Caress of Magic (Excerpt)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic


This is an excerpt from my novel Caress of Magic, which is available everywhere e-books are sold (and is in paperback format, too).

Submitted: May 06, 2018

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Submitted: May 06, 2018

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Kate is a witch, born and bred. With her boyfriend, Ethan, and his brother Russell, she has made a satisfying life for herself, fighting evil and protecting those she cares for. During one of those battles, Kate is transported far away, with no memory of who or what she is. Believing her dead, a depressed Ethan tries to go on with his life. When Kate recovers her memory and returns, she finds him in the arms of another woman. Furious, she vows that she’s done with him, done with her life as a witch, and determines to prove that she doesn’t love him anymore.

But Kate has caught the attention of a powerful evil, and she is now the hunted. Can she and Ethan find their way back to each other? And if they do, will dark magic tear them apart again?
 

Excerpt:

The bedroom seemed darker somehow, and Kate realized that it was her mist. It had collected in the corners and was blanketing the floor eerily, giving the room an otherworldly look. Out of habit, when she closed the door she turned the lock, shutting everyone out.

Ethan was lying on his back again. His muscles were still tensed with the pain, and now that Kate knew it would be over soon, that she would be leaving, she let herself look at him and want him. She remembered the feel of his hard body against hers, pressing her into the mattress. She let herself think of all those nights, tangled in the sheets, his lips on her skin, his hands in her hair. She thought of him whispering to her, words of love and of promise, the sound of his voice saying her name in the darkness. She wanted that again, she admitted to herself. How could she want someone so badly, someone that she hated so much?

Suddenly, Ethan's body went stiff and he gripped the bedspread in his fists. He inhaled with a pained hiss and Kate knew that Russell was burning the pouch. She could see the poison roiling in Ethan's body, fighting the release, and then a few seconds later it receded and was gone. Ethan relaxed with a heavy sigh. For a long, tense moment he didn’t take another breath, and when he finally did, Kate realized she’d been holding her own. She tucked her hair behind her ears and approached the bed.

Ethan opened his eyes and looked up at her. “I feel better,” he said, amazed.

Kate nodded. “It’s over. The necromancer’s spell has been broken.”

Ethan studied her face and she had the uncomfortable feeling that he was trying to read her mind.

“This means you’re leaving, doesn’t it?”

“Once he’s dead,” she said. “It does.”

He reached out and caught her hand before she could evade him. When she tried to pull free, he held on, gently but firmly. She scowled at him but he refused to let go.

“Stay,” he whispered. “Please.”

She tugged again but stopped when it was apparent that she wasn’t getting loose.

“I can’t, Ethan,” she said. “I don’t want to be with you anymore.”

He sat up and pulled her closer, despite her protests. She tried to ignore the fact that he wasn’t wearing a shirt, that his muscles were rippling enticingly beneath his sun-kissed skin. She tried to ignore that she could feel the desire he had for her in that one small contact of his hand holding hers. Mostly, she tried to ignore that all she wanted to do was let him pull her into his arms and into that bed.

When he realized he wasn’t going to get her to sit next to him, he got out of the bed. Despite the hours under the effects of the poison and the fever that had burned through his body, he felt strong. He felt like he could move mountains if he needed to, if that’s what it would take to convince her to stay. He stood in front of her, her hand still firmly in his grip, and took hold of her chin gently.

“Are you trying to convince me?” he asked. “Or yourself?”

Kate tried to force her body to stop trembling. She tried to focus on the months that she’d spent not knowing who she was, not knowing what she was. The fear and the uncertainty. But all she could focus on in that moment were those beautiful green eyes of his, the heat rolling off his skin that had nothing to do with fever. She started to lean toward him and stopped herself.

“Let me go, Ethan.”

Instead, he lowered his head and she knew he was going to kiss her. Panic shot through her and she tried to jerk out of his grasp. He let her hand go, but he wrapped his arm around her waist before she could get away. She gasped at the speed with which he snared her, and when he pulled her against his body, her hands came up to brace against his chest, trying to keep some distance between them. That was a mistake, she realized. At her touch, his muscles tensed rock-hard, and her own traitorous body reacted, desire pooling low in her belly.

When he lowered his head this time, there was no evading him, and when his mouth closed over hers, his lips gentle but firm, her world spiraled away into the stars. His kiss was hot and demanding. He nibbled and teased, commanded and cajoled. Of their own volition, her arms twined around his neck, holding on for dear life. His hands roamed down her back, settling at her waist, and she leaned in to him, moaning softly.

He nibbled at her lower lip and when she opened for him he groaned at the taste of her. Kate whimpered low in her throat when he deepened the kiss, but she loved the invasion, craved it. She’d missed his possession, his commanding presence, the way he took by giving. Scott had always been so annoyingly gentle, his hands and body soft. She’d missed the feel of a man’s hands on her skin, a man’s body against hers. She wanted Ethan so desperately her body felt like it was on fire, and she knew that only his touch could extinguish the flames.

She tried to pull away and broke the kiss. “No,” she said softly.

“Yes,” he growled, and kissed her again, his lips scorching hers, his hands roaming further south, cupping her ass.

Yes! her body screamed. Oh, yes!

She managed to pull away again. “No,” she said, firmer this time.

Ethan stopped for a moment, but he didn’t let her go. He kept her prisoner against the heat of his body, his arms like steel around her. He looked into her eyes. “Say it again,” he said, his voice harsh, his eyes gleaming at her in the flickering candle light.

