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Authors: Madeline Pryce

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BOOK: Wicked Magic
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“I didn’t think you’d notice,” she stammered, still trying
to catch her breath.

He drew his arms across the table until he was close enough
that she could smell the alcohol on his breath. Trent reached up and pushed her
bangs to the side, uncovering her eyes.

His caress trailed over the curve of her cheek, slow enough
to make her think he tried to memorize the feel of her skin. He thumbed the
moisture on her bottom lip.

“I’d notice if you cut one hair, let alone a bunch of ’em.
It looks nice.” His hand fell to the table.

The act of filling another round covered how much the
compliment meant to her. The spot where she kept rubbing her necklace back and
forth stung and only then did she realize she’d been messing with it. Damn. She
wasn’t normally this fidgety. Then again, she didn’t normally ask a man—one
who’d already told her no—to take her virginity either. The whiskey burned her
stomach, and she shook her head to get rid of the sting. She poured another.

Trent raised his eyebrow. “You’re trying to get me drunk,
aren’t you?”

“No.” She downed another and drew in another breath. More
than she was accustomed to, this particular whiskey packed quite a punch. “I’m
trying to get myself drunk.”

Before she could pour a fourth, he snatched the bottle away
from her.

“Hey!” she shrieked. He had quicker reflexes, a higher
tolerance for liquor and the bottle was safely out of her reach before she
could grab it.

“I’ve seen you drag grown men out of the bar by their hair.
You aren’t the shy type. What do you need liquid courage for?”

She gave one last lingering look at the bottle before she
sighed and rested her chin on the top of the chair. Why was this so hard? “I
feel stupid.”

Trent leaned back in his chair as if he needed a better
position so he could study her from afar. He brought the bottle to his lips and
licked the rim. Tease. She couldn’t tear her gaze away from the way his tongue
trailed over the opening and she parted her legs. She pressed her hips against
the chair and stifled a moan. How would his tongue feel trailing along her
pussy?

“I’ve only seen you this—” He swigged and then wiped his
mouth with the back of his hand. In the dim light of the bar, the moisture
trailing over the ridge of his knuckles shimmered. There was another scar
there, one she’d never noticed before. Before she could stop it, magic trailed
from her fingers. Like an extension of her hand, she used it to caress the old
wound. When he finished his sentence, his voice cracked. “Nervous once before.
Damn it, Sam, will you stop doing that?”

Heat rushed to her face. She’d secretly hoped he’d been too
drunk to remember that night all those years ago. He’d never brought it up and
neither had she. “Maybe I should come back later,” she blurted, standing and
holding out her hand for the bottle.

“Sit down.” He pointed to the chair.

The rude sound she made seemed to force a rich, deep chuckle
from his throat.

“I’m sitting only because I want to, not because you so
rudely told me to. I wish you’d stop that.”

“I don’t know how you do it, but you’ve managed to pack
about ten feet of pain in my ass into a beautiful five-foot-four package.
Boggles the mind.” His voice was soft, affectionate and it had her heart
skipping a beat.

“I wanted to ask you something,” she said.

He opened his hands, making a sweeping motion in a gesture
for her to go right on and ask away.

“I want—” She stopped mid-sentence.

She batted her lashes. Her mouth opened and then closed. It
was now or never. Samhain was in two days. This was what she’d been saving
herself for. There were a select few things a witch needed to inherit her
magic—a bridge to access the powers of her ancestors—in other words—Samhain,
her familiar and most importantly, giving her virginity to her familiar before
her twenty-first birthday.

Now or never.
The next time she blinked, she kept her
eyes closed and went for it. “Trent, you need to be my first.”

Chapter Four

 

The sweet smell of Brenda’s perfume made Trent’s stomach
roil. He hated perfume. The closer she got, the more distracting it became. He
turned his head, nose tracking the scent so he could avoid it.

He barely heard Sam over the noise in the bar.

“First what?” he asked absently.

