Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Tianna Xander
Word Count :95767
Publication Date :2012-04-08
Series : #
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-77111-178-2
Niklas Voortag, High King of Terrna lives his life for his people. His own needs are unimportant. Driven by the words of an ancient prophecy, he searches far and wide for the woman who can save his world. Now that he's found her, can she also save his heart?
Kidnapped from her world and everything she knows, Brianna O'Neill finds that she is The One destined to save an entire world. A trip through space, an acquaintance with a faery and an ancient sorcerer was never at the top of her list. Now she must come to terms with the fact that she is the only one with the power to thwart an evil plan.
“It sucks!” Brianna O’Neill looked at her friend and scowled. “You can’t possibly want me to recite that.” She climbed out of her old recliner and stomped over to the desk in the corner of the room.
“What’s wrong with it?” Amber asked, sliding out of the worn overstuffed chair to walk into the kitchen.
“It sucks. That’s what wrong with it.” Brianna picked up the crumpled piece of paper, tempted to launch it across the room. “Earth, air, fire and water, bring to me what you aughter? Ugh! You like it, you use it. I want my spell to be a little more romantic than that.” She balled the paper back up and flung it at her friend.
“Well, if you can do better, be my guest.” Amber dodged the flying paper then took a drink from her third strawberry daiquiri. She scowled into the glass when it made a slurping sound. “Empty again,” she said with a sigh, then placed the rim to her lips and tapped the bottom to get the last of the crushed ice from the glass.
Brianna shuffled through a collection of spiral notebooks. “Where is it?” She stumbled and fell against the small lamp on her father’s scarred, paper-covered desk.
“That’s it. You’re cut off,” Amber announced, laughing drunkenly.
Brianna snorted. “In your dreams, sister. It’s my blender.”
“Okay, okay, so you’re not cut off.” Amber waved her hand in the direction of the desk. “We’ll cut off the lamp. It can’t seem to stand up straight anyway.” She watched with a smile as the lamp fell to the floor.
Cringing, Brianna watched as it slowly stopped rolling on its light-blue shade. “Whew, at least the bulb didn’t break.” She curled her bare toes into the carpet, then went back to dig through papers.
“What are you looking for, anyway?” Amber asked from the kitchen. She plopped more strawberries in the blender and turned it on. The noise shattered the calm of the house and, Killer, Brianna’s Yorkshire Terrier, raced in to bark at the noise.
“Hey, put some drink mix in those. I want more than fruit and alcohol this time,” Brianna called over her shoulder as she rummaged through the cluttered drawers in the desk.
”Aw, come on, those were the best ones!” Grumbling, Amber grabbed the bottle next to the blender and read the label.
Brianna rolled her eyes, shook her head, then turned her attention toward a pile of spiral notebooks in the corner.
“What’s a jigger?”
“I think it’s a shot,” Brianna answered absently, back to digging through piles of papers, before turning her attention back to the desk.
“Shot?” Amber repeated with a blank expression. She shrugged. “Oh, okaaaay. Do you have any syringes?”
“What?” Brianna looked up. “What are you doing in there?”
“Oh, nothing. Do you have any syringes?”
Brianna shook her head. “That’s what I thought you said. I really hate to ask this, hon, but what do you need a syringe for?”
Amber heaved a sigh. “You said a jigger is a shot. Well, this calls for two shots for each drink…”
“Good grief, Amber. Shot glasses!”
“Oh, right.” She tossed Brianna a sheepish grin. “I knew that. I was just testing you.”
“Why don’t we just forget the drinks? I think we’ve had enough anyway. I don’t want to recite this spell drunk off my butt and end up with a jerk or something.” Brianna pulled a thick page of homemade paper from the drawer and stroked the frayed edges thoughtfully. “At least right now, I’m only a little tipsy.”
“Tipsy, my fanny. You’re downright inebritated, inebriabed.” Amber frowned as she swayed into the counter near the inner window between the two rooms. “Face it, girl, you’re downright drunk.”
“I found it.” Using her thigh to shut the drawer, Brianna frowned down at it when it stuck halfway shut. Pushing harder, she almost fell across the desk as the drawer closed. “I definitely don’t need any more to drink,” she muttered.
“Found what? You never told me what you were looking for in the first place.” Amber walked back carrying two more daiquiris and handed one to Brianna.
“I found the spell I wrote to bring love into my life.” She sniffed the glass suspiciously. “Did you put mixer in this?”
Amber nodded, giving her an innocent look. “Of course I did. I even used the shot glass.” She waved her glass toward the paper in Brianna’s hand. Aren’t you going to read that to me?” she asked, changing the subject. Her eyes were wide, her red-gold brows nearly at her hairline. Brianna wondered what she’d been up to in the kitchen.
She made a face holding the paper behind her back. “I don’t know why I should. You make fun of every single spell I write.”
“Like the last one?” Plopping back down onto the chair, Amber rested her crossed legs on the coffee table and pushed a melon-cucumber scented candle aside with her toes.
“What one?” Brianna shot her a confused look. “And put your feet down before you break something.” She pushed at her friend’s legs.
“The one you threw at me earlier.” Amber put her feet down and stood.
“I didn’t write that! You did.”
