THE WANDERING FIRE

Guy Gavriel Kay

PART I—The Warrior

Chapter 1

Winter was coming. Last night’s snow hadn’t melted and the bare trees were laced with it. Toronto woke that morning to see itself cloaked and made over in white, and it was only November.

Cutting across Nathan Philips Square in front of the twin curves of the City Hall, Dave Martyniuk walked as carefully as he could and wished he’d worn boots. As he maneuvered toward the restaurant entrance on the far side, he saw with some surprise that the other three were already waiting.

“Dave,” said sharp-eyed Kevin Laine. “A new suit! When did this happen?”

“Hi, everyone,” Dave said. “I got it last week. Can’t wear the same corduroy jackets all year, can I?”

“A deep truth,” said Kevin, grinning. He was wearing jeans and a sheepskin jacket. And boots. Having finished the obligatory apprenticeship with a law firm that Dave had just begun, Kevin was now immersed in the equally tedious if less formal six-month Bar Admission course. “If that is a three-piece suit,” he added, “my image of you is going to be irrevocably shattered.”

Wordlessly, Dave unbuttoned his overcoat to reveal the shattering navy vest beneath.

“Angels and ministers of grace defend us!” Kevin exclaimed, crossing himself with the wrong hand while making the sign against evil with the other. Paul Schafer laughed. “Actually,” Kevin said, “it looks very nice. Why didn’t you buy it in your size?”

“Oh, Kev, give him a break!” Kim Ford said. “It is nice, Dave, and it fits perfectly. Kevin’s feeling scruffy and jealous.”

“I am not,” Kevin protested. “I am simply giving my buddy a hard time. If I can’t tease Dave, who can I tease?”



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