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Cantrips: Volume #1: Minor Magics Crafted to Amuse and Entertain, Page 1

Joey W. Hill




  Cantrips: Volume #1

  Minor Magics Crafted to Amuse and Entertain

  Joey W. Hill

  Contents

  After…Happily Ever After

  Foreword

  The Baby Shower

  Tyler Tied Up

  One Night Only

  Taking The Gloves Off

  Dark and Light

  Retribution

  Christmas at the Mall

  One-on-One

  Afterword

  Ready For More?

  About the Author

  Also by Joey W. Hill

  After…Happily Ever After

  Nature of Desire — Vampire Queen — Knights of the Board Room — Daughters of Arianne

  To fans of Joey W. Hill’s work, these series have special significance, because they contain many of her readers’ favorite characters. Because they are her favorites too, Joey doesn’t like saying good-bye at “The End” any more than her readers do. So here for your reading pleasure, at last available in compilation form, are novellas and shorts revisiting these characters. Poignant romantic moments, erotic encounters, holiday celebrations…wherever daily life might take them.

  These stories have become a way for Joey to take a breather and simply immerse herself in the pleasure of spending leisure time with past characters. We hope you will enjoy the same experience when reading them!

  Cantrips: Volume #1

  Copyright © 2016 by Joey W. Hill

  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

  Cover design by W. Scott Hill

  SWP Digital & Print Edition publication November 2016

  This book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the publisher, Story Witch Press, 6823 Neuhoff Lane, Charlotte NC 28269.

  Warning: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this book may be scanned, uploaded or distributed via the Internet or any other means, electronic or print, without the publisher’s permission. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000. (http://www.fbi.gov/ipr/). Please purchase only authorized electronic or print editions and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted material. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

  This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.

  The publisher and author(s) acknowledge the trademark status and trademark ownership of all trademarks, service marks and word marks mentioned in this book.

  The following material contains graphic sexual content meant for mature readers. Reader discretion is advised.

  Print ISBN: 978-1-942122-52-4

  ISBN: 978-1-942122-51-7

  Foreword

  “Cantrip” has several meanings. What amused me initially, due to my “storywitch” moniker, was that the first one I read was the Scottish source, “A witch’s trick.” But the definition that applies the most to these volumes is “minor magics meant to amuse and entertain.”

  My first vignette, a short story written around 2008 revisiting Mac and Violet of Natural Law, was offered to readers who wanted more about these two. I didn’t have an idea for another full-length book for them, but the idea of revisiting them in a short story format was a lot of fun for me, and the readers received it enthusiastically. I enjoyed the breather from deadline pressure and a full-length storyline arc to instead do a slice-of-life moment with favorite characters. So the definition of Cantrips above resonated on multiple levels.

  Since we have been repeatedly asked about offering the vignettes in print and ebook compilation volumes, your wish is our command, and these volumes are our answer. Going forward, as long as there is a demand for them, we will release a new volume of vignettes when we have enough to make a book. Volumes 1 & 2 of Cantrips are only the first two of what we hope will be more “vignette volumes.” Currently they represent all vignettes written through 2016.

  Now, these vignettes come with several caveats, as follows:

  The individual, digital download versions of these stories have always been—and will continue to be—offered for free. Right now they reside at the JWH Connection, a wonderful fan forum run by a handful of very enthusiastic ladies who independently promote and support my work. To find the forum and the vignettes, visit storywitch.com/community for more information.

  My readers have told me all of the stories can be enjoyed even if you haven’t read the books, but you may get plot spoilers or miss some emotional nuances between the characters that were developed in their specific book(s). However, when needed, each vignette is prefaced by a short explanation to help you figure out what the vignette is about, and to identify the series/books from which it originated. This will help you seek out these titles if you decide you’d like to read some of them first.

  Many of the vignettes were written as serials (a different segment every couple of weeks), and then compiled into one download at the fan forum upon completion. As such, you may notice a little redundancy in these segments as certain concepts are “recapped.” We could have edited that out, but we wanted to keep them essentially as they were written.

  They say the best gifts are handmade. As the number of my loyal readers have grown—an amazing and humbling thing—writing these vignettes has turned out to be the best way to say a heartfelt thank you for the insights and wisdom, laughter and smiles, you all have offered to me. You enrich my life greatly, and I thank you for that.

  I appreciate all you have done, do, or will do, to support my work! And I hope you enjoy your Cantrips.

  The Baby Shower

  Originally Posted 9/15/2008

  A vignette featuring Violet and Mac of Natural Law as well as some other characters from the Nature of Desire Series who refused to be left out!

  Originally Posted 9/15/2008

  Background: In this vignette, Violet is pregnant and a host of the Nature of Desire Series characters decide to throw her a baby shower. Also special appearance by Sarah of If Wishes Were Horses, because we’ve always considered her and Justin’s book part of the NOD anyway. After all, the first mention of Violet happened in their story, right?

