I have another snippet from The Merchant's Love for you today. In it, Maxen gives Faelen a Midwinter holiday gift.
“Shall I give you your present before the holiday is over?”
Faelen laughed softly. “I think it already is. It’s late, but I won’t turn down the gift.”
Now, Maxen laughed. “I didn’t think you would.”
He held on to Maxen when he would have moved away. “You didn’t have to buy me anything, you know.”
“I know. I wanted to.”
Maxen went to his coat and retrieved a small, brightly wrapped parcel. He handed it to Faelen, looking almost shy. A warm tide of something sweet moved through Faelen at the sight of it. He almost didn’t need to know what it was, just that Maxen had picked it and so obviously hoped he would like it. It was the first time they’d exchanged anything, except for the books, and that wasn’t the same—though Faelen would always treasure them.