This is The Emporer Mage from Numair's eyes. It foreshadows his feelings for Daine. While it follows the books' cannon parts, I will take liberties where there is room. This is not for the innocent. From the first paragraph of the first chapter it has very vivid sexual content. You've been warned.

There were many contradictions in the Emperor's Mage which I will try to address along the way. Among them:

If Kaddar was working with the slave underground, why did he balk at Daine's request to release slaves?

Why if Numair is so vain, does he always down play his power?

How Can Numair be the most powerful mage in half of the world when he's in the same space as Alanna? There should have been something to show us the difference.

If Numair was falling in love with Daine, why would he simply hide in the university until she woke up?

If Numair has one of the finest minds in the world, why didn't he figure out the Hag's role in things when all the signs were there?

I will stick to the Cannon dialogue word for word, and mind the timeline. When I'm done, one should be able to slide into the other seamlessly. If I screw up, I'm sure a lot of people will let me know.

Disclaimer: Oh how I wish I had dreamed up these characters, especially Numair. But, alas, I did not. This is based on Tamora Pierce's The Emporer Mage, with small references to other books of the "Immortals Quartet".

Chapter one – The Dream

She was there, above him. She straddled him, slowly rising and falling to the rhythm of their lovemaking. Numair noticed their hands were intertwined, fingers laced. He was both steadying her and pulling her toward him, depending on his need. In the darkness, she was bathed in moonlight. It glittered from soft, supple skin and he followed it up across her belly to her pale breasts. His eyes traveled further to the badger claw she wore on a chain and up the elegant curve of her slender neck. Beyond he saw soft lips, parted slightly. She moaned softly, a sound that teased his senses. Above, he watched her long lashes fluttering. She tilted her head back and let the smoky curls fall out of her eyes. And then she turned her face back to him, those blue-gray eyes were open, staring into his with a hard, intense look that seemed to peer into his soul. He heard his own voice crack in a sound he'd heard many times in the throes of ecstasy, "Oh, Magelet." Except, the name alerted him to the wrongness of this situation. It didn't belong in this setting and the wrongness of it shook him awake.

Numair lay on his back in his dark room in Carthak, gasping. Caught between arousal from a vivid dream and the humiliation of the waking realization that he had been dreaming about her, Numair found he was disoriented. He had been having a very sexual dream about his fifteen year old student. Self-loathing washed over him like a wave, wrestling the arousal from his body and leaving his mind reeling.

What was going on? This couldn't be happening. He knew better. He had one of the finest minds in the mortal realm. And yet, wrapping his mind around this was really unfathomable. There were certain do's and don'ts of being a teacher, and having erotic dreams about students half your age definitely fell into the don't category.

He tried to see what might have caused this. Daine was growing up and becoming very pretty. Maybe this was simply his subconscious mind trying to tell him he was minorly attracted. But there was no minor attraction in that dream. He couldn't remember ever having a dream like that in his life. Yes, he had experienced erotic dreams before. But that was too real. There were details there that he had no right to ponder. He tried to think of what had happened to precipitate it. They had been in Carthak for a short time. He had noticed recently that Daine was growing lovely. In trying to compliment her, he had ended up pointing out that she "had her own something". But that alone would not bring a dream like what he had just experienced. His mind shot to what had happened at the noon banquet that very day. Daine knew he had a sensitive stomach and sent a dog to help him save face in front of his ex-lover, Varice. But that was nothing, or was it?

He had made a strange observation when it happened. At the time it was a simple curiousity to him. She had noticed his need and met it. He didn't have to ask. That was sweet. However, he had also observed that it was something that a mere student had noticed. Varice had been his lover for a couple of years in Carthak, and he thought it odd that she didn't remember this little piece of information. Then he wasn't sure if she had ever even known. But why? Who sleeps with someone for two years and doesn't know little things about them? He knew her favorite foods, her favorite drinks, and even her favorite color of silk. Maybe she hadn't cared to learn.

So he wondered if that was why his mind put Daine in a place Varice had held. And what a good job his mind had done in replacing one with another. The two women had little in common in looks: Daine was slender whileVarice was voluptuous. Their eyes and hair were nothing alike. He couldn't be sure, but he thought that even the voice had been correctly replaced. It was a thought that sent color to his cheeks and let that nauseous feeling of self-loathing creep into him again. He knew he wouldn't go to sleep if he tried, and the truth was he was afraid to. What if he dreamed that again? Numair lit his lamp and pulled out a book.

He had just finished the first page when he heard a knock at the door. He lifted a robe from the edge of the bed and checked himself in the looking glass. He didn't know if he expected the word, "fiend" to be written across his forehead, but was glad to note that it wasn't there. He was the same old Numair with the same old dark eyes and the same old shoulder length, raven-black hair. He observed with a sense of irony that he was feeling older by the second. With some trepidation, he opened the door. Varice Kingsford leaned on his doorsill with come-hither eyes. "Good evening," she said. "I saw the light on under your door and thought you might welcome a visit from an old friend."

Numair smiled. "I would, indeed." He hoped that she could erase the memory of the dream and that perhaps what he needed was a little adult interaction. He stepped back and bowed slightly. He could take solace in Varice and forget. At least, that was what he intended.