Hecate's Own: Heart's Desire, Book 2

When a wolf is hot for a witch, the
sparks can be downright dangerous.

 

Heart’s Desire, Book 2

Zachary Beckett has finally done something right. He saved
his brother’s life, and his reward is a ticket to Cleveland to train as a
witch. Except every spell he casts wreaks havoc—until he’s banished to the
children’s classroom.

At least his teacher is easy on the eyes. It isn’t long
before the heat is rising, and it has nothing to do with a bubbling cauldron.

Jo has never met a walking Karma bomb like Zachary. His blue
eyes haunt her, his body is made for sin, and his magic? The less said about
that the better. But Jo is determined to help him, even if she has to fight
their mutual attraction, tooth and nail.

When Zach discovers he’s been operating under a hex, he and
Jo come together in a blazing-hot ritual to break its hold and reveal Zach’s
destiny to fight evil. But the old enemy who cast the spell won’t give up until
every Beckett male is stripped of his mate. Which could leave Zach to howl in
agony forever—and doom Jo to a fate worse than death.

 

Warning: This novel contains explicit sex, graphic language,
a sexy, awkward, blue-eyed wolf-witch and a woman who can make his dreams come
true.

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This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places,
and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used
fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons,
living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely
coincidental.

 

Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

11821 Mason Montgomery Road Suite 4B

Cincinnati OH 45249

 

Hecate’s Own

Copyright © 2013 by Dana Marie Bell

ISBN: 978-1-61921-096-7

Edited by Tera Kleinfelter

Cover by Lyn Taylor

 

All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this book may be used
or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in
the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

 

First
Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
electronic
publication: April 2013

www.samhainpublishing.com

Hecate’s Own

 

 

 

Dana Marie Bell

Dedication

To Mom, who brought home the cutest little yip-yip dogs and
named them Max and Ruby. Now my kids are begging for furry little bark
machines. Thanks for that.

To Dad, who adores his little kitty Luna(tic), even when she
decides to sit on his head.

And to Dusty, who adores our big woof-woof dog and both his
little kitties. Thanks to the loving help of Foster Kitty and Thumper, who
tirelessly dedicated themselves to this research, he has decided he’d much
rather be a salt lick than a pin cushion.

Prologue

Lana grabbed him. “Stop thinking like a wizard and start
thinking like a witch!”

Zach turned to her, his eyes blank from shock. “Think like a
witch.” He blinked, his eyes refocusing, his gaze centering on the shield. His
expression became cold and certain. “No. Not wizard, not witch.” He stepped
back and raised his arms. Power arched between his hands, glowing above him,
clean and pure, a powerful counterpoint to the rancid energies behind the
barrier. “Me.”

Pure white light blasted into the barrier separating him
from his brother and the warlock intent on killing him. He could sense the
demon rising through the foul circle, knew what Cole Godwin intended to do to
Christopher.

He couldn’t stand by and do nothing while his brother died.

The protections around the dueling circle were strong. It
would take him time, time he didn’t have, to wear them down.

He couldn’t stop. He had to save Christopher. He had to get
to Cole and take him down before he hurt anyone else.

But something happened, something that shocked him to the
core. Christopher threw something into the pit that had opened at his feet, and
Zach knew Cole was doomed. Pulling back the power he’d been sending into the
shields around the dueling circle hurt, but he knew what was coming and needed
to be prepared to move.

Cole looked up from the circle, horrified. “No. What have
you done?”

He watched as something snaked out of the pit and pulled the
warlock’s soul out of his body.

Cole was dead, but the threat wasn’t over. Not by a long
shot. He saw Davis Godwin rush through the suddenly open circle, pick up his
son’s wand and point it at Christopher. “You killed my son!” Hideous green
power poured from the tip of the wand, blasting into Christopher.

It was a spell meant to burn the soul itself, scarring it,
eating away at it until nothing was left but a husk of a man.

Zach stepped forward and pointed his finger at Davis. “Back
the fuck off, warlock.” He flicked his finger and the man flew backward,
landing with a hard thud against the side of the building. He fell in a graceless
heap and didn’t get back up.

Zach bent over Christopher, the glow still surrounding him.
“You okay, bro?”

Christopher tried to stand but couldn’t. He hissed in pain,
and Zach wanted to whimper. He was too late. He could see the vicious green
glow in the wound, wondered how long Chris had. “No.”

Lana pushed him over, ignoring Chris’s indrawn scream. She
bent and examined his new wound. “It’s bad, Zach.”

Zach looked down at the blackened flesh, the blisters
already broken and wet. Lana bent over her mate, tears in those pretty eyes of
hers.

He could see Christopher was struggling to respond. “Hey.”

She sniffled. “Hey yourself, wolfman.”

“Don’t go.”

She sobbed. “Not going anywhere. You hear me? Chris? Chris?”
His brother’s golden eyes closed. His breathing was shallow and uneven. Blood
was beginning to puddle beneath him. If he bled too much more it would take a
miracle to save him.

Zach knew what he had to do. He’d prepared for it, but he’d
thought it would be Lana in Chris’s place.

How wrong he had been.

If he fucked this up he would lose both of them.

He held out one hand to Lana. “Help me.” His other hand
pressed into the wound in Chris’s side. Tears filled his eyes. “One hand in
mine, one on the ground. Please, Lana. Trust me. Complete the circle.”

