War-N-Wit, Inc. - The Witch (9 page)

BOOK: War-N-Wit, Inc. - The Witch
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I got home
at 8:00. I was exhausted, but I didn't have to go in tomorrow. Hadn't had a
text back from Magic Man yet, though, and slid the phone open to double check
just as it rang.

"Am I
dreamin' or is that text to come for real?"

for real. Sorry for the late notice, but something happened today. Chad,
I think I did something." I explained my little lunchtime drama. "But
it couldn't have been me, could it?
"Oh, of course not,"
he guffawed. "Since your friend Dana told you they'd never bought
anybody's lunch before when they were working Saturday, I'm sure it was nothing
but total coincidence,
developing manners with
you shouting at 'em like that."

is that
? I mean, we're not
supposed to do things to people, are we?" Oh, my. How far I'd come in the
space of a few weeks, crediting myself with the actual power to
things to other people.

"Baby girl.
We are
supposed to use any power for anything negative. That risks
losing it. And you didn't need me to tell you that. You know that, the same way
you know how to breathe, without even thinking about it. But I don't see as how
making a group of lawyers sprout manners could ever be bad. So don't worry
about it."

That's what
I'd figured but I was still relieved. "So—can you come tomorrow? Did you
already look up my address or do I need to give it to you?" I teased.

don't you open your door?"

I said, clicking the phone shut, and racing to the front door. He was pocketing
his phone just as I threw the door open. I grabbed his arm, pulled him in,
wrapped my arms around his neck, and kissed him as though I were starving.
Which I was.

He pulled
me as tightly up against him with one arm as was humanly possible as he pulled
the door to with his other.

Hallelujah!" he said.


Chapter Fourteen


I hadn't
managed to turn the lights on when I got home before stopping to check my phone
for a reply text from Magic Man, and the only light came from the small lamp I
habitually left on that sat on the counter dividing the kitchen from the living
space. It was perfect.

He felt so
good, even through our clothes, but not as good as he'd feel without them. I
slid my hands inside his shirt and from that point forward I have no memory of
how any of our clothes divested themselves of our bodies, or how we actually
made it through the bedroom door and found the bed. We found the memories, too.

Because one
thing I knew with absolute certainty. This wasn't the first, or even the
thousandth, time we'd made love. First times are awkward, no matter how hot for
each other a new couple is. First times are self-conscious, full of
hesitations—should I do this? Should I do that?

This was a
melding, a merging, a becoming,
Of tongues, of hands, of bodies, and far beyond that, of
Mutual exploration of
flesh that was already well-known, remembered pleasure points targeted,
, before moving on
to the next one. He burned so
something I found I remembered, that coolness, so at odds with the heat most
males threw off, that heat that had always made me feel as though I were being
burned alive during intimacy, but not in any pleasurable way; rather, as though
I were being

I didn't
feel in the least consumed as his mouth and hands ran down my body, just
Of course.
Because my
mouth and hands were running down his body with equal fervor.
Completing each other.
His mouth found its ultimate goal, at
the same time mine did. I exploded within seconds but not in any fashion I'd
ever experienced before. Rather than the sudden burst that dissolved quickly,
an electrical current engaged and cruised throughout every nerve in my body, intensifying
until I didn't know if it was pleasure or pain. I only knew I'd explode into
fire if it didn't ease off.

I begged, not sure if I wanted him to and not sure he'd even heard me. He had,
though, and shifted on the bed, surging inside, moving with a combined
precision and tenderness I'd never thought any flesh and blood man could
possess, a rhythm I matched as though I'd known it forever, moving until we
both melted like a candle whose light is temporarily extinguished by the wax
turned liquid by its flame.

He lay
against me, his mouth gently kissing my eyes, his fingers running slowly
through my hair. I opened my eyes and smiled.

man outside the pages of a romance novel knows how to do things like
that," I said.

He smiled
back at me. "You taught me.
Through many years."

Through the
rest of the night we dozed, we roused, we merged again. During one sweet
episode when he'd urged me on top with the titillating whisper, "Claim
your throne, princess," I felt something slide onto my finger, but I was
way past the point of caring what or being capable of ascertaining such if I
had cared and finally, before dawn broke fully through, we slept.

I woke with
my head cradled on his shoulder, my arm thrown over his chest, and filtered
light beams streaming in through the bedroom curtains. I stretched, lazy as any
cat, and caught a glint of brilliant light.
Coming from—my
Surely not.
I stretched my hand out in
front of me and shrieked.

