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Magic Pussy_Age of Night Book Five


  Magic Pussy

  Age of Night Book Five

  May Sage

  Magic Pussy

  Age of Night #5

  Edited by Lisa Bing and Sue Currin

  Cover by Rebecca Frank

  Photography by Lindee Robinson

  May Sage © 2018

  ISBN: 978-1-912415-63-2

  Magic Pussy

  Age of Night #5

  Edited by Lisa Bing and Sue Currin

  Cover by Rebecca Frank

  Photography by Lindee Robinson

  May Sage © 2018

  ISBN: 978-1-912415-64-9

  Contents

  1. The Trap

  2. The Scent

  3. Home

  4. Under the surface

  5. The White Witch

  6. City of Magic

  7. The Brat and the Fool

  8. Wrong Sister

  9. The Vampire

  10. Strong Magic

  11. The Bayou

  12. Realizations

  13. The Deal

  14. One evening

  15. Cleansing

  16. The Ritual

  17. Goddess

  18. Sunlight

  Frostbound Throne

  Check out Diplomacy

  The Trap

  Grandma Iris was a lot more annoying now that she was dead.

  Rain remembered a sweet old toothless lady who made out-of-this-world gumbo and beignets so good she licked her lips just thinking about them. Last year, Iris had died in her sleep at the ripe old age of ninety-seven—a first in their family. It had been a long time since a White had seen past the forty-year-old mark. One of the many reasons why Rain now went by her father’s name and avoided Nola like her life depended on it.

  It did.

  She'd shown her face at the funeral. Iris deserved it. Rain had even stayed for the ceremony that had followed, but when her name had been called, and she'd been asked to step forward to drop a little blood at the altar, she'd shaken her head. No one had been surprised. Disappointed? Certainly. Not surprised. They knew she wasn't part of their coven anymore.

  The funeral was supposed to mark the end of an era. Now, she truly had no reason to step foot in Louisiana again. She wasn’t close to her older sister, and her little sister was more than happy to hop on a plane and spend some time with her somewhere else—anywhere else.

  Rain was supposed to be free.

  Iris had other ideas.

  “Your mama would be ashamed to see you wasting your skills like this, young lady,” said her dead grandma.

  Rain couldn't see her, but she could feel her energy behind her. Iris was probably holding a hand on her hip and glaring at the back of her head while Rain mixed a batch of fresh hangover cure in her kitchen.

  It was Sunday morning. She’d sell a dozen of those within an hour tops as soon as she opened her shop, the Practical Witch.

  “My mama took part in ceremonial orgies and thought that the full moon was a reason to get high. I don’t exactly aspire to emulate her, you know,” she replied, rolling her eyes and moving to the stove to check on her custom order.

  She grimaced, watching the thick green potion bubble happily. By all the gods, it stunk.

  Surprisingly, or not, most of her clients came to her about STD issues. Her cures were efficient, if not pleasant.

  “You should be at home, helping your sister manage the seventy-three clans, not here serving regular mortals. Let them go to the doctor for their warts.”

  “And you should be in the outerworld, with the rest of the spirits, yet here we are.”

  A very faint knock came from the closest window and Rain stiffened as her head snapped left. Behind the glass, there was a very beautiful raven, batting its elegant wings to stay level.

  She glared.

  “Do you have anything to do with this?” she asked out loud.

  There was no response. Iris had a knack for butting in when her opinion wasn’t wanted and disappearing when Rain had something to say to her. Damn ghost. In her long life, surely the old woman had met witches who were worthier of being hunted down than her boring, STD-potion-making ass.

  Rain washed her hands and dried them, slowly and meticulously, delaying the inevitable.

  She knew who this message had come from. And she knew that if she ignored it, next time, it would come in a less pleasant fashion.

  Finally, she walked around her small breakfast bar and opened the window. The bird remained in front of it, confirming Rain’s suspicions.

  “Come on in, then.”

  It flew in, soaring to the floor. A dark, misty smoke suddenly clogged the air, and a noise like no other came from the poor animal: half cry, half growl, as its bones cracked and changed.

  Within a minute, there was an annoyingly gorgeous, very naked, extremely unwelcome man in front of her.

  "What on Earth are you doing in my place, and in daylight, you idiot?" she yelled, throwing a kitchen towel at him in the hope that he'd use it to cover his damn dick.

  She knew better. Charles wasn’t one to hide his dick if he could help it. He ignored the towel.

  “Is that how you greet an old friend, Rain darling?”

  “Friend?” she repeated, dumbfounded.

  They tolerated each other, at best.

  Nola was a strange city. It had believed in the monsters under the bed well before they’d come out of the darkness and announced their existence. They’d celebrated them.

  In the old days, there had been an understanding between all paranormals; they might have their differences, but when it came down to hiding from mortals, they had each other's backs. Vampires had helped witches, witches had returned the favor.

  After the age of blood, they’d ceased to need each other. Vampires had declared their presence loud and clear to the entire world. And they’d taken power, just like that. Humans had freaked at the time, but not nearly as much as the witches had.