“No,” she said, her voice wavering.

“Again.”

“No,” she whispered.

“One more time,” he breathed.

“No.”

“Are you convinced yet?”

Tears flooded her eyes. “No,” she admitted.

He took her down to the mattress, blanketing her body with his own. Gently, he kissed the tears from her cheeks. He smoothed his fingers through her hair, fanning it out on the bedspread beneath her. He rested his weight on his elbows, keeping her pinned beneath him, but not crushed.

“I want you,” he told her. “I’ve wanted you from the moment I saw you watching me that night at the bar.”

“That night you were with Susan?” she hissed, spitting out the woman’s name like it was poison.

He smiled at the venom in her voice, the undisguised jealousy. “Yes,” he said. “The minute I knew you were alive, it was over with her. I never touched her again, I promise.”

She turned her head away, refusing to look at him, but he took her chin and turned her back.

“I want you,” he said again. “Right here, right now. I know you hate me. I hate me a little, too. But I also know that you want me. I can feel it.”

She tried to wriggle from beneath him, but he held her still. She glared at him, her lips pressed stubbornly together. Her resolve was starting to slip and she knew he could see it. What could it hurt, really? It was just sex, right?

She looked into his eyes, saw the love there, and knew that no, it was not just sex. For the two of them, it had never been just sex. It had been cataclysmic, earth shattering, explosive. Their hearts and souls had met when their bodies met, and it would be like that again. She could see that he knew it, too. And she wanted that. She wanted to hear him say her name in the throes of ecstasy again. She wanted to feel him wild in her arms, losing control.

“No,” she breathed.

His eyes glinted at her and she felt a little excited thrill. Would he do it? Would he take her, despite her refusals? …. Did she want him to? Then it would be out of her hands and not her fault. She could blame everything on him, just like she’d been doing. And she could hate him just that little bit more.

His entire body tensed and he pulled her closer. She could feel him through two layers of denim, hard and ready, pressed against her, and that little excited thrill turned to a rush of burning hot need. Do it! she screamed silently. Oh, please, just do it!

“I love you, Kate,” he whispered. “I need you and I want you back.” He kissed her, gently this time, just a delicate brush of his lips across hers. “I will convince you.”

And he let her go. Kate stared at him, nearly not believing her luck. Luck? She’d wanted him to let her go… so why was she so disappointed?

She got up slowly, waiting for him to stop her. Maybe wanting him to stop her. All too soon she was standing on the other side of the room. She turned to watch him climb off the bed and reach for his shirt. She tried to make it obvious that she was not staring at the way his muscles rippled across his chest and shoulders when he lifted his arms to pull the shirt over his head. And she was most certainly not wishing she could run her fingers through his hair when it cascaded back down to his shoulders.

Resolutely, she twisted the knob on the door. It was locked. Sheepishly, she glanced over her shoulder at Ethan and saw that he was watching her with a bemused smile on his handsome face.

“I must have locked it out of habit,” she said.

He smirked at her. “Sure.”

* * * *

Kate followed Ethan into the living room and had to smile when she saw the big grin that lit Russell's face when he saw his brother.

“Aw, man, it’s good to see you on your feet!” Russell declared, pulling Ethan into a bear hug.

“I had the best doctor around,” Ethan told him, glancing over at Kate.

“What happened to the necromancer?” Carl asked, interrupting the happy reunion.

“He got away,” Russell admitted.

“Sloppy,” Stan sneered.

Everyone ignored him.

“Well, we have to go after him,” Ethan said. “He’s still controlling the vampires, and he’ll make a meal of this town if we don’t. He’d have an army in weeks.”

There was general agreement.

“What if he hits us with that poison again?” Carl wondered.

“You and Ethan are immune now,” Kate told them.

“What about the rest of us?” Danny asked.

“I can create protections, but a direct hit will stick. He’s powerful.”

“More powerful than you?” Ethan asked her softly. She didn’t answer, but the look she gave him told him everything. “You’re not going,” he decided.

“We need all hands on deck for this,” Stan said. “Even the witch.” He said ‘witch’ like he’d wanted to say ‘bitch,’ but Kate ignored him.

“I’ll get to work on the protection spells,” she said, and went into the kitchen.

Ethan followed her. “You’re not going,” he said again.

She glanced at him but didn’t say anything.

“I mean it,” he insisted.

She scoffed but still didn’t speak.

“Kate.”

“I know,” she said, her eyes and her attention on her work. “I’m out of practice and rusty. I haven’t been in a fight in months. But I have to go. I have to finish this necromancer before he gathers any more power.”

Ethan took her hand, pulling her focus to him. “He’s already more powerful than you are.”

She averted her gaze from his. “Yes.”

“You’re not going,” he said, yet again.

She pulled her hand from his grip, easily, and touched his cheek with her fingertips. “You are not the boss of me,” she teased, smiling softly.

He chuckled. “Fine,” he agreed. “But you stay close to me when we get there.”

She went back to her work but didn’t say anything. Staying close to him wouldn’t be a problem. Leaving him behind would be the hard part.

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If you enjoyed the excerpt, you can find Caress of Magic as both an e-book and a paperback. It is a standalone novel, though I have been asked for a sequel. I don't have one planned right now, but you never know what the future holds. Russell has been on my mind.

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Caress of Magic contains adult situations, violence (including references to rape), and is recommended for 18 years old and over.


Check out Katrina LaFond's Book

© Copyright 2018 Katrina LaFond. All rights reserved.

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