I furiously punched his shoulder.

stretched and yawned. "It's called an engagement ring, baby girl."

hell no, it's not! This is—this would buy a freakin'

I gazed in
mingled horror and admiration at the marquis solitaire sparkling in its circlet
of white gold, smaller diamonds running down the band on either side.

it wouldn't."

Yes! Yes, it would!

told you, baby girl. Man puts a ring on your
it needs to be big enough to blind folks while you type. While you give your
' notice. Stones are from the Miami market.
One of a kind
ring for a one-of-a-kind witch-bitch.
You don't like it?"

of it to know if I like
it! This is—what if a stone comes loose? The solitaire gets chipped? It gets
for heaven's sake?"

insurance, darlin'. Just enjoy it. And, uh, small request, please? Don't take
it off without warning me?"

can't wear a ring like this all the time! It has to come off when I'm cleaning,
or—or—making biscuits! My God, what
would do to it!"

Which is why the wedding band is plain, so it doesn't have to come
But until it goes on, just warn me if you're taking this off,


feel it," he said simply. "And you'd scare me."

wouldn't—" I broke off, remembering the night of his hydroplane incident
when my own neck muscles had knotted into ropes and I'd almost hyperventilated.
"Okay. But if you feel it go off and you're out of calling or texting
range, just know it's going right back on as soon as I finish doing whatever it
is I don't want to do with it on."


I looked up
and ran my fingers through his hair. "Magic Man, you're more silver than
you were at Christmas."


about you bothers me. And damn, I never thought I'd say
when we were sitting in Rosita's and you announced you were a
warlock. And we were long-lost lovers. But you really are goin' to be
completely silver at a very young age."

I've used a lot of power since—when did this start? Let's see. October 5, I

I laughed
in delight. "You remember the exact date? First time you talked to

"Hell, yeah."

"And using power—that—oh
starting to use power! Aren't I?"

"Hell, yeah."

"So am
going to start going silver?! I mean, it looks
on guys, but on me—"

He laughed. "Damn. You looked at
yourself lately?"

Every time I
brush my hair."

"And you haven't noticed


"Damn. Goin' to make me get up,"
he threw back the covers. "Oh, well, we won't be gone long enough for it
to get cold."

"What are you—" He took my hand
and pulled us over to my dresser, putting me in front of him.


"Look at—
oh. Oh."
I breathed, staring at my eyes. The blue rim, which
had heretofore been only a tiny rim, visible only to me, or so I'd thought,
until he'd made it clear it was noticeable to him, was at least a sixteenth of
an inch wide, edging out towards an eighth.

"Welcome, precious.
the world of


Chapter Fifteen


He tried to cajole me into taking the day
off Monday, but I knew I had too much going on at the office. I kissed him
good-by and watched him drive off. First order of business when I entered the
office would be the infamous two-week notice. According to the chain of
command, that should first be given to the Office Manager, but I'd never paid much
attention to the chain of command even in my most conservative days and
anything about me remotely resembling conservative had irretrievably waved

The first order of business actually turned
out to be surviving the ecstatic hugs of my sister, waiting for me by her car,
and her oohs and aahs over the Marquis solitaire that still scared the living
shit out of me.

"I told you to come over yesterday
afternoon," I scolded. "It would have been
he wants to meet you as
much as you want to meet him."

"Yeah, well, not y'all's first
weekend, three would have still been a crowd."

We parted at the lobby and went down our
separate halls, my hand self-consciously turned inward. I couldn't shake the
feeling there was a glaring headlight announcing my imminent arrival, but
nobody noticed.

First stop was Anderson's office.

"Well, is that you?" came the
usual jovial greeting. "I had the greatest weekend, we ate at the Oyster
Bar and walked on the beach, and it's just fun to have fun! A little work, a
little play, not that I could do this without you here keeping the

"Sure you could, Anderson. You will. I quit."

Dead silence.

"You what?"

"I quit.
Two weeks'
You're the first to know, couldn't not tell you first, could

"You're going to another

"No. I'm getting married.
And changing careers, too."

"You and Scott got back together? But
what's that got to do with your quitting? You weren't going to

"Am now.
Too long a commute, sorry. And I would have gotten back together
with Scott when hell froze over,
he's out of the

"But—but—you only broke up with him
two weeks ago! You can't go and marry somebody you just met, Ariel, be

"Now, Anderson.
What's that you're always saying?
'It's so much fun to have fun!'
Along with,
'life's too short not to enjoy it'
, as I recall. Anyway, I didn't
just meet him, met him last October."

He was beginning to get his bearings, and
his gaze sharpened.

"Too long a commute?
From where?"

Remember your PI who located and corralled your witness in
something under three hours?"

"You're joking."

BOOK: War-N-Wit, Inc. - The Witch
9.94Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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