In the long chronicle of Black Swan knights, Torn was one of only a handful who were not second sons. His particular life circumstances, otherwise known as fate, created the perfect storm


I ne’er expected much. What would be the point? The good people of the Irish fishin’ town where I grew up made me an outcast because my da was a good-for-nothin’ drunk. Was no’ my fault. I was just a kid. I’ve been takin’ care of myself since I was eight.

I’ve been with Black Swan since I was thirteen and I’d like to tell you things were a lot better. But I’d be lyin’. Sure. They knighted me. But then they stuck me in Marrakesh, the worst unit with the worst vampire infestation in the world, and left me there to rot with Z Team. I’m no’ sayin’ I was demonstratin’ exemplary habits, but nobody deserves Marrakesh. Just when I thought it would be impossible to pull worse duty with Black Swan, I was made a floater. If you do no’ know what that is, ask Glen. He’ll give you an earful. It was worse.

So Glen, who is now Sovereign of the crown jewel of Black Swan, Jefferson Unit in New Jersey, rang me up and asked if I wanted to interview for a new gig with his wife. Of course I was eager to get out of floater rotation any way I could and said, “Why no’? It could no’ get much worse.”

That was what I thought.

It ne’er occurred to me that it could get better. So much better that I could leap right out of my skin from joy. Why? Turned out that one of the hunters who made the cut for D.I.T. is my mate. Great Paddy. I did no’ think such a marvel could be part of my lot because I’d decided long ago that fate had it in for me. I had good reason to think that. Life had given me nothin’ but shite.

Until her.

Sheridan O’Malley, one of a pair of wild twins from the New Forest. She was no’ expectin’ me either, but ’tis no’ easy to walk away from love. So we had a few weeks together. Do no’ ask me for syrupy words like bliss and ecstasy. I’ll just say that I ne’er knew what people meant when they talked about bein’ happy before. But when you experience happiness, you understand why ’tis a big deal. She was everything.

Then she was taken from me.
By a demon.
Now my days are spent tryin’ to stay sane.
Hopin’ she’s okay.
Hopin’ that somehow, some way, she’s comin’ back to me.