  Additional note: When this vignette was written, I offered readers a chance to participate by suggesting “gifts” for the shower. So some of the names referenced in this vignette are/were fan forum members. Violet and Mac were very appreciative!

  Violet laid her hands on the firm basketball of her abdomen, stroking there to soothe, and perhaps to soothe herself as well. “He’s fine, daisy-girl,” she murmured. “Your daddy’s tough. Toughest, strongest cop around. Smart and fast, and he wants to meet you more than anything. He’s fine.”

  “Violet?” The front door closed and she heard the movement of booted heels through their small kitchen and the sitting room. “Where the hell are you?”

  “Just like a police chief,” she called out, turning away from the back screen porch view of the Florida marsh. “Too lazy to do her own detective work. I’m out here.”

  Sarah peered out, her face wreathed in a smile. “Hey, why wear the chief hat if you can’t order minions to do the shitwork?” But when she focused on Violet’s face, her blue-gray eyes narrowed, proving that the Chicago cop who’d become a small town police chief still had well-honed investigative skills. “What’s the matter?”

&nbs
p; “Nothing,” Violet shrugged. “Just mommy hormones fucking with my head. Mac had a fairly big drug bust going down today. I haven’t heard from him yet.”

  “You know how those things go. The wrap-up onsite can tie you up for hours—”

  “I know. Really, I know.” Violet sighed, rubbed her hands over her stomach again, then laughed at herself. “It’s like a Buddha’s bald head. I keep rubbing her for luck.”

  “Well, here, I’ll add a rub.” Sarah cupped the cocooned life beneath Violet’s pretty gauze maternity top and stroked gently. “He’ll be fine. I wouldn’t want to be the thing standing between Mac Nighthorse and seeing his daughter come into the world. Come on. We’ve got plenty to keep the mommy hormones occupied.”

  “Oh yeah?” But Violet could now hear the sound of other car doors closing, women’s chatter and laughter. While it did make her feel better, a part of her remained coiled tight, wanting to send them all away and closet herself in worry. But Sarah wouldn’t let her. Her friend slid an arm through hers. “Come on, Tinkerbell.”

  “You’re only brave enough to call me that because you know I won’t throw down with you while I’m carrying the little alien here.”

  “And you’re not armed,” Sarah added with a grin. “Hey, I didn’t know they sold maternity tops in kid sizes.”

  “Just wait, beanpole. When this baby pops out, it’s on.” But Violet let herself be led by the tall, blond-haired woman who’d been her friend since they’d met at an Illinois gun show and discovered they were both in law enforcement.

  During her pregnancy, Violet had been doing desk duty. Today she was off, and Sarah, visiting Tampa from Lilesville, had organized a baby shower. While men typically weren’t invited, Violet found herself almost desperate for Mac’s presence. As his Mistress, she had tied him up, flogged his broad shoulders, caned his beautiful ass and made him beg to brush his mouth over just the arch of her foot. But when he was away like this, everything inside her begged for him. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if he hadn’t almost died in the line of duty nearly two years ago, but she still had a hard time shaking it when he was going into a potentially deadly situation like this operation.

  Well, she needed to. This is what they both did, damn it. Get a grip. Go do girl things, or he’ll laugh at you when he gets here, you worrying like some civilian wife. Of course, since she’d married Mac, she’d developed a much greater respect for those civilian wives. It was indescribable, letting the center of your world walk out your door every morning, knowing that, as tedious as police work could often be, the odds were still greater than for most that you might not see him alive again.

  “There she is!” As she came into the living room, she was amazed to find, in such a short period of time, the room had been transformed into a party. A festive tablecloth decorated with a stroller pattern was tossed over the coffee table. Several trays of gooey hors d’oeuvres, perfect for a pregnant woman’s appetite, were spread out next to plastic tumblers for punch and sodas. A pile of gifts had been mounded on the sofa, several larger ones off to the side. And the room was filled with the small circle of women she now counted as her closest friends.

  While Sarah had been in her life the longest, Violet’s best friend—before Mac— had been Tyler Winterman, a fellow sexual Dominant who’d considered it his responsibility to give Mac the once over before approving his pairing with Violet. Fortunately, murder hadn’t ensued. A smile touched her lips in remembrance.

  In the past year, Tyler had fallen to matrimony. Marguerite was taller than even Sarah. With silky white hair and pale blue eyes, as well as a lean, riveting figure, she was striking enough to cause traffic incidents. Remarkably, Marguerite was also a Dominant. Tyler’s courtship of her had been an intriguing and volatile example of the odd pairings created by the D/s preference.

  Marguerite ran a tea room, and her employees, Chloe and Gen, had also become favored friends of Violet’s. Though not active in that lifestyle, they were apparently more aware of their boss’s preferences now. Violet had heard that Chloe was dating Brendan, a former submissive of Marguerite’s, which her woman’s curiosity hoped she’d hear more about while they were here.

