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61222004 Three Ways to Wicked Melinda Barron

61222004 Three Ways to Wicked Melinda Barron

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Published by: stormskye on Feb 23, 2013
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  • Chapter One
  • Chapter Two
  • Chapter Three
  • Chapter Four
  • Chapter Five
  • Chapter Six
  • Chapter Seven
  • Chapter Eight
  • Chapter Nine
  • Chapter Ten

Three Ways to Wicked By Melinda Barron Resplendence Publishing, LLC http://www.resplendencepublishing.com

Resplendence Publishing, LLC 2665 S Atlantic Avenue, #349 Daytona Beach, FL 3211 8 Three Ways to Wicked Copyright © 2011 Melinda Barron Edited by Tiffany Mason and Liza Green Cover art by Les Byerley, www.les3photo8.com Electronic format ISBN: 978-1-60735-292-1 Warning: All rights reserved. The unauthorized reproduction o r distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringem ent, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI an d is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000. Elect ronic Release: April, 2011 This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and occurrences are a product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actu al persons, living or dead, places or occurrences, is purely coincidental.

Thanks to Aleka… This book is for those who believe in magic.

He’d picked her up at the train station . He was gorgeous. It was when the letters turned nasty. if her breasts were real. or enhanced. . or a birthmark. She co uld use a good affair right now. and a drug store. taken her to the grocery store. Seamus seemed to enjoy it. the letter went direct ly into the shredder. you make sure to let me know. and then he’d asked her. or if it was digitally i nstalled. They’d stopped b y a bookshop. all she’d seemed to receive were letters from assholes who wanted to know if her body markings w ere a tat. Most men would balk at driving a woman around all aft ernoon long.” that sh e’d stopped opening them. For the last three months. and wondered once again why all the good ones seemed to be taken. which had caused Krisily’s spirits to drop. and she was sure Seamus was good. from ones asking if she liked it doggy-style or missionary. and he’d gone out of his way to make her feel welcome here.Chapter One “Now. It had been a huge stroke of luck that the advertisement for the cottage rental ha d shown up in her mailbox when it did.” Krisily Carmichael glanced over at her ne w landlord. Seamus Gregory. the market. if there was anything else she needed. to rants about a “woman your size posing naked. although I’m sure we’ve bought you enough provisions for a month’s time. anything you need. three times. or if that was really a gold ring sticking out from between her legs. one to make her forget the past four months. But three different times during the day he’d made reference to his wife. If she didn’t recognize the sender. or as he’d called it.

And then the ad for the cottage had come in. and told her the cottage was hers. It didn’t seem like he was going to elaborate on the weather. so she searched for another topic. to put her things into sto rage and put her house on the market.” “Fault line?” “It has something to do with th hot springs. He’d returned her call within the hour. It was like being in heaven. she never would have seen it and fallen in love with the idyllic setting. When an offer on the house had come in two weeks after it was up for sal e. Very technical.” “Oh. She’d called that afternoon and talked with Seamus Gregory. if she still wanted it. “How much rain can we exp ect this time of year?” “Quite a bit. promising “peaceful country living in a beautiful English setting. and if that c ame back good. waiting just for you. driving along a narrow country lane with the windows down. I don’t t otally understand things like that. but I don’t totally understand it myself. the spring ai r held just a hint of rain. “Sorry.” “Named for the fault line.” she’d said as she’d traced her finger over the photo of the cottage. She’d called Seamus.” Her head bobbed as if she understood. complete with a thatched roof and an extensive gar den. then they would be all set. but she didn’t want to come back to the house that held such bad memories f or her. She didn’t plan on staying in England perman ently. which had surprised her. she’d had to postpone her trip even longer so she could complete the sale.” If it hadn’t been in postcard form. They’d left Bath and were heading tow ard the small village of Pennyquick.” . I don’t mean to be vague. The fault lines bring the hot water that’s in the baths to the surface.” and the cottage would “be here. who had told her he needed to run a credit check. The card said the actual house was set on acreag e and “kilometers away from the nearest neighbor. “How did the village get its n ame? It’s unusual.” he replied. But he’d assured her that they wouldn’t “take it out from under her. worried that they would give the rental to someone else since it was taking her so long to get there.” Now here s he was.” “Perfect. or something like that. It had taken another month to get things set up.

it’s like somet hing off a postcard. She had lots of experience with being ill at ease lately. T he AGA is a little old. “Oh wow. I appreci ate it. just for you. and it’s downstairs.” “Don’t you use the cottage for vacations?” “No.” She leaned against the seat. right?” “Oh yes.” “Great. Krisily’s eyes widened. then sat forward again when he turned off th e main road.” They rounded anothe r curve and the house came into view. then?” “No.” She made a mental note to Google the Pennyquick fault line.” He gave her a smile. “The cottage is perfect. Her idea of a vacation is playing in London. “There’s an old car out here that you’re welcome to use. kilome ters. she saw him swallow hard. or so my wife says. no. give me a call and I’ll be there in a flash to fix it for you.” “Thanks.” He navigat ed around several bends in the road.” “Sounds great.” “You’re welcome. a four-speed that I’d be driv ing on the wrong side of the road. but it’s only an hour away. as if he w ere uncomfortable about something. “Is it a standard transmission?” “Yes. we live in Bath. but it works like a charm. We had th e entire place rewired. The keys are in the kitchen.” His grip seemed to tighten on the wheel. “I hope it works as the salesman said it would. If it goes out.” They rode in silence for a few miles. “There is I nternet service at the cottage. “It was an inheritance for my wife. and she’s a city girl.“Interesting.” She glanced at the passing scenery. There’s on e bedroom downstairs and two upstairs. we made sure of it. from the corner of her eye. I’ll probably just stay put.” “Wonderful. and then.” .” “Sounds li ke fun.” He gave her another smile. thanks. “We’re there already? Have we been traveling an hour?” “Somewhat.” She watched the trees as they w hisked by. There’s only one bath. “Is something wrong? Or is there something you’d like to tell me about the cottage?” “Not at all. “So you live around the cottag e. she thought. so you shouldn’t have any problems with power from the gen erator.

The cottage was everything she’d dreamed it would be: brown stone walls with a tha tched roof. The door was red and the picket fence around it was white. The grass was green and the flowers she could see were all bright colors: reds, blues, pu rples. Getting her hands into the dirt and planting things was going to be very therapeutic for her. He stopped the car near the outside gate. “The boxes you had shipped are already inside. I took the liberty of putting them in the upstairs r oom, the one I thought you could use as an office for your writing. That’s where t he Internet is set up, too. It’s not wireless, unfortunately.” “Thank you.” She didn’t wan t to tell him she didn’t plan on doing any writing. Right now, all she wanted to d o was sit in the garden and drink a bottle of wine, and another one, and another one after that. They got out of the car and she put her hand on the gate; it se emed to hum with energy and a thrill shot through her. This was going to be so r elaxing, so very sweet. In a few hours, she will have unpacked her bags and woul d be sitting in the gardens with a glass of wine. To hell with that, she thought as she watched Seamus get her suitcases from the boot of the car. Wine and rela xing first, unpacking later. She unlatched the gate and took a step inside. Her body buzzed with excitement as she walked down the cobblestone path. Maybe she w ould do some writing here. The whole place was so atmospheric that she couldn’t he lp but imagine a love story set here, of a woman whose father died and left her the cottage, even though it was forbidden during those times for a woman to own property. The woman would set up all sorts of traps to keep people from taking h er new home away from her, and they all worked, until the day one handsome const able showed up to… “The door’s open.” Krisily pulled herself out of her daydream. “Excuse me?” “The door, it’s unlocked. You don’t really have to worry about intruders all the wa y out here. Go on, open it.” He indicated the latch with a hand, a suitcase dangli ng from his fingers. “Right.” She depressed the thumb notch on the handle and heard the latch give way. The wooden door opened easily and noiselessly. The smell of lavender drifted out of the house and she inhaled deeply. “Oh, gorgeous.” Once she’d s tepped inside, she realized gorgeous didn’t even begin to describe it. The furnitu re was large and rustic; the chairs in the living room were wooden with

overstuffed cushions lining the backs and seats. Logs already set in the firepla ce, waiting to be lit for a roaring fire. “Will it get cold at night?” “Somewhat.” Seamu s’s voice sounded muffled and she turned just as he started to descend the stairs. “I figured you’d want the bedroom upstairs. It’s more comfy, but if you prefer I can bring the bags down.” “No, that’s fine.” She pointed to the fireplace. “Is this the only s ource of heat?” “Oh no, we had heat installed. But if it’s not cool enough for it, the fire works well.” He clapped his hands together. “Let me give you the tour.” “Perfect.” H e pointed up the stairs and she followed him to a room with a desk. “The office,” he said, somewhat unnecessarily, she thought. He showed her a bedroom with a twin bed, and she said a silent prayer that the next room would have a larger bed. Wh en they stepped inside, she sighed in pleasure. A large, brass bed set in the mi ddle of the room, well, not exactly the middle. It took up most of the room. The re was hardly any room to walk around it. Her suitcases sat on the mattress. “Perf ect.” “Good,” he said, leaning toward her. “You like that word, don’t you.” “Yes, I do.” And aven’t been able to use it much lately. “No bathroom up here?” “No. It’s downstairs.” She fo llowed him back down the stairs where he pointed out the bathroom, dining room a nd kitchen. The downstairs was actually one big room, separated by pieces of fur niture. It was obvious to her the bathroom had been added long after the house h ad been built. “How old is this house?” “It was built in 1542, or somewhere around the n.” He waved his hands. “Let me show you the garden.” He opened the door in the kitche n. “After you.” She stepped outside and into a world of color. Her heart did a doubl e-thump, and then a triple, and for a minute, she thought she’d skipped to the spo t where she now stood, surrounded by delicious smelling plants. “Did you do all th is?” She whirled around as if she were dancing.

“No.” He was still standing in the doorway and he sneezed. “I have allergies. This is as close as I can get. We hire someone to come out, but since you’re here, we thou ght you might be able to take care of it.” “Most definitely.” She glanced around. “It’s hu ge, but it’ll be a lot of fun. If I need help, do you have someone you hire on a r egular basis?” “Yes, I do.” He put his fist to his mouth and coughed. “Call me if it’s nec essary and I’ll give him a ring.” “Too bad about your allergies. This place is fantast ic.” He sneezed again and unease spread up her spine. He’d only sneezed twice, and t hat was when she’d asked him to come outside. The cough had seemed forced, too. “I d o have a bit of a favor to ask.” “What’s that?” She walked to a bush and fingered the gr een leaves. She wasn’t sure what it was, but it was beautiful. She needed to get a book so she could identify some of the plants she was unfamiliar with. “There are quite a few…ornaments around, gnomes and the like. There’s one thing in particular that my wife is very attached to. I was hoping that, if you came across it, you would bring it into the house and ring me so I could come and get it.” “Of course.” Sh e walked toward him. “What is it?” “A cauldron.” “Excuse me? Do you mean the thing where w itches make their brew?” Krisily swirled her fingers around as if she were stirrin g a potion. “Double, double, toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble? At l east I think that’s how the quote goes in Macbeth.” “Exactly.” “What does it look like?” He cleared his throat. “I have no clue. I’ve never seen it.” Her unease, which had disapp eared as she’d thought about the Shakespeare play, returned. “You don’t know?” “It was my wife’s, and she set it down somewhere out here one day and then walked off. As you said, the place is huge. She forgot where it was.” “Interesting.” She shrugged. She k new he was lying, but she didn’t want him to know that she knew. “I’ll look for it.”

“Thank you.” He gave her a slight bow. “That’s the only thing you should bring out of th e garden. Everything else is in its proper place.” Now he was really creeping her out. He wanted her to tend to the garden, but he didn’t want her to move anything, except for the cauldron. Why the hell would he make a point of saying nothing e lse needed to be moved? Did he think she was going to steal something? She wasn’t a thief. “Suits me.” She shrugged again, hoping the gesture would hide her unease. “Th ank you.” He glanced at his watch. “Now, I’m going to carry in the groceries we bought for you, and then I’m going to head back to Bath. Are there any other questions y ou might have?” “Nope. Just thrilled to have the fresh country air to breathe.” He inc lined his head slightly, then went into the house. She heard the front door open , and then inhaled deeply. “Fire burn and cauldron bubble indeed. To quote Shakesp eare more, I think something’s rotten in the state of Denmark.” Whatever it was, it was best to keep it to herself. Maybe she was making too much out of his remarks . Maybe someone had designed the garden and put things just so, and his wife was upset because she’d paid so much money for a designer, then ruined it by leaving her cauldron among the garden riches. Or maybe his wife was a practicing witch. Krisily made her way toward the door. She would help him carry in the supplies, and then she’d tell him bye and settle into the garden with a book and a glass of wine. The perfect way to start her vacation.

in this cozy cottage all by herself. But she didn’t want to cook. crisps. “There’s some chips in there. She’d read fifty pages and downed a few heft y glasses of wine. She stopped on the grassy area just in front of the g arden. She and Seamus had eaten lun ch in town. then wiggled her butt in the chair. with no one arou nd who would ask her questions about “the photos. but the food had been long gone before she’d started imbibing. then turned and leaned her butt a gainst the counter as she surveyed her surroundings. which caused the tingling.” s he said. T his was the first time she’d been this relaxed in ages. Not that fries are a bad thing. unpacking. and d id what she’d said she was going to do. The aromatic mixture of flowers and greenery teased .” She went to the refrigerator and grabbed a bottle of soda. Chips are French fries over here. She headed for the doo r. It was hard for her to believe this was all hers for as long as she wante d. she headed out the door. She def initely needed nourishment. She wiggled them. She giggled. “I should have eaten something befor e the wine. and once inside she found the package of crisps sitting on the counter as if they were waiting for her.” she said aloud as she put her book down. “Not chips.Chapter Two Her toes tingled.” she said. After Seamus had left. I’ll get fries. It was still a little unbel ievable that she was here.” She stood and the world seemed to spin. She didn’t want to lose the buzz that felt so wonderful. She tore them open. it’s just that right now I want chips. she’d ignored what she should be doing. looking down from where she sat in her chais e. “Stop talking to yourself and go get something to eat. With it in one hand and the bag of crisps in the other . I f I ask for a sandwich and chips. Then she giggled.

One path led to another. It was l ate in the day. She looked around. The wind left her lungs as she hit the ground.” She picked it up. It was even dar ker now than it had been . tucking the soda against her body as she ate from the bag. “a torch. grasping for air as she po pped herself up on her elbows. She’d juggled her food from one hand to the oth er. but how hard could it be to find her way back out? She’d just expl ore a few of the plants. see if she could identify the different varieties. This place was more like a maze. She’d just finished the salty treats and was folding up the bag to put in her pocket when she tripp ed over something. moe. holding it out in front of her. dropping the bottle and bag as she scramble d for purchase. Seamus ha d told her it was large. “Ouch! That hurt.” she said as she gazed at each lane. One step inside told her that wouldn’t be the case. different bushes. too. “Where did you come from. true. “Large” didn’t begin to describe the layout. After a few moments she sat up. She glanced around. gave her great pleasure. but artificial help would make things go a little smoother. “Thanks a lot! Nice way to w elcome the new girl. There were pathways leading off i t.” She needed to remember the new names for things.” He r knees ached. one by one. There was good moonlight. The light was fading and she mentally k icked herself for not bringing a flashlight out here.” she said.her nose and made her close her eyes and luxuriate in the wonderful smell. The g arden stretched out before her. They all featured di fferent flowers. offering treasures for her to explore. She fell forward. and she was grateful for the fact she wore jeans that would keep them from being scraped up. She rolled onto her back. “I don’t need a fl ashlight. and what type of tree are you from?” There was no way a tree branch could be this big. at least six feet tall. “Ennie meanie miney. with paths going off each one. though. and she soon found herself in what she thought might be the center of the garden. The first part of it was an octagon. It was hug e. and warned her about its many wandering paths. that’s what they call it here in England. At lease she hadn’t seen a tree that she thought this could come from. realizing she’d tripped over a l ong staff lying on the ground. She ran her finge rs through her hair and glanced at the piece of wood. The idea of exploring them.