  In the past, the witches had believed that they knew vampires. Their strengths, their limitations, their powers. But when it had come down to it, the vampires had revealed that all they'd believed about them was wrong.

  They were stronger than they’d previously let on, and harder to kill.

  The witches had taken the side of the innocents, of the regular mortals, as was their way, and across the world, the vampires had defeated them.

  In Nola, they overthrew the seventy-three clans with barely any effort. Rain hadn’t seen the age of blood, but she’d been told that her uncle, head of the clans at the time, had been killed by Charles. He’d snapped his neck like a twig for opposing him. Charles had been given Nola by the king of vampires. He’d ruled it with an iron fist.

  By the time Rain was born, the vampires had grown bored of having so much admin or something, because they’d given the reins of the world back to regular humans, after making it clear that any open war against supernatural creatures would result in reprisals. The vampires said they’d return and wipe regulars out this time. After all, they could survive on any mortal blood, shifters and witches included. They didn’t need regulars.

  The warning had been efficient; decades passed without conflicts. Charles, like other vampire lords, had said that all was back to normal. He’d shaken hands with the new head of the clan, Rain’s mother.

  Most young witches never saw him, only heard of him in whispered tales of untold horrors. Rain had been the exception, because she’d had a tendency to skip past witch territory and hang out in the wrong places from the moment she’d found someone to make her a decent fake ID.

  She remembered the first time she’d met Charles at one of his clubs. Probably during her third or fourth night out. She’d
tried not to appear nervous as she passed her ID to the security guy, but her eyes had darted left and right. And there he had been, coming out of the loud, crowded club, a beautiful, model-worthy woman under each arm. She remembered his eyes, which shone a little too much in the darkness. His slow movements. The way he strode, like a predator.

  He'd freaked her out; she'd known right away that he was someone, something else. Another woman might have developed a crush. Instead, Rain saw a rival. An enemy.

  He’d looked at her for a moment that had seemed to stretch indefinitely, and then he’d smiled.

  “Let her pass,” he’d told his bouncer. “This little lady is welcome at any of my clubs.”

  She’d been, what, seventeen? And he must have known it. Why he’d extended his welcome that way, she couldn’t say. He probably just helped out sups to collect favors. They’d seen each other in passing every other week, but that was the extent of their relationship. She wouldn’t call it friendship.

  There was no reason why he should have been in her kitchen, naked.

  “Acquaintance,” he amended with a shrug, like the words were interchangeable in his opinion.

  “You haven’t answered my question. Why are you here? How did you even find me?”

  She was cloaked and shielded. Not very well: she had no enemy to worry about, and she wanted to remain findable by some of her actual friends, but still, someone with no belongings from her, and no conception of the nature of her magic, shouldn't have been able to locate her.

  “Easy, little witch. I come in peace. I bear a message that could not have been sent by any other means.”

  One hand on her hip, and glaring, Rain wondered if Iris was rubbing off on her.

  “Sara needed me to talk to you.”

  Oh. Her demeanor immediately changed. “Is she okay? Has anything happened to her?”

  Sara had her phone number, but when she called, there was always someone within earshot, so she stayed on safe topics. Messaging her wasn’t safe: the clan was paying for her phone and monitored what she did. Rain knew the drill. If she wanted a real chat with her little sister, they had to meet in person.

  “Not yet.” Charles tilted his head. “I’m glad to see you care.”

  She was back to glaring now. “Of course I fucking care. She’s my sister.”

  He had a point, though. If he’d talked about Michelle, her other sister, she would have been far less concerned.

  “What do you mean, not yet?”

  “I mean,” Charles said slowly, “it’s not solstice yet.”

  His words might have been confusing to anyone else. Not her. She knew exactly what he was talking about.

  “Are you telling me that they plan to use Sara, a fucking twenty-year-old, in the biggest summoning ritual of the year?”

  He was joking. He must be.

  Charles shrugged. "The last few years, it's my understanding that your grandma used to head the ceremony and your sister, Michelle, channeled your ancestors' power as the anchor to the spell. Now, Michelle is head of the clan, and the only White witch they have on hand is Sara, so yes. That's what I'm telling you."

  Rain felt stupid for not thinking about that eventuality before, but mostly, she was pissed. Incredibly pissed.

  She'd been twenty-three the first and only time she'd let her family use her that way. It had been five years prior, and she still had nightmares about it.

  Rain was a lot more resilient than Sara. Her powers had started at nine years old, and by twelve, she could control some of it. Sara hadn't possessed any magic until she'd been seventeen; she was still trying to understand it.

  Anchoring might kill the kid, or drive her insane.

  “No,” she said, practically growling. “You’re not here for Sara. You haven’t been sent by her. You’re delivering Michelle’s threat. I come home, or she uses our sister, is that it?”

  Charles didn’t display one iota of remorse. “That’s about the gist of it, yep. Do you mind if I take a nap before heading back? I had a long night.”

  The Scent

  Today was going to be weird, Luke knew that for a fact. Weirder than the average day for a Scottish cheetah shifter living with a bunch of American psychos.

