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The Secret Life of a Witch 3, Page 3

Jessica Sorensen

  “Hmmm …” He eyes me over then steps in front of me. “Let me make sure.” His fingers seek my hair.

  I lean to the side. “Don’t touch me.”

  He gives me a semi-annoyed look. “I just want to make sure they didn’t do anything to the back of that pretty little head of yours. My pets, while I tolerate them, can be extremely mischievous.”

  “Then why did you leave them to keep an eye on me while I was passed out?”

  “Because I had to run some errands, and it was either leave you with them or my demon friends. Trust me when I say you were way better off with my pets.”

  I frown as the memories of before I fell asleep rush back to me. “You put a sleeping curse on me.”

  He smirks. “Well, you shouldn’t have tried to run away.”

  “Of course I should’ve.” My lip twitches with irritation as he reaches for my head again. “I woke up in a demon lair, for crying out loud. And after you kidnapped me.”

  “I didn’t kidnap you.” He combs his fingers through my hair. “I merely borrowed you for an extended amount of time.”

  I cross my arms, debating whether or not to duck away from his touch. On the one hand, he’s bugging the demons out of me, but on the other … Well, it kind of feels good. Like a gentle head massage. And right now, my head hurts.

  “You can only borrow someone with their permission,” I point out, shivering as his hands tangle through my locks. A bad shiver, though. You know, the kind of shiver you get when you’re really grossed out by something …

  I shiver again as he repeats the movement with his fingers, pulling a little harder on my roots.

  Okay, okay, the shivering might be because I feel all fluttery inside.

  Damn traitor body!

  “That’s not true at all,” he disagrees. “You can borrow someone without their permission, just as long as you give them back.”

  “You act like you’ve done that a hundred times or something.” My eyelids involuntarily shut as he slips his fingers through my hair again, his fingertips lightly brushing my scalp. It relaxes me so much and I find myself sitting down on the bed.

  Good golly of all euphoria spells, that feels amazing.

  He mimics the movement again, going slower, but the sensation is equally as lovely.

  You need to stop him, Eva. He’s a demon! A demon who kidnapped you!

  But you have been through a lot. Maybe just a little bit longer …

  Lips abruptly brush mine, and I freeze, but I don’t pull back as a mixture of confusion, want, and repulsion flurry through me. Then the confusion nearly doubles as his tongue slips out and tries to part my lips. I almost let him, too. I don’t even know why. But then a voice screams in the back of my mind, yelling at me that this isn’t right.

  “Hey.” I press my hand against his sturdy chest and push him back. “Back off, demon boy.”

  He blinks at me, appearing a little dazed. Then the haziness in his eyes swiftly fades as the cockiness returns.

  “Fine, waste your time pretending to fight it.” His lips tilt into a crooked smirk. “I think we both know that, eventually, you’re going to be begging me to kiss you.” He reaches out and grazes his knuckles across my cheek, moving so fast I have zero time to react.

  “In your dreams, demon,” I sneer with my eyes narrowed. On the inside, though, my heart is dancing like a loopy pixie at the idea of actually kissing him.

  I’m seriously so messed up.

  “Max, why did you bring me here? You said it was to talk to me. About what? I’m guessing about what I am.” I have no clue why since he gives me vague answers to any questions I ask him.

  He wavers then conclusively nods his head once. “I’m going to tell you what I know about you, but only if you promise not to freak out.”

  “Okay …” I wet my dry lips with my tongue as I consider what he wants from me. I mean, sure, it sounds pretty easy to stay calm and take a little chill pill for a few minutes. Considering how I reacted to what Hunter told me, though, I won’t be throwing down any bets that I am going to be all chillaxed while sexy demon Goth prince tells me that I’m a freak. “But what happens if I do freak out?”

  “Then I’ll have to curse you with sleepiness again.” He presses his lips together, his eyes leisurely scrolling over my body. “And since my pets are banished from ever watching you again, I’ll have to be the one to do it.”

