The Acolyte’s Education
Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Charlie Richards
Word Count :22518
Publication Date :2022-02-04
Series : Kontra's Menagerie#32
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-4874-1895-3
On the Road: Having known who his mate is for over a year and a half, now that he’s free, the brown bear shifter will do anything to win his human’s heart and claim him.
Shannon knew it was a mistake. He should have found a better way, a way that didn’t put the remaining members of his sleuth in danger. Except, with his brown bear driving him, he takes advantage of the unguarded phone and calls the very people who’d enslaved them—the witch circle. To Shannon’s relief, no one is seriously injured in the witches’ attack, and the circle is stopped. On top of that, the women brought Shannon exactly who he’d hoped—Evan Reyes. Shannon had known Evan was his mate the second he’d scented the skinny twink while in the head witch’s kennels. Being be-spelled, Shannon had never been able to do anything about it. Now, he can. Of course, Shannon has a butt-load of restitution to get through first—not to mention having to figure out how to counter the witches’ lies that are filling Evan’s head—but this is his mate. With the help of his sleuth, even though they’re annoyed with him, Shannon can fix everything, can’t he?
Evan Reyes didn’t know how he’d ended up in such a mess. All he’d wanted was to get help when strange things had started happening around him. His father had threatened to tan his hide if he left the back gate open one more time, allowing their dog to get loose.
Except, Evan knew he had never left the back gate open—not once.
The loose family dog wasn’t the worst of the incidences, though. There had been the time Grandma Maddie’s famous—and disgusting—fruit cake had burnt to a crisp in the oven. As soon as Evan had asked his mother, “What’s cooking?” and she’d told him, black smoke began trickling around the edges of the oven door.
The fruit cake had been put in less than ten minutes before.
What finally convinced Evan that he needed to find help—other than his father’s threat of a beating—was when his best friend ended up injured. Evan had known Gary Badoga since second grade. They’d been best friends since the day they’d met. Then Gary had been asked to prom by the guy that Evan secretly had a crush on—Mason Rinaldi.
Gary had fallen through the boards while walking across his back deck. He’d broken his leg in two places, laying him up in the hospital. Of course, all that did was make Gary closer to Mason, because, being the great guy that Mason was, he’d visited Gary in the hospital every day.
When a contractor checked out Gary’s family’s deck to repair it, he couldn’t explain why the planks had snapped, but Evan had known.
After Gary had gotten out of the hospital, Evan had revealed everything to him. As only a best friend could, Gary had forgiven him. The biggest thing he’d been upset about was the fact that Evan had been hiding so much from him—from the fact that he’d had a crush on Mason to the strange things that had been happening to him.
Then Gary had helped him research who might be able to help. His friend was a wiz with computers, while Evan was more liable to break them. They just seemed to go on the fritz if he used them for more than half an hour at a time.
It made writing reports for school a pain in the butt sometimes.
Gary had stumbled upon the website of a nearby circle of wiccans, and they’d decided it couldn’t hurt to ask. After all, they were the closest thing to spell-casters that Evan and his friend could think of. When Evan had been introduced to Amelia Rhynhart, his entire view of the world had changed.
Most of the creatures from myth and legend were real.
Amelia Rhynhart was the High Priestess of the Crescent Moon Circle—a wiccan group that were real live witches. Magick was real, and the women in the group could perform it.
Evan had learned about vicious shapeshifters and murderous vampires. Demons were real, too, and they had magick that could befuddle a man’s mind, tricking them into believing whatever the being wished. Even elves and dragons existed.
And I almost got captured by a demon!
That thought brought Evan back to his current predicament—being held in the arms of some stranger in the Middle-of-Nowhere, Louisiana.
When Evan had first met Amelia, she’d confirmed that someone had put a curse on Evan, which was the cause of the continued unfortunate events that befell him and those around him. She’d assured him that her circle of witches could help. Because Evan didn’t have a job or source of income, he’d agreed to work for them as repayment.
To that end, Evan had moved into a small garage apartment owned by one of the circle members so he could always be available to them. He’d done things as mundane as weeding their gardens to as dangerous as cleaning cages for the shapeshifters the witches had captured. While Evan had always been assured that the creatures couldn’t hurt him because they were under several spells to keep them compliant, being near them always scared the ever-loving crap out of him.
And this last job they ordered landed me in this mess.
When Amelia had confirmed where some of her stolen bears had turned up, she’d organized her circle to go there. She’d insisted that Evan join them as a gopher and pack mule. Imagine his surprise when, instead of talking to whoever held the bears, she’d just attacked the group instead.
It hadn’t turned out so well for the witches…or him. The bears had been guarded by not only other shapeshifters, but by demons! One had rendered Theresa unconscious—the witch Evan had been carrying supplies for—and dragged his unresisting body into the yard.
For some reason, some guy had whisked Evan away from the demon. There had been a lot of shouting that he hadn’t understood, but then the man had been ordered to take him into the house.
Evan girded up his courage and turned his head just enough so he could look around. Seeing the non-descript bedroom furniture, he took a longer appraisal. The space was clean and mostly well-kept, but obviously old. He spotted a book on the nightstand, indicating it was occupied by someone.
Perhaps the guy holding me? I should at least say thank you. He is the guy who stopped the demon from hurting me, after all.
Except, why did he do that?
Tipping his chin up, Evan peered at the large man from beneath his lashes. To his shock, the man’s deep brown eyes held warmth, even wonder. His full lips were curved into a smile that actually appeared a little nervous.
“Hi, Evan,” the man rumbled in a deep bass voice that caused Evan’s pulse to spike. “It’s so nice to finally officially meet you.”
Evan would have remembered seeing this handsome guy, even in passing.
The dark-haired man nodded. “Yeah. Officially.”