” she said as she swung her legs behind her and got up on her knees. still clutc hing the staff. Her left knee was hurting like hell. made out of cast iron. “Follow t he lights. then stepped out of the garden. The staff was moving. “What the fuck?” . but the pieces were still moving—growing. She took a deep breath. about coming back for it when it was daylight. Under a large green bush was a black cauldron. She was close to saying screw it when she rou nded a corner and the chaise where she’d been sitting earlier came into view. She’d obviously left the cottage lights on when she’d gone outside. She dragged the cauldron toward the chair and she sat . then pick ed up the cauldron. and arms. it was simply a big cast iron pot with legs. It was sprouting legs.” she mutter ed as she reached for it. “That was fun. she could see lights. She ended up on her butt again and she cried out in frustration.” She leaned her head against the wood. “Oh hell. Was that thunder? H er hands grew hot and she dropped both the staff and the cauldron. She thought about leaving it. what the…” she took a s tep back.” She grasped the wood and used it to stand. A loud crack resonated and she glanced down: the cauldron had split in two when it hit the pa ving stones. It was heavy. Didn’t they usually have three? “Oh. see if there were any markings on it that would make it special to someone. “Miracles never cease. She thoug ht about leaving the cauldron outside. “Thank the stars above. The branches s eemed to hold it in place and she had to tug it with all her strength.” she said. too. A humming noise filled the air and she looked up at the sky. I’m going to scream. but she wanted to look at it more closely . but something she saw made her smile. “Really! If this isn’t the r ight one. Off in the distance. and a head .before. who cares how many leg s it has?” She used the staff to pull herself up. She pulled it out from under the shrub. but she was afraid s he would forget where she’d left it. and there was an ache in the small of her back. She tipped i t on its side: two legs. As far as she could see. Sweat streamed down the sides of her face. She used the staff as l everage as she struggled to bring the cauldron along the path. She grasped the staff and was just about to stand when something else caught her ey e.

then he kicked at the half of a woman that was crawling towa rd him. she backed toward the house. Krisily’s knees gave way. . the woman’s body. disappeared and half the cauldron appeared . “It’s not real. The man wheeled around and glared at Krisily. She landed on the stoop. He kicked at her again as the other half of the woman started to crawl toward the first half. He picked her up as if she were a feather. though. “I gue ss I should have skipped the wine.” The man grasped her by the shoulders and she screamed. and then man grabbed the arm and twisted it. The woman had hopped up onto one foot. He reached down and picked up the second half. It’s not real. as all the air left her lungs and sh e collapsed against his chest. tossing it into t he garden. It’s not re al. He picked up the woman and dropkicked her into the garden. The minute it flew past the trees that served as the entrance to the garden. her body disappeared. The cauldron was a woman. her hand clawing against the stones as she pulled herself toward the man . a huge naked man. There was the sickening sound of flesh hitting flesh. Then she turned toward the man. her gaze on the objects she’d just dropped. It sounded as if bone cracked and Krisily g asped. or rather. Krisily’s eyes widened and she gulped . lifting her so that they were eye to eye. As the woman c rossed the threshold. turning into the second half of the cauldron.” she said. her single arm flailing out tow ard her opponent.Her heart racing. who had reached down to pick up the other half . or half body. It dropped down onto the dirt with a thud. The staff was now a man. the two halves had made a half a woman each.

“Who the hell are you?” He cocked his head at her. “Thanks.” she said as she sat up and put her head in her hands. the man from her dre ams.Chapter Three Forget lions and tigers and bears. eat first and have one drink. will I see half a woman being thrown across the yard by a nak ed guy? Krisily opened one eye and peeked out at her surroundings. isn’t it?” Confusion passed over his f ace and he inclined his head toward her. . Half women and sticks that turn into gorgeous men didn’t exist. “I ask ed you a question. in control. And she was alone. oh my. She vaulted over the sofa and backed away from the man standing there. “Crap. “Scratch that. didn’t act as if he wanted to hurt her. If I open my eyes. The water spewed from her mouth as she screamed and she dropped the glass. She could tel l she was on something soft.” she said as she took it. but how she got there was a mystery. “Tip number one for travel. Bu t it could be the start of a great book.” It had been a long f light. But he didn’t advance on her. lying prone on the sofa. it’s 9-9-9 over here. A glass of wate r appeared in front of her face. Get the hell out of I’ll dial 9-1-1. that a man had offered her the drink.” She hoped she sounded calm. They’re nothing compared to what I saw. Her agent would be thrilled if she were writing again. She ran her fingers through her hair and sighed. not the whole frigging bottle. liquid seeping into the rug. but he didn’t say a word. One look told her she was in the living room. She was barely t hrough the first sip when she realized there had been a hand wrapped around the glass. coupled with the stress of the last few months that had brought about her hallucination.

trying to figure out an exit route. a nd that the keys were in the kitchen. she hit the same type barrier she’d run into at the front door. When she made to put her foot over the threshold. though. Better to keep her ey e on her unwanted visitor. “Can’t you talk?” His face brightened and he shook his head . t hen he put his hands to his throat. but there was . The other door led to the garden and the cauldron that turned into a woman—no. not a woman. but when she reache d for the latch. Now he wore a peasant shirt and leather jerkins. “Okay. “Screw this.” She glanced around again. She put her hand on the door and yanked it open. They came away from his face and he pointed to hi s mouth. This time it was the man who backed up. Who knew what would happen while she was searching for it. it was as if she’d run into an invisible wall. Panic sh ot through her and she turned and bolted for the back door. She picked it up and headed toward the front door. “Thank God.” He shook his head slowly. Where had he gotten those clothes? “Please don’t hurt me. “What the hell?” She put her hand out. running his fingers up the sides of his face as if he were caressing them. maybe she had. He repeated the motion and pointed to his mouth more emphatically and a n idea formed in her mind. But what goo d would it do her. staring at her as if she’d grown an other head.” She walked aroun d the couch and made her way toward where her purse was on the table. She giggled. Who knew. She was stuck out here in the middle of nowhere with the man that came from the stick. really. instead it came into contact with a clear barrier. as if he’d escaped from a renaissance fair. and it turned into hysterical lau ghter. expecting it to go out the door.“Who are you?” She glanced at her two exits. S he couldn’t see anything. But t he woman had changed back into the cauldron when she’d been thrown—kicked—back into th e garden by the man standing in front of her. She stepped through the portal quite easily. I’m leaving. Anything was possible when you saw a cauldr on break and become two halves of a woman. He’d been naked outside.” She ran for the side gate. what looked like a woman split in two. but he hadn’t told her where it was parked. To get to the front door she had to get by her unwanted visitor. to go outside? Seamus had told her there was a car.

because she didn’t trust h im. letting go of it so it would sail throug h the air. Two. maybe he wouldn’t rush her. it was a hedge. “If you could talk. either. or whatever it is you do to get your point across. I think you might be able to explain this to me. that made them even. doesn’t that just suck the big one. She didn’t care how long it took. This would be a piece of cake.” He motioned again and she s hook her head. It wasn’t really a fence. . “Well. Maybe he didn’t trust her. She let her gaze go to the porch. She had four sisters. she co uld wait him out. “No frigging way. Time dragged on and she started to count the seconds. and she frequently had to wait for thing s when she was a teen.” He licked his lips and motioned for her to come back to t he house. I can tell by the look on your face.” Krisily wheeled on the man. I suggest you figure out some way to explain it to me. losing everything she’d consumed in the last few hours. It hit something solid. since they couldn’t get out of the house. though. “Tell me what the hell’s going on here. They’d have to figure out some sort of way past this impasse. some sort of doorway not surrounded by a force field.” She w as finding it hard to fight down panic. if so. and then fell to the ground . or around it. watching her with an inquisitive look on h is face. She pointed to where she stood. Or ma ybe she could jump the fence. She took h er purse and swung it toward the hedge. Her stomach churned and she thought she might lose it. and she could tell he was trying to decide exactly what to sa y. and undetectable.” she said. If she stay ed calm. “I’m not moving from this spot until I understand what t he hell is going on here. There was another gate on the other side. and maybe it would give her time to find a wa y out of this place. One minute. crossing her arms in front of her chest.definitely a blockade.” H e pursed his lips. because I know you can hear me. and you understand ever y word I’m saying. but she was pre tty sure she would find the same. And since you can’t talk. The man that had come from the staff stood there. “Start talking. There was no way on Earth or in heaven above that she was going near the garden entrance where the cauldro n pieces/woman waited as if she were a junkyard dog in attack mode.

preparing medical concoctions. “to keep the things we are doing private. Th en he waved his hand and the air around them shimmered.” Uriel said. a scale like the one Lady Justice held. So his name was Uriel. We only have a few days to deliver o ur final . She tapped her foot and almost smiled when he exhaled in exasperation. The other two she didn’t recognize. They were in the ga rden. the man standing in front of her and two othe r. and as if someone had selected the “English” option and turned up t he volume. a mortar and pestle.” the man said in a low voice that showed he wasn’t happy with Uriel’s answer.” Uriel said. They looked enough alike that it was possible they were brothers.” “You should working on the potion. “What are you doing. They starte d to talk again. Besides.Three. Ther e were three actors in this movie.” The on e they called Bythos sighed. you worry too much. “It took me some time. They were laughing a nd speaking but she couldn’t understand what they were saying. she could hear and understand perfectly. and some piles of grainy substances. At least it looked exactly like it.” “My work is done. shrugging. and Krisily was pretty sure it was the one that she’d found today. “That’s why I’m working on the roses.” “I’m cultivating the lavender. If we do noth ing but alchemy. Bythos. It was almost as if she were at a drive-in. there is every chance someone could sneak up on us and find out what we’re doing. If we work on the potions during the day. One o f the “actors” was the man standing near her. He had a staff in his hand.” Acolius picked up a purple flower from a basket. and behind them was a table laid out with items Krisily didn’t recognize. Uriel?” One of the men in the vision was speaking to the mirrorimage of the man standing on the stoop. Krisily’s eyes widened as three men appeared before her. “It’s not my fault Acoliu s didn’t finish.” he looked pointedly at Uri el. and long tunics came down over their hips. “We have the sorcerer here. “That was Acolius’s job for the morning. someone is going to be suspicious. He poi nted to a third man who stood near the edge of the garden. sever al spoons. We’re supposed to be gardeners . the one that had become Uriel. “You had other things to do besides work on the flowers. Tights outl ined their legs. Th ere were a few things she noticed.

this one was dark. I take the power of the air. her foot on his behind. and when she stood.” Once again the scene changed. what are you working on lavender for? We have no call for it i n the medical concoctions we are preparing. sorcere r. you will be the first to die. Now. That means you can say no evil against me. so you cannot find me to do evil upon me.” She bent down and cut off a hunk of his hair. Bythos dropped the cuttings he held in a basket. I take fr om you the ability to see. “I take from you the power of the ocean. She too k a knife to his hair. and then suddenly. a headdress hiding her hair. Once I find the secret hidden in this place.” She stood.product.” There were grumblings. “A few more hours of work. She . “I am making an erotic blend for a wonderful lady to lather on her skin so I can hold her close and sm ell her while I introduce her to my love root. She wore a green dress in the Tudor style. Krisily felt cold and afraid as it played out. The s creen now showed Acolius on his back. and Kr isily saw that Uriel was on his stomach. And so you cannot listen to your frie nds’ pleas for help.” The three of them laughed and Kris ily couldn’t help but smile. which she shoved into a bag. Krisily’s eyes widened as a woman app eared beside him. real work that will produce results. “I want what you have. You are the worst. Evil wafted off her in dark waves. he dropped to the ground.” she said as she knelt down next to Bythos. cutting a huge chunk of it. a nd then the scene changed. Besides. “It would help your purpose if you actually introduced yourself to her.” Uriel said. “I take your ability to make fire.” By thos threw something green toward his friend. That means you cannot listen to the evil things your friends spout about me. she’ll be forgetting the smell and wonder ing about your name so she can warn the other lovelies how inadequate you are. go and do as we talked of this morning. “Once she smells what I made for her. and I leave you without the ability to speak.” Acolius smirked. And so you can’t come back on me. The woman stood above him. After that you can go and play. but Acolius and Uriel went in different directions. The woman held a lock of his hair in her h and. Whereas the previous vision had been light and full o f mirth. my friend s. She held out her hand and a bowl appeared. Krisily wanted to turn tail and run. “From you.” “And once she sees your root. I take your ability to hear. she won’t care wha t my name is.

More strange words spilled fr om her mouth and Acolius flew backward through the air. She reared back just as U riel started to speak. “The sorcerer first. kicking out as sh e did. just as the scale had done to Bythos. He picked up the cauldron that had been . Now that I know how you made your brew. anger blazing in his gaze. rushing toward the table.put the hair inside. Fire appeared on her fingertips and she touch ed the hair. though. S he picked up the scale and threw it while screaming out what Krisily assumed was an incantation. The man disappeared and the scale fell to the ground. kicking and screaming as he got on top of her. One particularly large one knocked Uriel off his feet. She picked up the staff that she had dropped and pointed it at him. and then I’ll deal with you . He ducked. swinging it at him.” She turned around and a scream of frustration rent the air. The woman laughe d and she threw back her hand as if to deliver the death blow. and Acolius tackled the woman from behind. The woman ran through the garden and soon she was standing next to the prone body of Bytho s. “So easy to read. “You!” Uriel stood in front of her. then snapped.” A siniste r giggle escaped her throat and Krisily took a step back. He hit the sundial sitti ng near the table and it absorbed him. She and Uriel were circling each other like fighter s in a ring. She fell. appearing at the table. r ushing toward what Krisily now knew was a witch. Soon the air was full of flames of different colors an d sizes. She ducked and returned fire with one of her own. pushing her face into the dirt. She bent down next to him. In return he disappeared from in front of her. to see what you’ve been doing. It all burst into flames and the woman started to laugh. even though she was pr etty sure the woman couldn’t see her. He opened his palm and a ball of fire leapt from his palm and flew toward the woman. It touched your bodies. The scale hit Bythos in the chest and seemed to absorb him. I can see every ingredient you’ve used in your potion. I can do it myself. Before she could do it. She snatched the staff off the table. his fingers pointed at her. knocking her to the ground. smiling. The witch was back on her feet. alchemist. Uriel was back on his feet. Bythos grabbed her around the ankles. got into your hair. Bythos cried out in pain and the woman stood. She lashed out at Acolius.

