War-N-Wit, Inc. - The Coven (War-N-Wit, Inc. - Book 3)

 

 

 

 

 

WAR-N-WIT, INC.

 

“The Coven”

 

 

Gail Roughton

 

ISBN: 978-1-77145-086-7

 

Books We Love Ltd.

(Electronic Book Publishers)

Chestermere, Alberta, T1X 1C2

Canada

 

http://bookswelove.net

 

Copyright 2013
by Gail Roughton

 

Cover art by Michelle Lee Copyright 2013

 

 

All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book
.

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

 

“Okay, time to get you outfitted,” my husband announced as he came through the door.

“Outfitted?
For what?” I eyed the bags looped over his arms with suspicion. When Chad Garrett announced I was getting outfitted, it didn’t necessarily mean he’d seen an outfit he thought I’d like. Though it could. No, when a private investigator-process server-bounty hunter said it was time to get outfitted, the possibilities were endless. Last week I’d been a waitress at a truck stop. Quite successfully. That was one bail-jumping long distance trucker who wouldn’t be trucking for a while. And I netted twenty bucks in tips, too.

After the years I’d sat behind a desk in a law office, organizing files
and insuring attorneys didn’t miss a deadline and commit malpractice, this was a dream life. Something different every day, another opportunity to live a fantasy. Complete with my dream man. One day in early October last year as I sat behind my desk just doing my job, Chad Garrett, CEO and sole operative of War-N-Wit, Inc., called in to report he’d successfully served a complaint. And my life as I knew it was over. In more ways than one. Because we hadn’t hired an ordinary private investigator-process server this time around. Oh, no. We’d hired a warlock. Not just any warlock, either, a warlock on the hunt for his witch, his eternal soul mate. The soul mate he’d reincarnated with many times over the centuries. And that, he insisted, would be me.

Don’t think I was easy to convince.
I wasn’t. Engaged to an up and coming CPA, firmly ensconced in my own profession, I had no intention of rocking my little rowboat. It took an intense, relentless three month email courtship before I agreed to meet him for lunch a few days before Christmas. In the first few minutes of our first meeting, I wished I hadn’t. For several days. Because he
triggered
it. The suppressed witch within. The one I’d been running from my entire life. And that, as they say, was that. No looking back, even though I tried pretty hard.

“Don’t sound so s
uspicious,” he said, disengaging himself from the bags and piling them on the couch. “Maybe I just saw a few things I knew you needed. Take a look.”

I shot him a disapproving glance but it didn’t work well with the grin I couldn’t stop. Chad Garrett knew women.
He’d made major inroads on completely re-working my formerly office casual closet. Now I wore jeans that fit. Really well. Plush sweaters in rich colors. Leggings that molded my calves and thighs and just
smoked
with boots and long tunic sweaters. Lord knows what he’d be bringing in when spring and summer hit.

I opened the first bag and pulled out the contents, holding it up in front of me.

“It’s perfect!” I exclaimed. “Just the thing every well-dressed nun wears in the convent. Complete with wimple! And Rosary!”

“Oh, hell!
I forgot that was in there. I’ll explain later. Lay it over there and get to the rest of it.”

“Can’t wait to hear
.” I sat on the couch and dug in to the “real” bags. Thor, our Canadian timber wolf-husky blend, tried to help by nosing the bags towards me. Ten minutes later, I’d unearthed a black leather biker’s jacket, black square-toed biker’s boots, three pairs of black leather biker’s pants, black leather biker’s chaps, and a varied assortment of black t-shirts with various biker logos and lots of lightning bolts.

I
sat back and surveyed the bounty spilling off the sofa onto the floor, excitement mixed with dread. The only thing Chad loved more than his motorcycle was me. I knew that. I’d known it ever since our combination business-wedding trip to Las Vegas when we’d gotten married on a motorcycle in the Tunnel-of-Love Drive-Thru at the Little White Wedding Chapel. That wasn’t his fault, though. Well, the motorcycle was, but the Drive-Thru wedding wasn’t. We were in hot pursuit of a bail-jumping ho and pimp and I wasn’t about to take the time to stop and have a real wedding. That bounty-hunting fever gets pretty hot and heavy. Problem was, when I had time to stop and think about it, motorcycles scared the hell out of me. And in another week or so, I was going to be on one for a pretty long trip. Bike Week in Daytona. A biker’s heaven on earth.

“Baby girl, don’t worry so much
. You’ll be hearing the Eagle call before you know it.”

I laughed.
My poker face wasn’t poker tournament worthy, true, but it didn’t matter. One of the side-effects of being eternal soul mates ensured we couldn’t hide what we were thinking from each other if we tried. Well, we could if we tried hard enough but it took so much energy it wasn’t worth the effort. Of course, seeing as how both of us were telepaths, nobody else had much luck hiding their thoughts from us either. We didn’t read minds exactly, we read people. Who they were underneath. Very handy psychic talent to have. Especially once you realized you had it. For years I’d insisted I just had “lucky hunches”.