He was no longer looking at her. No, he was distracted by
the way Brenda swayed through the room, her giggling laughter trailing behind
her. Where she went, people stared.

There was something about her besides her breasts and
god-awful perfume that commanded attention. She wasn’t even that attractive,
not to him at least. Sam’s best friend came to a pause at their table and
flashed him a full smile. She bent ever so slightly. If he wanted, which he
didn’t, he would have been able to see down her low-cut leotard. The sharp,
angry press of Sam’s magic forced his head in her direction. Brenda set a
longneck in front of him and pressed her full, round breasts into his arm. Sam
glared at her roommate, as if silently telling her to go away. The point wasn’t
taken.

From his wrist up, Brenda trailed her ruby nails along his
arm to his neck. Back and forth, his jaguar paced. The longer he was exposed to
her scent, the more agitated he was becoming. Before she could caress his
throat, he grabbed her wrist. She hadn’t earned that right. He tightened his
fingers around her arm.

What was meant to deter her only turned her on even more.
Her scent took on a musky aroma. Without waiting for an invitation, she slid
onto his lap and wrapped an arm around his neck. He was going to throw up.
Brenda exhaled a warm breath against his ear. The hand she placed on his chest
felt as hot as Sam’s glare and he didn’t dare look at the waitress.

Brenda leaned in close and brushed her lips along his lobe.
When Sam had done that, it had sent a spark straight to his groan. The curvy
redhead didn’t render the same reaction. If that bothered her, it didn’t show.

“You know I love it when you get all aggressive,” Brenda
purred. She fingered the butt of his weapon. “My, my, your gun is big.”

He gave an uneasy chuckle and unthreaded her arm from around
his neck. At least this way he could breathe. “You know I adore you, Brenda,
but you’re barking up the wrong tree.”

Flashing a pout that would have made a weaker man beg, she
turned her head to Sam. He’d never seen Sam look so pissed. This time, though,
the anger was directed at him. What had he done?

“Run through your own species already?” Sam bit out, grabbed
the whiskey and took a long, suffocating swig. Man, she was going to be sorry
in the morning.

When Brenda laughed, her curves shook against him. She
quirked an eyebrow and clicked her tongue against the roof of her mouth.
“Jealous?”

Trent looked back and forth between them, as if he were
watching a Ping-Pong match. He wondered if the gleam in his eyes said he was
hoping the ball would fall onto the floor and they would wrestle for it. Brenda
was bigger, but his money was on Sam.

“Jealous?” The sharp tone of Sam’s voice betrayed her words.
“Trent doesn’t belong to me. He’s free to sleep with whomever he wants. Cat,
dog, gopher. I don’t care.”

Brenda gave Sam a soft, affectionate smile. It was the most attractive
he’d ever seen her. The waitress winked at him, as if to say she’d been messing
around.

“Sam must have inherited her claws from her father. You two
have fun. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”

With one last knowing look between them, Brenda walked off.
Her hips swayed back and forth to a beat that was all her own. He couldn’t tear
his gaze away. A skirt as short as the one she wore left nothing to the
imagination.

“You know what?” Sam yelled. It snapped his head back in her
direction. Her chair scraped away from the table and she stood. She tugged hard
on her necklace and he worried she might rip the damn thing right off.

“You’re an asshole.”

He loved the fire in her eyes, the way her cheeks lit. She
was sexy when she was pissed. It was almost worth doing it on purpose. For as
much alcohol as he’d drunk, he was surprised at the speed of his reflexes.
Before she could turn, he grabbed her wrist and pulled her back to the table.
Heat moved from where they were connected. For a second, it felt as if their
souls connected. As if it were a living, breathing object, all teeth and claws,
her magic snapped at him. It was a clear message to back off.

He fought back. His jaguar pounced. Although he remained
human, he saw the outline of his feline lurking around her like a mist. Teeth
nipped at her neck, pinned her in place. She sucked in a startled breath. His
message was clear—sit down. He could tell by the look in her eyes there was no
thought when she obliged.

