Possession of souls, p.1
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       Possession of Souls, p.1

           Lacey Weatherford
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Possession of Souls


  Praise for the Of Witches and Warlocks series

  "Wow! I am so impressed! I was IN from the very start. The characters are beautifully written and the story is fantastic. I was on the edge of my chair, turning pages as fast as I could read them! Couldn't get enough of this book! It has all the elements of a must read. It has non-stop action, daring deeds, good vs. evil, danger and suspense, as well as being an all-out love story."

  ~ Beverly Sharp, The Wormhole

  "Of Witches And Warlocks: The Trouble With Spells is a definite must read and will have you hooked from the beginning. Lacey Weatherford writes an amazing love story that will leave you addicted and craving for another hit of action, romance and an extra dose of the local bad boy, Vance Mangum."

  ~ Naomi McKay, Supernatural Bookworm

  “The Demon Kiss is truly a story that will tug on your heart strings whether you're 16 or 36. I am highly anticipating the next chapter in this magical romance!”

  ~ Lori A. Arcelay, Romancing the Darkside

  “Not only does The Demon Kiss have an abundance of romance and passion, it has plenty of humor, suspense, and adventure as well. This book just goes non-stop and when you get to the end, you'll be begging for more.”

  ~ Tishia Mackey, Paranormal Opinion

  "Each book keeps getting better and better, I didn't know it was even possible. I have never cried or shouted so much at a book in my life. This is one rollercoaster of a ride, full of ups and downs."

  ~ Susan Mann, Susan K Mann Reviews

  “Of Witches and Warlocks is a series that only gets better. Blood of the White Witch has passion, romance, excitement and shocks that you will never see coming - everything I could ever want in a book. Lacey Weatherford had me hooked from the very first word and I couldn't put it down. Best series I have read all year!”

  ~ Lyndsey Rushby, Reviewer for Heaven, Hell and Purgatory

  "Dark and deadly dangerous. This fourth installment in the fantastic Of Witches and Warlocks series is filled with love and passion and loyalty, even as Vance and Portia fight against the evil that threatens to destroy everything and everyone they love. But this time, will their intense love for each other be enough to overcome? Twists and turns abound, leading to a completely unexpected conclusion. I just couldn't put it down!"

  ~ Kim Deister, The Caffeinated Diva

  “Lacey Weatherford cast a spell on me ever since she penned The Trouble With Spells, making me a huge fan of Portia and Vance. The Dark Rising is about recovery, recollection and reconnection. There is heartbreak, hope, action, and blindsiding twists to satisfy any reader, but it is Weatherford's signature style of being such an unabashedly romantic that has me firmly attached and invested in these characters. When I begin a story by Lacey I know I will be entertained and mesmerized, but I will also feel incredibly strong emotions for her characters. That's the sign of a great writer. Thank you, Lacey. Now can I have the next book, please?”

  ~ Laurie Treacy, Reader Girls Reviews

  “I have desperately searched for the right words to describe the ending to this phenomenal series, but honestly - what's bigger than epic? Then the answer hit me ... VANCE MANGUM. I have loved this bad boy warlock from the beginning and Possession Of Souls has taken that love and catapulted it into eternal obsession. This book will leave you in such a swoon, you may not ever recover!”

  ~ Belinda Boring, The Bookish Snob

  Of Witches and Warlocks

  Possession of Souls

  by

  Lacey Weatherford

  Copyright © 2012 Lacey Weatherford

  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

  Published by Moonstruck Media

  Kindle Edition

  This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Amazon.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

  This book is available in both print and ebook format.

  http://www.ofwitchesandwarlocks.com

  Dedication

  For one of my biggest fans, Aunt Nancy Boring. Your enthusiasm was so inspiring to me. Thank you for all of your support, your constant positive attitude, and for the loved you showed us all during your too short lifetime. You are greatly missed!

  Acknowledgements

  Writing this book and series has been an amazing experience and makes me feel truly blessed. We are often told that it takes a village to raise a child, and I believe the same holds true for writing a book. If I were to list the names of all the people who’ve helped make this series a success, it would go on for pages and pages, from multiple friends and family members, to reviewers, formatters, editors and business associates, not to mention the avid readers who have so kindly passed on encouragement to other readers to give these books a chance.

  So, as we draw to a close in Vance and Portia’s tale, I would like to mention a few key people who have been very instrumental in this process.

  First, I want to thank Matt Lanter. Using you as a muse was a wonderful vision in my mind and made the character of Vance really come to life for me. I appreciate the support and friendship you’ve given during events and listening to me jabber to you on Twitter. You are an amazing actor, and I will be a fan of yours for life!

  Second, I want to thank my best friend and business partner, Belinda Boring. You have given tireless hours of support—from encouragement, to cheerleading and promoting on my behalf. It’s because of you that so many people even know about this story today. Thank you for always believing in me and keeping me motivated whenever I got discouraged. I’m so blessed to have you in my life!

