Magic in my Bones (Lesser Magicks Book 1), page 1
MAGIC IN MY BONES
LESSER MAGICKS, BOOK ONE
Copyright © 2017 Kellie Sheridan
All rights reserved.
Cover Design by Harper by Design
Edited by Fading Street
Junior Editor: Abi Pearson, Helen Powers, Aubrey Spivey
Table of Contents
Magic in my Bones (Lesser Magicks)
Also by Kellie Sheridan
Into the Void
Magic in my Bones
Magic in my Soul
Magic in my Blood
WRITING AS KELLIE BEAN
A Long Walk Home
Four of a Kind
One in a Million
For a Tuesday night, the bar was packed, but that's tourist season for you. Since the bar my roommate had chosen for the night was right off Eyre Square, it was easy for drunk college kids to find for their next round between the city's handful of dance clubs.
Lucky for me, drunk college boys, Americans in particular, love to buy drinks for girls with Irish accents.
The tall guy I'd been talking to for the last few minutes righted himself from leaning against the same wall I was. "Can I get you anything?" He'd been brooding in the corner not five minutes ago, but after a little accidental eye contact and a smile—what, he was cute—he'd come over to say hello.
And if he wanted to buy me a pint, who was I to stop him.
"Bulmers." I offered him my biggest smile. "A cider," I amended when his only answer was to stare at me, excess alcohol practically bubbling behind his eyes.
"On it." I couldn't quite place where in the States he was from, the Midwest, maybe. But more than likely, I'd never see him again after tonight, and it didn't really matter.
Around me, the pub was filled with people only slightly older than the drinking age. I was a few years older than most of the people here, but there wasn't enough of an age difference to have me feeling completely out of place, especially since I was here with my barely nineteen-year-old roommate, who was currently pressed into a corner, limbs intertwined with those of a Scottish guy we'd met earlier in the night. He was in town for his Granny's funeral, but Taya seemed more than happy to help him take his mind off his troubles.
As it happened, my roommate was a witch, although not a very powerful one. It was something I'd known about her since the day we met, though we'd never talked about it. I stayed far away from that world, and Taya didn’t know her secret was more out in the open than she realized.
We all have things that we're more comfortable with other people not knowing, and who am I to judge?
I certainly had secrets of my own.
Neither one of us was seeing anyone, and while more often than not we stayed in, I always looked forward to our nights out as a way to mix things up, dance, and maybe get a few free drinks.
"What's a pretty girl like you doing standing all alone in the corner of the bar?" Another, more Southern, American voice took me by surprise.
As I turned to see who had managed to sneak up on me, I did my best not to visibly cringe at the pickup line.
A new guy had taken the place of the last, standing a few inches more than six-feet tall, and looming over me. He had dark, floppy hair that hung down almost to his eyebrows, and a toothy smile. He leaned in a little closer, not threatening per se, but still overwhelming as he passed into my personal space.
"I'm just waiting on my friend to get back," I said, turning away again like I was looking for someone. And I was. Anyone who could help get me out of this conversation. I'd been around the pub scene long enough to know who was going to be more trouble than they were worth. The guy had good looks that hinted at him not being used to taking no for an answer.
"Then let me keep you company until they get back," the guy said, maybe calling my bluff. "I'm Jeremy."
"Melanie." There was no harm in giving out my name, and being rude was only going to get me into a situation that could ruin my evening. But I also had no intention of encouraging him.
Taya was still on the other side of the pub, whispering something into her companion's ear, and not bothering to spare me even a glance. And there was no sign of the guy who had gone to get drinks, but by the look of the bar, he could be a while.
Jeremy was still staring at me expectantly. "What brings you to the city?" I asked on autopilot. I'd had this same conversation a thousand times. This guy looked a little too old to be part of the college crowd, maybe in his mid to late twenties. So far, he hadn't actually done anything wrong. And usually, I like getting to know random strangers in the pub, especially if they were from somewhere else. I could play along for a few more minutes. If I had to.
"Work," was the only explanation he offered. "Are you from Galway originally?" He shoved one hand in his pocket, shifting his body at the same time so he was now standing between me and the rest of the bar.
"More or less." Yeah, that was putting it simply.
"I knew it," Jeremy said with a seemingly happy laugh. His smile barely reached his eyes. "You look like such a typical Galway girl. Black hair, blue eyes. You're like something out of that song."
I smiled again, almost amused. I'd heard that line a thousand times before. I still wasn't sure whether these guys thought I'd never heard the song before, or that I wasn't aware of what I look like, but so far no one had really managed to blow my mind with the comparison.