They passed each other in the air as two different sets of incantations fill ed the air. At the same time. “Is this England’s version of Candid Camera?” . Both humans dis appeared and the items dropped to the ground. she threw the sta ff.sitting there and threw it in her direction. Krisi ly stared at the space where she’d just witnessed something that wasn’t to be believ ed. She turned to Uriel. and then the scene vanished. The staff hit Bythos and the cauldron hit the witch.

the only difference being that she hadn’t dropped a house on a witch. six o f them. if he’d truly been trapped inside a stick for the last however many yea rs… “Excuse me. snuggled in her bed upstairs. “What year did all that happen in. and then he smacked his lips. As he chewed. “Water from the tap. you know. beheaded. I want to know about what happened out there.” she waved a finger at him. “Thirsty?” Again with th e nod. “Yup. two and three. survived. Uriel folded the piece of bread in half and stuffed it into his mouth. there wouldn’t be enough food left to last the day. She was sure of that. divorced. He looked up from the package of bread whe re he was taking out yet another slice.” His obvious confu sion grew and she burst out into laughter. He took another piece of bread and ate it in three quick bites. he used his fingers to show the numbers one.” She pointed to th e box. beheaded. Instead she felt like Dorothy. This time his eyebrows lifted in surprise. “He had six of them. Of course. but we don’t have tim e to discuss Henry and his wives. and then she’d wake up. divorced. what we just saw?” Krisily no longer felt panic. She’d let this dream play out. “Which wife was he on then?” Uriel frowned and she laughed. or there’s wine and beer in the fridge.” H e ate another piece of bread. . died. “This is too funny.Chapter Four At the rate Uriel was eating. five. “What? Are you saying 1523? During the time of Henry VI II? You worked for Henry?” Uriel nodded. she’d just found one in the garden.

which tightened as if in anticipation of being touched . one of crackers. examining it. . running h is hands over the smooth surface. Then he took two boxes. “You don’t know if there are limits? The other guy.A look of wonder passed over his face and he went to the refrigerator. the other cereal. he pointed at it. I’ve done research on witchcraft. “Oh for heaven’s sake.” She was getting tired of h im nodding. they said you were protecting the area from being discovered. She nudged him away. right? Prove it. heat raced through her body. “Why not? Ar e there limits to your powers?” This time he shrugged. one of the two. It shot s traight down to her clit. He pulled it out and turned it from side to side .” Krisily said as she moved next to him. With the index finger of the other. He caressed it like he would a lover.” She ran her f ingers through her hair.” she said.” His mouth opened in a perfect O and he lean ed down. He shrugged and gripped the bottle around the neck with one hand. “What’s the matter? Can’t o pen it? You’re the sorcerer. “It’s cold in there. he put his hands on either side and sh ook it. I would think that means you put up wards. “Okay. When he touched her. and she wondered what that meant. so I know wha t that is. He took a swig from the bottle before he set it down on the counter. then landed solidly on the ground. then offered it to her. and set them down ne xt to it. and then he pushed against it. “There. “Does that represent the ward?” This time he inclined his head as if in approval. When it didn’t open. Bythos or Acolius.” He frowned at her as he reached inside and pulled out a bottle of wine.” She crossed her arms in front of her chest and glared at him. The cork flew i nto the air. Krisily backed away and watched as he tentatively put h is hand deep inside the fridge. and then opened the door. “Can you get us out of here?” He shook his head. “I can’t wait to see how you react to a fr eezer. pushing them close together. you proved it. you can take them down. He put his hands on her shoulders and moved her in front of it. If you put them up. peering inside. He held it up and studied the label.

But now. two more naked men. Did you have those clothes in a closet here?” No ans wer came. Most of the time when she talked to people she di dn’t keep her gaze on them. With a swirl of his hand an image of Bythos and Acolius appeared. “Sorry about t he Merlin dig. which was a myriad of emotions. “If you go into the garden. you turn into the rod again. “So what happens now?” Uriel still stood close behind her. it was the most realistic one she’d ever had. knowing he couldn’t speak. She could still feel the heat from his presence and touch. “Where did you get your clothes from? It just dawned on me that y ou were naked when I fainted. the boxes on the c ounter flew apart. Merlin Wannabe. “You need them. a shrug or a head shake. He moved just enough so that she could turn. Sure. I guess I’ll have to…wait a minute. . not a nod. “Listen. but she could feel it. She’d managed to control her emotions by telling herself this was a dream. but if it was. will they turn back into men?” This time he smiled. When they cross the barrier. and it disconcerted her. you’ve done some magic.” It wasn’t a question. “The witch blew them apart. “but this isn’t adding up. going in opposite directions so fast that they lifted in the air just slightly.” she whispered.” This time he shook his head . The look on his face was pure anger. if you want my help.” She could tell he was debati ng about what to tell her. “I get it. “Did she add more to ke ep you inside while she did her dirty work?” She couldn’t see the nod. I’m still not convinced this isn’t some sort of elaborate practical joke. He took a step back and put his hands together. she knew the three of them were linked. she kept her eyes tr ained on his face. M r.” she said.” She put her ha nd on his chest. then slowly moved them apart i n a long line. It was amazing what you could read on a person’s face w hen you looked at it intently. I have to go get them. and then he pointed toward the sink.As she was thinking about the pleasure his touch would bring. but s omething tells me you didn’t conjure up those clothes. you’re going to tell me the truth.” It was as if a dar k cloud had passed above them. “Great. Anger rushed through her. the scale and the sundial.” Before he c ould nod she held up her hand. “Go into the garden and get them.

This was obviously a… “Laboratory. Why hadn’t she noticed that before? What color were his eyes. She went in after him. She’d had dreams about plots for books before. What was happening was real! He stepped int o the hallway and motioned for her to follow him. He stopped in front of it and made motions with his hands as if he were shooing away flies. the color she mostly chose for her characters. By the time she was in the room. Within a few seconds there was a glo w. she took a really good look at him: maybe six feet tall and muscular. She didn’t see any matches. she wondered.” she said as she remembered the way her purse had hit the barrier o utside. “Awesome. From this distance she couldn’t tell. and she had the idea that he’d lit a candle. to explore. For the first time since he ar rived. she cou ldn’t leave the house except to go through the garden. But Uriel stepped into this place with ease. Krisily moved into the living room right behind him. The glow increased and she knew th at he’d lit another. He motioned for her aga in and she moved toward the fireplace. Nerves ratcheted through her as she thoug ht about what would happen if she stepped inside the hallway and the portal clos ed behind her. it was dark. she decided. then he moved toward the fireplace. Much of the same equipment she’d seen outside was here. so she guess ed he’d shot the flames from his fingertips. his hair was shoulder-length and curly.” she whi spered. The roman ce writer in her wanted to lift the shirt to see if his ass matched the other fi ne . She s topped in the middle of the room and picked up a book from the table near the so fa. along with a few t hings that she couldn’t name.After a long few moments he sighed. She didn’t have to pinc h herself to know this wasn’t a dream. Maybe a little test would ease her anxiety. “Works for me. or any other source of fire. but she imagined they we re green. and she couldn’t see much more than an outline of him. and then that disappeared. After all. there were six candles lit. Krisily’s mouth dropped open. There was every possibility that could happen.” Krisily moved into the room. and another. but nothing had ever been this lifelike. His back was to her and his tunic came down over his butt. wanting to touch everything. Instead she glanced over to where Uriel stood in front of a table. She tossed it into the hall. revealing a hallway. and she could see the spot where the witch had cut off a hunk of it. It passed through and plunked down on the floor . The fireplace disappear ed.

When s he turned. the in k dried out. She guessed it was better than a n od. “Krisily. She could kick herself for being so freaked out when she’d seen him naked that she hadn’t focused on the dangling parts between his legs.parts of him. maybe not. “What is it that you do here?” She went to a table and picke d up something long and wooden. and she didn’t want to go near it. “Write. as if this was something that happened every day. “So what happens in here?” He shrugged. There was one upstairs. can’t you?” He h uffed and snatched the pen out of her hand. “We’ll play catch up lat er. I don’t need no stinking wand. but when he touched the quill to the paper. My name.” He held the pen gingerly. Kres-a-lee.” she said as she handed him the pen.” she read. than put pe n to parchment. He was peering o ver her shoulder.” she said. “You had clothes in here. What sort of romance writer was she? The type that was scared to death. She went to kitch en and started rooting through drawers.” she said as she took it from him. in the makeshift office. Then he lifted it to his nose and sniffed. Krisily left the laboratory. parchment in hand. But surely she could find one down here. nothing happened. “So what d o we do now?” Uriel picked up a piece of parchment and a quill. He’d never seen a Boga rt movie. trying to see what was inside the drawer.” S he sounded so calm.” Without waiting for an answer. “Hell no. she was going to check herself into the local psych ward. “Need Bythos and Acolius. She had a pen in her purse. which means it’s remained hidden for all these years. I have a pen out in the other room. “Come on. When this was all over. “Is this a wand? Do you need one for your…spells?” If he could have talked. He dipped it into a jar. she knew from the look on his face he might have said. “It’s a writing utensil. She grabbed the parchment and put it on the table and wrote out her name. she figured as she g lanced around the room. he was standing right behind her. “Well.” But then again. but her purse was outside. He sniffed it once more. as if it w ere a snake. . You can write. She found a pen in the third one.

” she read. “If you want them tonight. an d she could hear him hurrying behind her. She walked to it slowly and realized he wasn’t c oming behind her. dusky twilight. She turned to leave. or in the area outside the house. That thing looked heavy. but who knew if he would now. Barely any light at all. “How do you know?” She took a step back. There was a shed off to the right. I need something like a carriage. He stood on the stoop. so go into the garden and get the sundial and the scale. where she could see if there was a wheelbarrow. Witch changed. He smelled like…sandalwood? “Cannot walk in garden. golden sunset had turned into a gorgeous.” “Do not want to try. wheels. He was going pretty fast. I’m going to go inside and get . but there was a light switch. Hopefully it wasn’t locked. only smaller. Then she glanced at the sky. She flipped it on. if it was the same thing that changed you and the…woman…then they would change back. and she leaned forward to see. “I’m not go ing in there until tomorrow morning. and really. When it did. It looked just big enough to hold t he sundial.” He looked confused and she spun her fingers in circles. she couldn’t blame him.” “You’re right about that. “Listen to yourself. He shook his head and pointed at t he garden. She grasped it and dragged it outside. “You haven’t tried.” she said.” she read. If she could. Maybe. Maybe he was afraid she would find some way out and leave him here. they had carriages in your time.” she sai d as put her hand on the knob and prayed it would turn. she laughed out loud. “You know. Hell no. b ut we’re going to have to find something I can carry the sundial in.” He wrote again. There was no way she was going into that witch-infest ed garden when the sun was down. She wondered if there was a shed in the garden. “Fine. That’s what they ch anged into. “Disaster if cannot change back.” The confusion lessened. She went out the backdoor and looked around. you go.“Great.” she said. I’ll go in there. and she knew he wouldn’t be able to help her. It was dark inside. enjoying the l ook of wonder on his face as he examined it from her perch on the stoop. Of course you know wheels. or some sort of small wagon. The beautiful. She pulled the wagon behind her. something wit h wheels. It stands to reason that. bu t didn’t leave. He ha dn’t changed back earlier. Sitting in the middle of a room was a wagon. she would.

the heat intensified. rubbing her hands against her arm as if she could get whatever it was off. “Holy crap. harder than she ever had in her life. and when sh e was right beside him. I wish I’d paid more att ention in high school chemistry class. and who knows what else.” He waved his hand over her and she started to glow. Crap.” He motioned her closer to him. And then s he came. with the witch. am I? You don’t understand what that means. .something to eat. he grabbed her by the shoulders. “What did you do to me? I’m not rad ioactive. I’m not going in there and risk getting stuck in the dark. like a huge walking candle.” she said. and when he leaned down and kissed her. Heat spread through her again.

He ripped it right up the front as if it were a piece of pape r. She hit the ground hard. he put his hand on her hip.Chapter Five They both stumbled backward. At least he wasn’t trying to strip her naked anymore. the one she’d wanted to get rid of for so long. He’d had an orgasm. This was rage. Uriel bo unded down the steps and grabbed her by the wrists. Instead. What the hell was that all about? When he looked up at her. rolling over to protect her now naked front. “Stop it!” She clawed at his hand with her free one. and angry. For what. He grasped the shirt and pulled. too. and it left her body. Krisily screamed and kicked out at him. the thing that she hated. He ripped her shirt and she could tell he was examinin g her. that hur t!” She pushed at him but he kept hold of her wrists. she wondered? Witch’s marks? He let her arm go and grasped her sh irt at the bottom. He’d left angry behind. his look was dark. He lifted the tunic and she could see a stain on his breeches. sweeping h ers out from under her. He continued to touch it. Then he let one go and start ed ripping at her clothes. “Hey. he put out a leg. and gently caressed her. Krisily fought to gain control of her shaking body as she watched him crumple down on the stoop. She knew what he’d found. He into the house. pulling her up. as if he were tracing it. Forget that. and she onto her butt right at t he edge of the garden. In turn. . When he str addled her hips she thought she might faint from the horror of what was about to happen to her. right about the waistband o f her pants. but she was very ineffective. she thought as he pushed himself to his feet.

She clutched at her neck. When she felt as if she had control of herself. but I chickened out at the last minute. But t hey matched. that were published in a magazine not too long ago. “What does it mean?” He was smiling. her gaze was t rained on his hip where a large purple circle contained a triangle. “What? The mark? I tried to go to a pla stic surgeon to get it taken off. no. asshole! It’s nothing. “No. Millions of people had seen it thanks to her rotten ex. in a way she’d never matched with anyone before. Despite her panic. sin ce he was still sitting on the bottom half of her. One glance over her shoulder showed that he was amazed about something. They had the same ex act mark. Besides. feeling as if she couldn’t breathe. And I…” Krisily closed her mouth as he stood. After all. or a tat. t hat wasn’t true. I…hate it. not that her opinion matt ers much to me. There’re weirdoes everywhere. or if it was some sort of brand. and Krisily wondere d why she wasn’t running. one that carried all the way up to his eyes. It wasn’t a predatory smile. The air left her lungs.Krisily took several deep breaths. but…just a birthmark. she looked up at him. most people don’t see it. listen. . You wouldn’t believe the ruckus they caused. My mot her told me she thought it meant I was cursed somehow. “It’s a birthmark. Why did s he feel the need to bare her soul to this man? “Actually…” she took a deep breath. like he knew he had her where he wan ted her. They stared at each other. taken by a former lover. since it’s under my clothes…” Well. one that matched hers exactly. Of course there was more than that discussed. His hands went to the waistband of his pants and she scrambled up.” She propped herself up on her hands as much as she could. just like the orgasm he’d j ust given her with a single kiss. with peo ple wanting to know if the mark was real. with a perfe ctly formed 4 in the middle. I—what are you doing?” He pulled his pants down on one side to reveal a birthmark. Instead it was one that made her toes tingle. I got letters from pervs like you wouldn’t believe. this man had just ripped her shirt off. “ther e were some naked photos of me.

landing in a spot near the hedge. What would happen if they had sex? She wasn’t sure she’d be able to withstand the intensi ty of that orgasm. She was a large woman. Their lips were inches apart. ins tant flashlight. I take it that this will last the whole ti me I’m in the garden?” He nodded. it had knit back together. She glanced at the garden. It skidded across the path. A glow came from within. and when he did. the cries of pain increasing with each blow. When nothing happened. and what an orgasm it had been. This time his nod was emphatic. He went to the garden. and many shir ts. She watched as he tentatively put a hand inside. though. It shrieked and Krisily took a step back. Be careful. She knew it wasn’t. The witch may be a cauldron again. will you find a way to save me?” He closed the distance between them swiftly. “T hanks.” she said as he turned back around and put out his hand as if to indicate i t was safe now. and then her lips. “Is there anything you need to tell me before I go in. but the tingle that shot through her made her thi nk she might. She didn’t come this time. which meant. Maybe it was just the first time they’d kissed that brought about the orgasm. one with metal fingers at the ends. a soundless one with hi s shoulders shaking in amusement.He pointed at the wagon. were too tight. The cauldron sat in the middle of the entrance. In return she looked at her che st. “I need a shirt. “Wow.” He took his off and thrust it at her. His hands caressed her shoulders and he kissed first her forehead. surprised that it was so big. with just a little more contact. This is pretty good. “If I don’t come o ut. He shook his head slowly. he pulled back the rake and hit the cauldron like it w as a hockey puck. very careful. How else would the cauld ron be able to howl like she had? . to her. He let go of her face and went to th e shed. He hit it several times. and then he laughed. he had a rake in his hand. he entered. Finally. that the witch had power.” she said. “Should I kick her out of the way?” His eyes widened in amazement. S he put it on. even men’s. even in this form. One wave of his hand and she glowed again. held it out in front of him and struck the cauldron. but she had obviously summoned power from their encounter. At some point. but she could read the look in his eyes. and then at the garden. She waited for him to come out. covered only by a bra.

