Authors: Shad O. Walker
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of either the author or the publisher.
All Knight Long, Book I: One Warlock’s Love Story
Torquere Press Publishers
PO Box 2545
Round Rock, TX 78680
Copyright 2013 by Shad O. Walker
Cover illustration by BSClay
Published with permission
All rights reserved, which includes the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever except as provided by the U.S. Copyright Law. For information address Torquere Press. Inc., PO Box 2545, Round Rock, TX 78680.
First Torquere Press Printing: August 2013
Printed in the USA
One Warlock’s Love Story: All Knight Long
By Shad O. Walker
This book is dedicated to the readers who have been with me since the very beginning, the OWLS! Blessed be.
Zander Knight was used to keeping secrets. He was, after all, a warlock who lived in a mortal community and had attended a mortal high school. As a general rule, witches and warlocks didn’t mix with mortals and most certainly never revealed themselves as such. Zander’s former high school friends only knew him as the little guy with the good grades and the great smile, but the elite magical community in the Southeast United States knew that he was special.
His notoriety was due, in part, to the fact that his birth had ended the longstanding feud between the Zander and Knight magical families. His mother, Crystal Zander, was an exotic, doe-eyed, wavy-haired potions worker who could have just as easily passed for Native American as Brazilian. His father, Malachi Knight, was a caramel-colored spellcaster with full, round features and an athletic physique. Crystal and Malachi’s first meeting nearly twenty years ago had sparked a love stronger than any magic either of them could have conjured.
The feud between the Zander and Knight families had been legendary and was believed to have been started over a debate about which of the families could trace its magical roots back the furthest. Crystal and Malachi met as teenagers at the annual celebration of love and light called the Litha, where young witches and warlocks gathered at a discreet location at high noon in bright and colorful clothing, and then partied for two consecutive days. They hadn’t recognized each other as would-be enemies because their families had always kept them apart, but there was no denying the attraction. By the time they realized that they were from feuding families, they were in love and Crystal was pregnant with Zander. Despite their parents’ protests, their love endured and ultimately succeeded in bringing the fighting families into an uneasy alliance.
All the signs spoke of mysterious and wonderful things. Zander was born at midnight on the summer solstice, and every member of both great families was present to give gifts and offer blessings. By the age of seven, Zander had shown a proclivity for potions work and spell casting, and by the age of twelve, he was capable of performing tricks done by warlocks twice his age. His extended family suggested that he attend one of the better private magic schools and eventually vie for one of the Southeastern coven leader positions, yet his parents wanted no part of magical politics and opted to put Zander in a regular mortal high school. Unfortunately, going to a mortal high school didn’t afford him an opportunity to hone his magical gifts.
Yes, Zander Knight was used to keeping secrets. He was a sixth generation warlock, who attended a mortal high school... and he was gay.
“Zander!” Crystal yelled from downstairs of their large three-story home in rural Georgia. Zander looked at his alarm clock, shifted in his bed, and pulled the covers up over his head.
“Zander Borealis Knight!” she yelled again.
“What?” he moaned, knowing full well that she couldn’t hear him from under the covers.
“Your Grandmother Zoe is here, and she wants to see you,” his mother sang. Everyone knew that Zander adored his maternal grandmother, Zoe Zander. Despite the fact that he was eighteen years old, he jumped from the bed like a kid at Christmas and ran down the stairs to greet his grandmother.
“Look at you! You’re still wearing those same old flannel pajama bottoms, and you’re getting so big and tall!” She embraced him with a hug that only a grandmother could give.
“Grandma, I’m 5’8” and 147 pounds. I am
big and tall,” he laughed.
“Well, you are tall to me,” she answered, peering up at him.
“Look at all of your muscles!” she continued, rubbing his stomach, spinning him around and then slapping his backside. Zander smiled. Even he had to admit that he’d filled out nicely since seeing his grandmother last winter. Going to a mortal high school, instead of a private magic school, hadn’t been completely bad. He’d managed to become student body vice president and make the varsity track, tennis, and gymnastics teams. His regular workouts had given him a v-shaped torso, very defined abs, and an ass that looked like two ripe melons.
“Grandma, what are you doing here?” Zander asked.
“I am here for my favorite grandson’s eighteenth birthday!” she whispered.
“You didn’t have to come all the way from Maryland to Georgia a whole day early. My party isn’t until tomorrow.”
“I know the party is tomorrow. I also know that all of your daddy’s people will be here pulling at you by tomorrow morning, especially your mean old Grandmother Nasha. I need my own special time with you. Now go get dressed and come for a walk in the garden with your favorite grandma,” she teased. Zander kissed her on the forehead and ran back upstairs to get showered and dressed.
“Clean up your room and make up your bed before you come back downstairs,” his mother yelled.
Zander showered, dressed and stood looking at himself in the mirror the way he used to every morning before heading off to high school. He was wearing jeans, a red t-shirt, and red Tom’s. He had worn his naturally wavy hair low and lined for the last year, despite the fact that his mother liked it long and loose. He had his father’s caramel complexion, full lips, and strong nose and his mother’s dark, piercing eyes. Like all young male warlocks coming into heat around their eighteenth year, his natural body odor was a unique, yet subtle, earthy scent. Zander’s smell was a mild patchouli and sage blend that most of his friends at school mistook for body oils.