Without hesitation she took out the amulet he’d prepared the
day before and held it in her hand, placing it between Zach’s palm and her own.
She slapped the other against the earth and opened herself up to Zach’s magic
and Chris’s life force.

Zach closed his eyes and began to chant, the words lilting
and strange. He wasn’t certain what he was saying. It was almost as if someone,
or something, had taken him over, giving him the power to save his brother’s
soul and life.

Zach pulled the darkness from Chris’s wound into his own
body, channeled it through Lana. He took the brunt of it, trying his best to
spare her as much as possible, but he couldn’t shield her from it all.

Lord and Lady, it hurt. He’d never felt anything that hurt
like this. Agony blossomed through him, growing and growing with each beat of
his heart until the only thing he could see or hear was pain. And still he
chanted.

Lana began to scream.

Still he chanted.

The amulet began to burn, heating his flesh, branding him
with his failure.

When Lana passed out, Zach took on what she hadn’t been able
to finish, purifying the horror through his own soul.

And still, he knew it wouldn’t be enough.

Chris was going to die, and there was nothing he could do
about it.

Behind him, in the glow of a fire that shouldn’t have been
there, Davis Godwin laughed.

 

 

Zach sat up with a horrified gasp. He rubbed his face,
wincing when his bandaged palm encountered the whiskers on his cheek. He’d need
to buy a glove to cover the still-raw wounds. His fingers itched to trace the
design burned into his flesh. His jaw clenched.

It had been worth it.

“Are you all right, sir?”

He blinked and shifted in his seat. The agony in his palm
had him hissing in pain. “I’ll be all right.”

He could tell the stewardess wasn’t buying it, but she let
it drop. Zach stared out the window, eager to get to Cleveland and begin his
new life. He reached into his pocket and fingered the twisted piece of metal
there. The remains of the amulet that had helped him save his brother’s life
reminded him that he was meant for things that he’d never thought possible.
After growing up the weakest wizard in a family of strong talents, it was nice
to find out he was actually a strong
witch
. He’d forever be grateful to
Lana Evans for figuring out what he should already have known.

For once he’d be somewhere where people appreciated what he
could do. Zach was looking forward to it.

 

 

“’Night, Ms. Yashodhar!”

“Good night, Brittany.” Jo opened the door for her last
class of the evening. The kids had been particularly rambunctious tonight.
She’d even broken out the “magic” powder that made colored smoke, hoping to get
them to settle down. Now her classroom was encased in a fog of pink, and the
kids were bouncing out the door, chattering a mile a minute. She figured the full
moon had something to do with it. It had been like trying to teach a bunch of
little werewolves eager to get out and run in the moonlight. “Remember to read
up on your herbals for next week!” She ignored the grumbles and kept her
teacher face on until the last student had passed beyond sight.

When they were finally gone she allowed herself to relax and
grin. It was always the same. They came, they didn’t want to learn, and they
left mini witches, ready to magic their way into the world. There was nothing Jo
loved more than helping children reach for the stars. These nighttime classes
were the best innovation Ro had ever come up with. Treating it almost like a
YMCA class, parents took their kids in and gathered for tea and cookies in the main
hall or went home. They would pick their kids up after class, eager to hear
what they’d learned. Three times a week she taught, and three times a week she
felt fulfilled in a way she couldn’t explain to anyone, not even her mother.

Well, not anyone except Ro. He’d given her that goofy grin,
told her his idea, and she’d been sold from the start. It just felt right, and
Jo almost always went with her instincts.

She was ready to head back into the classroom and begin her
nightly clean-up routine when the front door of the Lodge opened. In walked
what had to be the most incredible-looking man she had ever been privileged to
see. Dark, shaggy hair begged to be pushed out of his face. Pale blue eyes
darted around the room, somehow warm and icy at the same time. He moved with a predatory
grace that had everything female in her standing up at attention. His dark
jeans hugged an ass that had her fingers twitching to touch, to see if it was
just as firm as it looked. Everything female in her wanted to run up to him and
stamp
Property of Jo
across his forehead. Maybe his ass too, because it
was a real toss-up as to which one people would want to stare at more. He was
one of those men who looked good coming
and
going.

Hot damn. Who the hell is that?

She watched the man walk across the room to greet her
Prince. “Prince Roland?”

She shivered.
Damn, what a voice.
The deep timbre was
like a caress across sensitive skin, teasing and torturous.

“Zachary Beckett?”

Jo blinked as the man grinned and took Ro’s outstretched
hand in his own.
This
was the newbie Roland told her was coming?

No way.

No
fucking
way.

Ro had warned her that a young man was going to be arriving
from somewhere near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in dire need of training. Having
been raised by wizards, the man’s family hadn’t known what they were dealing
with until one of them married an Evans out of the Philadelphia Coven.
Annabelle, the Evans matriarch, had figured out that the young man wasn’t so
much a weak wizard as a strong witch and sent him to court to be trained.

Jo had been expecting a child, perhaps a teenager, not a
walking wet dream.

Jo closed the door on the vision of hotness and leaned
against it. She couldn’t let herself daydream about his hotness the way she’d
love to.

He was a student. Untouchable.

Damn. Someone up there didn’t like her very much.