Granny is dying. The only way Zoraida can save her is to steal a healing crystal of smoky quartz. Too bad the crystal is in Scotland. In a haunted castle. Guarded by mind-reading, psychopathic sorcerers.
A modern witch, Zoraida lives in Arkansas where she tells fortunes and side-steps her boyfriend’s marriage proposals. If she tells the truth, which she seldom does, leaving her quiet, predictable life excites her more than she can admit. She heads to Scotland with her best-friend-forever Zhu, who likes fishing, magic, and men ––not necessarily in that order.
Getting inside Logan Castle is easy. Getting out––not so much. Up to their necks in family intrigue and smack-dab in the middle of a simmering clan war, Zoraida and Zhu discover Granny hasn’t told them everything. Too-good-to-be-true Michael Logan and his refined mother, wrap the castle in spells. Unapproachable and surly Shea Logan doesn’t trust anyone including Zoraida.
His whisper sinks into my stomach like rotten meat. His fingers tense on my neck.
He is in my head, but I’m in his as well. “This is why you brought me down here. You’ve been playing me along all day.”
“Of course I have.”
“What makes you think it will be so easy?”
His tone is measured, not cruel, but not comforting either. “Do you think you can waltz in here and do as you please? You’re not in Kansas anymore.”
“You mean I’m not in Arkansas anymore.” My voice rasps under the pressure of his fingers.
Pain in my temples pulls me deeper into the abyss. He pushes the spell into my head.
I open my mouth to scream but forget to do it. How much of this ensorcellment is due to his spell and how much to the smell of peaty whisky on his breath, to the warmth of his muscular arms, to the solid weight of his body against mine?
What is this strange pleasure, even as he pries open my mind, as he pushes his will into mine, as he touches my most private thoughts? All memories of the healing crystal, Granny, and the temptation of the black stone disappear in a puff of desire.
His fingers loosen and, feather light, he caresses my throat, my shoulders. Warm, moist breaths in my ear, warm, soft lips on my hair. He leans against me, and my back arches toward him.
He’s in my head, and I don’t remember inviting him. This will not do. I steel myself, dismissing the tendrils of passion threatening to draw me closer to him. Granny taught me tricks to use. Let the Universe move through you and beyond. Nothing can harm you. Remember your own power.
I lead him in circles, drawing him deeper with desire only partially fabricated. He follows too eagerly, our combined passion clouding his intentions. Too late, he sees the trap. I hold him for an extra second, reluctant to let him go entirely.
Sorchia Dubois lives in the piney forest of the Missouri Ozarks with eight cats. She edits technical writing and fiction part time, but she spends at least five hours per day tapping out paranormal romance, Gothic murder, and Scottish thrillers.
A proud member of the Ross clan, Sorchia incorporates all things Celtic (especially Scottish) into her works. She can often be found swilling Scotch at Scottish festivals.