A little of my contemporary/paranormal Halloween erotic-romance Like Magic.
Ian Hannigan was having the worst day of his life. A real estate prospect turned out to be a prank, his car has been stolen, and he’s stranded in the worst neighborhood he can imagine on Halloween night. If he believed in magic, he would swear he’d been cursed. Nothing could possibly make this day any worse or better… That is, nothing but Raven, a mysterious occult shop owner who not only claims to be a witch, but insists that she summoned him as the answer to her aching loneliness. Ian’s night just got a lot weirder. And his love life just got a lot more interesting.
“Damn, damn, damn!” Ian muttered. He balled his hand and raised it to the door. Again, he let his arm fall to his side without knocking. He’d walked the streets for fifteen minutes, and found nothing but several groups of people who didn’t look very helpful and a broken payphone outside a rundown convenience store. The rain was coming down even harder, and the gutters ran with muddy streams. He could no longer feel his toes, and he knew he could kiss his expensive Italian shoes goodbye.
Logically, he acknowledged that there was nothing left to do but ask Raven for the use of her phone so he could get out of this godforsaken slum. He raised his knuckles again, but paused before he knocked. Before his hand made contact, the door swung open.
“The suspense was killing me,” a faintly mocking voice piped out. “As to whether you’d ever get around to knocking.”
Raven turned her back to him and walked into the shop, leaving the decision to follow or not up to him. He couldn’t help but smile wryly and wonder how long she’d watched him contemplate the shop’s glass door.
He trailed behind her into the damp, dim store, enjoying the lines of her lush hips and gently sloping shoulders. She had her glorious hair up in an untidy knot this time, and a riot of wispy curls hung teasingly down her long neck. If he hadn’t left earlier, he’d likely be tasting that neck right now. Thinking of her fine collarbone and the upward thrust of her breasts made Ian’s stomach flutter. His desire to explore the entire territory inch by inch was even stronger than his innate mistrust.
It hadn’t even been a full year since he last had a woman, but it was long enough that, in combination with the memories of Raven’s oral manipulation, he could feel the flames of hunger lick his skin at the sight of her.
Raven paused at the counter, but kept her back to him as she grasped a large, heavy goblet. She brought the glass to her lips and drank, and Ian watched the motions of her throat jealously. Oh, to be drunk from like that cup!
“Wine?” he asked, needlessly, appreciating the shine of the candles through the ruby liquid.
“At least you didn’t accuse me of drinking blood,” she murmured and took another swallow.
“That was going to be my second guess,” he said with a lame chuckle, which she didn’t return.
“Find a phone?” she asked innocently, turning to him for the first time. Her voice contained a lower, earthier tone to it now. Ian concluded she used the wispy light tone earlier to tease him and get him inside. Her fluctuation between angel and temptress was mercurial and confusing, but alluring.
“I think you know that I didn’t,” he admitted. “There’s not much left alive out here.”
Raven gave a sad sort of smile, the same kind she used at the mention of her mother, but she didn’t reply. Instead, she filled a second goblet with wine from a silver decanter and extended it to him.
“Two glasses, huh? Knew I’d be returning, did you?”
“As you say, there’s not much to be found around here. The few shopkeepers left close at dark and run home to the suburbs. I figured you’d be back,” she answered calmly.
“No second sight or something?” he asked, half teasing. “You already have me at a disadvantage, if I recall, since you said you were expecting me earlier.”
He took the wine, and sniffed it cautiously. There was heady incense in the air that was already messing with his usually quick wits, so dope in the wine would be the end of him.
Again, she didn’t reply. Instead, she drained her glass, sat it down carefully on the counter, and turned away.
“The phone hasn’t moved,” she said, and gestured for him to help himself as she retreated out of sight through a thick beaded curtain dividing the store room from the back.
I am currently seeking reviews for Like Magic in anticipation of Halloween (it's coming sooner than you might think!). If you are interested in reviewing Like Magic on your website, blog or at other venues, please contact me!