Amber shook her head and grinned. “You wrote that last year and asked me what I thought about it. You said once you were ready you were going to recite it to bring love into your life.” She jerked her thumb in the direction of the ball Killer had picked up. He tossed his head, throwing the paper into the air so he could chase it.
Brianna cringed. “I don’t even remember writing that.” She bent, picked up the little dog and gently extracted the paper from his mouth. He growled, obviously not overjoyed at having to give up his new toy. She set him back down onto the faded rug beneath her feet.
“You probably blocked it. I know I would have.” Amber shivered, showing her distaste for the awful rhyme. “Now do you see how much you’ve grown over the past year?” She wandered across the room and grabbed a handful of grapes from the fruit bowl on the dining room table.
Brianna looked down, smoothing her hands over her hips and thighs. “Hey, I haven’t gained any weight!”
Amber crossed back to the desk and rolled her eyes. “Spiritually, hon. You’ve grown spiritually,” she soothed. She wrapped her arm around Brianna and they walked toward the patio.
“Oh, sorry.” Now it was Brianna’s turn to feel sheepish. “Well, I suppose I should let you read it. You did stop me from using that last disaster.” She handed the paper to her friend.
Amber read the spell and her brows shot back up. “I’m impressed, this one is actually kind of good.”
The two women stepped through the sliding glass doors onto the small concrete patio. They inhaled the delicious aroma of a nearby barbecue the cool autumn breeze carried into the yard. The elusive scent of fresh paint tickled Brianna’s nose and she heard the sound of someone hammering in the distance. “Everything’s ready. Do you think we can cast now?”
Amber frowned. “Well, we really shouldn’t do it drunk. That’s just asking for trouble.” She sucked her bottom lip between her teeth then nodded. “But with you, I think we just might have to. It’s the only time you don’t seem to have that corncob stuck up your ass.” She smiled drunkenly then hiccupped.
Brianna scowled as she donned her robe. “I beg your pardon. I am not drunk. I’m just a little tipsy.” Deciding to leave the corncob remark alone, she tightened the sash on her black ritual robe.
“Yeah, okay, whatever.” Amber straightened her own robe and pulled her pentacle from beneath it. The jewel in the center glowed dimly in the waning sunlight.
“Drunk, tipsy, shit-faced. It’s all the same to you, right?”
“Hey! I represent that…I mean I resent that remark.” Brianna grinned, then shook her finger in Amber’s face. “I thought you were going to quit swearing. It’s not very attractive, you know.”
Her friend made a face as she inspected the already prepared circle of candles. The altar within the circle faced the east and was decorated with two small statues, a dish of sea salt, patchouli incense, a red, white and pink candle and one small earthen dish of water.
Amber stepped to the altar and made a few corrections. “The incense representing air should always be in the east, the candle representing fire in the south, the water in the west and, of course, the salt for Earth in the north. Let’s do this.” She looked at the sky. “The moon is even in the right phase. You really did your research for this one, didn’t you?” She turned her gaze toward Brianna. “I’m impressed.” She stumbled over a candle. “I think it was a good idea to set the circle outside though. That way, we don’t have to worry about burning the house down.”
“Why do you think I wanted to do it out here?” Brianna asked dryly. “Besides, it’s so beautiful and I love to look up at the stars.” She inhaled deeply, loving the combined scents of someone grilling and the Colorado blue spruce that grew in her back yard.
They lit the candles and called the four-corners, each taking two. Brianna raised her arms to the sky and spread her feet wide. Inhaling deep, she centered herself calmly and pictured the energy flowing from within her to empower their circle. She envisioned the wind blowing her hair, her robe plastered against her body, the sash whipping behind her in the wind.
“Guardians of the East and elements of Air, I ask for your presence within this circle. May you step within with love and trust to lend your distinct energies to protect this magical rite.”
Amber followed suit in the South. Setting her feet apart, she raised her arms. Brianna pictured a fire as bright as the sun, as hot as fire from the dragons of legends as she moved to the West quarter.
Raising her voice, Amber tilted her head back and said, “Guardians of the South and elements of Fire, I ask for your presence within this circle. May you step within with love and trust to lend your distinct energies to protect this magical rite.”
Brianna raised her arms in the West. Picturing the sea, she conjured a vision of mermaids and mermen. They danced in the waves, playing, gathering sea foam and blowing it at each other. “Guardians of the west and elements of Water, I ask for your presence within this circle. May you step within with love and trust to lend your distinct energies to protect this magical rite.”
For Earth, Brianna envisioned a herd of bison cantering freely across the open plain. In her mind’s eye, she watched as elves and gnomes played with the bison in the field.
Finally, Amber stepped to the North quarter and raised her arms. “Guardians of the North and elements of Earth, I ask for your presence within this circle. May you step within with love and trust to lend your distinct energies to protect this magical rite.”
Together, they asked, “Oh, Great Mother, she who knows all, sees all, is all. Please attend this rite and lend us your immense power, that we may be successful.”
“Okay, hon. It’s your show,” Amber whispered.
Brianna closed her eyes and took a deep breath. I hope I don’t make a fool of myself.
She lit the candles, red for passion and pink for romance and raised her arms to the sky, a wand in her right hand. She inhaled deeply through her mouth and exhaled slowly through her nose. For the first time, she felt the magic possess her. It sobered her instantly. The euphoria of the alcohol, no longer inhibited her movements. Swaying, she began to recite her spell.