A witchs hearts desire t.., p.1
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       A Witch's Hearts Desire (The Anthology Novella Series Book 1), p.1

           Darlene Kuncytes
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A Witch's Hearts Desire (The Anthology Novella Series Book 1)


  Table of Contents

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Epilogue

  Books by Darlene Kuncytes

  About the Author

  A Note from the Author

  Copyright

  Chapter 1

  Serena St. James bit down hard on her lower lip as she tried with everything that she had to keep herself from drumming her fingers on the countertop as the woman standing in front of her prattled on and on about how she needed this love potion so very desperately. How she just couldn’t go a single day more without that special man in her life.

  She just wouldn’t stop whining about how all of her friends had that someone special in their lives and how she deserved to find love just as much as they did.

  Oh, geez, really? Serena thought with an irritated huff. Just what in the hell was wrong with people? Seriously?

  First off - you didn’t need a man in your life to make you complete! She was living proof of that fact. Second, if you had to depend on one of her little spells or potions to achieve it… well then, something was definitely wrong. And lastly… if you felt that you deserved to find love… well, you most likely didn’t!

  Okay yes; Serena reluctantly admitted as a small frown creased her brow. Maybe it was time to just suck it up and admit to herself that she might be just the tiniest bit jaded on the whole love subject. Maybe cynical was her middle name. But, if she were to be totally honest, her past track record with men left much to be desired and at twenty-eight years old, she had finally made a damn good life for herself. Her shop… Serena’s Supernatural Specialties was doing extremely well. And…she was happy. Happier than she had been in a very long time.

  Her grandmother had been a witch, and now Serena was following in her footsteps. Sure, she wasn’t powerful like Gran had been, but she did okay for herself.

  Serena’s mother hated that she had gone into what Serena liked to call, The Family Business; but when you had spent your entire life accidently doing magic… you really had no other choice than to learn to embrace it.

  Her mother had wanted her only child to settle down… get married, and hopefully give her lots of non-magical Grandchildren. Ugh! So not happening mom; Serena thought with a snort, silently grateful that she had moved a couple of states away from her mother and her mother’s new husband.

  “I’m sorry… what?” The woman in front of the counter asked, pulling Serena from her thoughts with an embarrassed yank. Crap! Focus, Serena, so that you can get the hell out of here and go home!

  “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t say anything; it was just a tickle in my throat.”

  “Well, anyway…” the girl continued as if she was being completely put out by the interruption, and Serena found herself getting the beginnings of a headache. “There’s this guy at work, and I really think he’s hot… so, like, what can I get for twenty bucks? Can you make him fall completely, madly in love with me?”

  For twenty bucks? Not bloody likely!

  Serena took a deep breath and forced as sweet of a smile as she could muster at the moment to her lips; but it was damned hard. “Let’s just see what we can do.” She said between clenched teeth as she dug around and quickly mixed up the necessary ingredients in record time, wanting nothing more than to finish this up and get the hell out of here. She said a few quiet words over the mixture, then poured it all into a small red glass bottle.

  “This will only work if you are both pure of heart. Love doesn’t make mistakes,” Serena informed her softly, yet her tone had a stern edge to it. Serena didn’t fool around when it came to her craft. “I can do the right potion, but if it is not meant to be, then it won’t truly be love. It will only be a temporary lust.”

  “That works for me!” The girl laughed haughtily, and Serena found herself cringing. Oh, yeah, this is just going to work out fan-freaking-tasticly! Guh!

  The girl threw down a twenty and dashed from the shop, giggling happily. Finally, Serena thought as she walked over to the door and locked it, twisting the open sign around to announce that she was now closed. That was enough dealing with idiots for one night! Sheesh.

  Dante Marx watched from across the street as the last customer left the store and the pretty brunette locked up. No… Dante corrected himself with a small smile. She was more than merely pretty. The witch was absolutely beautiful. Long dark hair with enormous blue eyes… and a body just made for sin. The little witch was stunning.

  He pushed his wayward thoughts from his head and watched as she turned off the lights in the front of the shop and disappeared from view. Dante took a few steps toward the street, wanting to make sure that she didn’t go out an alternate way and disappear out back. Now that he had finally found the witch, he was not about to let her out of his sight for a moment.

  He heard a door at the back of the shop open and close; then her footsteps as she rushed toward the street. Perfect!

  He stepped back into the shadows and waited for her to appear, and she did only a moment later; her glorious hair pulled up into a ponytail at the top of her head and a winter jacket slung over her shoulders to ward off the chill of the night.

  Dante caught a faint hint of her scent as she turned and began walking down the street, and it was positively amazing. It was like nothing he had ever smelled before. It was the perfect balance of fragrant spring Forget me not’s and cherry blossoms. Sweet and delicate.

  He cautiously began to follow, making sure to stay in the protective shadows of the buildings as he moved along behind her with silent steps. No need to freak the witch out just yet, he surmised with a grin as he watched her long, shapely legs carry her down the street as if she were floating on air. Her movements were determined, yet elegant and graceful and he found himself completely hypnotized by them.