  I hug my arms around myself, wondering why he keeps looking at me like that … Like … Well, I imagine like how I used to look at Hunter whenever he washed his truck. When he’d take his shirt off and his muscles would get all wet …

  Holy no self-control!

  “Between the two choices, I’d rather have you do it,” I tell him truthfully. “You seem like the lesser of two evils.”

  His low chuckle makes me squirm uncomfortably. “The fact that you can say that shows how naive you really are.”

  I scowl at him. “I’m not naive. I’ve been through a ton of crap.”

  “You are with guy stuff,” he states matter-of-factly as he plops down on the bed beside me. The mattress concaves beneath his weight and forces me to slide toward him. “You have no idea how appealing you are, and I find it highly amusing.”

  “Yeah, okay.” I snort a laugh, scooting away from him. “You know what? I don’t think I’m the one who’s naive. You’re just an idiot.”

  His eyes flash blood red. “You know, normally when someone insults me, I throw them in the fire pit.” His hand darts out, his palm landing on my thigh. Then he presses his fingers downward as he drags me back toward him. “It’s a good thing I think you’re too weirdly beautiful to ruin that pretty little face of yours.”

  I shake my head, huffing an exasperated exhale. “Stop trying to prove a fake point.”

  “Which is?”

  “That I’m attractive or whatever.”

  He muses over something. “Why does this make you so uncomfortable?”

  I shrug. “Because it’s a lie. I know what I am—how I look. I’ve been told it enough times.”

  “Told what?”

  “That I’m hideous.”

  He frowns, a crinkle forming at his brow. “What exactly happened to you in Mystic Willow Bay?”

  I swallow hard as painful memories creep up of getting mocked all throughout my childhood. “I was told the truth.”

  His eyes blaze like wildfires. “The truth?” He yanks me so close to him my legs end up on his lap. “You want to know the truth? The real truth?” He doesn’t wait for me to answer, putting his lips beside my ear. “Eighteen years ago, a little girl was born that was created from a demon with succubus bloodlines and a half-witch, half-demon feeder. The power of all four bloodlines were so powerful that no demon could resist wanting to get closer to her. The problem was, she was also so powerful that any demon that dared try to feed from her power died instantaneously. And then, one day her parents abandoned her in a lair. No one knows why, if maybe they were afraid of their own child or if the child killed them. Although, after meeting you, I no longer believe the latter.”

  He wraps his fingers around my wrist, as if he’s afraid I’m going to try to bolt. “Then a bunch of idiotic witches found her and dragged her off to their magical kingdom where they let the girl pretend she was a pretty, pretty, almost powerless witch.” He cups his hand around the back of my neck and draws me closer, his lips kissing my ear as he speaks. “When really, she might be the most powerful hybrid demon that has ever been created.”

  My entire body trembles. “You’re lying,” I croak. “I’m not powerful at all.”

  “Why would I lie?” He breathes hotly in my ear. “And as for being powerful, you just haven’t been taught properly.”

  “That’s not true. I took every power controlling class at school and none of them ever helped me improve my skills.”

  “That’s because you were being taught how to use witch power. But you’re more than just a witch, my little rainbow trout.” He n
uzzles his nose into the crook of my neck, breathing in deeply. “So much more.”

  I don’t know what to say or do or think. None of this makes sense, yet at the same time …

  Well, some of it does make a little bit of sense. Like why the demon died when he touched me, or why the demons want me at all. If I have demon feeder in me—creatures that supply demons with power and magnify it—that would explain that part.

  “Why did you bring me here, Max?” I whisper hoarsely. “Did you find a way to … feed off me?”

  He continues to nuzzle his nose into the crook of my neck. “Would it matter if I did?”

  “That all depends.”

  “On what?”

  “On what you need the extra power for.”

  Instead of answering, he turns his head and places a kiss against my racing pulse. “God, you smell good. Like nothing I’ve ever smelled before.”

  “Max …” I start, my voice wobbling. “Tell me what you need my power for. And why the other demons want it—”

  The rest of the words are ripped from my tongue as a loud explosion booms throughout the room, vibrating the walls, bed, and the chandelier above us.