  Third, I want to thank my amazing family. I appreciate the support and encouragement I’ve received from all of you, whether it was help with beta reading, or listening to me run through plot lines when you had better things to do. I appreciate every minute you’ve given!

  Fourth, I would be nothing without readers. Thank you to all of you who have emailed, messaged, posted, texted, tweeted, and any other form of contact, telling me how much you love the series and want to read more. Those notes of enthusiasm made my day more times than I can count, and you will never realize how much they meant to me. I appreciate it so much, and I hope you will enjoy the last book in this story!

  Love and hugs to you all!

  Lacey Weatherford

  Prologue

  “Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, dear Portia! Happy birthday to you!”

  I tried to focus through the haze of my mind on the light source in front of me, but it kept flickering and moving. It took a minute for my mind to register what it was seeing—a massive cake, all lit up with candles.

  Wait. It was my birthday? I looked beyond the cake to the face behind and saw Vance smiling at me.

  “What’s going on?” I asked groggily, blinking several times while I tried to collect my thoughts, feeling so confused.

  Vance turned and set the cake down on something unseen. “It’s your birthday, love. Time to wake up and celebrate.” He smiled and leaned to kiss me on the neck, slowly licking the tip of his tongue seductively up the side of it.

  Something wasn’t right, but I was having difficulty understanding what was going on. I swallowed thickly, struggling to latch onto the thought that was niggling, swimming just out of reach.

  Wait. Love. That was it! Vance never called me love, he called me baby. My previous memories from the night of the fire suddenly came rushing back, crashing over me in flashes of terror.

 
; I pushed at the chest above me, attempting to get away, but I was too weak. I tried to call on my jinn powers to evaporate and found myself unable to even muster a shimmer.

  The soft sound of laughter began to tickle against my ear, followed by a sickening voice.

  “What’s the matter, Portia? You don’t like it when I look like Vance?” Damien Cummings’s voice whispered as his lips tickled against my skin, and he gave a flick of his tongue against my earlobe.

  “Get off me, you sick pig!” I rasped out hoarsely, shoving him harder.

  He lifted up for a moment, showing himself in his true form this time, and he grabbed both of my hands, pinning them to the table beside my head.

  “I’m not done yet!” he said with a sneer, and I watched in horror as his face morphed into his demon features, while I continued to fight against him. “It’s time for the birthday dinner!”

  He slammed his face into the crook of my neck, biting me hard, and I screamed while he drank my blood, feeding in giant gulps until I passed out once again.

  Chapter 1

  Dreams haunted me—showing images from my life. One moment I was back in high school, seeing Vance for the first time, the next I was wrapped in his arms, and he was kissing me passionately. I clung to him desperately, never wanting him to let me go, these intimate flashes together seeming so real.

  I relived our life, watching our relationship grow as our coven continued to hide him from his scheming father, but then the dreams shifted and grew darker. Evil began to make its presence known and found a way to insinuate itself into the vessel of the very person I loved. Despite the fact that we thought we had destroyed his dad—despite thinking Vance had made it unscathed through an experience with death—fate seemed to be constantly working against us. I continued to fight for him, but there was always something pulling him in deeper, until he finally made the change we all feared.

  He was a hunter, a demon, and he craved the fresh, uncontaminated witch blood I carried—mine specifically, which was laden with power. I didn’t know what to do—I only knew I had to give him a chance and try to reach the real man lying dormant inside him.

  It was difficult, and he proved to be a worthy adversary, but I could feel a slight change in him when we were together, and I believed his feelings would win out in the end. While it wasn’t a perfect situation, often fraught with danger for me, I refused to give up. We had bound ourselves together, both by magic and marriage, and I took those vows seriously. I would fight for him until there was no fight left inside of me.

  I thought I had finally received my miracle, that he had made a break through and was trying to redeem himself when he showed up to rescue me from Mayla’s demon coven. Only I found out a switch had happened, and the person who rescued me wasn’t Vance at all.

  I didn’t know how long I had been lost in my dreams before I found myself beginning to consciously be aware of my surroundings. My mind was clearer this time though, and the images from the past continued to run through it. I remembered the night of the fire when I thought I was safe in Vance’s arms, only to discover it was Damien, and he was a shape shifter.

  I would’ve gagged on the thought if I wasn’t absolutely sure of when the switch had happened. Vance and I shared a mental link with one another, a connection which had been firmly intact until Mayla tried to perform her ritual. I was unable to reach Vance through it during repeated attempts that night. That’s because it wasn’t Vance who had been with me. It was Damien who’d come to my rescue, if one could call it that.

  Vance’s father was alive. How, I didn’t know. It seemed completely impossible since I’d seen Vance destroy him. He apparently had all of his powers restored to him too, despite having a demon kiss performed on him that had sucked all of his magic away. The only thing I was sure of now was that Damien was holding me prisoner. What I didn’t know was where Vance was.

  Afraid of what I might find after my last resurfacing, I chose to keep my eyes closed and my breathing deep and even, wanting to appear asleep to anyone who might be watching.

