Magic Flirts! 5 Romantic Short Stories, page 1
5 Romantic Short Stories
“The Ghost’s Guide To Dating”
“Cupid School Dropout”
Copyright © 2014
Lisa Scott Macdonough
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior written permission of the Author. Your support of author’s rights is appreciated.
All characters in these short stories are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Table of contents
The Ghost’s Guide To Dating
Cupid School Dropout”
About the Author
Vicky Patterson snagged a stool at the bar and ordered a drink. It was the perfect night for love: a full moon, a crowded room, a tingle in her tummy. That feeling meant something amazing was going to happen.
Bars weren’t the only places she cast love spells. But like it or not, that’s where most of her matches were made. Some might think this was a place for desperate souls, or those desiring nothing more than a fling. But she’d made most of her true-blue love matches in pubs and nightclubs across Boston. Occasionally, she made love charms for her great aunt to sell at her antique store on Cape Cod. For generations, her family had been matchmaking in old taverns and church socials using mixtures of herbs, potions, and spells. Modern technology made the process so much easier. Programming a spell into your wand was accurate, fast, and fun.
Vicky looked around the bar for a potential match. If she couldn’t find one, perhaps she’d sneak into a wedding reception to do her work. People always seemed to have love on their mind there: Will I ever find it? Do I want to find it? Is that dark-haired hottie across the room looking at me? High school reunions were good possibilities, too. Once in a while it would happen somewhere unexpected, like on the subway or right on the street. But there was nothing like a good old-fashioned bar to help the right people fall in love.
Vicky sipped her virgin daiquiri as she surveyed the room. No alcohol for her while casting spells. She wasn’t a messy matchmaker. After all, people’s lives were in her hands. With the divorce rate among humans at nearly fifty percent, she had to be careful. AHA—the Agency for Human Advancement—worked to improve lives for humans, not mess things up. Some in the witching world scoffed at what she did, but she took great pride in helping people find happiness. Besides, a botched spell would mean a visit from the Council and give them one more reason to state their case that witches shouldn’t meddle with human affairs.
A visit from someone like Drake Vanderly. She frowned just thinking of him. He’d been a pain in her rump since she was knee-high in the Witching Academy. Now, as mean as he was handsome, he was an enforcer who seemed to enjoy tracing a caster’s every move, as if hoping to find a misstep. Recently, he’d taken a special interest in her work, showing up more often than was comfortable. Even though she’d never left him a mess to clean up, the two of them had gotten into plenty of arguments. Their latest fight was still fresh in her mind.
“It’s not meddling, it’s assistance,” she told him. “It’s charity work, really.”
His dark eyes narrowed. “It’s none of our business. The less attention we draw from the humans, the better. Remember Salem?” He always harped on and on about the Salem witch trials.
“Those people weren’t even witches!” she cried.
“Exactly. But look what happened when humans thought they were. Let Cupid deal with humans and their love,” he bellowed back in his deep voice.
“There’s not enough of them to make a difference.”
“And one busybody witch such as yourself is going to make a difference?” he asked.
“There are dozens of us working as matchmakers, and I’ve helped more than four hundred couples fall in love, so yes. I’m making a difference”
Vicky took a long sip of her drink and sighed. Their arguments would go on and on like that until one of them eventually stormed off.
He was correct that Cupid provided a similar service. Occasionally when she was out working she’d bump into a member from Cupid’s crew. At least they valued help from the witch matchmakers. Humans should appreciate the witches’ work, too. She’d much rather be hit by a spell from a wand than by an arrow from a bow. The humans didn’t remember the sharp prick of love delivered by Cupid, but it certainly hurt when it happened. She’d seen it before.
But Cupid wasn’t there that night. The bar was packed, so she was hopeful for some soul mate action. Two people kissing in the corner caught her eye, but they didn’t have a blue hue around them that would suggest a love match. Their hue was red-hot lust. Some matchmakers would try to force it anyway, but not Vicky. She only wanted to handle true-blue love. “No future with those two,” she mumbled to herself, frowning at the amorous couple.
“Why do you have to work tonight?” her friend Grace whined behind her.
“I took an extra shift,” Vicky explained.
“So dedicated,” Kat teased.
Vicky’s friends Kat and Grace were matchmakers, too. They were off duty, but since they all planned to hit the bars in the magic district later, they were tagging along while she worked. Yep, bars were popular matchmaking grounds for witches, too. Not that Vicky had time or interest for finding love for herself. She’d tried before, but it was hard to find a good witch. So many of them hid their true selves with spells and enchantments. You never knew who you were really meeting. It all seemed so much easier for humans, who couldn’t hide behind anything more than makeup or clothes.
Once, Vicky dated a tall and well-built guy with wavy blond hair, always ready with a funny joke or comment. After a few dates, she discovered he was 120 years old, hunched over and grizzled, with a joke writer feeding him lines. That hadn’t ended well.
Another guy had turned out to be a twelve-year-old with very advanced charm skills. Luckily, before things had progressed to the kissing stage, his height charm wore off and he shrunk before her eyes. Honestly, sometimes she thought she should provide matchmaking services for the witching community instead. But love spells were forbidden in their world. So it was very hard to meet the right witch. That was probably one of the reasons she loved her job so much.
Vicky scanned the hues of all the people in the room. Only people ready for true love were surrounded by blue hues. Sometimes people who didn’t think they were looking for love had the hue; many who were searching for love didn’t have it at all. She’d seen a lot of heartbroken people surrounded by the healing hue of yellow as their hearts mended. Nothing she could do would help them no matter how much they wanted love. But when she found a true-blue, it was her mission to guide that person to another blue.
She noticed a handsome man sitting at the bar, turning his glass round and round as he stared across the room. There was a pale blue hue around him. Vicky’s heart kicked up a notch. If she could find someone else in the bar surrounded with a hue that same shade of blue, she would have a potential match. That meant she could cast her true-blue love-lock spell. Her throat tightened just thinking about it. Casting a soul mate spell had a certain effect on a witch.
She followed his gaze and spotted the attractive brunette gal he was checking out. Vicky sucked in a breath. Her blue hue was ver
“Girls, get ready to feel the love because I just found two true-blues.” Vicky hopped off the barstool, ready to conjure her strongest love spell. She searched her purse for her wand-disguised-as-a-cell-phone and looked around for her friends. It wasn’t every day a girl found two potential soul mates. Kat and Grace would want to see this, and she couldn’t wait to feel that electric rush that flowed through her every time she made a match. She tipped up on her toes, scanning the bar for her friends. A frown creased her face when she spotted the tall, dark-haired witch near the door, watching her.
She groaned. It was Drake Vanderly. Talk about a mood killer.
Smiling, Drake pushed off the wall and came toward her. “Busy meddling with the humans again?”
Vicky ignored him and programmed the spell into her wand-disguised-as-a-cell-phone. Here we go again. “It’s charity work, Drake.” She had to shout over the racket in the bar. How any humans hooked up in a raucous place like this without her help was beyond her imagination.
“It’s a mess waiting to happen, one I’m going to have to clean up when it goes bust.” He crossed his arms, biceps bulging.
Those have got to be fake, she thought. Probably had access to the best spell makers in town to get a body like his. “I don’t make mistakes.”
“Your time could be better spent elsewhere…teaching young witchlings or brewing beauty potions. Why not let Cupid’s workers handle this? They train for this sort of thing.”
“So do we, and Cupid’s angels can’t be everywhere. You know why we casters do what we do.” She glared at him and let her eyes flash yellow.
He flashed an orange color right back at her. “I know why the agency tries to get humans to fall in love. Saving the planet and all that. But why do you do it? It’s been six years, you’ve broken all the matchmaking records. Most people would move onto something more challenging. Or maybe you’d like something less challenging, like management. Yet here you are. Still casting hexes.”
“They’re love spells, not hexes.” Vicky flipped her long, blond hair over her shoulder and looked away from him. He was hot enough to distract her. “And here’s a better question: don’t you have anything else to do than check up on me? Like you said, I’m the top matchmaker. I don’t need supervision.”
“It’s true. I don’t have to fix too many mismatches from you.”
“You don’t have to fix any of my spells. I’ve never had a mismatch,” she clarified.
“But still, you do enjoy the hunt more than any of the others.” He took a step closer to her. “And I want to know why. Don’t worry, I’m off the clock. I’m here out of personal curiosity, not professional obligation.” His voice was deep, and he talked slowly, like he was trying to force her to listen to him.
Sadly, she’d probably be dreaming of his voice later that night. Drake might be a total pain in her broom, but he was a gorgeous annoyance. And now he was tailing her?
At five-foot-eleven, she was only a few inches shorter than him, making it all that much easier to shoot him a nasty glare. She tipped up her chin and narrowed her eyes. “Desperate times. The humans need as much love in their world as they can manage. I like to think I’ve made a difference.”
He shook his head. “I don’t think that’s why you do it.”
Panicked, she almost dropped her wand. Does he know the real reason why? That was supposed to be a closely guarded secret, because it was as embarrassing as all Hades. “Making the world a better place—of course that’s the reason. Why else would I spend my nights helping people find love? In fact, I just spotted a true-blue match, so you can see two soul mates finding each other, right here in person, Drake. What fun for you.” She gulped, knowing she’d have to be very careful with this case.
He gently laced his fingers around her wrist before she could finish punching the spell code into her phone. “I think you mean, what fun for you.”
She yanked her hand out of his grasp. Her heart pounded as if she’d run a marathon, she was so angry and scared. She could not let him know her secret. “What’s that supposed to mean?” she hissed.
He stared at her for a moment, eyes twinkling. “I have a theory why you can’t resist making a match.”
She punched the last few calculations into her wand. “A theory? Is this an official theory from the Council, or just a little gem from you?”
He moved closer to her. “I’ve heard the rumors.” He raised one eyebrow and smirked. “The jolt matchmakers get when they actually make a match.”