“Well. let’s start the insanity.” she said as she took hold of the wagon and stepped a cross the garden threshold. .

at least that’s what she thought it was. After adjust ing her hold on the wagon. Things were not looking good. She was so turned a round she just wasn’t sure which ones. When she’d fir st come into the garden. if you can hear me. “Bitches that turn into cauldrons. thou gh. She wasn’t sure how long she’d been wandering around the g arden. Then she repeated the mantra that had helped her to hurry before. oh my…cauldrons that turn into bitches. oh my…cauld rons that turn into… What the hell am I doing!” Krisily came to a standstill in the path. but she knew she’d been down two of these paths before. ones that t here was no way she could get around. help me find the right path. one coming right after the other as if they wer e leading a trail. Nothing happened for a few moments. everything had seemed pretty innocuous. she looked up into the darkness. and then the path on her right changed. They’d both ended at tall hedges. Right now. the plants hummed with power. . Tin y stones appeared in the middle. as if the groun d was going to open up and swallow her at any second. She was very antsy. she couldn’t remember how she’d arrived at the area where she’d discovered the staff and the cauldron in the first place. noting how high the full moon was in the sky. There were three paths leading off of it.” She glanced at the three ways she could go. She had the sense they could feel her presence and they weren’t happy about her being there. oh my…” “Uriel. she coached herself for the millionth time.Chapter Six “Cauldrons that turn into bitches. please. But for the life of her. Deep breaths.

“Of course if I were Uriel. ‘Rise. rise. Excitement soared through her as she came into the clearing and noticed the tables with instruments. To her amazement. “Thank y ou!” Her birthmark burned and she put her hand on her hip. Had the staff and cauldron felt this way? She wasn’t sure. She wasn’t sure she would b e able to lift the heavy stone object onto the wagon. She studied it for a few m oments. and then waved them in the air. She hit them together . the stone levitated and came to rest in the w agon.” . It didn’t take her long to get to the sundial. She increased her step. then figure out some way to right the wagon with the sundial inside. She parked the wagon next to it and put her hands on the stone. time to get t he hell out of here.” she told the nagging part of her brain. “Heavy. but she didn’t c are. S he’d been more than a little tipsy when she’d found them.” She dropped it back down. weren’t there? A quick examination revealed several long pieces of wood th at she thought could be used as leverage to move the dial. a part of her responded. She knew her mouth was open i n utter amazement and she must look like an idiot standing there. then an idea came to her. Why hadn’t she thought about this before? Because it m ay not be him. almost running down the lane. It hummed as if in anticipation and she knew she had the ri ght piece. she might be able to work it into the wagon.” she said as she grasped the edges of the dial and tried to pick it up. There were tools on the table.” She dropped the wood and backed away.“Thank you!” she yelled out as she pulled the wagon onto the path. I could just say som ething like. If she tipped the wagon onto its side and wedg ed it under the stone. hurrying behind t he stones as they appeared. What happens if this is the witch leadin g you in the wrong direction? “Go away. They might have hummed and she might have just thought it was her fingers tingling from too much wine. Did she do that? “Of course not! Uriel did that. making sure she moved he r toes so they didn’t get in the way in case it shifted.” She held out her arms. “Oh shit. into wagon you!’” She whirled toward the sundial and pointed the wood at it. of course. “All right. “Lift with your legs and not your back.

using the rake to tr y and grasp the handle of the wagon and pull it over. She put them in the wagon. Her gaze widened as she reco gnized the staff that she’d carried out of the garden. . dropped the rake and held out his hands. show me the way out. “I’ve got it. the trip went pretty fast. the scale was like lifting a feather. you’re not going to trap me that e asily. “Uriel!” He stood up fr om he’d been sitting on the stoop. the stones were gone. A harsh cry of pain rang out a nd Krisily hit the vine again. she breathed a sigh of relief. which she pointed at the path she was pretty sure had brought her here. Krisily didn’t waste any time. but nothing happened. He would have changed in mid-air and hit her on the head. and when she entered the clearing from w here she could see the house. Despit e the wagon.” They a ppeared as before. She sat up and clawed at them. and fail ed. pain ripping into her thigh. “Stones. This time she felt the strike. She tried to kick out. S he grasped the staff tightly and hit at the vine. but they just kept moving up her body. even though she w as pretty sure it was made of pure gold. A glance down showed vine from the hedge moving up her legs. and three more e gresses had appeared in the hedges. One glance over her shoulde r showed Uriel was gone.” She had the w agon right at the edge of the garden when something snaked out. She kept hold of the wood and pulled the wagon after her. its weight slowing her down. It rolled off her and thudded down next to her. “Uriel!” She could see him at the opening. witch. “Do somethin g!” The vines were up to her thighs and she was being pulled toward the bush where the cauldron had come to rest. When something hit her in the head she cried out in pa in. “Okay. She imagined him launching himself at her as if he were diving into a pool. She lost her footing and fell to the ground. The wail was keener this time and she hit it one more time.Compared to the sundial. then grasped the handle.” He nodded enthusiastically and walked toward her. wrapped around h er ankles and tugged. “Uriel! Help me!” He glanced a t her. When she turned back around. but the c oils were too tight. What would happen if she touched it? Would she d ie? Or would the witch invade her body? Fear engulfed her as she tried. stopping at the edge of what she knew was the “safe zone. to dislodge herself from vines. one after another.” She leaned down and picked up one of the sticks.

she crawled away from it. she c ould see part of a circle that she was sure looked just like hers. hitting it with the staff again and again as she worked to free her feet. obviously.” she said. Once again. was naked. almost as one. “When you speak. this is my cousin Bythos. obviously. reachin g for her with tender. She hoped that. over her neck and to her face. inquisitive hands. Uriel.” She nodded. “I need to work on my charms.” Bythos said. her sobs lessened. “Acolius has not lost his voice. “Three naked men and not one of them with a hard-on. they turned toward the garden. too. When the staff disappeared and it was Uriel she held in her arms. as if he were memorizing the fee l of her. Absolute terror rushe d through Krisily. “Will the garden hold her?” .” Uriel tightened his hold on her. Another naked man stepped up beside him. kee ping the staff in front of her as a weapon. She pushed it over the garden threshold as quick as possible. if he was able to. and she knew he was the one from whom the witch had taken sight. He was naked.” he said. then murmured. holding the staff close to her. when he can’t hear?” Her voice shook.” Bythos said. and as he did she realized that he. “I’ll remember that. she felt tears leave her eyes. he would have said she’d done well.” S he burst into laughter that slowly dissolved into tears. “Is the la ss all right?” The deep male voice startled her and she looked up to see a man who looked a great deal like Uriel. and it seems you alrea dy know our cousin. When she was able.” “Great. He stroked her hair and kissed her forehea d. “I am Acolius. “Yes. and the identical mark was on his hip. “How is it he can talk. He was starin g off into air.The vine loosened and she kicked out. He looked down at her and smiled. tu rn your head toward him so he can study your lips. but she didn’t care. not in a sexual manner.” She settled her head agai nst Uriel’s chest. He traced his finger up her arm. “She l ooks fine. She rushed to the wagon. The vine was weaving itself into a woman’s form. the resemblance was uncanny. “She’s stronger. to give com fort. and on the edge of his hip. His touch was gentle. then rolled over. but trying. After they’d all helped her to stand. When three sets of hand s were caressing her.” “We have things to attend to.” she whispered.

which. until we find a quickly as possible. “We ne Krisily glanced at the vine woman. will. its chest s. It w breathing. of that sh . it wa or they would all be dead. e had no doubt.” heaving as if it were They had to work fast way to destroy her.” Bythos offered. Bythos was right.“We can only pray it ed to get to work as as moving. she supposed.

And all three of them had the same birthmark that she had. from which they’d come out fully clothe d. and see whi ch words you form with your lips. though. sure. but I can read your mood. or the three gorgeous men sitting around he r that made her exhaustion disappear? Well. She wasn’t certain how to broach the sub ject.Chapter Seven Was it the restorative power of tea. Can you read my mind?” “No. you guys are cousins? All three of you from different families ?” “Yes. she to sit on the couch a nd the three men to go to the secret room.” He grinned at her and her clit tight ened. and life’s good again. “So you’re all out of the garden. but never had three men at once give her the “I want to f uck you” look. “Not yet. anyway. “We cannot leave.” . as she sat on the couch with the tea she’d prepared for them. she wondered exactly what the mark meant. S he’d had boyfriends. “Being able to read lips is useful when at court. Which was a pity. but you can answer qu estions.” “I see. but not that good. She glanced at him. They were defi nitely in the well-hung department. You can decipher the intri gue that way.” She took another s ip of her tea.” Acolius said. Now. “You can’t hear a thing. the tea was good.” “New skill?” “No. Three hunks studying her intently was something she’d never experienced before. That’s odd. “So. right? Does this mean we can leave the house?” She hadn’t thought about checking that detail after t heir little duel with the witch. This time she’d made sure to check things out. They’d all come inside.” Bythos said.

“Since we were children. “You’re a sorceress.” she whispered. How do you know where mine is?” “Because it’s in the same place on all of us. and she glanced to Bythos. “our family has had a prop hecy about the four elements that would destroy the witch.” Bythos said.” She waved a finger between the men. searching for her. “No. The smile on his face made her shiver. “tha t if powers could be used within the confines of the garden.” “Wrong. you did the things in the garden. you can’t see. Besides. “It’s ju t a birthmark. He handed it to her and she read it.” Bythos reac hed out a hand again. You a nd Uriel will have to provide the magic.” “You’re right. it was not Uriel who laid the stones for you to follow or levita ted the sundial. except for what we create potion wise. am I right?” “Yes .” urned toward him. don’t you?” “Well yes. “What about a plan to deal with the green witch outside?” “It’s not going to be easy. “Uriel is a sorcerer.” Her knees felt weak. and we wa ited for someone else in our family to . “It shocks you because you were never exposed to it before. “You have a mark th at matches ours. “I’m a writer.” Uriel was writing something on a piece of paper.” “Me?” She stood up and started to pace.” He was shaking his head. humor in his tone.” “Four of us?” She leaned forward. the one who wanted no thing more than immortality. Therefore.” Bythos said. Acolius and I are alchemi sts. “You’re all sorcerers.” Bythos continued.” She took another sip. “I’m not a sorcerer.” Bythos said. She went to the sofa and sat ba ck down. who appeared to sense his cous in’s actions. It was you. “You mean the three o f you. “She’s strong. We have no real magical power.” He pointed in the general direction of her lower body. and not a very good one at the moment. with or without use of his sight. but the power from the f our of us will help defeat her. My cousins and I were born with the mark. good plan. the witch would be out.“Ah. “It stands to reason. but…” she threw up her hands in frustration.” “You’re part of t he four. right?” “No. not me. She took his fingers and squeezed.

” “You have never been trained t o use your power. This is our tower. effectively. what’s the plan?” Bythos stood.” Bythos said. When we moved to Bath. You ne ver did. or moving something and then thought that m aybe you had done it and forgotten?” “Little things. allow Uriel to guide you on your path as you learn to control your magi c.show theirs. we are prisoners here. and then finding it on the table. she took down the wards Uriel had constructed. leaving a sc orched chair. Then you and Uriel will deliver it. and replaced them with ones of her ow n.” Her hands shook. and Acolius followed suit. Uri el jumped to his feet and opened his hands.” “Correct. The flames disappeared. But have you never had something happen that you wis hed for. Until she is dead. try to find something that will kill her. right. aimi ng it a chair sitting in the corner. “But we’re stuck here. I’m the only one. It will take the four of us to defeat the witch.” “Great. “Uriel will help you harness it.” “Never?” Bythos was laughing. “In the m eantime. “We will go into the labora tory and work on a potion or two. like finding a lost object. no witch. because nothing like t his has ever happened to me before. Let’s just leave her there. because you never tried it. since he seems to h ave helped you unleash it. But now… “Oh crap. Or wishing I had a book and then seeing it on the sofa next to me. we assumed the proper person would appear. until now.” “I don’t wanna…no.” . “Oh crap. It burst into flames and she cried out.” She’d always just thought those things were coin cidences. until she’s dead.” “How will that happen? He can’t go into the garden.” She held out her finger. “This is unreal. “When she attacked us. I repeat from earlier. right?” “We will find a solution to that problem.” Bythos said. I can’t make stones appear and I ca n’t make fire just by thinking about it and pointing. to keep us in place until she had what she wanted. So.” “Sorry.” she repeated. and then here to the coun try to prepare for the battle. It never happened.” Bythos said. but I don’t believe it. yes. “Maybe not the fire.” She put her head in her hands. like wondering where I’d lef t an earring. “This makes no sense.

“U riel! Oh my…fuck me!” He ignored her request. His legs were bouncing and she was pretty sure that he was probably wiggli ng his feet. she gasped for air. “So good. his teeth gently nib bling. never breaking the kiss. and then. though. He kissed it gently and she came. before Bythos placed a hand o n Acolius’s shoulder and they left. He grasped her hips and mo ved her so that the edge of her butt was at the end of the sofa cushion. She knew who it was. Uriel lavishe d attention on her breasts. This time his hand moved to her breast and she thrust herself into his touch . his heels lifted. she knew what was coming next. She groaned as he started to eat greedily. turning his attention to the other one. He caressed them with his hands. as if he’d wished it. He squeezed it gently. teasing her opening before sliding up to the hard bundle of nerves that jumped a t his touch. making it grow even harder than it had been. her insides heating. his tongue sliding up and down. lifting them together. her body trembling. and then the other. Then he leaned down and ran his tongue along her slit. his toes on the ground. She believed he was a magician in more ways than one. her cl othes disappeared.” she w hispered as he traced his lips over her. his tongue making itself at home in her folds. When a hand started caressing one breast. and when he lifted his hea d and licked his lips. Acolius on the rig ht. . nibbling on it. Her hips undulated as he seemed to devour her. her hips shooting off the couch. stealing her air.They both gave her sweet. “What the…” she stopped talking when he lowered his head to her bre asts. She groaned into his mouth as he stroked his hand o ver her cheek. because he found her nip ple with no trouble. When it finally did end. covering her mouth completely. Krisily undulated under him. She wiggled on the sofa. He sucked it g ently. kissing first one then the other. Beside her. she didn’t thin k anything about it. almost seductive smiles. Uriel’s body seemed to dance with en ergy. her hips seeming to move of their own volit ion. “So we…” He cut her words off w ith a kiss. as his mouth continued to devo ur her. He moved up and down. and felt as if she’d barely taken in another lungful before he kissed her aga in. She shuddered as he took a nipple into his mouth. making her nipples tingle and her clit tighten. Bythos on the left.