"Maybe you could show me around the city sometime," Jeremy said without waiting for my response. "I'm going to be here for a few weeks and haven't really gotten the lay of the land yet. I'd love the perspective of a local, to learn all Galway's hidden places." he said. The last part with what I figured was probably supposed to be a seductive hush to his voice.
"I'm actually going out of town soon. Visiting friends in London, so I'm not going to be around much." I wasn't going anywhere, but he didn't need to know that.
"Oh, come on. It'll be fun. I'm a good time, I promise."
"I'm sure you are," I said, forcing a smile. "But I'm really pretty busy."
"I'll tell you what, give me your number. I'll shoot you a text sometime, and if I'm lucky, you’ll decide to give me a chance."
I shook my head again. "Maybe some other time."
"Don't be like that, hun. There won't be another time if I can't get a hold of you when I want to."
Well, with an invitation like that, how could any girl refuse?
"No, thank you. I'm seeing someone."
Ugh. I hated having to go this route, almost as much as the fact that I hated how often it worked, like knowing I already belonged to some other man was the only thing that could get the more aggressive guys to back off.
Jeremy pulled his p
With a sigh, I took the phone, doing my best to force a giggle out of my mouth. Gone was any chance to play this as me being merely disinterested. If he thought I'd been playing hard to get this whole time rather than merely unattracted to him, he might lay off.
I punched in the Galway area code then a random string of numbers, and handed the phone back, locking my eyes on his as our fingers brushed.
Two could play at this game.
"I'll just send you a message now so you've got my number too. In case you ever get lonely." He smiled, only breaking eye contact to look down at his screen. Double fuck. This asshole was testing me and we both knew it.
There was no way in hell I was ever going out with this guy, but he was still blocking my view of Taya or anyone else. And as things were, there was no way his message was actually going to make it to my phone.
Thankfully, I had a trick or two available to me that would blow his tiny chauvinistic mind.
I reached over, placing my hand against one of his. The contact made me feel all kinds of gross, but it got me where I needed to go—my hand making contact with his iPhone.
I cracked through his security features without missing a beat, working my magick. Literally.
All the traditional branches of witchcraft were far beyond my capabilities. I'd tried every spell under the sun and gotten nowhere. I couldn't track people, translate languages, predict the future, none of it.
But I could make technology do what I wanted it to. All I needed was the will, and contact with the device I needed to interface with.
And that night, all I needed to do was change the number I'd given him to my actual number within the next few seconds.
"Done," he said. "Check your phone. Make sure you got it." I held on for a few seconds longer. There was one more thing I wanted to do, but this spell took a little more concentration. I forced a smile, but it probably came out as more of a wince as I laid the groundwork for my revenge.
Finally, I let go of his hand, taking a deep breath to steady myself again.
"Well?" Jeremy prompted, moving in so close to me that I could feel the warmth of his skin against my own.
I grabbed my own phone, opened my newest message and turned the screen to face him without bothering to read it.
Jeremy loosed a giant smile, wide and genuine. If I didn't know better, I'd have thought it was charming.
He wouldn't be smiling the next morning when my spell kicked in and any woman he tried to text would automatically be redirected to his mother's number. No matter how he tried to fix his new problem, he'd never be able to work around it. Eventually, he'd need to get a new one. But by then I'd have lost him for good
I pocketed my phone again, starting to lose patience. "I should probably go check on my roommate," I said, trying to angle myself out from behind him. "She met some random guy tonight and I just want to make sure she's okay."
Jeremy nodded solemnly and moved out of my way, surprising me a little. "She should be careful. Some guys are real creeps."
Yeah, thanks for the tip.
Not willing to risk my escape route, I turned quickly and stepped around Jeremy's broad body. Before I'd gotten out of his orbit, he grabbed my wrist, not hard, but enough that I couldn't shake free on my own. I turned back, cocking my head to the side in question. I'd lost the will to bother faking smiles.
"I'll talk to you soon?" he asked, hopeful.
"Of course. I can't wait."
Say hi to your mom for me.
He let me go, letting me slip away into the crowd.
Right away, I could breathe more easily.
My phone buzzed in my pocket as soon as I reached the bar. This asshole really couldn't take a hint. I shuddered at the thought that he was probably still watching me walk away.
Just a few more hours and I could forget all about him
“Hello?” I said, barely keeping the note of annoyance out of my voice. I’d break this guy’s phone beyond repair if I had to.
But the voice that answered back was deep with a hint of a grumble, and one-hundred percent Irish. “Is this Sinclair Services? I saw your poster.”
Oh. A job. That was way better than having to battle off a predatory drunk dude. Assuming whoever this was wouldn’t be able to hear me over the clamor of the pub. I slipped down into the bathroom hallway and hoped it would be enough.
