Authors: Rachel Carrington
Escaping the room had been simple enough.
That knowledge alone should have been enough
to worry her, but she was still euphoric about her freedom.
Perhaps the wizard wasn’t as smart as he
considered himself to be.
She reached the main entrance foyer and
breathing a sigh of relief, she
tiptoed across the marble tiles to reach the heavy, wooden door leading to the
She’d mapped Rane Hansen’s house
in her mind so much that she could have escaped with her eyes closed, if
Metal hinges creaked ominously, but Skye didn’t pause to wonder if
the wizard had heard her.
she could take to the skies and be gone before Hansen could catch her.
With a muffled laugh at her own ingenuity,
she stepped out the door and gave a screech of sheer terror as the ground
beneath her gave way.
Free-falling through space, Skye tried to gain her bearings.
She rolled in the air and saw the ground
rising to meet her.
The wind rushed in
her hair and her breath stalled in her throat.
The spells she’d learned over the past six months escaped her.
Paralyzed, she continued to plummet, closing
her eyes at the last second.
body would connect with the impacted dirt any second, she was surprised to feel
her curves settle against hard muscle.
“You can open your eyes now,” came the slightly amused command.
Skye’s lids lifted and she stared up into Rane’s twinkling
She hadn’t hit the ground, but the
two arms holding her were just as unyielding.
came out on a strangled whisper.
Rane shifted her in his arms.
Her breast rested against the hard wall of his chest.
“Did you really think I’d let you escape?”
Realization dawned in a split second and Skye’s eyes narrowed.
“You did that?”
She jerked her head toward the door now
One corner of his mouth lifted.
“Know any other wizard hanging around?”
Skye clenched her fist and popped his shoulder.
Her hand stung.
Rane looked unperturbed.
“Put me down.”
She clenched her teeth, sharply enunciating
Rane didn’t obey.
his right hand tightened around the outside of her thigh.
“Don’t make the mistake of thinking I’ll
always be this amused when you attempt to escape.”
“And don’t make the mistake of thinking I’ll always fail.”
Rane lowered her feet to the ground, but he immediately dropped his
hands to her hips and dragged her closer to the hard, male outline of his
“You cannot win against me,
You should accept your fate.”
Skye thrust her chin out and pressed her hands against his
“You’re saying I should allow you
to do with me what you want?”
His head moved closer and Skye caught the scent of an exotic
cologne, a beckoning blend of woods and spice.
“Whatever I want to do with you will be exactly what you want.”
Skye’s heart did a nosedive to the center of her stomach.
“I want to go home.”
“If you wanted to be home, you should have stayed.”
“I have things to do.”
bit her lip to keep it from trembling.
Rane inclined his head.
Unfortunately, that presents us
both with a problem, doesn’t it?”
Skye didn’t think she’d have a problem killing him, after all.
He was all that was standing between her and
her little sister and nothing, not even a sexy wizard, would stop her from
saving Emily’s life.
“Your only problem
right now, Mr. Hansen, is keeping me underneath your roof.
You’ll never know when I’ll strike.”
Her voice hardened.
“And make no mistake, I will strike.”
He raised one hand to shackle her wrist.
“I appreciate the warning.
Now, I’ll have to take the appropriate
measures to ensure my safety.”
strides, he began towing her across the damp lawn.
Skye didn’t try to dig in her heels.
“What are you doing?”
overwhelmed her when the broad back obscured her view.
At the entrance to his home, Rane stopped and turned.
“You’ve just become more than just my guest,
Skye didn’t want to know what illustrious position she’d
She asked anyway.
“What are you talking about?
What have I become?”
Rane bowed low and swept his hand wide to allow her to precede him
into the darkened foyer.
Rane cupped her face.
nights are long here, Skye, and I won’t deny I’ve been without a woman for some
Your research should have told you
Skye swallowed hard.
a different woman on your arm every night of the week according to the
Rane sneaked an arm around her waist.
“You don’t believe everything you read, do
“They said you were a self-serving bastard.
What’s not to believe?”
White teeth flashed in an almost evil grin.
“Then I shall have to change your opinion of
“By raping me?”
Rane threw back his head and laughed.
“I can assure you that I have never raped a
woman in my life.”
His head tilted to
Skye couldn’t breathe.
that what you plan to do to me?”
He ran his thumb across her lower lip.
“I prefer to take things one day at a time.”
“I won’t fall into your bed because of your charms, Mr. Hansen.”
He didn’t respond, merely took her hand and began dragging her
across the tiled floors.
Skye closed her eyes and concentrated on reaching the Coven
She knew the exact moment she
touched Sabrina’s mind.
almost made her shiver.
,” Sabrina cooed even in thought.
Did everything go according to plan
Not exactly, but it’s okay.
I believe I have a workable Plan B.
Sabrina released a sound of irritation Skye heard.
She’s breathing, if that’s what you’re
Skye gripped the rounded edge of the four-poster bed even
Don’t hurt her
Your time is running out
I’ll do what I’m supposed to do.
Just don’t hurt her
Sabrina ended the connection, swamping Skye in a sense of panic and
She had no options, at
least none that she could see.
The wizard would have to die.
Emily watched the witches as they joined hands and moved into a
Chanting, with their eyes
closed, they swayed and crooned as one.
Emily swallowed hard and shrank back against the wall of the tiny,
airless room she’d been moved to the same day Skye had left.
Tears welled up in Emily’s eyes.
If Skye were here, the witches would never have been allowed to take
away the nice, spacious room with the double bed and gleaming windows.
