Home > Oh, Sacred Dark

Oh, Sacred Dark
Author: Marina Vivancos




Tyler trusted Archie. In the five years since Tyler’s best friend had received the blessing to lead their community, the Meliora coven had stabilised and improved in innumerable ways. The strictures of hierarchy had diminished, the aid for the old and unwell had grown, and the opportunities for subs, newcomers, and those with little magic had improved.

As Archie’s second in command, Tyler was loyal to a fault.

That didn’t mean he agreed with everything the high witch said.

“You know I’m all for this program, Arch. But this is different,” Tyler argued, leaning forwards where he sat on the opposite side of Archie’s desk—the desk Tyler himself had made him. Of course he agreed with the notion of welcoming refugees and victims from other covens, but taking people from the Imber coven? That was a step too far.

“Did you honestly think we’d only take people from reputable places? The whole point of the program—”

Tyler cut Archie off. “I know that, but this isn’t a question of a few bad apples or an isolated case of abuse. That whole damn coven was practising Chaos Magic. I don’t know about Cross, but Roman was the high witch’s son, for fuck’s sake.”

“I’m aware of that, Tyler,” Archie replied patiently. “That doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve sanctuary.” His dark eyes were steady, confident, framed by the thick glasses he had worn for what felt like forever. Here, in Archie’s familiar office equipped with wooden furniture and old tomes, Tyler felt comfortable enough to speak his mind.

“It’s not about what he deserves. It’s about the fact that if he was part of that, our coven is in danger. You know how toxic that kind of magic is. It takes over the mind, Archie. It—”

“You think I don’t know that?” Archie asked, sounding more tired than irritated. “I’m not making this decision out of the goodness of my heart without thinking of my own people. Both Cross and Roman are on probation for six months, will be assigned to someone to show them around and guide them. The High Court exempted them for a reason.”

“Yeah, a reason we don’t know about,” Tyler pointed out. The trials had been kept secret for the victims’ protection, apparently, and it had left a lot of questions unanswered.

“Reason enough for the High Court. I have sufficient information to deem them safe enough to foster for at least six months. We can discuss whether they’re clasped into the coven after that.”

Tyler clenched his teeth, ready to argue further, but Archie held up a hand.

“Enough, Tyler. You know I value your input, and I rarely ask this of you, but you need to trust me. Me, my judgment, above yours in this. Okay?”

Tyler looked away, frustrated but feeling himself capitulate.

There was a reason Archie had been made High Witch—there were many types of magic, but Listening Magic was rare and treasured. It allowed a person to tune into their surroundings and sense things that others simply couldn’t—the truth of things.

Archie was good-natured to a fault, though, biased in the way he Listened, and Tyler, although not exactly pessimistic, had always been there to temper that instinct.

There were times, though, that it was Tyler who was in the wrong; he could admit that. And Archie was right; Tyler was loyal to him—not because Archie was High Witch, but because Tyler trusted him. His heart.

“Fine. But I’m the one to observe Roman, and you have to listen to me if he does something suspicious,” Tyler said.

“Only if I can trust you to be kind to him and help him integrate into the community. You can’t just put him on trial again.”


Archie sighed. “He’s in the green room.”

“Sounds good.”

The two men stared at each other across the desk, almost three decades of friendship between them, what with their mothers having known each other prior to the boys being born. Finally, Archie nodded and stood up, Tyler following a second later.

They made their way out of the office silently. The Main House was a vast structure full of life. The building, and most things in it, had been made by those with Transforming Magic like Tyler’s. It was imbued with the soul of the coven, present and past. There were meeting rooms, and housing, and a spectacular kitchen that kept many fed. It was a place of giving, and Tyler was as proud of it as Archie was. Had constructed a lot of it—he liked woodworking, but metal was where his real passion lay; he’d run the Main House through with it.

Archie used to tease Tyler about his love for metal when his magic had first solidified, for being a Dom with steel in his magic when he was such a ‘softie’ inside.

Archie’s words, not Tyler’s.

They passed the wide windows lining the hall, some stained with stories of old, of battles and creations, until they reached one of the sitting rooms dedicated to guests. There Roman and Cross sat silently, accompanied only by Lark, the sub who would be in charge of Cross.

Cross tilted his head up and smiled politely at their entrance, dark eyes on a dark face, jaw wide and lips thickly curved. Roman, on the other hand, didn’t deem them worthy of a glance, staring resolutely at the floor. He appeared angelic, ironically, blond curls almost glowing in the sunlight, features delicate and pale.

Already, Tyler knew his assumptions were correct—as the son of the high witch of his previous coven, Roman was bound to be used to a level of deferential treatment he wouldn’t find here.

“Roman,” Archie greeted. “Cross. Thank you for waiting. You’ve both eaten?”

“Yes,” Cross replied formally. “Thank you.”

Roman remained silent, although he nodded slightly. Tyler fought not to frown. Maybe he was just shy and wasn’t meaning to be disrespectful.

“Great,” Archie went on. “We have accommodations for both of you here in the Main House—I hope that’s okay. Of course, we can settle you into permanent housing after the six-month trial period, if all parties are happy moving forward. Cross, you’ve met Lark. Roman, this is Tyler. He’ll be taking care of you till the trial period is over, so if there’s anything you need…”

Again, all Roman did was nod, not a single emotion showing on his face. There was a moment of awkward silence before Lark got up and asked Cross to come with him, Tyler following suit. He exchanged a look with Archie as Roman got up with a huff. Archie just raised his eyebrows warningly.

Whatever. As if Tyler was going to be the problem in this little arrangement.

Tyler waved at Roman to follow as he walked out. “So you’re on the third floor, where the guest rooms are. This floor has some offices and meeting rooms, the lower floor is mainly made up of the kitchen, the dining room, and the rec room, although we also eat outside when the weather’s good.”

There was nothing but silence from behind Tyler, prompting him to turn around and check if Roman was still there as they walked up the stairs. The man had his eyes turned away as if he weren’t listening. Tyler forced himself not to comment on it.

“Breakfast is pretty casual—you can grab stuff all morning. Lunch is at one, though, and dinner at six thirty. People can be a little late, but we try to be on time.”

Tyler was relieved when they made it to their destination, opening the door.

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