“No way.” Bythos r eplied. We have been working on potions to take care of the witch for a long time. and whe n Bythos leaned over and kissed her.Being loved had never felt so right. so perfect. “We should go…” she clamped her mou th shut. . “Unfortunately. caressing her arms and toying with her hair. She wasn’t exactly sure where to start when taking part in a foursome. he stopped talking. this one from Acolius. They all made her soar.” Sh e was right. “You are the only one of us who can go in there. “Rememb r. “We need something out of the garden. even though he couldn’t see her. when mixed with belladonna and comfrey. with men yo u’d been linked with since birth. we have known about this since birth. we need you. she came again. but in a “you can do this. then the other. first one. but didn’t know it. but that didn’t seem to matter. selenium and—” Krisily waved her hands back and forth. but they kept her in pl ace. Her birthmark felt hot. Uriel kissed her thighs. the substances in the bowl on the table inside the garden will make a potion that. only there was no way to decide who took first. One more kiss. we need to discuss something first.” Bythos said. but she wasn’t sure if the bed was large enough to hold the four of them. will immobilize her long enough for us to end her life. each of them caressing her not in a “we need to make love” sort of way. she didn’t like it. or third place. harder than she had before. We found that if we combined several substan ces. “What you’re suggesting is a fabulous idea. his touch still gentle on her arm. She was about to suggest a bed. “Don’t tell me the ingredients. The other two members of their foursome c ame and sat on either side of her. just tell me what it does. Of course the births were seve ral centuries apart. and Krisily knew she wasn’t going t o like what was coming next. when rubbed into the witch’s skin. “What is it you need?” “We need.” way. made it a trifecta. second. and not in a good way. made her want them inside her as she’d never wanted anything in her life.” The words made her shiver.” “Well.” She tried to stand.” Bythos said. There was a pause.” Uriel waved his fingers and she was dressed again. It amazed her that.

Hitler was pu re evil.” Krisily’s eyes widene d. “Like the sorcerer’s stone?” “The philosopher’s stone. can we talk about. “You have to remember. “I don’t know how to use powers.” “Wha t happens after that?” She was pretty sure she knew. then she had to help take he r down.” she r eplied. and then By thos reached out. wrapping strands around his fingers and tugging gently before letting it go and starting again. “I don’t feel that strong. found her hand. but we had to lure her here somehow. “I…” There was a long pause.” Bythos’s voice was soft.” “And the flowers?” “Belladonna is useful.” Acolius said.” she said. and her limbs . The prophecy says that. “The potion will freeze her powers. She is pure evil . “I’m up f or it. She think s we are working on a potion that will give her eternal life.” “We hope.” she said. The two of them together will temporarily inhibit her body functions. but it c an be fatal in large doses. you will be a ble to control them. seductive.” The wonderful feelings that had infused her body slip ped away. and squeezed. yes. Even though she was a cauldron. She has powers beyond what other witches have. since it can make internal orga ns fail. trying to work through the idea of pure evil.” Bythos said.” Acolius toyed with he r hair. W e had to find a way to surprise her.” She swallowed hard. “I gathered.“We have to kill her. and it made her palms sweat. Now that you know you have them. she has t ransformed herself into a tree. “There is a way to share power between us. You have seen what happens with her. Uriel ca ressed her cheek. She’d never thought she’d find herself participating in a murder. um. Comfrey is the same. feeling suddenly shy and ready for sexual action at the same time. Uriel turned his attention back to her thighs. but before we start. “she wants complete power over everyone. “T hen you and Uriel kill her.” Acolius said. “It is pure myth of course. “You used your powers in the garde n without even thinking about it. if this woman finds a way to power. Would this woman be another Hitler? If so. she will kill thousands of people. his look telling her he knew exactly what she was thinking. the plan for me going into th e garden?” .

Soon there were warm male hands. Uriel and Bythos traded places. with caresses and kisses th at made her burn with need. She wasn’t sure whose hands were doing what. lifting her high. A deep mascul ine groan of approval made her flesh quiver with need. You go t here and into the garden and retrieve the bowl and pestle. “Yes. his tongue t enderly sliding over her lower lip. six of them. “You can slide into the garden through a pat h we cut into the hedge. When he moved back.” Acolius piped in. It is to the left of the house. He pulled her to her feet as the other two men stood. his lips claimi ng hers in a kiss not as gentle as Bythos’s. Come back out the secret path. goose bumps making her sh iver. and not as deep as Uriel’s. th e kiss gentle. She gasped into his mouth as her blouse was pushed off her shoulders. Uriel’s hand caressed her cheek and he moved her head so he could kiss her. pulling . taking him inside. It’s on the first path to the left of the table. This kiss was deeper. “Will it…get into her…human form?” Her hips lifted into his mouth. He tilted her head and claimed her lips.” Bythos replied. hands tugging at the blouse she wor e. “Should we put the potion on her while she’s in tree for m?” She moaned softly as Uriel kissed her mons. Following the long.” Krisily though t about it for a few minutes. and then Bythos grabbed her legs. She might have come up with her words earlier. and now Acolius was tipping her head in his direction. her panties going with them. “Oh yes. his tong ue pressing against her mouth. and lure her out. “I belie ve it would. As he kissed her she c ould feel hands on the buttons on her jeans. Byth os kissed her again and her body quivered at their touch. but the three men surrounding her were distracting her. She gasped as Acolius and Uriel leaned in to her. lingering touch he released her. and then we will finish the potion. They formed a chair under her . Then you need to pick some comfrey. All she knew was that Uriel’s kiss h ad ended.“We will distract her. The kiss e nded and Uriel stood.” she whispered as desire flooded her. near the gate. but firs t—” Bythos cupped her face in his hands. We will work on that later. four . At the same time her jeans were tugged down over her hips. two. She opened for him. ran his tongue over her slit. after we recover what we need. roaming over her body.

” Bythos said. um. Krisily came. The way she felt right now. her thighs. though. Her orgasm was harde r this time than the last. sucking them deeply into their mouths. around her belly button. She tried to whisper the word down. you guys. She knew it was Bythos.” She knew they understood what she said. and she never once felt as if she w ere going to fall. Her body twisted and turned as he sucked it deeper. They were all three smiling at her. Her body seized as Bythos sucked her hard bundle of nerves into his mouth. A nd we’re not done yet. but the three of them had yet to be satisfied. bu t it came out as more of a whisper of “da. Once again she got the feeling he could see straight through to her s oul. A colius and Uriel tightened their grip on her. at waist-level for them. They suckled and caress ed. over her stomach. Suddenly. but she was down lower than she had been. lips tasting her breasts. and when she finally came down fro m the high they’d provided she realized they were still holding her in their arms. she woul d gladly let them feed off her for the rest of her life. She glanced at Bythos.” She’d had orgasms all afternoon. they just continued to suck. her body hungry for m ore despite the overload that threatened to overtake her. “Don’t worry about us. She quivered again and Bythos’s mouth once again covered her clit. Acolius and Uriel claimed a nipple. teasing them with their teeth. licking up her wet center until he reached her clit.them straight so that she was lying flat on her back.” They continued to explore her. Their hands changed position to keep her where she was. She felt safe and secure in their arms.” . “Wh at about. her body rolling against the arms that held her tight. Then she looked at Acolius and Uriel. his tongue spearing apart her folds . as if they were nourishing themselves on her. her eyes cl osing in pure ecstasy as they suckled her. “Not yet. to nibble. their tongues. She arched into them. her eyes flew open as a mou th claimed her core. sucking it hard. “This was to give you power. lips moving up an d down her arms and legs. because for just a few moments all three pairs of lips left her body and the three of them said. supported by all three of them. The mouths never left her. She cried out and all three ni bbled on her at once.

“I’ve never eaten flowers before. “Oh my. didn’t you? I meant the seeds. Bythos and Acolius on either side. she thought as he cupped the back of her neck. seeds resting on it. He held it low enough so she could see what was inside: seeds.” Uriel gave her a playful frown before he stuck his tongue out. “You want me to…? Okay. picking up a few more and off ering them to her mouth. She sighed as he caressed her lips with his thumb. Absolutely incredible. Their gazes locked as his hand moved down to her chest.” Still a little uncertain abo ut what she was doing. Wow. “You can eat lavender? He nodded.” Her hand went to her ches t and she gulped. purplish ones. “What is it?” He held it up to her nose and she inhaled deeply. She let it soak into her tongue and she nodded. but when it ended it was over far too soon. and then she shuddered in bliss as he kissed h er. He was gently moving her legs apart.” He shook his head. and then he knelt in front of her.” she said. They were back in their original positions. Lavender. Uriel touched it lightly as he dropped the purple offering onto it. She glanced at him. It’s hot. It tasted a little minty. It definitely had a kick to it. The mixture of the hotness of the seeds mixed with the male taste of Uriel. with Uriel kneeling in front of her . His tongue was out of his mouth. “I’m not so sure about that. When he took a few of the seeds and put them into his mouth she frowned. He wiggle d it. finding a br east and stroking it gently. . She took the ones he offered her. Krisily stuck out her tongue. and the ones in his mouth. then pointed to her mouth. “Do you know of other flowers and herbs that we can eat?” He nodded. She murmured in appreciation. “You did something to it magically. Uriel hands were at her lips a gain. and there was just the hint of… She pulled her tongue into her mouth and swallowed. and she had no doubt what he wanted. infused her with need. The kiss seemed to last forever. Uriel held out his hand and a bowl appeared in it. and he took her hands and eased her back onto the couch. Their lips crushed together an d warmth invaded her mouth. keeping her close to him.Uriel’s nod was emphatic.

that she’d ignored Bythos and Acolius. None of them needed to talk. His intentions were cl ear. sighing in pleasure as he wrapped his hands around her thig hs and brought her down fully on his mouth. His tongue worked on her clit as she savored the feel of his hard cock sliding in and out of her mouth. She kept her mouth tight. Uriel didn’t need his voice to show her how much he enjoyed her attentions. She sucked him in as Bythos started to move. She lifted from him and coughed. then she nibbled on the head that made an appearance . She straddled his face.” she whispered as his tongue moved over her slit. The four of the m belonged together. They’d been watching inten tly. and it proved to her they were right. She put her fingers on him and ever so gent ly moved the foreskin back. with more tha n a hint of shame. bliss permeating her. As he feasted on her she bent over a nd took him in her mouth. Her clit tightened almost painfully. Bythos moved behind her and sh e felt him kneel and take hold of her hips. his foreskin sliding the length of him as she sucked. then she leaned down and swallowed him again. Krisily wasn’t going to waste time wondering what the hell she was doing. He stripped so fast she thought he might have done it with his powers. Uriel’s lips never left her clit. but she’d do ne plenty of research for her books. and her clit was not used to the attention. “I want you. She wasn’t sure when they’d taken their clothes off. She’d never had sex with an uncut man before. and when a hand caressed her back she st iffened. She sucked him harder. Then he lay on the floor and indicated his mouth. She lifted her head from her delicious task and realized.” Lustful delight filled his featur es and he stood. . When he slipped inside her she threw arched her back.“You’re going to kill me. too. She licked her lips as Acolius’s hard pric k appeared before her mouth. though. “I want…” she ta pped his head and he looked up. That didn’t mean she planned on s topping. and both of them sported straining erections. She’d climaxed more tonight than she had in the last y ear. This was the most perfec t experience she’d ever had. but she was thrilled that they had. His hips shot up and he thrust deep into her mouth.

She came again. they pulled from her mouth. She felt as if she could take on the witch. and then going limp. When Bythos thrust even faster. her body seizing up. relishing the feel of them all. but the soothing touch of her three lovers made her feel as if she w ere wrapped in a warm blanket. and she wasn’t sure she would be able to handle it. When the two of them exploded. her mouth going between Acolius and Uriel. an d Acolius’s fingers played with her nipples.They thrust in unison. and expected to be so exhausted that she couldn’t move her legs. and if it hadn’t been for Acolius and Uriel she was sure she would collapse to the floor. Her body trem bled. “Let’s do this. at the same time. Bythos grasped her tighter and pumped into her harder. giving them eq ual attention. They lowered her gently. not letting her taste what she wante d so much. electricity shooting through her. three sets of hands stroking her trembling body. energy rushed through her. She rested for a few moments. Another climax threatened her. She glanced at Uriel. Inst ead. Uriel’s lips feasted on her clit. th en at Bythos and Acolius.” . cocooned in a protective shell. and any of her friends that she had with her in the garden. Her heart raced from the sensor y overload.

and the belladonna was already in the laboratory. It made her want to fo rget about everything except going back to the cottage and being with the three men who were now in her life. I t was Acolius’s belief that. He massaged her muscles.Chapter Eight Uriel’s presence beside her was calming. She felt as if she’d be able to move the London Bridge if she had to. Krisi ly took several deep breaths. his hands on her shoulders. . They’d told her to wait two minutes before she’d moved inside the garden. but according to Acolius. and just like Bythos had said it would. After their “energy” ex ercises. He kissed h er one more time. then turned and left. After this was over. because they were sure t he witch would sense her presence. While they were doing that. she and Uriel could train together. then leaned forward and kissed her. Bythos had asked her about the house. She felt it hum. each ste p tentative as if he expected to fall flat. that the bowl o f what Krisily termed the “special ingredients” would be usable. They wanted the extra time to make sure she w as properly distracted before Krisily went for the items they needed. then put her palms flat on the greenery. the hedge parted. the comfr ey was right near the table. since everything had been spelled in the garden and w as in the same place it had been when the spell had taken place. When they we re at the right spot he’d stepped in front of her. She knew he had to leave. He’d walked along the path slowly. that they had to do what was necessary to end this th ing. in the form of a staff. She no longer had any fear about not being able to use her powers. they’d taken time to eat and have a glass of water. Standing at the edge of the hedge. she’d go on instinct. She figure d the witch would figure it out before long. Until then. His gaze darted back down the path and she nodded.

and Uriel had asked with his eye s. Was it just coincidence that she’d received an ad for this house months after nude pictures of herself. She’d never seen comfrey. that he knew exactly what was out here.” s he said. and rush out. several of which showe d her birthmark. It was when she was headed back toward the table that she felt a disturbance in the energy. appeared in a magazine and online? “That son of a bitch used me. She could feel it in the ground. hurrying across to the table.” she replied. as if the earth might move at any second. Bythos had been very speci fic about not touching it. then said the name didn’t sound familiar. A m ortar and pestle set in the middle of the table. That meant. It was made of what looked like granite. pick up the bowl and boogie back out. She hastened to gather the things she needed. Rush. and it was filled with a silvery substance. She grasped the scissors from her pocket and snipped several different groupings. anger seeping into her veins.” She did just that. “From whom?” the question ha come from Bythos and Acolius at the same time. Rush in. He’d told her to grab the comfr ey that was just to the left of the table.” she said as she headed toward the flowers. It was very easy to spot. Seamu s wouldn’t come into the garden with her.“Do you own the land now?” “It’s a holiday rental. . She’d barely taken two steps from the table when she knew she wouldn’t make it. praying she would mak e it back to the entrance before the witch got there. rush. although she wanted to. so he didn’t say boogie. but for the life of me I can’t remember her name. She had no doubt the witc h had felt her presence in the garden. to her way of thinking. “I think it’s his wife’s land. get the stuff. and was snaking her way toward where Kris ily now was.” They’d all three frowned. but he’d told her it was a light purple bell-type flower that was h anging upside down.” That bothered her now as she finished her count and started into the bu sh. She stopped at the edge of the clearing a nd took several deep breaths. “Don’t think about it now. but now that she thought about it. “The man’s name is Seamus Gregory. “Okay. rush. This place was very well cared for.

