Cullen jumped from his chair the moment he heard the scream that resonated from the backyard. A second later, his youngest daughter came scampering through the back door, nearly tripping over her own feet in her haste. Before she could tear past him, Cullen reached down and caught her around the waist, halting in her tracks. He could feel her small frame trembling making his heart ache and filling him with concern.
“Little love, what’s wrong? What happened?”
She tried to squirm from his grasp but Cullen wouldn’t relent. Lowering himself to a knee, he pulled his youngest daughter into a tight embrace. She resisted for a moment before finally throwing two small arms around his neck and sobbing into his shoulder. He held her close, rubbing her back and smoothing her hair while quietly shushing her frightened sobs.
It seemed like an eternity before she began to relax. It felt even longer before she lifted her head of golden curls to gaze at him in wide-eyed terror. “Daddy, I– I made snow with–with my hands…” She hiccuped, pulling her arms from around his neck to gape at her dainty hands. “I'm–I’m a mage!”
Smiling warmly, Cullen pulled his scared little girl into another hug and pressed a tender kiss to her temple.
“Hi, mage. I’m dad.”