She dug her teeth into her lower lip and gave him a nasty
look. Sam wasn’t the submissive who liked being manhandled. Being an alpha and
an enforcer made him top cat. In her world, that meant nothing—which was part
of the problem in the first place. When she finally released her lip, it was
swollen and full.

“I’m sorry, Sam. You know how distracting Brenda is. I’m
listening.” He wished he could drag Sam out the door, push her against the wall
and fuck her until she couldn’t walk. After that, he would carry her to his bed
and screw her some more. Never in his life had he wanted anything more.

“I’ve tried to tell you for years that I was an asshole. Not
my fault you just figured it out. You’ve got my full attention. Go for it.”

“I do not.” She pointed in the general direction Brenda had
run off in. “You’re thinking about her ass. You’ve got that look on your face
all men get when they’re thinking about getting a woman naked.”

A slow, predatory grin lifted the right side of his mouth.
He had been thinking about sex. Leaning in close, he dropped his voice. “Darlin’,
I’m thinking about getting you naked. You need me to be the first what?”

That got her attention. The first subtle scent of her
arousal hit his nose. She smelled like honey and lilacs. One day he was going
to bury his face in her pussy and smell nothing but her. Rich, sweet. He
couldn’t wait to find out if she tasted as good as she smelled.

It took only a few seconds for the anger to fade. The light,
airy tone of her voice that was so damn addictive made his heart beat faster.
“And to think I defended you when ’Miah told me you were a moron.”

She never could stay mad at him, even after he’d chased her
off as a teen. Grabbing his beer, he tipped his chair back so it rested on two
legs. It took balance and concentration, neither of which he had at the moment.
That was where the appeal lay. He took a long drink from the bottle.

That was the moment she decided to sucker punch him.

“Iwantyoutotakemyvirginity,” she blurted.

One word or an entire sentence, he wasn’t sure. She spoke it
so quickly, it took him a few seconds to translate. The light bulb inside his
brain clicked to life and everything else went dark.

“Wha…” His stammer turned into a choking fit. Talking and
drinking, it turned out, were hard to do together.

He coughed, sputtered, his eyes watering, and he pounded his
chest. At the sudden movement, his chair gave out. He flipped back. His arms
flayed in circles. Crack. The back of his head slammed against the ground and
stole his breath. For the second time that night, he’d caused the room to grow silent.

It was his brother’s laughter that spilled out first. It
spurred on a cheer, some clapping and a few hoots and hollers. He stared up at
the ceiling, breathless. The paper ghoul he’d seen earlier that night looked
down at him with two black, uneven eyes. Even it was laughing at him.

Sam was still a virgin—a status he’d figured she’d lost long
ago. She wanted him to rectify that. Jesus, he was a moron.

Boots echoed. The vibration of every step pounded through
him. With one leg on either side of his waist, Sam bent over him and came into
view. Her pentagram fell forward into a beam of light and the blue stone in the
middle shone.

“You okay?” Her bottom lip was between her teeth. Laughter
danced in her big green eyes.

He reacted on instinct. Her wrist disappeared in his grasp.
He pulled. She fell and landed on his chest with a startled gasp. Using his
hands, he caught her at her waist, steadying her fall. He adjusted her weight
and, in the process, pressed his cock against the juncture of her thighs. A low,
deep groan rumbled from his chest. He pressed his fully hard erection against
her clit. Need smoldered in her eyes. Heat jumped between them and the only
thing he could focus on was the scent of her arousal and the way her magic
surrounded him. All the excuses he’d created over the years, his father’s
advice, faded. Rumors were bullshit anyway.

Trent moved his hands from her hips. Under her shirt, he
stroked his calloused palm along her back, tracing the slightly raised texture
of her tattoo. He passed the clasp of her bra and kept moving higher until he
found the place where her neck melted into her shoulders. Touching her was like
dipping into a cool lake on a hot summer day. He cupped her shoulders and
pushed down. He wanted her to feel how much he desired her.

