Magically bonded an urba.., p.1
Magically Bonded: An Urban Fantasy Novel (Hunted Witch Agency Book 2), page 1
Table of Contents
Magically Betrayed – Book Three
Book 2 in the Hunted Witch Agency Series
By Rachel Medhurst
Copyright 2017 © Rachel Medhurst
Please note that the author is English so spelling is in British English.
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Magically Betrayed – Book Three
“Crap,” I hissed to myself as I almost tripped over an empty cardboard box.
My feet caught up to me as the female witch checked over her shoulder to make sure no one was following her. Erm, sorry witch.
“No, I don’t know anyone who’s interested,” she said into her phone.
She stood in front of the small independent cinema, waiting for the doors to open. It was the middle of the week at the time between work and going out. Most people would be polishing their appearances, but not me. No, I was tailgating a young witch who had the intelligence of a mouse. Wait, that wasn’t very fair on the mouse.
“I told you to leave me alone.”
Standing against the wall on the opposite side of the road, I was tucked behind railings that led to the front door of a town house. Just out of sight.
The witch was a person of interest in the most recent case of the Hunted Witch Agency. Okay, so maybe I shouldn’t have been out hunting on my own, but I was bored. When Justina had ordered me to take a week off to recover from my loss of witch magic, I might have rebelled a bit.
“I’m not doing it again. The way you treat people, its vile!”
Oh, witchy knew a posh word. Maybe it was time I approached her to find out exactly who she was talking to. Her file had warned me that she was connected to the London coven, so she had a lot of protection. However, her previous befriending of a couple of the witches that had gone missing made her a person of interest. And hearing her conversation, I would bet my life that the person on the other end of the phone was a leader in the slave trade ring.
The doors to the cinema opened, a young male employee grinning at the witch as she slipped inside. Her blonde ponytail swung as she laughed at something he said. She had obviously been there before, plenty of times.
Sliding out from my hiding place, I crossed the road, my hand automatically tapping my black leather jacket to make sure my dagger was still there. It had become a habit, especially since my witch magic had been severed.
Shaking my head, I ignored the pang that settled in my chest. Denial was a beautiful thing when whatever it was you were denying didn’t catch up to you.
“There’s my favourite partner,” a deep voice said from behind me.
My footsteps faltered just as they landed on the pavement in front of the cinema. The skin on my arms prickled, making me want to rub them. But, I wouldn’t. I couldn’t show weakness to Gerard. Ever.
“What are you doing here?” I said without turning.
If I saw his face, my demeanour would crumble, and I wouldn’t be able to hold myself together. Because, you know, I’d been doing a great job all week.
“I’m checking up on you. I thought I might have heard from you at least once.” His sulky tone made me slowly turn.
“Well…” I sucked in a breath as I faced him. “…I’m not surprised you missed me. It’s quite common for anyone who gets to know me.”
He stood with his hands in his jeans pockets. His black shirt hugged his muscles, right where my arms should be. And, yet, I couldn’t bring myself to go near him. Not that I’d have any right to touch him, we’d only shared one kiss.
“How are you?”
There it was… the pity. Ugh. That was exactly why I hadn’t wanted to speak to anyone from the agency.
Biting my bottom lip, I ran my gaze over his hair. Mousey brown, sticking up on top, short at the sides. His lips, a little full, but not too much. The line of his jaw, strong, clenched almost all of the time. And those grass green eyes. Big, but not enough to remind me of an alien. He was just plain hot.
“I’m… going to watch a film, so I’ll have to catch up with you later.”
Ignoring the wave of his tattooed arm as he tried to stop me from leaving, I stormed through the doors.
The foyer wasn’t very busy, the rush of people not expected for another thirty minutes. A pretty tune played in the background, reminiscent of traditional movie theatres. It wasn’t often a little gem like this place still existed. It was a treat.
“I’ll join you, then.” Gerard.
His scent wafted up my nose as he came to stand next to me. I ignored him as I checked to see if the other witch was still around. I couldn’t see her. Great, not only was my partner bugging me, he had made me lose my target.
“Devon.” Gerard grabbed my arm as I was about to go looking for the witch. “What’s going on with you?”
A steward watched us from a few feet away, his hand on his walkie talkie. Okay, I didn’t need any drama inside the cinema. I wanted to find my witch, interrogate her, and get on with my day. Why was Clingy Mac-smellgood being so… clingy?
“I’m following a lead,” I bit through my teeth. “Will you just act cool?”
He let go of me as he checked around us. Offering the steward a smile, I went over to the ticket booth and ordered two to see some paranormal film. Typical. Humans always made vampires and werewolves out to be romantic. If only they had seen the real thing.
