In this continuing novella series, as reformed witch Amy Atwood wrestles with completing the third step of Witches Anonymous—turning her will over to a higher power—she’s counting the days to her six-month magic-free anniversary. However, when Gabriel steals half her soul, claiming she’s cast a spell on him to keep him from returning to Heaven, the odds of her sticking to her magic-free oath shrink. He demands she break the spell keeping him Earth-bound…or he’ll kill her and damn her soul for eternity.
But Amy’s not about to go down without a fight. Having once been the Devil’s right hand witch, her soul’s already bound for Hell, and while Gabriel now owns half, the other half belongs to Lucifer…and Amy knows exactly how to use Luc to stop Gabe.
While Amy will do anything—outside of using magic—to reunite the halves of her soul, the powers of good and evil also control her free will. As she works to uncover the real witch behind the spell holding Gabriel prisoner, she finds herself back in Lucifer’s arms…and her Witches Anonymous goal spinning further and further out of reach.
The next thing I knew, Lucifer’s voice was waking me. I’d lost consciousness somewhere along the line. “Amy? Can you hear me?”
Gabriel was gone. Luc’s hands felt like hot brands on my chilled skin as he grasped my shoulders and gave a gentle shake. “Open your eyes, witch. Look at me.”
“Don’t.” The shaking made my ribs rub against each other. “Hurts.”
He stopped, and as he leaned over, the heat of his body warmed me to a crisp. I cracked one eye open and looked into his face. His brows were knit together in a deep scowl but his eyes were filled with concern. “What the hell did you do to Gabriel?”
What had I done to Gabriel? What the hell had he done to me? Taking a hesitant breath, I grimaced at the fire in my chest cavity. My voice came out breathy and rough. “Noth…ing.”
“Gabriel doesn’t kill humans over nothing.”
My brain continued floating in fog. I caught myself mesmerized by Luc’s jet black hair, hard jaw line and full lips. He was so handsome, and not just to me, to everyone. To me, he was more than unabashed good looks, though. I’d loved him for seven years. Given him my soul. We’d shared a history no one on Earth would ever understand. Or experience.
I laid a hand on his arm. “You fought him for me.”
Luc’s eyes narrowed, watching me closely. His head tilted as he sized me up, surmised I was loony, and shook his head. He glanced up at the cracked tile overhead. “How hard did you hit your head?”
The first time Gabriel and I mixed it up, I’d also whacked my head and woken up in Eden—the original Eden, complete with beautiful gardens, animals, and a sin-free policy. Fun place to visit. Wouldn’t want to live there.
Glancing around, I made sure I was still in the fire station’s locker room. Fluorescent lights, cracked tile, leaky shower head. Everything seemed normal. “My head is fine. The rest of me, not so much.”
Lucifer’s gaze went to the spot between my breasts where Gabe’s fist had been planted. He swallowed hard, but his eyes didn’t stray, which I appreciated, and he glanced back up at me as if to ask permission. I nodded, hating myself for being willing to let the Devil lay his hands on me in order to get rid of the pain, but there it was. I’d do anything to get Luc’s hands on me.
Wait, that wasn’t right. My brain backpedaled. To feel better, I corrected myself.
The pain eased the instant his hand touched my chest, and whatever damage Gabe had done began to heal. For several minutes, neither of us spoke, my head, still not functioning at full capacity, filling with memories of Luc’s hands on other parts of my body. A flush pervaded my skin, heating it, and more memories flashed across my mental landscape. Happy times. Satisfying times. Lust and sex and love all wound up and permeated with the magic only Luc could spin.
I wasn’t the only one feeling the heat. Luc’s eyes sparked with a familiar, devious glint, his body relaxing into his normal confident self. “Better?”
The cavity in my chest disappeared, the pain with it. My breathing returned to normal, if a little fast and shallow, thanks to the inappropriate sensations coursing through my body.
Although all appeared to be healed, however, my chest cavity felt lighter, emptier than it had a few minutes prior. “Yeah, I think so.”
Luc helped me up and handed me the towel rather reluctantly. “Was Gabriel really trying to kill you?”
After securing the towel, I rubbed the vacant-feeling spot, hoping the weird empty sensation would stop. All it did was trigger a ripple of goose bumps over my bare skin and a renewed sense that something was out of place. As in literally gone. “He accused me of casting a spell on him. Wanted me to reverse it. When I told him I didn’t know what he was talking about, he got pissed.”
Luc lifted one eyebrow in question. “And?”
Luc inspected the cracked tiles again and then the back of my head as if unconvinced I was tracking right yet. “Did you?”
I jerked away and a wave of dizziness almost toppled me. “You mean, did I cast a spell on him? Of course not. I’m two days and a few hours away from making my six-month magic-free anniversary. I’m certainly not going to jeopardize that with spellcasting. Besides why would I cast a spell on Gabriel?”
Luc laid a hand on the tile behind my head and leaned in close. The heat coming off his body hit me in waves. As another chill swept through me, I fought the urge to snuggle up to Luc’s warm body. Every cell, every muscle, every bone wanted to press against him.
Luc narrowed his eyes as his gaze stopped on the hand rubbing the spot between my breasts. “Are you still in pain?”
“Not pain.” The sensation was hard to describe. “Just…empty. Like there’s a hole in my chest.”
The showerhead let go a series of rapid drips and all the muscles in Luc’s body tensed.
His gaze scanned me from head to foot, hyperaware, as if he were searching for something. “A hole.” It was said in an unemotional way, but all his nonverbal intensity made the warning bells in my head ring like Immaculate Conception calling me to prayer.
“Probably nothing.” I forced a smile, stopped rubbing the spot, and took a step to the side. “Anyway, it’s over. Hopefully he won’t be back.”
“Oh, he’ll be back,” Luc said, staring again at my chest, although not in his usual, rakish manner.
“Why is that?”
He straightened and lightly touched the spot with the tips of his fingers. “Because, Amy, he took a piece of your soul.”