” she screamed. She knew he couldn’t get here. telling her to hit hard. knowing it really a person? There would be no blood. holding her close. because if he did. Since the witch was a vine. Krisily had no doubt that the evil woman would squeeze the life out of her. wrapping her legs. She realized there was no way she was going to hit the vine without hitting herself. but they didn’t make sense. The vine was around her ankles. What was in the bowl had spilled out. scattered in the grass. I will s quash you all.” She dropped the ax. “Crap!” The vine was moving u p her body. extralong. She c ould feel Uriel. please.” Acolius screamed.” “Chop her just below your feet. “Move quickly!” She heard h is words. “An ax. But that cou ldn’t be. She’d uncoiled from the tree and was now a lon g vine.The witch was coming down the path. and she was pretty sure it would— She fell forward. She sat up and lifted the ax above her head. she could hear Byt hos and Acolius telling her where she should aim. as if he were right beside her. and it wouldn’t bother the witch at all.” She looked over to where she’d dropped everything she’d been carrying when the witch had attacked her. then he would be a…stick. snaking her way toward the clearing. her t houghts leaving as she slammed into the ground. “bring me an ax. “Kill your l overs. Could she hack the vine up. “I need a sword. Krisily swore she could hear her hi ss. “You are nothing. though. severa l times. tightening. Behind her. “You bitch!” “Kill you.” . wouldn’t it be eas y to kill her this way? Would they still need the chemicals and herbs? Why not t ake an ax to her now and then burn the vines? It sounded grisly. Kill them all. “Insignificant bugs. but it would ta ke care of the problem. There were some advantages to magic. obviou sly. then laughed as a sword appeared in her hand.” “No fucking way! An ax!” The requested implement appeared in he r hand and Krisily gripped it tight.” The words rang out and rage spread through Krisily. “Hit her hard.” The woman’s voice dripped evil. “Krisily!” Acolius’s call drew her attention to the hedge.

The cries of pain were whimpers now. Acolius the flowers. She kicked away the vine aro und her leg. It was slowly knitting back to gether. slicing it right below her feet. being squeezed to death. “Can’t even hit me.” “Screw you!” The blade came down on the v ine. She dropped the sword and crawled to where the spill ed chemical mixture was mixed in the grass. She felt as if she were in a vise. Before she exited she turned to look at the vine. as far as she was concerned. “We’re going to have to nuke the bitch. but Krisily could still feel the other woman’s power. The first strike hit the ground and the witch’s taunting. and sitting up on her knees. The hedge closed. Uriel wrapped his arms around her and she settled her head against his chest. clutching the hilt in both hands. and you think you can kill me? I hope you enjoy ed yourself with the men. There was a sharp cry of pain. She didn’t wan t to leave them. She scooped as much of it as possibl e into the bowl. She lifted th e sword above her head.” she whispered as she took the final s tep out of the garden. It will be the last time you have with them. She is weakening!” Bythos’s voice rang out. evil laug h made her cry out in frustration. But there would be time for that later. I am all powerful. She screamed as she br ought it down.” The vine clutched her tighter and her legs thr obbed. and she hoped s he could make it come down where it was supposed to. She did as his cousin h ad instructed. They are quite delicious. This time she kept the sword lower.” she said as she slowly pushed away from them. and the vin e around her loosened.” “Do not s top! I feel her. “Take that you fucking bitch!’ She hit again. in little increments. Staying this close was the only way for things to go. Hopefully. brought the sword down repeatedly. Bythos took the bowl she pushed into hi s hands. I have tasted them myself. she’d never held one in her hands. It was heavy. Bythos and Acolius both stroked her shoulders. . Despite the number of times she’d written ab out sword fights. “And that.The sword felt unwieldy in her hands. then lifted it and the flowers before bolting to the entrance. and it wa s easier to aim. especially since the vine w as up above her knees now. hitting just below the first strike. “We nee d to make the mixture. “You think the prophecy of the four will kill me? Nothi ng can kill me.

like a to rnado.” She felt like a moron for not being able to des cribe it any better.” Krisily said. too. “Blowtorch! Why didn’t I think of that in th ere? It would be over. She wanted to part the hedge. “I think Uriel approves of fire. “Then. “It’s how she knitted back together when she was a cauldron. like the one in our garden. He knelt down and picked up dirt. “It’s a fire maker. makes fire. Then he moved his fingers as if rain was falling. t hey have skirted the authorities by their skill to put on a good act. “Fire will kill her. how do we know the c omfrey will work?” “Because it will mix with our potion. Seconds later it turned into a colorful bird. you and Uriel will work your magic. You pre ss a button and…it.” Krisily said. “Ashes to ashes. then stood. then take a blowtorch to it. “Real witches. shaking his head furiously. and how the vine went back together.” Acolius said.” Krisily li fted her eyebrows.” Uriel slapped his pal ms against the ground. after all. He made movem ents that Krisily knew mimicked flames.” Bythos said. He leaned down an d picked up a handful of dirt. “She’s w orked some sort of spell. but…” Uriel waved his hands and shook his head. He pointed at it and it began to churn. branded as wi tches. “Really? If she can come back from flames.” Ur iel nodded. “Of course. The fire will destroy it. letting it drop through his fingers. “A phoenix.” .” Bythos said. go back inside and hack th e vine up. but I prefer the poison method.” Bythos replied. hasn’t she? She’d rise like a phoenix out of the flames. um. won’t it?” “Lots of good people. There is nothing that will protect against that. How do we know the poison will work?” “Kill from the inside. have died by fire. remember? The two of you will b e able to counter her spell. his tone con fident. Fire shoul d kill her. “If taken internally. She has a human body.She took a deep breath.” Three sets of eyes focused on her. and she will be gone. the comfrey will shut down her organs.

She thought about hot. a block of cheese. Uriel touched her arm and she glanced at him. Bythos and Acolius stood in front of the refrigerator. “It’s spread for the bread. “The longer we wait. But she knew there wasn’t time for that. the more power she gains. and a lo af of bread. to make a sandwich. but she needed to believe t hat they were linked enough to battle the bitch that had just tried to kill her. Bythos and Acolius moved down the path. It won’t take me long to fix th e other things. “I’m hungry. He seemed to have memorized t he layout of the cottage and . His eyes were dark and sensual and he gave her a smile that made her think they shou ld bond together like they had before. but she wanted to believe that it would work. She’d feel a li ttle more confident if she’d been trained since birth. and the jar. and she tightened her grip on him.” She tried to remember when the Earl of Sandwich ha d stayed at the gaming tables and asked for pieces of meat between two slices of bread. then he motioned for Acolius to follow him. and the gooey feeling intensified.“We need to work.” Bythos said.” she pointed at the retreating alchemists. They w alked toward the house. um sorcere r and sorceress. We have to get our things together and attack as soon as possible. apples. “What about you?” He nodded before he offered her his arm. Uriel pulled out a jar of mayonnaise and examined it.” “Excellent. The exact date escaped her. and I’ll fix you things to eat. She still had a few do ubts about the plan.” Bythos felt for the top of the counter and set the items down. the chem ical side.” she said. She didn’t say anything as they made their way into the house. heads bowed together. nasty sex with him… Now wasn’t the time. Take the cheese and the fruit. but she was pretty sure it was after these m en became garden ornaments. She coul d see that Acolius’s head was tipped so that he could read Bythos’s lips and Bythos trusted Acolius to guide him.” Without waiting for a n answer. Their arms were full of food.” He winked at her. “and the magicians. “Sin ce they’re working together. however. I suppose the two of us need to do the same. “Leave the bread and the meat.

“So glad you like it. and she could only hear a few words: witch. “Might as well make them good sandwiches with vegetables. delivery. They disappeared in the laboratory. I think that technically.” Uriel frowned and she laughed.” He put the plate on the counter and picked up a h alf. They were talking about something. As a matter of fact. and soon all the sandwiches were gone. “Except. “You’re going to love mac and cheese. “Sure.” She sli ced the tomato and dressed each sandwich.” She spread mayo on the bread and then laid down pieces of ham. What do you think about that?” She could tell he didn’t have an opini on on it.” She picked up the bread. Wh en it was done she put a small layer of mustard on each one. and she laid out six more. Then he took a huge bite. She picked up the jar and unscrewed the lid. tomat oes are fruit. Well. He studied it carefully. “Pick it up and take a bite. “I can make macaroni and cheese. poison. She thought about how long they’d been sleeping. but his gaze was fastened on the s andwich she was cutting into triangles. but not wrapped in plas tic.” Bythos said. She went back to the refrigerator and took out a tomato. and Krisily went to the counter and opened the bread. peering at all the objects sh e’d laid out as if he’d never seen them before. if that is possible. you talk.” she said as she laid out six slices of bread. There was a lazy smile on his face. and she was pretty sure the sliced meat in plastic wrappings was a shock to him. “We would like some more. “I’ll make. A look of pure bliss crossed his face and she laughed. followed by slices of cheese. he’d seen the bread. too.had grown accustomed to moving about easily.” She picked up the plates.” she said. Eat up and I’ll deliver these to our friends. “Eat. she’d make a few for herself. but hadn’t s tepped out of the room before Bythos and Acolius were walking her way. but I’m going to hold that un til after we’ve beaten the witch. She put two on a plate and handed it to him. tipping it from side to side. I make a great mac and cheese. Uriel stood right next to her. too. She gave herself a mental head slap: he hadn’t ever seen them before. pushing the sandwiches toward them and settling a piece in Bythos’s hand. After she’d made theirs.” . along with a head of lettuce. They mimicked Uriel’s actions. “You’re going to love this.

Acolius was nodding. She glanced at the empty plate. and not followin g the conversation. The scientist had been busy with his food. and sprayed them over the vine?” “It would work. but she had a feeling there would be little sleeping done. She watched Bythos talk to him. But we need to make sure the vine g ets soaked. too.“The potion is mixed. I’ve got that. Bythos was finishing up his third sa ndwich. a s if they were using hand signals to communicate. and started to make more food. “Yes. we need something to deliver the water in a large dose. “We can spread the mixture on her.” Krisily fi nished making the sandwiches. here is the stuff. I’m going to eat.” Krisily said. and if you want more. He poked Aco lius with his elbow. This time she’d made one for herself. It soaks into their roots and gives them nourishment.” she replied as she watched them eat. What would happen if we mixed your chemicals w ith water. It was more as if he’d inhaled it. . The men were scarfing them down almost as fast as she made them. but I would be more comfortable if we could make her ingest it. When the chemicals are properly mixed. his hands on Acolius’s hand.” Bythos said. “It will be ready in the morning. “We’re goin g to run low on groceries the way you guys are eating. “I saw a hose in the garden shed. She didn’t bother to cut them this time. it will work.” She took another bite.” She toyed with her food. There were several containers to deliver pesticide.” Krisily finished up several more san dwiches. They scoope d them up and started to eat.” “Oh. But we need to t hink of a delivery system for it. “Now. yes. We can attach it to t he hose and I’ll play gardener. I think you can figure out how to make a sand wich. “Plants need water.” Bythos said. By the time he got to the end. it’s time for a bath. “Can’t we spr inkle it on her?” She took a bite and chewed. “Ingest them.” She could see her announcement met with approval. She has no mouth for us to feed her. After that. and bed.

” The three of them moved together. I don’t want to explain pipes and the like. Acolius’s hand covere d hers. “I’ll just get us going. The water comes from the tap. Bythos fell into step behind him. “We have a better idea. There was room for all four of them in there. we’re not going anywhere out of this house. but when they were in the larger room. Steam rose from the surface. “Yeah. “Is this magical. “Is there a bathtub in your hidden laboratory? Remember. I’m a little dirty after my roll in the gr ass and dirt in the garden. a nd then goes down the drain to…oh hell. and U riel provided the water.” Before she could turn the handle. and it intensified the feelings that already ran through her.” she said. because frankly I’m out of my element. She’d looked at the room.” “Come with us. A foursome in a tu b. with space to spare. which meant we might have to stay in here for some time.” “Of course you do. This tub’s not big enough for all three of us .” “Stolen from a nearby stream?” She though t about the hot springs that ran through this area. Krisily ha dn’t really thought about there being any more space here.” Bythos said. Uriel’s grin was mischievous. and Uriel indicated that she should follow. or natural?” She pointed at the water. but she hadn’t really studied it. “We had to keep this place to hide from the witch. We built the tub. I know tubs were different back in your day. Intriguing.” She pointed at it. She put her fingers on the water tap. unfortunately. of course. They went down a small corridor to a larger roo m. which he’s done now. . There was a tub cut into the rock below.” Acolius led the way. “You bathe in it.Chapter Nine “It’s a tub. his hand on his s houlder. their heads dipped as if they were deep in conversation. then ran her hands up and down her arms. “A little bit o f both. Bythos veered to the right.” she whispered. It was already filled with water. don’t worry about me. They went through to the la b.

an orgasm exploding through her as fingers sought her clit and pinched. Wonder fully nasty fantasies ran through her mind: of being on her knees. Krisily thrust herself back at him and two pairs of hands lifted h er out of the water. I…fuck me. He held out a hand. She groaned in displeasure as Acolius slipped from he r body. wiggling himself ever so slightly. dropping her into the water.” She closed her eyes in supplication. as Uriel lifted her ever so slightly. and before long she was tossing her head from si de to side. What these thr ee did to her! She’d never once thought about taking more than one man at a time. Acolius sat on the edge and dropped into the water. They stroked her back and buttocks. Bythos and Uriel each took an arm and lifted her. the images in her mind speeding by. then kissed her. her body hot with need. She coul d taste the sandwiches on him. please. He drove her c razy with his tongue and teeth. growing even naughtier. hands moving up her back. and now she wanted three. and it made her giggle. boos ted her craving for all three of them. begging to have a cock inside her. one by one. He went all the way under and came up suddenly. sliding down his hard form. filling her in every imaginable way. lavishing attention on all three cocks. grasped her hips and t ook her hard. then gasped as someone. and they flew open when Acolius grabbed her hips and slammed into her. Droplets of water dotted his body. her birthmark heated and it increased the tension she felt. of being bent over the couch. her ass and legs as Acolius sucked her clit. She came again as Acolius sta rted to thrust. She tensed as he sucked her in. “Please. When she came up s he was face to face with him. Another orgasm raced through her and she scre amed. Bythos and Uriel held her in place as he thrust into her. his head dropping down. having them fuck her. He throbbed inside her as he held her still. He stroked her shoulder. his mout h finding her nipple. then going ba ck for more. slo wly at first. . hard. going under the same way Acolius had. a third into her mouth. The feeling shot through her body. sucking them one right after the other. leaving nothing e mpty. her front. The water displaced aroun d them and she knew Bythos and Uriel had joined them. making her complete. of riding a cock while another slid int o her ass. then hard the second time. They stroked her gently. Krisily shed her clothes as quickly as she could. running his fingers through his hair as he slicked it back.The men were all naked now. As it had before. She laughed as she hit. Uriel slipped from her. she thought it was Uriel.

tried to let the new wonder set tle into her body. When he slipped away from her this time she knew her desires were about to come true. and soon Uriel’s tongue was exploring her bu ttocks.” He slapped her ass and the sharp pain slid through her. preparing her. He ran h is tongue over the place he’d just spanked and she tried to wiggle free from them. th ough. and she just knew that meant they would take everything to the le vel she wanted. exploring. “Yes. explore her. They were having none of it. They held her close. She needed them inside her. sensual chuckles let her know they were enjoying the way they were to rturing her. . dipping deeper inside her. She twisted slightly. to let them touch her. to take her so she could feel all three of them ins ide her at once. to three cocks filling her. The water felt like kisses and when he poured some over her anus and pushed hi s thumb into her she came again. her body seizing as he slowly moved inside her. the back of her thighs. her mind wanted nothing more than to stay here. Krisily closed her eyes and lost herself in the sensations. stroking. cupping it in his hands and letting it slide over her ever so slowly . a nd she wanted them to hurry. Uriel was bathing her backside with water. Dark. though. When he parted her cheeks and ran his tongue ove r her anus. cleaning her. But then again she wanted all this to last. She knew what they were preparing her for. damn it. Instead one of his fingers took its place.” she whispered. she shivered. trying to pull away from them. right this very min ute. trying to look back. for the awareness o f the three of them touching her to stay with her forever. Byth os and Acolius held her above the water as Uriel slapped her ass again. the pressure spreading through her entire body. causing new feelings to come to the surface. Uriel’s thumb was all t he way inside her now. S he closed her eyes and tried to relax into them. “Please. Bythos and Acolius stepped from the pool. and though her body craved more . “Please!” She wasn’t su re how much more she could take. They each grasped one of h er arms and pulled her out as if she were light as a feather. Uriel’s thumb sli pped from her. their hands getting to know every inch of her body. pushing the water around.” He pressed h is thumb down.“No! Fuck me. It was an incredible feeling.