  I jerk back from Max, my gaze zipping to the center of the room where a massive, rainbow-tinted portal is spinning.

  “What the hell?” Max mutters, rising to his feet. He briefly stares at the portal before his fiery gaze targets me. “What did you do?”

  “You think I made a portal?” I ask, then shake my head. “Newsflash, Max, I’m not as powerful as you think.”

  Shaking his head, he moves in front of me. “I don’t think you opened a portal.” He crosses his arms and fixes a glare on me. “What I do know is that no one, including witches, should be able to find this location. Yet, somehow, someone’s created a portal to it.”

  I think about meeting Ryleigh in the dream and how she thought she knew the location of Max’s lair. But I’m not about to tell Max this when he hasn’t told me if he’s found a way to drink my power.

  “Well, I don’t know what to tell you, other than I didn’t do anything.” I give a nonchalant shrug. “How could I when I’ve been stuck here?”

  His eyes narrow into slits. “There are other ways of communicating with someone. And considering the power you have, I’m betting—”

  “Get away from her!” Hunter’s demanding voice rings through the air.

  The sound causes conflicting emotions to stir inside me; hurt, anger, and elation to name a few.

  I turn my head toward the portal, and my heart leaps in my chest at the sight of Hunter standing in the opening with his wand drawn and pointed at Max.

  Chapter Five

  Hunter is here to save me! Hunter, the guy I trust!

  Or, well, used to trust.

  My elation goes down a notch as I realize I might not be able to trust him anymore.

  “Demon, step away from her,” he says, inching cautiously into the room.

  He’s wearing the same outfit as the last time I saw him: black jeans, a matching shirt, and boots. I wonder if he’ll ever go back to dressing like the Hunter I knew before all the secrets came spilling out. Then I wonder why on earth that is the first thought that crosses my mind at this moment.

  Seriously, get your head in the game, Eva!

  I move to shove Max so I can run to the portal and escape, but he sidesteps out of the way.

  Then I spring to my feet, ready to make a run for it. Sure, I’m not too thrilled to return to Mystic Willow Bay and deal with the truth, but being held captive in a demon’s lair by a demon who may or may not want to slurp me dry of my questionably strong power isn’t a better alternative. A demon wanting power is never a good thing.

  But neither are you, Eva. You’re a demon and a succubus and a witch and demon feeder.

  While I’ve never heard of such a combination, they all share one thing in common—they have a lot of power. So, if Max is telling the truth … I shudder.

  What if he’s telling the truth, though? Think about the stuff you can do!

  An almost violent shiver rolls through my body at the possibilities.

  “Eva, go through the portal now!” Hunter cries, reaching for me.

  I start to run toward the portal, but Max grabs my arm and hauls me back toward him.

  “You’re not going anywhere,” he hisses, sounding very unlike the Max I’ve been talking to.

  “You said you weren’t going to keep me here forever!” I cry, throwing my weight forward.

  He snakes his arms around my waist, holding me against his body. “Hate to break this to you, sweetheart, but all demons lie.”

  My heart thrashes inside my chest. “You were lying to me?”

  “Not about everything.” He kisses the back of my ear. “Just about letting you go.” Another brush of his lips, and this time, a very not so good shiver vibrates through my body. “Like I would ever give something like you up. Besides, if you go back, you’ll be in danger.”

  I laugh hollowly, feeling stupid for ever believing he’d let me go. He’s a demon!

  “Like I’m safe here?”

  “Safer than you are in Mystic Willow Bay,” he whispers in my ear, moving backward as Hunter runs at us with his wand poised to cast a spell. “Now that word has gotten out about you, every demon and hybrid in the underground is going to come after you.” He backs up around the bed. “There’s a reason I told you to stay away from The Illuminating Horror House of Truth. Because there are demons plotting to capture you and use your power. For what, I’m not sure. But trust me when I say it won’t be good.”