I worked for myself, taking on whatever work I could find. Mostly I ended up doing repair work around people’s houses—plumbing, garden work, repairs. I knew my way around a toolbox, and there was usually enough work to help me keep my head above water without having to answer to anyone else. I was essentially a handyman. Handywoman? I'd never loved either term and preferred to just call myself a fixer of problems.
“This is Melanie Sinclair. How can I help you?” I braced myself for whatever household disaster I was about to be faced with. It had to be something good to warrant a phone call after midnight.
“Our internet has gone down. I suspect it’s the router.”
My specialty. This would be an easy fix, and I could charge a little extra for technological work even though it came more easily to me than anything else. “I can be there first thing in the morning.” I responded with a smile, hoping the expression would translate to my voice and help secure the job.
“No. It has to be now. We can’t afford to be without it for the evening.”
Evening was a bit of a stretch. The sky had been dark for hours.
"That'll cost extra," I said.
"Not a problem."
Maybe it was a good thing I’d never gotten that last drink. I had work to do.
“Text me the address. I'll leave now, and can be there shortly."
The call ended abruptly. I'd take that as a yes.
At least this would give me something to do to take my mind off my night so far. But first I had to find my roommate and let her know I was going.
Thankfully, she and her new friend were exactly where I'd left them.
"Hey, Tay," I whispered, poking my roommate in the ribs to grab her attention. "I'm heading out. I just got a job."
"Tonight?" she asked, blonde eyebrows rising in surprise.
"Yeah, some business guy who can’t go a single night without Wi-Fi. This shouldn't take long." Tay only shrugged. This wasn’t anywhere near the weirdest job offer I’d ever had. But if I wanted to make a go of things on my own, I had to be ready to take opportunities wherever they popped up. I leaned in a little closer. "But I'll be at least an hour ... if you wanted the flat to yourself."
Taya's face lit up with a grin, not arguing as her fingers remained intertwined with those of her new friend. She'd certainly worked her magick on the guy. "Good to know. Text me when you get where you're going? Just so I know it's not sketchy."
“You worry too much.”
Taya raised her eyebrows, challenging me.
"Will do," I said, squeezing her hand before pulling away, leaving her to enjoy her night out alone.
Less than a minute later, I stepped out of the crowd and into the cool spring air.
I lost almost half an hour going back to my flat near the town center to grab my toolbox and find a cab, but did my best not to worry about it. There was no one else in town who would come out at that time of night. Whoever this guy was, he was stuck with me if he really couldn't wait to get his internet going again until morning.
The address I'd been sent was on the outskirts of town. I wasn't that familiar with the area, but knew it was a quieter neighborhood full of big lots and even a few fields of sheep or horses. Despite Galway being one of Ireland's biggest cities, you didn't need to drive more than a few minutes outside of the downtown core to open country.
The lot where I was dropped off was one I'd seen before whenever I'd taken the bus across the island to Dublin. A massive, two-story white house stood at the end of a
I'd never actually thought anyone lived there.
Promising the concerned cab drive that I was fine, I paid my fare and waved goodbye as he drove into the night.
Even from outside, I could make out the sound of voices coming from inside the house, but whether that was due to shoddy Irish architecture or people arguing, I couldn’t say.
Hopefully this would be a quick fix—in and out, back home and in bed before long.
I rang the doorbell, trying to put on my most professional expression despite the late hour.
Moments later, the front door swung open, revealing a werewolf in human form on the other side.
Shit. Shit. Shit. Tension crept up my spine, and back down my arms as my fingers clenched around the handle of my toolbox.
There weren't supposed to be any werewolves in Galway. Which was a big part of why I'd settled here.
"Can I help you?" The not-quite-man standing in front of me asked, apparently oblivious to the battle raging inside my head. Run or play it cool?
"Uh, sorry. Someone called about fixing the Wi-Fi," I stammered, sounding like anything but a pro. "I'm Melanie." I stuck my hand out, furiously reminding myself that whoever this guy was, he wouldn’t be able to tell what I was just by touching me.
It was my own magick that clued me in on what I was dealing with, as a blue mist shimmered around the man in the doorway. I had been born with the ability to see something most people couldn't, even others with supernatural abilities of their own. Magick. And blue was the color of werewolves.
The pause grew more awkward. It was my last chance to run. But my cab was long gone, and if he didn't already know what I was, randomly running off into the countryside was going to raise more flags than playing along.
I stepped past the threshold into a wide but sparsely decorated foyer. "Is this your home?" I asked before I could stop myself. If the wolves were moving into Galway, I needed to know about it.
At least my ability had told me what it was I was dealing with. A skill that wolves didn't have.