Subtle Magic Excerpt (18+) © Josette Reuel
His breath fanned over her skin and heat flamed to life in every nerve ending it brushed over. She pulled at her arms to find them restrained. His huge body and strong hands kept the rest of her right where he wanted her. His lips grazed her breast and she arched, searching for the heat of his mouth. A smack resounded against her thigh as he slightly pulled back. The lust in her eyes and the shadows of the room kept her from seeing clearly, but she knew what he wanted. He wanted her to be still, but how could Harley keep her body from reacting and reaching for what it wanted?
His hand brushed along her jaw as he laid a brief and fleeting kiss against her bruised lips. Passion burned brighter than the kiln she had helped Jenna use to make her art. The fire consuming her was hotter and more vibrant than anything she had ever known.
His hands glided down her sides…
BEEP… BEEP… BEEP.
Harley jerked awake as her alarm continued to make its daily racket. She banged her hand around until the clock fell on the floor still beeping. A groan vibrated her whole body as she pulled the pillow over her head and tried to ignore the demon possessed electronic.
Her door banged open and a grumble pulled her from beneath the pillow.
“Damn it! Shut that fucking thing off,” Jenna screeched from the open door.
Harley looked up to see her roommate standing there with her hair going in all directions and dark circles under her eyes. Neither one of them had been getting much sleep lately.
For her it had started when Chase and Diesel had entered her life. They had literally rolled in on their motorcycles and into her dreams six months ago. It was all so cliché, their names and the bikes, so Harley did everything to stay away from the two men. Unfortunately, they seemed to have different ideas. Since that day she had stepped off the sidewalk and into the path of their Harleys — fucking Harleys for Gaia’s sake — they seemed to look for every opportunity to bump into her. And, since she worked at her family’s diner, it was way too easy for them to do that. She swore that they ate every meal at the diner when she was working.
Jenna stole her pillow and curled on her side. Within seconds Harley heard a breathy snore. She began to laugh and a snort came out. Yeah, another way she was different. Where her family all seemed to be refined and perfect, Harley wasn’t. She was large, clumsy, and loud. Constantly full of energy she had trouble concentrating most of the time, except when she was in the kitchen. She loved to bake. Something about baking and cooking calmed her.
She watched Jenna snore low in her sleep. Jenna was an amazing artist until six months ago when the large group of guys arrived and took over the lodge up the mountain from town. No one knew what they were doing, but large shipments of supplies seemed to come through town and up the steep mountain trek to the old lodge on a weekly basis. That wouldn’t be of any concern to Jenna or Harley except for the fact that they had both ran into some of those men on the day they arrived. Since then both of them had had erotic dreams every single night. Poor Jenna’s art was suffering and with each night of restless sleep, she became surlier and harder to live with. To be honest, Harley wasn’t a picnic lately either, but at least her food wasn’t suffering. She knew that for sure, because she found herself eating more and more of it to keep her energy up and her mind clear from the sleepless nights. She had put on a pound for every month that those men had haunted her dreams. That was six pounds that she had not needed. She already needed to lose about fifty.
Harley sighed. At least Jenna was able to fall back to sleep, Harley knew she wouldn’t be able to at this point.
She might as well bake something for the family dinner tonight. The diner was closed today due to the solstice. The whole family would meet up at the old family mansion where her grandparents and parents still lived for a huge celebration. It was always a huge event which ended in the ceremony under the moon where they gave thanks to Gaia and asked for guidance to do what needed to be done during the upcoming year. The Rhai’ud believed that they were here to maintain a balance. Their race always lived close to nature and worked to reverse the things that the human race did to the world where they all lived.
Several hundred years ago Harley’s family had found this little mountain valley and put down deep roots and never left. The town had grown up around the Hawen family. Over time the Hawens had lost track of the other Rhai’ud families. More and more of the family had married humans. The consequences were Rhai’uds like Harley, Rhai’uds without magic.
Harley had always felt different. She had always been the child on the outside looking in. For Harley it had been rough, because she never felt like she had quite found the place where she belonged. At an early age she had found that she enjoyed cooking and her affection for people had turned to food. That was when she put on the weight and the kids had begun with the names. She and Jenna were cousins, but they had become best friends the day that Jenna had slugged Thomas Meams for calling Harley a fat cow. They were seven, seven year olds weren’t creative when it came to name calling.
She glanced down at her cousin, roommate, and best friend. Tonight they would find answers. She would ask her grandmother to speak with Gaia about her and Jenna. The dreams would stop and they’d be able to get back their normal lives.
Harley tucked the blanket up around Jenna — the temperature must have dropped again outside — and headed to the kitchen.