Jessa’s New Age shop—Eternally
Magick—was empty. Usually, Jessa was around. But, right now, she
wasn’t. I leaned against the front counter, resting my forehead against
the cool glass. Athames, crystals, jewelry and really cute dragon
statues were locked in the case beneath my fingertips. While I enjoyed
hanging out at the shop and seeing what new potions were available, I
wished Jessa had given me some kind of clue as to why she wanted me
here. But she was my best friend and mentor; the reason had to be
important, if for nothing else to spend much needed time together.
I glanced over my shoulder at the wall
of ingredients lining the
shelves, ripe for the picking. It had been a while since I’d made a new
potion. Maybe if I could stock up on a few things...
“Not what you’re here for,” I
whispered to myself. The urge to see what
she had nearly drove me away from the counter, but I held myself in
Making potions was one of my hobbies.
I loved the creativity and
excitement that went into building something from nothing, and the
brief connection with my power.
Tapping my fingers on the counter, I stared at the curtained-off
backroom. Worry crept into my chest. Why wasn’t Jessa here? She never
stood me up. This wasn’t like her.
“Jessa?” Usually she came right out when the bells on the door chimed.
Biting my lower lip, I considered going into the back. Someone could
steal things without her keeping an eye on the store.
“Coming,” Jessa called. The
black-haired and blue-eyed beauty swept
into the front of the store like a hurricane of flowing skirts. She
always looked like she’d just come from a Renaissance faire.
I loved the way she dressed, but I
knew that style would never be my
thing. My parents would think I’d flipped my lid, and my older
brother.... Shudder. Nolan would laugh at me, probably joking with his
best friend—and my crush since forever—Ethan Parker.
“Where have you been? I was getting
concerned.” Stepping around the
counter, I wrapped my arms around her and she embraced me in a hug
smelling of lavender and honey.
“Just in the back. I had to wrap up a
call and I guess I didn’t hear
you come in.” Jessa smiled, but something was up. She appeared a bit
too eager to pretend everything was fine.
“What’s going on? Are you okay?” I
placed my hand on her shoulder,
trying to be comforting.
The door chimed, and we turned in
unison toward the shop’s new arrival.
I blinked in surprise.
The man towered in the doorway, over
six feet of pure muscle. If his
shirt were a little tighter, I probably would’ve been able to see
six-pack abs through it. What was he doing here?
He strode in as if he owned the place.
There could be no doubt: ladies
would drop their panties at his command. If I didn’t have a
boyfriend.... Stop it, Mia!
“I’m looking for the owner,” the man
said, his deep voice as smooth and
sinful as his looks. Yet beneath his delicious exterior, something
about him put me on edge. The hint of arrogance in his eyes and the
sharp flare of power as he walked in the room were instant triggers.
This guy wasn’t a mere mortal. He was something else, but I couldn’t
put my finger on what. Aside from Jessa, I’d never met anyone else with
this level of power.
Maybe I needed to get out more.
Jessa cleared her throat, as
captivated by him as I was by the sound of
it. “I’m the owner.” Her voice hit all the sultry tones and she swayed
her shoulders. “Can I help you?” I wished I could pull her aside and
tell her my feelings, but that would look way too awkward.
“We spoke over the phone. I’m
interested in the potion.” He leaned his
hip against the counter, standing only a couple feet away. Too close
Since Jessa had business to take care
of, I sidestepped toward the wall
of ingredients, but Jessa grabbed my wrist, keeping me beside her. I
cast her a dirty look, but she didn’t pay me any attention, focusing
her gaze instead on Mr. Way-Too-Sexy.
“Right, I don’t have any of that in
right now, but this woman makes
some of the best healing salves I’ve seen.” Jessa nudged me forward,
nearly throwing me into Mr. Sexy’s arms.
Glancing up his body to his eyes from
so close strained my neck. My
five-foot-six frame probably looked tiny beside him. An overwhelming
sense of lust and intimidation washed over me.
“Hi.” I fought against a shiver.
Mr. Sexy’s lips twitched. “The potion?
Or...salve? Can you help me, or
I looked behind me, noticing how Jessa
was ‘busy’ tidying a few shelves
that were perfectly fine. A small smirk tugged at her lips.
“Sure, I can help. What exactly do you
need?” Healing potions? This was
great, just great. He didn’t even know what he needed, nor did he know
the differences between potions, salves or poultices. Not that many
people outside of the metaphysical community did, but that wasn’t my
fault. Besides, there were plenty of ways to do them. It didn’t help to
say healing potion. I knew some concoctions that cured the flu, helped
with burns, even helped with migraines.
The man cocked an eyebrow at me as if
I was stupid. “A...healing salve.
Are you serious? I’ve told you what I need.”
Jessa placed her hand on my shoulder.
“What she means is, what does it
need to do?” She pursed her lips, running her gaze over the man. “On
the phone, you said that someone you know had some kind
While I enjoyed making potions and
other healing remedies, I couldn’t
help but wonder why this guy wasn’t taking his friend to a hospital or
Mr. Sexy scratched the back of his
neck, causing his shirt to lift. My
gaze skimmed his navel and part of the defined six-pack I’d known was
hiding there. Somehow, knowing how hot he was under his shirt calmed my
nerves a little. Surely, he was fine.
Maybe it’d just been a long time since
I’d met a nice looking guy who
wasn’t a jerk, and didn’t just storm off to join the military when I
needed him. But...I was so not going to think about Ethan right now.
“Right. Not food poisoning. Lead
poisoning.” Something flickered in his
eyes. What was he hiding? “My friend was injured when the metal got
into his system, so if there’s something you could put in to help with
Jessa nodded, a frown tugging at her
lips. “We can help. Have you taken
him to the hospital?”
Mr. Sexy narrowed his eyes first at
her, then he slid his gaze to me.
“He’s more into the holistic, alternative approach to medicine. He’s
assured me that if this doesn’t work, he’ll go to the doctor.” With
another caress of his gaze over my body, he crossed his arms over his
chest. “Think you can handle it, princess?”
My jaw dropped. For a moment, I
couldn’t believe he was both checking
me out and kind of insulting me. “Yeah, I know a recipe. I’ll just get
the ingredients and head home. When do you need it by?” That was stupid
question. He’d just told me his friend was injured. There wasn’t time
for me to mess around. “Sorry, I can drop it back by a little later.”
“Why can’t you do it here and now?”
Irritation hardened the set of his
Jessa jumped in before I could say
anything. “While we have the
ingredients to make the salve, she would need her supplies.” She waved
her hand around the store. “I don’t have everything here. Usually—”
“That’s fine. I’ll be back before the
store closes. That’s a couple
hours from now, correct?” At Jessa’s nod, Mr. Sexy turned on his heel
and was gone before she could say anything, the bells chiming in his