He glanced from her mouth to her eyes and back and his heart
raced. Hot, erratic, his rapid breathing painted across her lips as he closed
the distance between them. The only thing stopping him was fear. Fear of being
owned. Fear of her eventually leaving him—fear of his getting hurt and leaving
her. Everyone died though—it was how you spent your time living that counted.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

He’d never heard her voice so low, or so throaty. Using his
hands as leverage, he pulled her down until there was no air between them. Her
breasts were small, soft against his chest. It was a sharp contrast to the hard
stone circle of her pendant.

“This,” he whispered seconds before he captured her mouth.

Teasing her lower lip with his tongue, he entered the warmth
of her mouth. Whiskey and mint. She tasted like two of his favorite things. She
tangled her tongue around his in a fervent kiss that spoke volumes of what
pleasure they could bring one another. Their embrace deepened. She tilted her
head and moaned.

Sam moved her hips forward and increased the pressure
between them in all the right spots. She whimpered against him. If they weren’t
in the middle of the bar, on a dirty floor, he would have rolled her beneath
him. He tightened his hands on her shoulders and pulled her closer, ignoring
the fact that this was all wrong.

When the pressure to breathe became too much, he pulled away
with one last gentle nibble. Her heavy eyelids dropped shut then fluttered
open. The look in her eyes was dazed. In that second, he wanted nothing more
than to corrupt her, to feel her writhing underneath him. His moan reverberated
against her mouth and he pulled her in for another kiss. The deeper they
connected, the faster her heart raced against his. Passion exploded. Magic
moved through them, transferring from the places they touched.

With nothing more than a kiss, he’d managed to make her a
quivering mess. She was wet. He didn’t just smell her arousal. He could taste
it on the tip of his tongue. Tonight he’d be the first man to make her scream.
That thought snapped the control he held over his beast.

Sam’s magic surged with his intent to claim her, and she was
there, harnessing him, giving him the control he needed to stay in his human
form. The press of her magic was now familiar. Instead of pushing against it,
he welcomed it. The passion between them morphed, spiraled out of control. He
threaded his hand through her hair, cupped the back of her head and released
all of his pent-up sexual desire into their kiss.

Several moments later, they pulled apart gasping. As if
something was being pulled from him, the magic retreated, leaving his cat alone
in the wide, vast darkness of his mind. It was frightening how comforting it
was to have her there.

She drew soft, damp lips across his jaw and he had to flex
his hands where he held her shoulders to help control his desires. Slow, almost
shy, she pressed her mouth against his neck. He tensed, gripped her harder, but
didn’t push her away. Sam explored his chest using her nails to scrape over the
cotton of his shirt, dragging it up an inch. He loved the slight tremble that
vibrated through her.

From his neck, she moved to his ear. She licked his lobe and
he thrust his hips up on instinct. Through the layer of clothes that separated
them, the heat of her was nearly his undoing. Her body shook harder now,
humming with tension that was begging to be released. Oh he’d set it free all
right.

Before he could speak or even react, she straightened. Quick
as lightning, she hopped up. Gravity pulled his hands from her shirt and they
fell flat to the floor. A peanut shell crushed under the weight of his
knuckles. He missed the feel of her body on top of his.

Stunned into silence, he watched Sam wipe her hands on her
pants. She didn’t meet his eyes. Instead, she turned on her heel and grabbed
the whiskey from the table. No matter how much he tried to will her around to
face him, she wouldn’t. He wasn’t the one with the magic. And no matter how
hard he tried to force the words asking her to stay, his tongue wouldn’t
cooperate. His father’s voice echoed inside his head.

You’ve got duty and responsibility. A girl like that, she
needs someone stable, someone like ’Miah who won’t mind being shackled.

As if bats from hell were chasing her, she scrambled and
weaved through the tables. No one said a word. Her shoulder brushed Jeremiah’s
arm, but she didn’t stop. She was heading to the elevator that led to the
basement. If she was going to ride that scary-as-hell contraption, she really
must’ve been desperate to disappear.

BOOK: Wicked Magic
4.65Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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