big house out in the countryside, and I have no info about it. He tells us he got it through family money, but where’s his family?”

I shoot a glance toward the door, pursing my lips.

“Not that I’m planning to push him about it, you know that. After what happened to my parents… I’m not gonna pry. I didn’t want anyone’s pity or questions, and I know you wouldn’t either, with your mom and all that. I’m just… curious. I know there’s a lot going on with him that he hasn’t told us.”

My gaze moves back to Elliot as I cock an eyebrow.

“I know you’re curious too, even if you won’t admit it. You know him better than we do, but… I get the feeling he keeps a lot of shit close to his chest. Just like you, actually.”

I take her hand and squeeze it so she knows