Authors: Evangeline Anderson
Emma Krist is a
dud—a magicless witch. Not only that but she’s full-figured and plain instead
of thin and gorgeous like her talented cousins. So she figures there’s no way
she’ll be chosen as the Bloodlust Sacrifice for the new vampire Sovereign.
When Aiden James
picks her over every other single female in the supernatural community, Emma
doesn’t know what to think. Now she must begin a whole new life of submission,
giving herself body and soul without reservation, or suffer the punishment for
her disobedience. Kept naked, Emma is teased and tormented nightly. As Aiden
pushes her body, she begins to wonder how much more she can take.
But Aiden has
reasons for the erotic punishments—buried deep in Emma’s past is the key that
could unlock her hidden potential. But finding it could ruin everything and
cost Emma the only chance at happiness she has ever known.
paranormal erotic romance
from Ellora’s Cave
“So what are you wearing to the Glen
tonight?” Lexy sounds thrilled, as though she can’t wait to offer herself up as
a sex slave. Or maybe she’s excited about offering
. Since I’m finally
twice eleven—twenty-two in regular, non-witchy language—I am now eligible to be
chosen as the Sacrifice. Not that the Sovereign would pick me, but still, it’s
a coming-of-age rite.
“I don’t know.” I sigh and lean against the
counter displaying some of our most potent magical herbs. The dry, fragrant
scent of them fills the air around us, so much that sometimes I think I smell
it in my sleep. This shop, The Witch’s Brew, has been in our family for
generations and I’m the general manager. Not because I
to be but
because I really don’t have much of a choice.
“Come on, Emma, you must have something picked
out. You’re twice eleven now.” Lexy swishes her long auburn hair over one
shoulder, still sounding excited.
“I don’t see why I have to come at all, let
alone get all dressed up,” I grumble. “It’s not like I’ll ever get chosen.” Not
to be chosen, of course. No one does. Being the Bloodlust
Sacrifice for the Sovereign of the Tampa Bay supernatural community is
considered a deep honor but it’s also a hassle and a pain in the neck. And I do
mean that literally—the Sovereign is a vampire.
“You don’t know that. You
chosen.” But Lexy sounds doubtful. “I mean, you’re a member of an ancient
family with a powerful magical lineage,” she continues, obviously trying to be
upbeat. “Your mom was the head of the coven until—”
“Please, don’t.” I hold up a hand to stop
“Sorry.” Lexy looks contrite. She knows I
don’t like discussing my mother. She died in a house fire when I was only eight
but the memories are painful and I still miss her every day. “Anyway,” Lexy
goes on, “I’m just trying to say you
have a chance.”
“Right,” I snort disdainfully. “Lexy, I
chance. I’m a
Lexy puts one perfectly manicured hand on
her slender hip. “Don’t call yourself that, Emma!”
“Why not? It’s the truth.” A “dud” is a
person from a magical family with no magic of their own. That description fits
me to a T. After my mother’s untimely death, I went to live with my aunt and
cousins, of which Lexy is my favorite. We were all about the same age and as we
grew my cousins all began to exhibit signs of magical skill. Me, I exhibited
nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Then when puberty hit us all, one by one,
their powers blossomed. The onset of menarche is a powerful time for a witch. A
time when her hair and eyes take their true and lasting shade and she comes
into her own magically and physically.
All of my cousins came through puberty beautifully.
Lexy, Trissa and Delilah each have flaming red hair and brilliant green eyes.
They’re all tall and slender and gorgeous—every supernatural creature with a
penis within a hundred-mile radius is attracted to their beauty and magic. A
fact that Lexy and her sisters take full advantage of. In fact, Delilah, the
most delectable of the three, even specializes in sex magic. Making love with a
lot of different men isn’t looked down upon in the witch’s matrilineal
society—it’s more like a status symbol. Lexy and Trissa are a bit more sedate
but not much. They always have a date or three lined up for Friday night.
And then there’s me.
Puberty was not kind to Emma Krist. It
didn’t seem to matter how ancient my lineage or how powerful my mother was, the
whole legacy just passed me by. All I have to show for my passage to womanhood
is mousy brown hair, muddy hazel eyes, and debilitating menstrual cramps every
time my period rolls around. Not to mention that I never got the tall, slender
figures my cousins inherited. Instead, I’m short and curvy—way too curvy, unfortunately,
with big boobs and even bigger hips. Add that to my lack of magic and the males
of the supernatural community aren’t exactly beating down my door. Or any other
males either, for that matter.