Daytona
Bike Week was a big deal. Any Bike Week anywhere was a big deal. And Chad loved them all. A true biker made plans for next year’s Bike Week before the current Bike Week was over. Chad’s Vegas buddy Spike, a pediatrician who’d worked his way through med school moonlighting as a bounty hunter, always trailered his bike out so he could ride down with him. They had standing room reservations, the next year paid in advance, from one year to the next. All hotels within a three hundred mile radius, from South Georgia down to Orlando, were booked solid.

“You need to eat.
I’ve got your headache,” I said. And I did. Another benefit of that eternal soul mate thing. “Supper’s ready.”

I
cleared my lap of the black t-shirt emblazoned in crimson “Ride the Wind” and headed for the kitchen of our little house. We lived in the middle of Pine Whisper Plantation, a hundred acre planted pine plantation outside the little South Georgia town of Quitman. Besides pine trees and Thor, we had cows, horses, pygmy goats, and barn cats by the score. Jim McAfee, known to all as Buddy, served as resident caretaker and looked after the place and all the animals when we were on the road. Before he found me, Chad built our home of wood salvaged from the original barns and outbuildings on the property. It wasn’t big but it was jewel-like in its perfection, built high off the ground island-style on a sturdy stilt foundation and nestled so tightly between giant oaks it floated in the branches.

We sat down to green salads, spaghetti and garlic bread
. My cell phone rang, the theme from the long-running television series
Charmed
. My sister Stacy a/k/a Antsypants. She had the same ringtone programmed in her phone for me. Stacy’s powers were a little different from mine. And more developed. She hadn’t spent twenty-eight years running from them. She was a ghost-whisperer. As in, she talked to dead people. We’d asked her to come to Bike Week with us but she’d declined.

“Hey, Ari!”

“Hey, Anstypants!”

“Listen, I’ve been thinkin’.
Did Chad ask me to go to Daytona with y’all because it was the polite thing to do or would y’all really not mind?”

I laughed. “I thought you knew him better than that, girl!
Of course we’d love for you to come! I’d
beg
you to come if I thought it’d do any good. I don’t want to be the only first-timer in shock all by myself. I need moral support.”

“Yeah, but the room thing—”

“Darlin’! We told you. He booked one of the suite things with a little adjoining bedroom, always does, ‘cause he’s always running into an old buddy from somewhere without a room. Not that he’d invite one of ‘em back this year, of course, but it’s perfect for you. If you want it.”

“But y’all have his friend from Vegas comin’—”

“Spike’s got his own room booked with the same set-up, for the same reason. Besides, Chad can’t fit
two
of us on the back of his bike while we’re tootlin’ around Daytona!”

“The Intimidator doesn’t
tootle
!” Chad interjected.

“Sorry.
My apologies to the Intimidator. While we
cruise
around Daytona Beach.”

“That’s better
.” Chad grinned.


Well, I’ve been thinkin’ and—”

“And in the meantime you broke up with whoever it was you didn’t want me to know you were sorta, kinda seein’, right?”

“Don’t know why I bother even trying, it never works. Yeah, I did.”

“Who was it?”

“Use your crystal ball.”


Not
one of
our
attorneys?” Both Stacy and I were paralegals. Or had been until I turned private investigator in training. Stacy still was. We’d both worked at the same Macon law firm of Baker, Lawson, Abercrombie & Hunter, referred to in Macon legal circles as BLAH. By everyone but its partners, of course. Sometimes outside the pages of fairy tales, secretaries/paralegals did actually marry one of the bosses and live happily ever after but in real life, romantic involvement with folks you worked for tended to be professional suicide. And besides, I couldn’t think of one available attorney at BLAH at the moment even remotely worth it.

“Oh,
hell
no! Cameron Stallings, the Calhoun Hasty firm.”

“Ah.
Well, he’s eye candy for sure, but—”

“But that’s about all.
Well, the view was good for a while. But if I go, you’re not goin’ to try to hook me up with Chad’s buddy, are you?”

“Antsypants!
He lives in
Vegas!
Why would I
ever
try to set you up with somebody you’d move almost clear across country for?”

“Because I’m your pesky little sister you
can’t wait to get rid of?”

“Not since you were six, honey.
And not even then really, I just had to sound like a big sister. So you’ll go?”

“It really sounds good, gettin’ away a few days,” she said, a wistful note in her voice indicating she’d really hoped Cam Stallings had more to him than looks.

“Then it’s settled.
We’ll have a blast! And you’ll love Spike, he’s a big biker teddy-bear. But you don’t have to
love
him, of course,” I backtracked quickly. “I just meant we’ll all have a great time.”

“If you say so,” Stacy said.
“I need to be there by when?”

“Friday.
Before lunch but the earlier the better.”

“Okay.
See y’all then. Love.”

“Love.”

I turned my attention back to Chad. “Now. About that nun’s habit in with my biker gear?”


Well, I’ve got a handle on a skip.”

“Gee.
That’s a surprise. And I’m assumin’ since there’s a nun’s habit on our couch, it wouldn’t be the first time you’ve had a handle on this particular skip? Or maybe even a hand?”

“You’d assume right.
I wouldn’t get within fifty yards of him. But you can. Tomorrow.”

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