“You’re not supposed to be working,” Gerard said, following me to the snack counter.
Well, if in Vegas, or whatever the saying was. Ignoring him, yet again, I ordered a small stack of treats.
“Are you trying to get diabetes?” His wide eyes were comical as I walked away from him, a small smile tugging at my lips.
I was having a mid-twenties crisis, he knew that. In fact, since my witch magic had severed when I attacked the crazy old lady, I’d been feeling even worse than before.
“I’m trying to drown my sorrows. You’re not helping.”
Moving towards the corridor where the screens were, I heaped my ton of treats into Gerard’s arms. Without saying a word to him, I disappeared into the ladies. First, to check if the witch was in there. Second, to get away from the nagging.
Going into a stall, I sat on the lid of the toilet, burying my head in my hands. Seeing Gerard had brought me straight out of denial. He had cradled me to hi
I was a warlock. I was the leader of a coven of creatures who hated me. I was… lost.
“No, I won’t work with them again.” The voice echoed around the bathroom as the girl I had been stalking came in.
Freezing, I lifted my legs off the floor and tucked them on the seat. Listening for clues would be my best bet. Then, I would ask her my own questions.
My breath was slow, silent, as I stayed completely still, balanced precariously on the lid of the toilet. It was a good job I was so small. Sometimes, just sometimes, being five foot came in handy.
“They threatened to kill my family. I have to be careful.”
The tap came on, drowning out her words. Crawling off the toilet, I quickly unlocked the stall and peeked out. Ponytail girl was staring at her reflection in the mirror. Her cheeks were red, her eyes glassy.
Switching off the tap, she ran a hand over her face. “You need to help me get a fix. I’m here now, let’s meet.”
Oh, so the girl had a drug problem of some sort. That wasn’t surprising. Some underground creatures helped others to get drugs, even sometimes getting them addicted to a hit of magic, or blood, if vampires were involved.
When she looked up into the mirror again, her gaze traced behind her. I kept completely still, hoping she wouldn’t catch my eye watching her through the tiny crack of the door and its frame.
“I swear,” she carried on, drying her hands on a paper towel. “I feel like someone’s watching me all the time.”
Swinging her ponytail, she left the bathroom, still on the phone. Coming out, I went after her, ready to apprehend her. She knew something about the slave trade, I just felt it in my gut.
Thumping straight into Gerard on the other side of the door, I swore under my breath. He dropped my sugary treats all over the floor as I barged into him.
“Pick them up!” I demanded before following blonde ponytail girl down the corridor.
Ignoring him, I tucked my hair behind my ear, keeping a safe distance from my prey. She had put her phone away, glancing over her shoulder just as I pretended to stop and read a poster on the wall. If I looked suspicious, she would bolt. I didn’t want her to do that.
“Devon! Stop pissing around and talk to me.” Gerard’s sharp tone tipped the scales.
The girl looked over her shoulder, saw him striding down the corridor and pegged it out of there. Her legs carried her to the fire exit. Going after her, I thought about throwing a barrier spell around the building to stop her from escaping.
My feet slowed as I realised that I could no longer do that. Witch magic was no longer a part of my talent stream. I was useless. I didn’t want to use my warlock magic to stop her, it would hurt. A lot.
Killing the girl wasn’t part of my plan, so I had to let her go. Watching her back retreat from the building, I kept walking, my boots dragging as my fingers traced the wall for no reason.
Gerard’s footsteps thundered behind before he came to stand right in front of me. “Who was that?”
“I told you,” I said, looking at the floor. “A lead.”
His hand came to my chin, trying to nudge it up. Ripping away from him, I growled as I stepped away. “Leave me alone! You just made me lose her!”
Why was I angry at him? What had he done? For the week since I had become a full warlock, he had tried to contact me, even coming to the apartment. I had avoided him at all costs, hiding away and pretending that I wasn’t there.
I shouldn’t be mad at him, but for some reason, I was. Even the thought of Justina wound me up. It felt like she had deemed me unfit for work, sending me packing. When I needed them the most.
“Justina asked me to come and fetch you back to work. I’m not sure if you’re ready.”
His grim expression made me grit my teeth. How dare he assume that he knew when I was ready to work? He didn’t know me. He…
A lump came to my throat as my denial burst open. I was a warlock. No longer a witch. I had wanted to be a witch, had chosen to hand over the leadership, but my choice to use warlock magic had taken away my power. Forever.
“I’m ready to go back to work, just as you’ve seen. If you weren’t here, I would’ve had a new witness.” My huff of breath halted when he gripped my wrist with his fingers and tugged me closer to him.
Shoving his chest, I tried to get free, but he held firm. His eyes were clear, full of clarity. He knew something I didn’t.