“Don’t be so hard on yourself,” Lexy says,
frowning. “You’re beautiful, Emma, and you’ll come into your power eventually.
I know you will.”
“Yeah right,” I mumble. “And until then,
I’ll just keep minding the shop while the rest of you actually practice the
“You don’t have to stay here, you know,”
she points out. “You could get a job in the human world if you wanted to.”
I’m planning on doing just that, actually.
I’m getting a degree in herbology and Botany, taking classes at night whenever
I can. But I’ve still got a few years to go before I graduate so, in the
meantime, the family shop is my best option. Besides, somebody has to run it
and it would be a waste to have a real witch tending the shop when she could be
out practicing the craft.
“I’ll be fine,” I say, wanting to change
the subject. “Anyway, what are you wearing?”
“A sexy sheer little something I picked up
at the last festival.” Lexy gives me a coquettish smile. “Guaranteed to get
Alex’s attention and
it.” Alex is the alpha wolf she’s been
flirting with for the past few months. She’ll probably get him during the
Sacrifice Ceremony, but knowing Lexy, once she has what she wants, she’ll lose
interest and move on to the next hot guy. “So what are
Lexy demands, returning to her original question. “Something sexy, I hope.”
Actually, I plan on wearing a nice long
black skirt and a long-sleeved silk shirt to go with it. Not very sexy and not
very cool, considering the Florida heat, but black is slenderizing and the long
skirt and sleeves will cover a multitude of sins. I can’t tell Lexy that, of
course—she’ll have a fit. So I just shrug vaguely. “I’ve got something picked
out at home. It’s no big deal.”
“Of course it’s a big deal. It’s your twice
“I don’t know why you’re so excited,” I grouse.
“It’s bound to be the same as always. The Sovereign will chose one of the fairy
girls because they’re the prettiest and sexiest and their blood is the most
potent. Then everyone else will pair off and the whole thing will become one
“Will you listen to yourself?” Lexy shakes
her head in exasperation. “I’m telling you, it’s going to be different this
year. Don’t forget, there’s a new Sovereign ascending.”
“So?” I shrug. “He’s still going to be a
vampire. What’s the difference?”
“The difference is that he’s younger—only a
little over a hundred, and you know that’s not very old where vamps are
concerned. Plus, everyone is saying he’s into some pretty kinky stuff.”
I raise my eyebrows. “Kinky how?”
“You know,” Lexy says mysteriously. “Whips
and chains and bondage. Apparently he has unusual ways of taking blood and
power. And he fucks like a bull.” She sighs. “I wouldn’t really want to be
chosen but if I was…”
“If you were, you’d be stuck being some
vamp’s sex toy for an entire year,” I point out acidly. “Not to mention his
personal blood bank. Ugh.”
“It’s not so bad being bitten if the vamp
does it right.” Lexy frowns at me. “Don’t tell me you’ve never done a vamp
I shake my head. “Nope, sorry. Not
interested.” Actually, my closely guarded secret is that I’ve never ‘done’
anyone before. I’m a virgin. A big no-no for a witch, who is supposed to use
sex to augment her power. But since I don’t have any power to augment in the
first place, it’s really not a big deal. Well, except to my ego but what can I
do? As I said before, the guys aren’t exactly knocking down my front door. And
though I could probably hook up with a human guy for a one-night stand, I don’t
want to lose it like that. Somehow I can’t take sex as casually as Lexy and my
other cousins—I want it to mean something. Which is stupid, I know, but I can’t
help the way I feel.
“Well maybe tonight is your night,” Lexy
says, interrupting my inner pity party. “I happen to know of a really hot vamp
who says he likes your type.”
I narrow my eyes at her. “Are you trying to
set me up again?”
got to,” Lexy
huffs. “It’s for your own good, Emma. A witch needs company, you know.” Which
is a nice way of saying she needs regular screwing.
“No thanks. Not this witch.” I shake my
head firmly. The last time I let Lexy send me on a blind date, the guy she
picked turned out to be a horny werewolf on a full-moon night. I barely escaped
with my virginity and my panties intact.
“Emma—” she begins but I override her.
“I’m only going tonight because I have to
go,” I tell her. “If I wasn’t required by supernatural law to be there, I’d
skip it and stay home to watch a
“Oh, you…” Lexy throws up her hands.
“Sometimes I don’t know what to do with you, Emma.”
“Just love me,” I said, giving her a
winning smile. “And let me live my life the way I want to.”
“Never,” she declares. “If I did that,
you’d go on being frumpy and lonely forever. I’m determined to transform you.”
“And just how do you plan to do that?” I
put a hand on my hip.
“You’ll see,” Lexy trills. “I’ll be at your
apartment around six-thirty to pick you up.”
“But the ceremony doesn’t start until
eight,” I point out.
“So? We’ll hang out. We haven’t had any
good cousin time in ages.”
“Just hanging out? That’s all you’re
planning?” I’m very suspicious of this. Lexy always has an ulterior motive.
Lexy gives me a wide-eyed glance that’s just
a little too innocent. “Of course. And also—”
But whatever else she was going to say is
interrupted when the string of chimes hung over the door tinkles a musical
warning. Someone is coming into the shop. A customer—time to be professional.
“I’ll see you tonight,” I tell Lexy.
“See you tonight.” She blows me a kiss and
heads toward the door.
As Lexy is leaving, the customer is coming
in. They brush shoulders and Lexy stops to lift her eyebrows suggestively at me
behind his back. I make a quick shooing motion and point to the door. Now isn’t
the time to flirt. She giggles and leaves, the chimes tinkling a second time as
she flits gracefully through the door.
I put on my best “I’m a professional witch”
face and look up at the customer…and up and up. He’s tall—at least six foot
five, which makes my own rather diminutive five-four seem even shorter. He’s
also handsome—all chiseled features, dark hair and broad shoulders. He’s even
got one of those little clefts in his chin and some sexy stubble to go with it.
No wonder Lexy was making eyes at me behind his back. On his right hand he
wears a heavy gold ring with a strangely carved black stone. Onyx, maybe? I’m
not sure. But I do know there’s something about him—a muted power I can feel
thrumming in the air around him. I’m sure he’s a supernatural being but I can’t
place what kind, exactly.
I get a chance to study him because he’s
perusing a handwritten list, staring at it fiercely as though he’d like to burn
a hole in it with his eyes.
“Yes sir?” I say at last, when he continues
to just stand there, looking at the list. “Can I help you?”
“I certainly hope so,” he snaps. “That
why I came here.” He’s wearing an expensive charcoal suit with a crisp white
shirt and a solid red silk tie that looks as if it cost more than my car. When
he looks up, his eyes are cool gray, reminding me of a winter twilight.
I think, but don’t say. “All right then,” I murmur smoothly. “If
you’ll just tell me what kind of spell you’re trying to work—”
“These are the herbs I need,” he interrupts
me, going back to the list. “Mugwort, serpentavia root, yarrow, rosemary—”
“Wait a minute.” I hold up a hand to stop
him. “Do you need them fresh or dried?”
“How should I know?” he snaps. “You’re the
expert. You tell me.”
I take a deep breath, reminding myself to
be professional. “It depends on what kind of spell you’re casting or what kind
of potion you’re making?” I end the sentence as a question, raising my eyebrows
at him, hoping he’ll fill me in.
“It’s a potion,” he says reluctantly. “I really
can’t say any more than that. Look, just give them to me dried.”
“All right.” If he wants to be an asshole,
I don’t care how his potion works out. I come from behind the counter and start
hustling around the store, grabbing the herbs he named. We keep most of our merchandise
up front on the various shelves, which means technically he could get them
himself. But it’s clear Mr. Tall, Dark and High-handed is used to being waited
on so I take it upon myself to get what he’s demanding.
When I turn around, I see him watching me closely.
For some reason, I feel my cheeks get hot. I’m wearing jeans and a modest
crewneck T-shirt but somehow it feels as if those cool gray eyes can see right
through my clothes.
Don’t be stupid,
I tell myself uneasily.
As if someone
like him would look at someone like you.
“Um, is there anything else?” I
ask, trying not to let him see that his eyes on me disturb me.
“Hmm?” He looks at me speculatively. “Oh
yes—I also need adder’s tongue, cinnamon, cedar—”
“Hang on.” I go and get the things he’s naming,
collecting them easily—all except the adder’s tongue. We don’t get much call
for that one and it’s stored on the highest shelf in the store. Feeling
self-conscious, I stretch up on my tiptoes, trying to reach it. I can brush the
red tin with my fingertips but I can’t quite—
All at once I realize he’s right behind me.
“Allow me,” he murmurs. I can feel the heat of his big body along my spine as
he reaches over my head and easily plucks the tin from the top shelf. He isn’t actually
touching me but he’s not far from it either.
I turn quickly to find my face just inches
from his broad chest. When I look up I’m confronted with those eyes again. He’s
studying me as though I’m some kind of a bug he wants to know more about. I can
feel his power, throbbing like a beating heart between us. Whatever he is, he’s
one dominant son of a bitch, that’s for damn sure.