Oh, Hades, who’d been talking? It was an unwritten rule that “the rush” was something matchmakers never discussed. It was referred to with innuendos and knowing looks amongst witches who’d experienced the pleasure. And oh, what a pleasure it was. There was this one time she’d made two matches in one night and needed several days to recover.
She straightened her shoulders and felt a chill sweep down her spine. “When you’re dealing with true love, one does experience a…bit of a physical reaction.” She bit her lip, hoping she wasn’t giving too much away.
He lowered his voice until it was a husky whisper. “A rush? A tingle? Or is it something more?”
She didn’t have time to conjure a chill spell to chase the blush from her cheeks. Truth was, she’d been anticipating the tremble that swept from her heart to her belly, then further south. Happened every time she cast the love spell.
“So you don’t deny it?” His eyes twinkled.
She looked away from him. “Well…”
He stood in front of her, forcing her back against the bar. “Guess it must be pretty good if you’ve been doing this so long. You don’t fool me. I know what you are, Vicky.”
Her palms felt clammy, and she tried to convince herself her knees weren’t becoming weak. This was Drake Vanderly. Hot as he was, she loathed him. She rolled her eyes. “Really? What am I? Enlighten me.”
He stared at her for a moment before one side of his mouth curled up. “You’re a hex addict.”
She gasped, sputtering and stammering. “How dare you! I’m…not…no! They’re spells…and I…don’t…you’re way off base…you jerk.” She wanted to run, but he blocked her way, and conjuring a disappearing charm in a crowd of humans was strictly forbidden. She felt like a mouse caught in a corner by a sleek cat ready to bat around its prey.
Drake smirked. “You’re a single, lonely matchmaker…feeding off the lust of the poor souls you force together.”
She pushed against his chest. Damn thing was rock hard. “I don’t force…you don’t know….shut up.”
He raised one perfectly arched eyebrow. “Why not get the real thing for yourself?”
How could she tell him she didn’t believe she could find it for real? She’d dated plenty of male witches—most of them total disappointments. But even with the few who’d been honest and decent she’d never felt anything close to the rush she experienced when she cast a spell. Wasn’t that what love should feel like? Had matchmaking ruined her chances of ever finding her own true-blue love?
Setting aside her worries, she tried to focus on the petite brunette across the bar. The poor girl continued to be oblivious to the tall guy across the room staring at her. The hue surrounding them both grew stronger. Of course, they didn’t know it was there. She scanned the hues with her wand to be sure the shade of blue was an exact match. “Drake, go away. Find a wobbly broom to fix. I’m busy.” She could do this. She refused to let him intimidate her. He’d been bugging her since they were six and first entered the Witching Academy.
He crossed his arms and stared at her. “Hex addict.”
She gritted her teeth. “This is me ignoring you….”
He leaned against the bar next to her, his mouth close to her ear. “Let me see you do it,” he whispered.
She wrinkled her nose. “You make it so
“Is it? Let me see how you react to this true love match.”
Mercy, how was she going to do this now in front of him? Jolts rocked her body during a spell. Usually she just closed her eyes and took a few deep slow breaths. Most people didn’t pay her any attention. But with Drake standing there watching? He’d notice for sure. She gulped. She had to be strong.
Her fingers shook as the man surrounded in blue finished his drink. She poised her thumb over the send button just as Drake snaked his arms around her waist. “Let this one go. Bet you can’t.”
Goosebumps rose at his touch. Whatever nasty insult she was going to sling got caught in her throat. She and Drake were usually fighting, not flirting. “Don’t tell me what to do,” she said through clenched teeth.
Kat and Grace pushed their way through the crowd and rushed to Vicky. “What’s going on here? Is he bothering you?” Grace asked.
Kat put a hand on her hip. “It’s Drake Vanderly. Of course he’s bothering her. I just created the perfect little itching spell. Should I try it out on him?” She rubbed her hands together.
Vicky regained her composure and pushed away Drake’s hands, which still surrounded her waist. She stepped back from him, heart still pounding with ferocity. “No need. I’m casting a true-blue love lock right here in front of Drake. Maybe if he sees our matchmaking in action he’ll back the hell off.”
“Haven’t you ever noticed how much Vicky enjoys casting love spells?” he asked, crossing his arms. “I mean, she really, really likes it.”
They both shut their mouths and blinked at him.
A grin split his face. “Oh, so you two enjoy the side effects, too?”
“What?” Kat said looking at her feet, while Grace faked a cough.
“Drake you are obnoxious and rude, and you’re getting in the way of my work. Go away and let me finish my job,” Vicky said. She typed in a few more commands.
Just as she launched the spell, he dipped his mouth to her ear, his breath warm on her skin. “Why not try to find that rush for yourself? The real thing.”
Her hands fumbled the phone, and the spell exploded between them in a burst of blue light only those in the witching world could see. Vicky’s knees buckled, and Drake wrapped his arms around her so she wouldn’t fall.
SCOTT, LISA SERIES:
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