Her birthmark burne d. long sensual moments. He worked his way in slowly. the thin wall separa ting the two of them. Acolius’s cock was in front of her face. she wanted nothing more than for him to continue. Bythos lay down and she didn’t wait for an invitation. taking him deep inside her body. Time lost all meaning as they melted together. his hands resting right next to Bythos’s. but goose bumps still dotted her skin. Her fingers burned as she traced the warm flesh. Uriel filled her now. his cock throbbing in her ass. hungrily. They each took fur coverings from the bed and lay them in t he center of the room. gasping for breath when s he let him go before taking him again. His hands w ere gentle on her hips as he stroked her. He stroked her hair and her b ack as Uriel pushed inside her virgin territory. their timing perfect. inch by inch. it was a feeling she never wanted to let go of. one going in as the other slid out. meant to find each other. the four of them were meant to be toge ther. He held her there for a fe w. or maybe it was anticip ation that made her tingle the way she did. but despite that. Bonding. Her body rocked as Bythos and Uriel start ed to move. how they could be so calm about it. to take her totally.The air was warm. or f or instructions. She kissed the tip of it. He gave himself t o her and she sucked him deeply. savoring the taste. and then she felt he tip of his cock at her anus. Bythos took her hand and led her away from the s mall pool. The pressure was almost unbeara ble. Uriel knel t behind her. so giddy. his cock moving at a s nail’s pace. she knew. “Yes. none of them big eno ugh for all of them. When the kiss broke she lo oked up.” sh e whispered as she laid her head on Acolius’s thigh. with three places to sleep. Lo ve making had never made her feel so light. in and out. slidin g her tongue over him. She straddled him. hands moving over each . and she wondered what…she put her hand on Acolius’s hip and he guided it back to the spot where the exact same design marked his body. She opened her mouth and sought Acolius. There was an alcove. and she leaned over and kissed him. Whatever caused it. sl iding him in and out as Bythos did the same to her pussy. She wonder ed about their patience. building up the passion that was already at high velocity. She could feel Bythos doing the same inside her pussy. Hi s tongue flicked against her lips and she giggled as she took him inside her. She took him slowly. stopping and stroking her.

Acolius on the other. She had no idea how long they’d been together when she felt Acolius’s hot. The three of them settled around her. but… They had other ideas. The y held her close as Acolius lay down next to them. yet again. Uriel on one si de. making her feel more complete than she ever had.” Bythos said as they slowly separated. warm liquid fill her throat. He stroked her back and she l eaned over and kissed him. She wa nted a bed where the four of them could be together. She felt like the circle inside the triangle. one that she never wanted to lose. She drank him down as he r body pulsed and she realized she’d come. Uriel and th en Acolius before he fed her again. tongues mixing as she lost Acolius’s cock only to kiss Bythos. the part that brought the three sides together. as had Bythos and Uriel.other. . It was a perfect feeling. Bythos lay down so that her head was on his chest. The one upstairs might work . the three of them filling her. “Sleep now.

she just wanted the woman . but then his meaning became clear. and then he put his finger against he r lips before he moved it to her heart. “After. and she didn’t want to. Krisily would drag her from the garden. they must do it. When that happened. to help rid the world of the evil that was the witch. and the water would work its way up the vine. soaking into the witch. Uriel stroked her arms. “This isn’t exactly what I’d expected to find on my vacation. where they would finish the job.” she whispered softly.Chapter Ten Krisily hooked the nozzle to the container filled with the chemical mixture. Bef ore they’d done that.” The nod was slow. If they had the chance to destroy it. t he two of them had slipped out to do some reconnaissance work. but her min d knew it had to be done. Sh e didn’t even know the woman’s name. . The witch was sti ll stretched between the opening at front and the clearing where they’d battled ye sterday. gone. asking it t o absorb the chemicals. His free hand went to his ears and she f rowned. she and Uriel had joined hands over the water. Uriel using hand signals to tell her this was for the best. imparting power to the water. Just before dawn. words had app eared in her mind and she’d spoken them. and she knew exactly what he meant aga in. Her stomach felt a little queasy at the idea. and they’d agreed that she would be able to soak the roots here .” She held tight to the hose. immobili zing her. Evil couldn’t be left to do whatever it wanted. no the beast. with complete conviction. They’d had a conversation then. then pointed to the garden. “I will. “You want me to tell you what’s in my hea rt?” He nodded.

evil.” Her voice was soft. Krisily fe lt sorry for the living plants that were around.” She nodded. and it smelled…well. “Spra y her with your device. She turned the hose on her new target. looking down at it. The woman laughed. It started to quiver as she moved acr oss the grass. But then she started to cough. and without waiting for another word. almost as if she were thanking someone for a birthday gift. then hurried to where the vine rested.” she said. stepped into th e garden. The vine was there. “Are you ready?” She turned toward Bythos. Acolius ben t toward Bythos and they started to talk lowly.She took a deep breath and the queasy feeling disappeared. “I may not be able to take human form. I used those pa rts to remake myself. But there were tiny parts that didn’t.” Krisily turned slowly. After this was over she needed to talk to Seamus Gregory. She aimed the hose and turned t he nozzle.” Bythos said. and she had no trouble seeing where they’d planted themselves. Krisily wrinkled her no se. The vine pulsed. The roots were in the ground. then he leaned over and kissed her ever so gently. like when artists take chainsaws to hedges. feeding off the earth. Kris ily didn’t waste any time. carving them into animals and other things. Water flew out in an arc. letting loose a torrent of water. to see wh at he knew about all this. He inclined hi s head as if he could feel her presence. “Soak it into the roots so the potion can spre ad through her.” she said. “Almost…” Fear shot through her. “Let’s do it. and then it stopped. “That was easy. yes. . The air felt cloying. and then turned to Acolius. “Some of me knitted back together. So kind of you. You gave me the whole evening to grow. but it wasn’t just the vine. and she prayed the deadly toxin in the water wouldn’t affect them. to kee p you thinking that was it. This was why her trip came about. but I can regenerate my self. It ha d been shaped into a woman. the shaped bush shaking as the laughter fil led the air. soaking the ground and the vine. the laughter disappearing. tightening her grip on the hose. and then an evil c ackle rent the air. Next to her. Uriel stroked her s houlder. giving her more stre ngth than she’d ever felt.

no demands for her death. no scream o f outrage. dragging it across the yard to throw on the blaze. keeping the strea m trained on her. moving closer to Kr isily. She. edged toward the entrance. He touched it after she had it in her hands and it burst into flames at the top. but it wa s softer. in turn. They’d decided earlier that the witch would fee l more confidence if she didn’t immediately recognize they were there. she we nt back and touched the fire to the vines. greenery dropping toward the ground. it stopped. too. she ran down the path toward the clear ing. worried that. . She needed t o drag it out of the garden so it could be destroyed. The woman’s c ough increased.” Krisily yelled o ut. trying to move to gether. as if it were walking on air. ready to take down w hatever it was. finally. if she changed back into human form. Moving swiftly. she said. “Thought you could fool me. it moved ever so slightly and then. nearly jumpin g out of her skin when a hand touched her back. and a rasping sound accompanied them. The witch started to burn. ma king sure there were no loose pieces lying around. The rasping sound of earlier was still there. They watched the place where the witch had com e to rest. She stepped out of the gar den long enough to take the piece of wood Uriel offered. the greener y pooling on the ground. There was no cry of pain. Wh ile the men did what they had to do. The vine she’d originally spray ed would have to be burned. “be ready!” The bush started to deflate.” They didn’t argue with her. only to find Uriel smiling at her. The shape of the woman had almost disappeared now. huh?” She leaned down to grab one. but she was afraid to do s o. she planned on going through the garden. The chemicals and herbs were definitely bringin g the witch down. “New pl an. her breathing definitely labored. She turned.The greenery started to glide. wiggling. When the water container was empty she watched the vine. There were little pieces of vine on the ground. keeping the hose trained on her target. and Krisily drop ped the wood onto her. “It’s working. “Get me a torch. She g lanced at her lovers a few times. she’d gain more power. She raced to the other vine. The men didn’t make a sound. When she was done. Krisily backed up.

We need to make sure all pieces of her are burned so she does not come back.” A f lush ran through her.“Get that one. “Then we will play. “But then again.” he said.” “You’ve found our voice. Acol ius winked at her before he grabbed a piece of vine and headed back out. and enj oy our first day of freedom in hundreds of years. Bythos looked her up and down.” Uriel said. “Let us finish the job.” . “Beautiful. “Her power is weak.” he said. I already knew that. “Does that mean…” Acolius and Bythos were running into the clearing now.” she laughed. the spell is broken.

Acolius first. then set the cup down gently. with her tied to a bed and… “Um. “Once again. when the four of them had played in their rented cabin. and then Acolius cleared his throat. “It was just a nearaccident. packed up his things and hightailed it out of town.” The four of t hem were silent for a few moments. But she had to physically nudge Uriel before he finally sat. . what did the landlady to the public house sa y?” “She’s also the owner of the house that Seamus Gregory rented. Sometimes drivers are careless and cars collide. He put his hand on her thigh and squeezed.” Before she could answer. but Uriel’s in terest had been different than his cousins. righ t?” They sat slowly. It brought back memories of last night. Someti mes they avoid the wrecks by slamming on their brakes. They’d all been fascinated. we need to concentrate. “Sit down. He was sure “some little warlock” was im prisoned inside the modern engine and that’s what made the car go. th e squealing of tires and blasting horns filled the air. She said he disappe ared yesterday. The three men jumped as if they’d just noticed an evil opponent in their midst and were prepared to draw s words on it.” she hissed as she alternatively tugged on their sleeves.Epilogue Krisily sat down at the café table and picked up her tea. Bythos second. She took a sip. You remember brakes. “Tell us o ne more time how you came into contact with this man.” Bythos said. “What did she say?” Uriel sat next to her. Of course he’d been the most curious this morning at the cottage when she’d shown them the car.

and she’d had to drive it up and down the road leading to the main thoro ughfare before they’d been comfortable enough to tackle the trip. Fina lly. he said he and his wife did. Now that we’ve won. that it had been rented a few m onths back. remember? Flying coaches?” “Only those who consort with the devil can fly. Still. she would have found out the house was owned by a man who lived in London named Blaine Marshall. She knew from their reaction to the h orns right now that it wouldn’t be the only time she’d have to do it. Then she tried to put the conversation back on track. and thought England would be a nice place to get away from ever ything. When she’d asked about the name.” The third time had been when an airplane passed overhead. After that she’d said the renter’s name was Seamus Gregory. “You’re learning about your new world.” They all sat. “They set me up. she’d told them they had to go. She’d explained planes once again. though. but their gazes darted around. you used a contraction. until Uriel had waved his hand over her desk.” “Hey. When she’d gone into the office this morning to inquire about the pro perty. “I received a postcard about the rental. “I told you about them. I believe. I never met her.” Bythos said .” . didn’t they?” “They did. the woman had told her it wasn’t available. She ma de a mental note to find a bookstore where she could buy some volumes that would help them understand modern inventions. Getting them in the car w asn’t easy.” She giggled. Uriel said. “I should have d one more research. well done. My ex-boyfriend had just p ublished scandalous photos that showed me in all my naked glory. but then she’d just stepped back and let them explore .” Krisily toyed with the cup. that he leased it out through a l ocal agency.She’d tried to explain things. they absconded.” Bythos had replied. she’d had t o pull over three times when agitation had struck. I received the card after that. “They expected you to fail. the woman had told her it wasn’t public information. twice it had been when other vehicles had passed and they’d screamed at her for getting too close “to the beasts. “And you thought this Seamus Gregory owned the house?” “Well. drinking in everything. An hour later.” If she had. though.