  Actual psychos. Nothing pleased his alpha female more than the prospect of a good hunt when she was allowed to kill something at the end of it. If bloodshed wasn't on the menu, Aisling Wayland-Cross—Ace, for short—pouted something fierce. As for his alpha male? He was a sabertooth tiger. Seriously, a sabertooth. It was as terrifying as it sounded.

  Luke often wondered how that was even possible. The animal had been extinct for like, what, ten thousand years? Most shifters he knew transformed into a version of wild animals that could be found in nature.

  Although, if one was to believe the rumors, there were a few dragon shifters around.

  Luke always believed the rumors. It was dangerous not to.

  Then, there was a seer kid who delighted in looking at him with horror-filled eyes, like she'd foreseen his death by disembowelment, until he yelled, “What? What! I’m going to die today, is that it?” Hsu inexorably started to giggle and ran away.

  The little devil.

  There also was a witchy teenager, a toddler who could already shift, and did so every other minute, plus a whole bunch of fated mate pairings who proudly displayed ethereal marks on their skins; tattoos that were slowly expanding, starting at their mating marks and slithering along their limbs.

  The average day in Lakesides wasn't exactly what one would call ordinary, but in the year he'd spent as part of the Wyvern Pride, he'd gotten used to everyone and their quirks.

  His definition of weird had changed considerably.

  Still, Luke knew that today would qualify, because she was coming.

  Rain Phillips.

  The most delicious five-foot-six woman, with curves for days and dark smoldering eyes with a thousand secrets. She was trouble. The very definition of it.

  All right, that wasn't exactly fair. Generally, she arrived right after trouble and played a significant part in making it go away. And it wasn't like there was chaos on her tail every time she showed her face or anything; she'd visited them quite a few times without causing, or having to clear up, any messes. But for all that, Luke always tensed whenever he was told that she was on her way.

  The woman was one of the most powerful human witches he'd ever encountered. He'd met scions. He'd met vampires. The occasional demon fiend. They were something else, alright. But Rain was a hundred percent human, and yet, her magic felt like theirs.

  A typical witch, who used ancestral or elemental magic, could only do so much before they passed out. He'd seen Rain complete boundaries around the entire town without breaking a sweat. That wasn't normal. She wasn't normal.

  “What the bloody hell are you?” he'd asked a few months back, eyes narrowed.

  Her eyes had snapped to him, and she'd shot him that smile. The one that made his dick push against his zipper, demanding attention.

  "That was a little insulting, but I'll let it slide because your voice makes my lady bits tingle. Say something."

  “Seriously, my old home territory was smaller than Lakesides and the witch who protected it was strong. Yet she had to nap each time she renewed her spells. You don't. Why is that?”

  “Go on, keep talking,” she'd replied, batting her eyelashes.

  Infuriating lass. She was hiding something. Something he had no business asking, so he tried not to mind.

  And failed.

  The first time he'd met Rain, she'd come to help the Wyvern pride fight against a whole bunch of shifters who wanted to kill little Zack, their alphas' son. The boy was a turner, a shifter able to change a regular human into one of them. Back then, his kind had been killed on sight to protect shifters. Right after, she'd been there to help against the Vergas pack, the most powerful werewolf pack. She was Ace's friend, but still, no one would have judged her for backing down against such enemies. But she hadn
't. Nor had Vivicia, a loner werewolf. Luke guessed that was why no one protested at clearing them a cabin; they could visit whenever they wanted, without announcing themselves. The Wyvern's animals knew their scents and welcomed them home.

  Even Luke's grouchy, mistrusting cat had no problem with the female. In fact, if anything, the dumb beast was annoyed at her for leaving.

  Rain had stayed for three months the previous summer, until each of the cabins had been cleared out and decorated. She and Vivicia had then both popped back every now and then. Once, Rain had come to renew their wards, and a bunch of times she'd turned up to help out Niamh, who had trouble controlling her magic.

  Every six or seven weeks, Rain came bearing gifts from every corner of the world. Food, typically.

  Why Luke was so confident that something would be unusual about her visit today, he couldn't tell, but the moment he caught her scent, he knew he'd been right.

  Luke had been chopping logs with Ian when his head snapped east.

  “She's here,” he stated.

  Ian frowned. “Who?”

  Feline shifters' senses were a great deal more sensitive than a regular human's, but they weren't exactly wolves' either; from the woods, it was hard to distinguish scents all the way back at the house. Yet he smelled her clearly. Maybe because her fragrance was so different from anyone else's, dipped in essential oils, incense, and spices because of the concoctions she made on a regular basis.

  He'd never seen her brew a potion, but Luke understood that she made a living out of selling her skills, as so many loners did. For shifters, it often meant that they were hired guns or trackers. Rain made spells.

  “Rain,” he replied, nose wrinkled in displeasure. “She smells wrong.”

  Shifters could distinguish subtle changes in people's scent depending on their state of mind. She wasn't quite anxious, Luke smelled no fear, but there was an edge he didn't like. He needed her to get better.

 
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