Skye would never have allowed it and even
though Emily knew her sister’s powers weren’t nearly as strong as the head
witch’s, Skye possessed one thing which struck fear in the hearts of the entire
Emily stretched her legs out in front of her, the back of her knees
connecting with the concrete floor.
witches hadn’t known she’d listened to them a week ago when they’d
conversing by the fireplace in the tower’s
They’d spoken in whispers,
but Emily had always had excellent hearing, especially when she wanted to.
If only Emily could get a message to her sister, to let her know
that she didn’t need to kill the wizard.
Emily winced even as the thought skated through her mind.
She wouldn’t believe that Skye would really
go through with it.
Of all things she
was, Skye wasn’t a killer.
harm another human being, but then, the wizard wasn’t exactly a human being.
Footsteps resounded on the stones out in front of the tower and
laughter rang out.
The witches were
returning and they sounded happy.
spell must have been a success.
wished she could have been closer this time.
She knew the Coven plotted something much worse than just the death of a
wizard and Emily hadn’t grown up in a witch’s house without learning a few
tricks of her own.
She had her own plan.
Hopefully, she’d be able to execute it before it was too late.
Of course, she didn’t really know when too
late would be.
For all she knew, Skye
could have already killed the wizard.
The night winds increased in tempo, causing the branches of a
low-hanging tree to slap against the windowpanes outside the bedroom Skye had
that it made a difference.
She couldn’t sleep.
Energy surged through her and as the castle fell into silence, she
crawled from the bed and dropped to her knees.
Carefully, she withdrew a soft, felt, cloth bag from beneath the
mattress and tugged open the drawstring.
She emptied the contents onto the thick, pile rug at the foot of the bed
and breathed a sigh of relief.
Everything was there.
ingredients she needed for the spell.
Humming low in her throat, she bent to her task.
Rane came awake instantly, his breathing labored.
Internal alarms had woken him, warning him of
He snapped to attention and
rolled from the bed in one fluid movement.
He recognized the soft footsteps outside his door and his shoulders
The witch was attempting to
ambush him in his own home.
For a brief
moment, amusement warred with irritation and almost won, but only for a moment.
Rane didn’t like having to be on guard in his
Apparently, Skye Logan wasn’t
accustomed to his preferences.
to educate her.
Flinging open his bedroom door, he reached out with one hand and
caught hold of soft cotton.
sound of surprise signaled his success and he dragged his quarry into the glow
of the lamp beside his bed.
“So Ms. Logan, you couldn’t wait for your first duty as my
Skye struggled against him, pressing her breasts against the wall of
Rane’s body responded
instantly, blood surging through his veins to pool between his thighs.
His erection pressed into her abdomen and he
stifled a groan when the witch rose up on her toes to bite him on the shoulder.
Rane interpreted Skye’s attempt to free herself as an
His hands dropped lower and
he cupped the smooth roundness of her bottom through the thickness of her
He lifted her sleight body
“Your struggles only encourage
me, ma petite.”
He muttered a string of
French love words, more vulgar than enchanting.
Skye stilled instantly.
hands cupped against his chest and she blinked up at him, uncertainty in her
Rane relaxed his hold and looked
down into her upturned face.
seduce me, Mr.
I don’t find you attractive and furthermore
I’m not interested.
Now, I would
appreciate it if you would let me go and we can put this entire unpleasant
matter behind us,” she demanded.
“There are many things I’d like to do to you, with you, Ms. Logan,
but letting you go isn’t one of them.”
She opened her hands and pressed her palms over his flesh.
The contact brought a sharp sting and Rane
stared down at the white-tipped nails curled against his skin.
“You will release me, Mr. Hansen, and
furthermore, you’ll regret ever holding me captive.”
Rane tangled one hand in the luxurious length of her tawny hair and
tugged more sharply than he’d intended.
Skye inhaled quickly and though her eyes watered, she didn’t beg for
Rane doubted the witch would ever
give him the satisfaction.
down the involuntary surge of admiration for the shapely redhead and tried to
He ran a finger across Skye’s lips and felt them tremble.
His body was now aching painfully and if he
didn’t move away from her soon, he would take her.
He didn’t doubt his ability to make her want
him, crave him, but the timing wasn’t right.
He needed more information before he would satisfy his body’s
“Are you listening to me?”
Skye almost shouted the words.
Rane cleared his thoughts immediately and focused on her face, the
unlined expanse of skin covering her cheekbones.
To touch, it would feel as smooth as polished
Her eyes had widened, making her
lashes appear longer and fuller if that was possible.
He didn’t know if he’d scared her or made her
Either way, he wanted to kiss
her, to make passion a part of the equation.
His head dipped low and as he closed in on his target, Skye sucked
in a sharp breath.
“What are you
The words came out on a croak.
“I’m going to kiss you,” he announced with confidence.
Skye twisted her head and tried to push away from her again.
“I don’t want you to kiss me.”
“You just think
you don’t want me to kiss you, Skye.
Your eyes tell me otherwise.”
“Well, here’s something else for you to listen to.”
She brought her knee up suddenly, connecting
with the stiffness between his legs.
Though Rane’s lungs emptied and his eyes watered, he remained erect,
blocking the pain from his mind with a spell he’d used only once before, when
he’d gotten carried away with a female wizard during final examinations.
She’d reacted the same way and thankfully,
Rane’s father had taught him the helpful spell to reduce the pain.
“I can see I’ll need to keep better watch around you.”