He didn’t dare explain to them that it was the young warlock’s way of attracting a mate. Young girls would secretly find themselves moist with hardened, aching nipples and young guys would have to hide their erections whenever they were around him for long periods of time. It was just another thing about being an 18-year-old warlock that Zander couldn’t share with his friends at school. His parents had insisted upon living out in the country and not near one of the nine major private magic schools across the United States. They wanted his life to be as “normal” as possible. The truth was that Zander was far from normal. Despite his limited at-home magical training in the evenings and on the weekends, Zander was an extremely powerful warlock with a unique destiny.
Zander’s grandmother was out in the garden talking to the day fairies.
“Grandma!” Zander said, waving his hands and calling up a spell to surround her in a swirling, heart-shaped wreath of flower petals from his mother’s garden. She smiled, lifted her hands, and allowed the petals to envelope her.
“I see you are ripening,” she said, acknowledging his scent.
“Don’t remind me,” Zander said, as he forced the petals to take the form of a small bird and fly back off behind the cornstalks. He plopped down into the large swing beside his grandmother.
“You should be elated. You finally graduated from that awful mortal high school, your eighteenth birthday party is tomorrow, and I hear that your parents are going to let you go to the Litha by yourself this year and get your own private tent,” she said.
Zander sighed and looked across the multiple rows of herbs that his mother had grown for her potions. “The high school isn’t that bad. Mortals aren’t that bad.”
“You should be around other witches and warlocks your own age. I’ve tried to explain that your mother. Do you even have any magical friends?”
“I have one,” Zander defended, thinking of Giovanni, a chat room buddy from Atlanta whom he’d met on an Internet dating site for down-low magicals called warlock4warlock.com. They had never met in person, but Giovanni claimed to be an eighteen-year-old warlock who had attended the private magic school in Atlanta until he was kicked out of his house for being gay.
“Does he come from a good family?” Zoe asked.
“Yes,” he answered, offering a half-truth.
“Good. You have to be careful these days,” she warned. “There are bad witches and warlocks, shape shifters, witch hunters, and vampires out there.” Zander was a bit shocked by his grandmother’s frankness. He had lived a relatively sheltered life, and his family rarely talked about the dark side of the supernatural community, let alone exposed him to other supernaturals.
“You don’t have to become a coven leader. You can go off to Europe and study like some of the other young warlocks of your breeding,” she encouraged. Zander didn’t reply.
“What is wrong, Butterbean?” she asked. Zander chuckled at the nickname. He hadn’t heard it in over ten years.
“Grandma, I am a full-grown warlock, and I’ve never ever had a real relationship. I’ve never even kissed anyone,” he said, surprising himself with his honesty.
“There are plenty of young witches that would love to date you. I know your parents have got you stuck down here in the country, but young witches at some of the finest private magic schools across the country know about you. Word travels,” she explained.
“Okay, Grandma,” Zander said.
“What about that fine young witch that your Uncle Siran had come down from New York to go with you to your prom? She comes from a very fine family of wand workers. I saw the pictures. You two made a very handsome couple.”
“Her name was Celestial, and I don’t think she was really excited about going to a mortal prom. I’m still wondering how much my parents had to pay her to come all the way down here from New York. I’m not really good in social situations with witches and warlocks outside the family, and I don’t even know if I want to go to the Litha,” Zander added.
“Then forget the prom and the Litha for now. Think about your birthday party. You know the celebrations are always great family events. I’ve even learned to tolerate that old nasty Nasha,” Zoe said.
“Grandma Nasha isn’t that bad,” Zander defended.
“Maybe not, but it is a good thing you got your looks and magical gifts from your mother’s side of the family,” Grandma Zoe said.
“You better be nice. It won’t take much for you and Nana Nasha to be fighting out here tomorrow,” Zander joked.
“I’m counting on it,” she said, and they both laughed.
“So, tell me what has got you so worked up. What are you not telling me?” she asked. Zander didn’t reply.
Zoe didn’t say a word. Instead, she eased herself up from the swing and slowly walked over to the garden where she began gathering different flowers and herbs. After several minutes of comfortable silence between the two of them, she came back with a floral mixture in her hands and then began clapping and chanting around Zander until a thin, orange haze surrounded him. She swung her arms, and the thin orange cloud began to morph and change colors. She looked into the haze around Zander like a doctor making a diagnosis.
“What are you doing?” he asked, though he knew the answer.
“Reading your aura and seeing your truth,” she explained nonchalantly. It was old magic and not easily administered by the unpracticed.
“And?” he asked, hesitantly.
“You tell me,” she said, before coming to a halt and giving him a long look.
“I don’t think I have to,” he said.
“I know that you are hiding something that you’ve been struggling with for a very long time,” she said. “Maybe it is that you don’t really like Celestial or any of the young ladies that your parents have selected for you, or maybe you aren’t ready to embrace your magical destiny. All I know is that you need to start living your life on your own terms. I made the mistake of living my life for the coven and the call.” Zander realized that she was being kind by not telling him everything that she saw. He also figured that she wanted to let him tell her, but he just wasn’t ready.
“Grandma, can we keep this little conversation between us?” he pleaded.