  Since my eyelids seemed fairly dark, I concluded I must be in a dimly lit space, so I tried focusing on my other senses—hearing, smelling, and what I could feel around me.

  Inhaling through my nose, the air seemed heavily perfumed with a waxy type scent I quickly deduced to be candles.

  I curled my fingers ever so slightly, trying to feel where I was laying. It appeared to be some kind of luxurious material, and judging from my own comfort I would say I was on a bed. I moved my hand slowly, brushing my clothing, and discovered I was still wearing my shorts and tank top I last dressed myself in. I felt grimy though, and I wondered how long I had been this way.

  After listening carefully for any type of sound and hearing nothing at all, I decided to risk opening my eyes.

  A dim glow flickered overhead, against a rough-hewn, rock ceiling. I shifted my gaze slightly to look around, finding myself on a massive wooden bed covered in purple silk fabrics, in a large, cave-like room. Groups of candles were clumped together in random locations throughout the dark space, dancing and flickering in a cool draft that circulated from somewhere.

  “Amazing little place, isn’t it?” Damien’s voice permeated the air, and though I couldn’t see him, I stiffened in reaction to the sound.

  I turned my head farther, searching in the low light to find him standing in the shadows in a far corner of the room. He was leaning up against the stony wall, wearing dark dress pants and a black button up shirt that was rolled up to the elbows and unbuttoned at the top. It was the most casual I’d ever seen him. He was holding a chalice in his hands, and I didn’t have to let my imagination stretch very far to figure out what kind of liquid it contained.

  Flicking my gaze away from him, I jumped off the plush bed when I saw Vance spread out on an altar across the cavern from me. Candles were grouped around him on one side, illuminating the length of his body.

  “What have you done to him?” I called out in concern, hurrying to move in his direction. I only took a few steps when I felt like I hit a brick wall, my momentum causing me to fall backward abruptly. Glancing over the space in front of me, I detected little magical sparks dancing over what had been a previously unseen force field. “What’s this?” I said, flashing an angry glance over at Damien.

  “Sorry,” he replied with a shrug. “I guess I neglected to mention that, didn’t I?” He began walking toward me. I hurried to my feet once again, ready to attack if I needed to. It took a few moments for him to reach my location, coming to stand right in front of the shield. He raised his glass to take another swallow, but never took his eyes off me.

  “How are you even here?” I asked, still wishing this was a horrible nightmare I would wake up from. “I saw everything happen with my own eyes. You were dead. Vance killed you.” I swallowed hard. “And where is the rest of my family?” I added thinking back to the night of the fire, which was the last thing I could remember prior to being here.

  “Take it easy,” Damien said, and to my surprise he walked right through the barrier between us with ease, crossing the space to go sit on the bed I just vacated. He patted the space next to him. “Why don’t you come sit by me, and we can have a nice little chat together? I’m more than happy to answer any of your questions.”

  “You know, I’d rather gouge out my own eyes than look at you,” I replied sarcastically, not wanting to be one inch closer to him than I had to. “I think I’ll be fine.”

  “Oh, Portia,” he said, a grin spreading across his face. “I always did love your tendency toward theatrics, they’re so amusing. How I’ve missed you.” His gaze traveled over my figure from head to toe, and I had to fight the urge to suddenly fold my arms over myself, trying to protect my body from his perusal. “Suit yourself. But if you want answers, it might behoove you to behave a little more accordingly toward me.” He lifted an eyebrow, as he downed another large mouthful from the chalice, before gesturing to the seat next to him once again.


  “Fine,” I grumbled like a distraught child being forced to do some horrible chore, and I went to sit as far away as I could get from him on the mattress.

  “See. Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?” he replied with a chuckle. “You and I are going to get along famously. I can tell.”

  “Just answer the question, Damien!” I bit back at him, my frustration at the whole situation getting the better of me. “How did you get here? And what’s the matter with Vance?”

  He threw his head back and laughed. “There’s the aggressive spitfire I remember,” he said with almost a look of delighted glee flashing over his features. “I knew she was in there somewhere.”

  I took a deep breath, determined not to play his little mind game. I tried to make my face into a mask of disinterest, but I couldn’t hold the look as I glanced toward Vance with concern.

  “What’s the matter with him?” I said more softly this time, afraid to try and use the mental connection Vance and I shared in case Damien could detect it somehow.

  “Vance?” Damien said, looking across the wide space to where he was laying. “Well, he’s dead,” he replied, with a slight shrug as he lifted his drink to his mouth once again.

  A loud buzzing sound began to fill my head, and I could feel my heart leap up in tempo dramatically. “Stop toying with me,” I said through clenched teeth. “This isn’t funny.”

  “I’m not toying with you. I would never do that,” Damien replied, looking at me in mock horror, as if I had suggested the most ludicrous thing. “If you don’t believe me, then go check for yourself.” He waved his arm in an arc and there was a popping sound as the containment system around the room deactivated.

 
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