  Serena felt the hairs at the back of her neck stand up as she hurried toward home and slowed her stride just a bit. She had the distinct feeling that she was being followed, but when she looked back over her shoulder; there was nothing. The street was empty. Geez, she thought with a tired sigh, when had she gotten so darn flighty? She must just be overtired.

  She turned the corner and smiled broadly, her chill of a moment before forgotten as she spotted her house. She adored the old Victorian; and couldn’t help but laugh softly as she thought of how fitting it was to have a witch living in the ancient structure. Oh, if only her neighbors knew! They would absolutely blow a gasket! They already thought that she was some kind of a shyster nut-case… but a real witch? Oy!

  She glanced up at the structure looming ahead and couldn’t help but grin. She still had a ton of work to do on the old darling, but it was coming along nicely and luckily, she loved restoring antiques. It was her very own stress relief therapy and she loved every single moment of it. She loved finding the beauty in things that people discarded without a second thought.

  As Serena stepped off of the curb to cross the street, she heard the sudden roar of an engine and the squeal of tires against the pavement. She jerked her head in the direction of the sound and gasped as high beams snapped on and blinded her in an instant. The car screeched out of the parking space and barreled down the street, heading right for her.

  Her heart jumped to her throat as she just stood there in stunned shock, her feet rooted to the spot… unable to move or even to react. She was simply frozen.

  A scream finally tore its way out of her throat when she was suddenly knocked across the street and to the ground of her front lawn with a mighty oomph by
a solid wall of muscle.

  Serena opened her eyes slowly, only to find crystal green depths staring back at her from a face that literally took her breath away. Strong, masculine, square jawed with midnight black hair and just a smattering of five o’clock shadow across said perfect jaw. Holy cripes!

  “Are you all right?” She wasn’t prepared for the whiskey smooth voice that came from his full, perfect lips; and found that she was at a complete loss for words. Not to mention the fact that his perfect body was lying firmly on top of her. Good God! She could barely breathe, let alone talk or even think for that matter!

  She watched in silence as his gaze skimmed across her face before snapping up in the direction that the car had gone, his eyes narrowing with fury. He moved his incredible body, and stood, holding out his hand to her and helping her to her feet; his mouth set in a grim, angry line.

  “I’m fine…thanks to you,” she finally husked out, unconsciously brushing off her backside as she did. She looked up at his impressive six foot plus frame, and gave him a small, timid smile. “Probably just some drunk not paying attention to what the heck he’s doing,” she muttered, and his eyes caught hers.

  “Probably.”

  Serena fidgeted nervously from foot to foot. There was just something about this man that had her senses buzzing. And it wasn’t just his mind-numbing good looks, this was… different. Yes, he was impossibly handsome; muscular yet sleek and graceful and she couldn’t stop staring at his incredible eyes. His lashes were long and dark; and his eyes so incredibly green.

  It hit her in that next instant… this man was not human. He emitted that strange hum that she felt whenever a supernatural being was near. Damn! Oh… Damn!

  She chewed at her bottom lip as she tried to figure out just what he was… and if he was going to be dangerous.

  Dante’s gaze locked with hers as she studied him intently a moment before her eyes narrowed. Smart Witch, he thought as he watched her sizing him up. He knew that she had finally realized that he was not just some hapless human that had happened to be in the general area, and his lips curved up into a roguish smile.

  “What are…?” she whispered, her beautiful blue eyes widening; but she snapped her mouth shut before she could finish and he got the distinct impression that she wasn’t quite sure that she even wanted to know what he was. It was more than obvious that this comely witch and other supernatural beings had what seemed to be a love/hate relationship.

  “Vampire,” he replied with a slight bow, his lips curling up at the corners with amusement.

  “Ah, Crap.” She breathed in response; her words coming out of her in a whoosh as her eyes widened even more.

  Dante burst out laughing, knowing that she was most likely afraid that he was out looking for his next meal, and that Witch’s blood was exceptionally tasty to Vampires.

  “No worries, sweetheart,” he chuckled softly, for some reason wanting to put this little witch at ease. She couldn’t be more than five five, yet it was more than obvious that she was strong and confident. He admired that. “I’ve already eaten.”

  He watched as she visibly swallowed and relaxed ever so slightly; but her guard was suddenly up with a vengeance and he silently wondered what had caused such mistrust in her. It was as if a wall had suddenly sprung up before her, and for some reason, the knowledge that she was frightened of him twisted at his heart. Easy there, he silently reprimanded himself. He was here to do a job and nothing more and it was one that he had been paid quite handsomely for. He was definitely not here to let this beautiful creature distract him in any way, shape or form; no matter how curvy said form was.

  Serena instinctively took a small step back as she squared her shoulders and straightened her spine. She had only met a Vampire once before, and that had not ended well… at all. She found her hand unconsciously going to her wrist where she still carried the mark from that encounter and swallowed the lump forming in her throat. She needed to remain calm. She couldn’t let him sense her fear. That was the worst thing she could do.