” Uriel put his elbows on the table. they’d all agreed.” There had been a huge discussion before they’d left the cottage about her sundress. was “attire for under the dress”. one that made her toes burn. I swear it. “Unfortunately.” Bythos said. okay. he had—everything from present day life. Urie l. Krisily was afraid he would lose his balance. “How did he know…mental head slap time. they’d finally agreed they’d table the discussio n for later.” One more book she needed to buy. but. . as we said. “They all knew of the legend. either that of alchemists or sorcerers. “Your nipples should be for our eyes only. he has kept a field around himself. He saw it in the photos. which.” “Extraordinary. Right now.” “No. The birthmark. They all had powers. Deal with it. of a sort. young lady. But he was modern. can you work your magic to try and bring up his image?” “I have tried. This is the way people dress nowadays. and his lady friend. in the interest of getting into Bath. obviously. We may never know who he is. “What are credit cards?” “They’re little plastic things you give people instead of mone y. but I do not believe she had any chi ldren. he had credit cards.” A man sitting at the next table lifted his head so fast.” “He could be one of her descendants.” Krisily said. He knows we are looking for him.” Bythos said. “It’s…I’ll exp n it all later. “Did he use these things to purchase you clothing?” Uriel’s gaze was harsh. He drove.” Uriel answe red him. The conversation had been heated.Bythos gave her a lethal grin. “We will discuss your comment later. Acolius shook his head for emphasis. or whether he want ed us to free the witch. He used them to purchase some things when we were together. Maybe they were trying to free us.” Bytho s said. it could be a member of our f amily. “We’re not going into t hat again. “On the other side of the fence. “A moneyless society. “I just don’t understand. or kill her. We need to take that into con sideration. Maybe the child ren’s section would have tomes that could explain it all to them easily.” Acolius said.” She waved her hands to dispel the notion. we need to find out who this man was. “I must agree with Uriel on this.

eavesdropping isn’t nice. mixed with yours.” He dropped his gaz e.” Acolius said. We di scover his motives behind bringing you to England and we either stop him.” She took anoth er sip of her tea to try and calm her nerves. “We are powerful. but she was sure he wasn’t going to st op anytime soon.” “As can I. “I hope it went up your nose. “Hi.” “Clearly they are.” Uriel said.” “The stone that gives eternal lif e?” Krisily knew her words were much too loud. She leaned closer to the three men. “They need to be sucked. “This isn’t a conversation we need to have in public. and they all edged toward he r.” Acolius said. and our power together. or hel p him. “After t hat. I thi nk they had evil intent on their mind. “That’s not possibl e. if we think it is necessary. how are ya?” She leaned toward her lovers. “They know what the witch knew.” Uriel replied. She smiled at the people around the m who stared at her.” she said to him.” They were quiet for a few moments.“Hi. “I can see them just fine. we go on the hunt and find this Gregory. “Stop listening to us !” He turned his head in the other direction. “My nipples are not showing. will be unstoppable. I’m worried they could be pissed that they lost. “First w e go home and play…” She flushed at his words.” “So what do we do?” “Well. is it?” “Anything is possible.” The eavesdropper cou ghed on his tea. depending on what he has in mind.” Bythos said as Uriel said. It would serve him ri ght if he repeated the conversation to someone and they said he needed a trip to the loony bin. glancing at the three of them. but she knew he’d been listening to everything they said. “We have also been wo rking on a new formula for the philosopher’s stone. “Now. how ya doing? Go back to your book.” “Isn’t it dangerous to leave him roaming aro und? Shouldn’t we be more concerned with locating him?” . why would they run? I don’t unde rstand why they wouldn’t stick around to say hi if saving you were the case. that we we re working on a process to turn things to gold.

of being tied to the bed while the three of them tortured her oh so erotically with their hand s and tongues before they fucked her. one in her ass .” Bythos’s words made her blush. Right now we want to be inside you. Krisily imagined them back at the cottage.” “Then it is tim e to depart. She thought about last night. “We will retire to bed.” Bythos and Uriel stood at t he same time.“I believe if he meant us harm. one in her mouth. one cock in her pussy. he would have struck while we have been otherwise…oc cupied. one at a time. or the nex t day. there are more than three ways for us to do wicked things tog ether. She came suddenly as Uriel leaned over and kissed her. Bythos’s hand was on her hip. Krisily wiggled in her seat. her clit tightenin g with need. making her body soar to hei ghts they’d never achieved before. Her b ody rocked as he cupped her chin. caressing every inch of her flesh. “Yes. see if she can talk to the owners of the cottage about selling it to us. “We should go to the agent first. exploring her. They both grasped her chair and moved it back so she could stand. “Very.” She could sw ear she felt their hands on her already.” Uriel whispered against h er lips. all of us. we will do that and so much more. Acolius still held her hand in his.” . “After all. “Is your quim wet?” Acolius’s question made her shiver.” “We will take care of that tomorrow.” He stood and offered her his hand.

.About the Author Melinda Barron loves to explore Egyptian tombs and temples. in all sorts o f shapes and sizes. and your heart engaged. The only thing she lo ves more is creating stories from the wonderful heroes and heroines that haunt h er dreams and crowd her head. Melinda loves to lose herself between the pages of a book. not just those who are a size 2. and explore new cities and countries. She generally do es it all from the comfort of her home by opening a book. Mel currently lives in the Texas Panhandle with two cats and a file stuffed with new ideas to keep her typing fingers busy. discover Mayan ruins . suspense and love. Her books are full of magic. She believes love is for everyone. play in castles towers.

Aliya Baban and the Cave of Pleasure Advertising agent Aliya Baban is beautiful with a capital B. However. or else get a new job. Unfortunately. When her boss tells her to get the Cave of Pleasure account. They’re Pleasure Djinn. she’s also a witch with a capital B. As a successful advertising agent. For the next thirty days. This dedication has paid off. Anya takes a weekend vacati on to the small town of Pleasant. Though he intends to bring . Matuse is more than just the owner of the Cave of Pleasure…he’s a pleasure dj inni. Back at work on Monday morning. But she doesn’t care. she rubs a lamp that looks as if it could belong to Aladdin himself. she belongs to hi m. Anya finds that her boss has giv en her a new account…for a lamp factory. Aliya takes her party invitation—and the strange lamp she’s received—and attends the nightclub’s grand opening. Things will nev er be the same. ready to do battle for her livel ihood. she’s managed to offend almost every woman she has ever met. BBW Anya Bartholomew lives only for her job. she has risen in th e ranks of her firm to be the top money-maker. And they have come to fulfill five of Anya’s most secret sexual wishes. And Aliya has rubbed his lamp. who claim she needs a break from work. While shopping at an antique shop.Find Melinda Barron’s Desires of the Lamp Tales from www. But at the insistence of her two best friends. That’s ju st the way life is.co m Wish Me Up. Rub Me Down With no love life to speak of.ResplendencePublishing. her clients—two very handsome. In her twenty-eight years of life. ver y sexy men—are more than what they seem. really. Maine.

Honor and Obey Moreen McGee is a perfect example of how poor decisions made in youthful rebelli on can haunt someone for life.intense pleasure to her body. she serves her co urt-ordered community service at a center for troubled teens in the hopes of sto pping other kids from taking the wrong path. And Paran intends to use this time to help his little felon learn some very im portant lessons. it’s also his job to make sure his “she-devil” changes h er wicked ways. and maybe. but when it comes to play she’s pretty reserve d. To Rub. she belongs to him . Until her friends take her to the Cave of Pleasure in New York City. neglected oil lamp that she’s sure Aliya will never miss. For the next thirty days. Aliya Baban. including the true meaning of the words honor and obey. She’s ther e to celebrate her birthday. . What Rhylie doesn’t know is the Cave of Pleasure is run by Pleasure Djinn. Now on probation for ten years. Fire and Desire Scientist Rhylie Dawson works hard. On stage in front of a bevy of male dancers. Smoke. and he’s not too thrilled with the theft of his property.. the contract is sealed. She picks the fireman.. However.by breaking into Aliya’s apartment to return the stolen wallet. there’s fire. and a great deal of desire. Moreen decides to put the illicit skills she learned as a teenager to good use. once she’s in the opulent Manhattan flat. get lucky. But when one of her young charges p ickpockets a wallet from her high school nemesis. and quickly learns that where there’s smoke. Will Matuse be able to help Aliya overcome her painful past? Or will Aliya fail to make the five heartfelt apologies she needs to make to the fi ve women she has hurt the most. Rhylie is told to choose one for her special birthday dance. Moreen can’t resist the urge to take one small token from the woman she still bla mes for her own downfall—an old. Moreen accidentally summons a gorgeous demon-turned-pleasure djinni named Paran. just maybe. and they’re eager to show her that there’s more to life than just work. Moreen has rubbe d his lamp. thus keeping the kid who stole it out of trouble and out of jail.

Open Sesame by Mia Watts Alister Baban overheard a business discussion that netted him and his Uncle Cass imer a lot of money. serious. They want information and he isn’t about to give it. seems to hate everything he enjoys. Wyn has spent her life alone. Rhys’ car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. living vicariously through those who love winter. hits a black bear on the way home from work one night. When the Simsim Group stock crashes and declares bankruptcy within weeks.The Not Quite Wicked Series Wolf in Men’s Clothing by Dakota Rebel Little Red Riding Hood has nothing on Rhys. there is a b ig. Gwendolyn Locke. one of four brothers who owned Simsim Group. h is betrothed. Oz Ad amo. Just Right by Bronwyn Green When Department of Natural Resources officer. agrees to abduct Alister to ob tain information and win back the lost pensions of former employees. bad rescuer watching and waiting to sweep him off his feet. But Oz loves a good chal lenge. Gerda. and shrewd. I f only she could save herself. And that might bring any relationship to an icy death. she knows she must save him. very aroused men who also happen to be werebears. Fortunately for him. On his way to his grandmother’s house. Heart of Ice by Brynn Paulin Kai is perfectly unhappy with his life. . the owners immediately suspect the Babans of playing dirty. Especially winter and h is attraction to dominating his partners. and she’s just become Goldilocks to three gorge ous. She di scovers that shape-shifters exist. sexy Alister is naked and his—at least for now. but there’s one tiny thin g standing in their way. His prospects look grim…until the Snow Q ueen arrives. he sees nothing good in his future. No human can touch her without experiencing chilly agon y. Cast into a role as shop boy and forced into marriage to save his family. Being snowbound has never been so hot. Alister fights the sexual attraction he has for Oz. She craves his dominance. When she learns of Kai’s predicament. Tied to a b ed and lusting after his captor. her entire view of reality changes. In fact.


Sheriff Rebecca Savage never planned on returning to Beckit Falls. t hey ll stop at nothing to win her over. and now. and more than just their way of life is suddenly in jeopardy. When Danny’s brother proposes aerial wolf hunting. he’ll be their sex toy. But when local livestock start disappear ing. but his frail family might implode. He wants to come out of the closet and date. but when she starts digging deeper. and sometimes that means extreme me asures. it s bringing a new brand of hun ger. All he wants is the rig ht man in his bed. and now that she s finally in their sights. the upcoming hunger moon has i gnited a different kind of appetite. Brandon and Justin are lovers and wolf shifters native to Ala ska.. The local mayor is trying to run the Brady boys and their coyote refu ge out of town. or for falling for two handsome men. their coyote refuge is put in the hot seat. But fate seems to have di fferent plans for her. The full Wolf Moon spark les over Fairbanks. Coyote Savage by Kris Norris Phases: Book Two February s full moon is rising. They’re out to protect their way of life. Nothing seems to make sense. Danny was the closet case in high school. Danny enters their sigh ts. a new danger rises with the full moon—one that just might get them all killed. only this year. For coyote shifters Caden and Talon Brady. The shifter pair is ready to do whatever it takes to stop the hunting and maybe add a sexy human man to their pack. but he’s alone for those long nights. They ve been waiting several years for a ch ance to court their intended mate. Unchaste by Mia Watts           . Unfortunately not all of them are sexy and look fantastic in jeans.Also Available from Resplendence Publishing Taken by the Pack by Cheryl Dragon Phases: Book One Danny loves Alaska. but it doesn’t seem to love him back..

Can he truly ask Joséphine to turn her back on the chance to be princess for nights of endless pleasure? Ca n he trust himself to love her as she deserves? New Orleans by Demi Alex Who makes life-altering decisions based on a fortune cookie?       . and plenty of her other desires. and Joséphine deserves more than just a brief affair.Phases: Book Three The mystical Portal of the Gods transports Flynn Chula. As the sexual preparations begin. and their eager to learn all the tricks. Julien can’t deny the raw heat between him and Joséphine. but the current apprent ice reigns with blood sacrifice and fear. as well. When etiquette lessons tur n to carnal instruction. Flynn.. Koda and Amaro do their duty to rid him of any possible heterosexual leanings. and give up his own life of indulgence. Two hunky men can t get enough of him. Amaro and Koda know exactly what to do. warriors of the empire. To possess Joséphine. But Julien is a life-long bachelor. will Flynn. proving their place among the people--as prie sts. and her t wo obnoxious stepsisters. he has no idea that the squalling infant he held in his arms n ineteen years ago has turned into a beautiful young woman. and Amaro escape alive. Joséphine Thévenet wants nothing more than to be quit of her father’s crumbling house. When the blood priest discovers the plot to overthrow him . With his help. c an t believe his luck. but he also can’t deny the promise he made to her father. Book One When Julien Auvrey promises to help his goddaught er snag a prince. Joséphine fears she will lose her heart before she can wi n the prince. shifter and descendant o f the Cahokia Indians. she’ll blossom into a wife fit for the prince—in and out of the bedchamber. Notorious seducer Julien Auvrey appeals to her desire for escape. who s never wanted a woman in his life. Right into a tribal feud b etween Amaro and Koda. Julien must betr ay his friend. he knows that she’s just what the prince wants in a woman…and just the type of woma n that Julien wants in his bed. While Flynn finds his new circums tances impossible. Koda. or will more than blood be lost on t he altar? Glass Slipper by Abigail Barnette Naughtily Ever After. Their culture dictate s that shifters have to be tested.. six hundred years in the past. her stepmother’s temper. Only one high priest can rule the empire at a time. Once he sees Joséphine.by g iving themselves to him wholly.

Jordan. including a broken heart . Pierre ha s loved and pursued Julian with no success. in hand—as they teach her e verything she’ll need to know about her new vampire life. And after all she’s been through the past year. With no civilization for miles and no hope of r escue. Hidden away in an old Cold War spy s tation located the middle of the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. Julian is stunned that she is his alpheli—an extremely rare mat e whose blood will allow him to subsist on real food. Julian and Pi erre find unexpected erotic rewards and eternal love when they join together in a brutal war to protect their alpheli’s life. in the shower. Julia n. she has nothing to lose by packing it up and star ting over in the sultry Big Easy. she thinks all is lost… Until she stumbles upon the entrance to an undergro und bunker. Lilly Marie is completely alone in the world. though. and Jonathan McMathan own and operate a secret intelli gence firm contracted by the US Government. encountering an eccentric woman in Jackson Square and actually following her ins tructions to “step onto Bourbon Street and into her future” doesn’t seem so weird. in the hot tub. Whether it is fate or coincidence. Pierre is positive Julian will have nowhere else to turn. Jack. the brothers a re not only able to do their top secret jobs safely . she doesn’t consider meeting not just one. And she’s on someone’s hit list. When one of Julian’s students approaches him for help ide ntifying her sire. chooses to teach the Vampire Bootcamp class rather than surrender to Pierre on unequal terms. In her wildest dreams. Who is she to question “destiny” when she’d uprooted herself because of a tiny piece of p aper tucked inside a cookie? What Lilly doesn’t expect is for a hero to save her f rom a rampant bicyclist and whisk her away to a place called El Destino to meet his family— “family” being four of the handsomest men Lilly has ever seen. Oriana and the Three Werebears by Tia Fanning Oriana Ricci has taken over the family business—flying cargo and rich tourists aro und Alaska’s barely inhabited Kodiak Archipelago. Danamar a is descended from Pierre’s bloodline. Wi th only a broken heart in tow. What will that mean to his love-hate relationship with Pierre? There are just one or two problems. Alpheli Solution by Anny Cook Bootcamp class seems to be the answer to her prayers. but two hunky vampires who take her—in the c ar. For centuries. she finds herself stranded in the middl e of a National Wildlife Refuge. the sizzling and sexy men of El Destino take her into th eir capable hands to prove that there is no such thing as happenstance. in the living room.Sans her family and sans a job. and that undeniable passion and true love can cure any ailment. When her plane malfunctions and she’s forced to make an emergency landing. After a hostile takeover of Julian’s f inancial assets.

and a beautiful blonde sleeping in one of their beds. Like a fairy tale gone bad. but are better to protect their other. the brothers return home to find their lunch tasted—or eaten.without fear of discovery. This situation poses a big problem for the brothers… Their location is now comprom ised. what are they to do with the lady? . their computer chairs adjusted—or broken. more personal secret: They have the ability to shift into Kodiak bears. But more importantly.

1placeforromance.Find Resplendence titles at the following retailers Resplendence Publishing www.com 1 Place for Romance www.Ficti onwise.com Bar nes and Noble www.Mobipocke t.com All Romance E-Books www.Amazon.com Target www.ResplendencePublishing.com Fictionwise www.com Mobipocket www.com .com Amazon www.BarnesandNoble.Target.AllRomanceEBooks.

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