  “How can they even use my power?” I make my body go limp in an attempt to get him to stop moving. “I thought it killed them?”

  “It does. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a way around it. Trust me; I know.”

  He knows, as in, he’s found a way?

  Panic flares through me, potent and scorching.

  I need to get out of here.

  “Let her go!” Hunter shouts as he chases after us.

  Max laughs as he continues to drag me deeper into his demon lair bedroom. “Or what?”

  Hunter screeches to a stop with his wand out in front of him, the tip sparkling silver. Then he opens his mouth and starts to chant a spell. “Alofor—”

  Max cuts him off as he begins to yell the incantation to a petrifying curse.

  My panic doubles, knowing that if Max gets all the way through the curse, Hunter will die. Just like Ryleigh.

  Wait a second. This is the second time I’ve heard Max throw a petrifying curse. It’s not a very common curse, either. Most demons use the torture spell to kill their victims.

  Did Max kill my sister?

  Chapter Six

  Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God! What if he did?

  I want to ask him, demand to know the answer, but Hunter and Max are in the middle of a spell and a curse that is potentially going to lead to disaster. I need to stop them—well, Max, anyway—before he kills Hunter.

  Do something, Eva! You may be mad at Hunter, but if he dies, a part of you will die, too.

  I look around the room for something to grab and hit Max with, but the only thing within reach is the bed. Therefore, I do the only thing I can think of to do. I open my mouth and out comes the most bloodcurdling scream I can make. I hold the sound for as long as I can until I run out of breath. The moment the noise dies, the two of them start right back up again.

  Panicking, I lean forward and lift my leg to kick Max in the shin. However, he jumps back while holding me and somehow continues on with his curse.

  The tricky little demon!

  I open my mouth and belt out, “Max, if you don’t …” I trail off as a figure appears in the spinning portal.

  Moments later, Opal stumbles out of the circular opening and into the demon lair. She has her wings out and a don’t-fuck-with-me expression on her face. Definitely not the shy, quiet Opal I know.

  Again, another lie.

I have hardly any time to get all wounded and sulky as Opal flings her hands forward and throws shimmering violet faerie dust all over the room, which might not sound too scary in theory, but just a handful of it carries enough power to collapse an entire house. And it also happens to be potent to demons. Which makes me wonder why it’s never done anything to me.


  As the shimmering dust showers through the air, Max lets out a string of curses, his hands falling from my waist.

  “Damn faeries!” he growls as he races backward, trying to escape the faerie dust rainstorm. But a few glittery fragments land on his cheeks.

  He gives me a worried look before his eyes roll into the back of his head, and then he collapses to the floor.

  I step toward him. “Is he …? Is he dead?” I don’t know how I feel about the idea, but a part of me—a very disturbing, unsettling part of me—isn’t very happy about it.

  “No, he’s just passed out.” Hunter moves up beside me, his arm brushing against mine.

  When I glance up at him, he’s not looking at Max but at me. His eyes are wild, as if a frenzy of emotions are pouring through him. The out-of-control look throws my equilibrium off balance.

  Hunter never looks out of control.

  “Are you okay?” he asks, his voice hoarse, his eyes huge as he frantically looks me over.

  I bob my head up and down. “Yeah, I’m fine—”

  He crashes his lips against mine, giving me a brief but passionate kiss. When he pulls away, he appears a drop calmer. But whatever calmness I had in me goes peace out as confusion floods my body.

  He kissed me.

  What. The. Freakin’. Giggling. Sprites.

  He carries my gaze, his eyes searching mine. “I was so worried about you. I thought we were never going to be able to find you. If it wasn’t for Ryleigh, we wouldn’t have.”

  “I know.” A sudden thought comes out of nowhere and bitch slaps me across the face. “Wait, how did you communicate with her?”

  “We had a telepathic expert come in and read her mind.” He laces his fingers through mine and holds on tightly. “I knew that, when Ryleigh was alive, she could dream travel. I had a hunch she might try to get into your dreams to see if you were okay.”