  “Well, thank you again for coming to my rescue,” she stammered softly, wanting nothing more at the moment than to turn tail and run into her house, locking the door soundly behind her. “I guess your super human speed came in handy.”

  She turned to walk across the lawn and up her steps, but his hand on her arm stopped her cold and she felt a sight tingling run across her spine, although, she thought with a small shake, it didn’t seem to be fear that she felt for some odd reason. This was something much different and it made her suddenly extremely uncomfortable.

  “Serena, wait a moment,” he said, and she again noticed how sexy his voice was. It was just so damn low and husky. It wrapped itself around you like a warm embrace. No! It was just a Vampire trait, she reminded herself harshly as the fact that he called her Serena hit her.

  “Just how in the Hell do you know my name?” She snapped, turning back instantly to face him; her eyes snapping fire now.

  “May I come in?” He asked, his gaze holding hers and God help her, she felt a warm rush flow through her body. Holy crap! A girl could get lost in eyes like those, she thought with a cringe. “We really should talk.”

  “Yeah, I guess we should… I mean. I just don’t understand,” she stammered, suddenly at a complete loss. She was caught somewhere between wanting to run and wanting to hear what he had to say and couldn’t be sure if he was just using some vampy mind tricks on her or what. “Talk about what exactly?”

  “I was hired to find you,” he responded simply, and she was abruptly and painfully aware that his hand still held her arm, and that it actually felt really nice. No! Her inner voice screamed at her. He was a blood sucker! And blood suckers spelled trouble! Big time!

  Although, if she was going to be honest, she had to admit that for some odd reason she wasn’t getting that from him. There was the tiniest hint of trust that she could feel pushing itself at the recesses of her brain no matter how hard she was trying to fight it. Besides, she was damned sure wanting to know why someone had hired him to find her, and just who in the hell they were.

  She debated only a moment before giving him a quick nod and turning back and heading towards her front porch, hoping and praying that she wouldn’t live to regret it. She silently reminded herself where she kept her antique stakes with a tightening of her mouth. “But… I want answers,” she threw back over her shoulder as he followed quietly behind her. “And… don’t even think about biting! I’ll stake your ass in a heart-beat!”

  Dante fought hard to hold back the laugh that so wanted to break free, and nodded his head, trying desperately to look serious. Damn, but this woman had a spark and fire.

  He followed her as she walked up the steps to her front door, his eyes, with a will of their own, going to her perfect backside and locking there. Shit!

  She dug her keys out and ushered him inside, her face still set in a stern frown. As he walked through the door and into the entryway, he was instantly taken by the absolute beauty of her home. It was airy and light, yet filled with beautiful, carefully cared for antiques. It was a combination of old meets new that was utterly unique and mesmerizing, and it held a warmth that was all her.

  “Your home is beautiful,” he murmured, his eyes scanning the space with interest.

  He constantly moved around; never settling in one place for long, but he could see himself happy here. And, that thought did not sit well with him at all. He had no right to even let such a notion flitter across his brain. He didn’t need to be distracted. He had a job to do and needed to do it and move on. That was what he did. He did not plant roots.

  “Thank you, again… I guess.” She walked into the sitting room and turned on some lamps, motioning for him to have a seat. She sat down across from him; her expression unreadable. “So, why were you looking for me?”

  Dante watched her closely, so admiring this woman’s strength. He knew that for some reason, she was not a fan of his kind; yet she would not cower from
him and he found himself thinking that he could actually like her. She had spunk, and a fire inside her that was so very rare.

  “There is a coven of witches; nasty old things, that hired me to find you,” he began softly, his eyes drifting across her face as he spoke. The woman was breathtaking; soft, feminine… sexy. He pushed those thoughts aside and cleared his throat. “All I was told was that you hold the key to keeping the balance in the magical realm where it should be, and if they don’t get this key from you, it could mean a whole hell of a lot of trouble.”

  “What kind of key?” she asked, and he shrugged. “I mean; why should I even trust you?” She asked, not wanting to admit that in some small way she already did. But, still! This was insane. He was a damn bloodsucker! “I don’t even know you!” She squeaked out as if an afterthought.

  “The old crones didn’t give me a whole lot of details, Serena. They hired me to find you, and help you to locate it. They said that you would know once you found it. And, as for the trust, well… you’ll just have to.”

  Serena’s mouth dropped open. “How can they possibly expect me to find something if I don’t even know what it is that I’m looking for? Geez! No pressure there!”

  Dante chuckled, his eyes gleaming devilishly. Damn, but she was cute! “All they would say was that it would be your Hearts Desire.”

  “Great…just great. Then I guess I’m looking for a quart of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream,” she huffed out, and he couldn’t help but smile. He feigned a cough, trying to hide his amusement with his hand.

  “They said that it would be very old,” he offered, that grin still stealing across his lips. He just couldn’t seem to help it and he wondered when the last time it was that he had smiled so much.

  Serena watched him closely, not liking the effect that the blood sucker was having on her at all. She was hard pressed not to return his smile. Damn it! Keep your head in the game! You have no business at all being friendly with a Vamp! They were all arrogant, conceited vermin!

 
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