  She was delighted and surprised to see Lauren in the group, because Violet hadn’t expected her to be able to make the trip. The pediatric surgeon was another leggy blonde, but since Violet barely hit five feet, she’d learned to tolerate that any friends she had over the age of puberty were going to be taller. Lauren lived on an island off the coast of Florida with her artist husband, another submissive, who was a friend of Tyler’s. So once she met Josh’s wife, Violet had secured her friendship for herself.

  Looking around the small assembly, seeing the effort they’d put into it, she was determined to put aside her fears. If there was one thing a cop knew, worry did nothing but steal away the present moment, which was always too short. She lifted a brow.

  “Should I be worried? I know the tastes of this crowd, and the baby may be too young for some of the gifts you’ve brought.”

  “Now, they make St. Andrew’s crosses in all sizes.” Lauren tucked her tongue in her cheek. “And I did have it fitted with monogrammed fleece restraints.”

  “Oh, God…” As Violet rolled her eyes, they shepherded her to a chair, considerately making sure she was close to the food. Chloe, her eyes sparkling under a mop of hair, brought her a cup of punch, as a piece of celery obscured by gouda cheese and smelling of a heavenly spice was tucked into her other hand. “Let’s just hope you don’t arrest us all for corrupting a minor in the womb,” she said.

  “I think that deed’s already done, given whose womb the poor kid’s in,” Sarah rejoined. “Can you imagine what she’s witnessed in that bedroom in just these past few months? Or the kitchen, this living room, the dock outside…” She dodged Violet’s swat, laughing. Then Lauren reached her. Bending down, she kissed Violet’s mouth warmly in welcome, cradling her face.

  “You look beautiful,” she pronounced, with both the eye of a doctor and a friend. “Pregnancy agrees with you.”

  “Well, we’re only agreeing once, that’s for sure. I’m not going through the bionic bladder and ankles thicker than my waist again.” Violet squeezed her wrists fondly.

  “Everyone says that,” Gen remarked. “My neighbor said it, and she now has five. Her green footprint is the size of the Jolly Green Giant’s. I told her she can stop now, before her offspring consume all the resources in the greater Florida area.”

  Violet laughed and reached over to take Gen’s hand. As the oldest of the group, nearing forty, Gen was likely present to help Marguerite keep Chloe’s younger antics firmly in hand, though she didn’t seem above joining in the fun.

  “How is Josh?” Violet directed her next question back to Lauren.

  “Oh, he’s lovely.” Lauren’s smile softened, her eyes reflecting her feelings for her husband as clearly as a lighthouse beacon. “We’re staying at Tyler and Marguerite’s, so he’s sculpting in that workshop Tyler converts for him whenever he comes to stay. He’s started a whole new line I think you’ll like.” She cocked a brow. “Want a preview?”

  “Absolutely. Tell us your favorite piece.”

  “Well, I guess none of you are going to run off and give the idea to a competitor,” Lauren decided.

  “Unless they pay us enough,” Gen put in.

  Lauren rolled her eyes and crossed her legs in the chair she’d taken, but she was visibly thinking over the question. “Okay, my favorite piece. It’s a bronze, where the male nude is on his stomach, hogtied.”

  “Ankles and wrists chained and all four connected to one another over his back,” Marguerite added, at Chloe’s curious glance.

  “Right,” Lauren nodded. “You can see every muscle straining, because it appears his Mistress has commanded him to keep his head up, his eyes on her. She’s squatting on her stilettos, wearing nothing but them, right in front of his face. Josh made her hair long, so it’s curling down over her body, naturally hiding everyt
hing the sub most wants to see. She has one hand gripping the man’s hair, and her other hand is sliding down the inside of her thigh, just hinting at what she might do next to torment him…and I better stop there.”

  “I wonder where that idea came from?” Marguerite arched a perfect brow. She was sitting on the sofa, while Chloe had snugged down on the floor in front of her like an ebullient younger sister.

  “I can’t imagine.” Lauren’s eyes twinkled.

  “Well, I’ll definitely come see the pieces before they’re shipped off, because I know I won’t ever be able to afford any of them,” Violet said.

  “Just depends on whether Mac shoves some drug money under his vest.” Sarah sat down on her chair arm with a soda and stroked a hand over Violet’s auburn curls.

  “Let’s see if we can save him some money. Come open some of this stuff before I decide to keep my gift.” Gen pushed a gift wrapped in yellow, with a tassel of pink and blue ribbon on the top, toward her. “This one is somewhat from Marguerite and me, because she came up with the idea.”

  “No, Gen did all the work, so she gets 100% of the credit,” Marguerite amended. “Tyler and I found you something different.”

  When Violet reached forward, she found herself stuck. The chair she’d been pressed into was Mac’s recliner and, with its deep seat intended for his long, rangy frame, she was now off balance for pushing herself forward over her belly. “It’s like watching a Weeble,” Sarah noted, but gave her a helpful push in the lower back that propelled her to the seat edge, with Chloe and Gen tugging on her hands.

  “If you ever get pregnant,” Violet threatened, “I intend to make fun of you the entire time.”