“Get off me!”
“No,” he muttered. “You’re blaming me for what happened. Blaming the agency for making you use your magic. But, you need to grow up. Stop burying your head and wake up.”
“You shouldn’t be a therapist, Gerard,” I spat, wrenching my wrist out of his grip. “You’re useless at comforting… me.”
His lips pursed as he stared down at me. I stared up at him, daring him to continue his tirade. If he kept going, maybe I could throw a couple of magic balls at him. I’d just blame my childishness. He seemed to think I was a kid, so why not act like one?
Releasing my held breath, I turned away from him. I wasn’t in the right place to deal with tough love. He could try all he wanted, but it wasn’t going to work. I needed… I didn’t know what I needed, that was the problem.
“Devon,” his voice was tight, almost pleading. “I’ve been trying to tell you something. I think it will help.”
Nope, that wasn’t going to work. My whole being was numb as I slunk along the corridor, picking up the sweet treats from the floor. See? Gerard didn’t know me that well if he hadn’t even bothered to rescue what I valued most.
“Okay, fine, don’t listen to me,” he said, throwing his arms in the air. “I won’t tell you that you’re actually still part witch.”
He came closer as I froze, my hands clutching a bag of chocolate. My eyes rose to meet his gaze as he approached.
“I won’t tell you that I cast a spell to check your magic.” His voice grew softer, his stare intent.
“And, I won’t tell you that your witch magic is still hanging on by a thread. A thread so small, that it could break with just one use of your warlock magic. It’s the only reason you’re still alive.”
“I’d forgotten that Becky, the seer, told us that I’d die if I didn’t choose between being a witch and a warlock. I should’ve known something wasn’t right when I survived.”
Justina’s eyebrows rose as I took a gulp of tea.
The kitchen at the agency was spotless, the metal and marble surfaces glistening from the sunlight that streamed through the windows. I sat at the centre counter, my energy high at Gerard’s information.
I’d gone home the evening before, not believing my partner. But, after tossing and turning all night, I knew he had to be right. Which gave me hope.
Justina sat opposite me, her face softening when she saw how excited I was. She had welcomed me with a hug, which was unlike her. And, yet, as she watched me, I could see her thinking.
“What is it?”
Leaning forward, she rubbed her hands together before she spoke. “I’m sorry I sent you home after the showdown. I know you struggled not being here, but I believed that I was helping you.”
My whole demeanour had changed from the day before. My sorrow, my depression, had lifted. I was done with feeling sorry for myself. If I had a chance to be a witch again, I wouldn’t lose it. Believing that I was a warlock had helped me to see what I really wanted to be.
“It’s fine,” I muttered, a tiny bit embarrassed by my obvious sulking.
“You’re fine now, but Gerard said that you’d been suffering. I hate the idea of that. You’re a part of us now, even if you’ve only been here for a while. I want you to trust me.”
Frowning, I flicked my hair over my shoulder. “I do trust you.”
She had wanted to take him out, to get her revenge. And, Gerard had taken that away when he drowned the biggest lead we’d had.
Her head ducked forward, her hair covering her face. “I was angry at first. I might have been tempted to punch Gerard’s lights out. Obviously I didn’t.
“Shame,” I sighed, sipping my tea. “He probably could do with his big head being deflated a bit.”
“Now, now. He’s been looking out for you.”
No, my heart didn’t flutter at her words. Not at all. I was just… Oh, who was I kidding? Having Gerard looking out for me made my skin tingle. He was a hot agent, after all. And… he had kissed me. Not that I’d even thought about our little tryst for weeks. Much.
Looking me in the eye, Justina cleared her throat. “After the witches were settled in hospital, I came home and sobbed like a baby.”
The agency was Justina’s life. She lived in the ancient old building that lined the River Thames. It was worth millions of pounds. But, she would never sell it.
“It’s good to let all that emotion out. Especially as Luis was connected to your dad in that way. That day was intense. I must admit, I…” Could I tell her that I’d also shed a tear over the poor souls we had rescued? Wouldn’t it make me seem weak?
“Don’t be ashamed. You’re right, we need to express our emotions. If we don’t, we hold it in and start reacting from it. Instead, we have to let it out. That helps us to get back into our professional headspace.”
Almost laughing, I waved my hand when Justina tilted her head to the side, her lips pursed.
“I was just thinking that I’ve done nothing but be Mrs Mac-grumpy the last couple of weeks. Plenty of releasing emotions going on. Even if they were mainly sulking.”
We both laughed as we took a biscuit off the plate that rested between us. We had somehow found a kinship, which had been rare for me.
“How are the witches?” I asked.
by Rachel Medhurst / Young Adult / Fiction / New Adult have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes