A witchs hearts desire t.., p.5
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       A Witch's Hearts Desire (The Anthology Novella Series Book 1), p.5

           Darlene Kuncytes
 
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  “He is unconscious, child.” The voice that drifted across the room was soft and weak and seemed to float from somewhere far off.

  “What’s happening?” Serena whispered; her tears now coming full force, and sliding down the sides of her face as her resistance broke. “What do you want? Why are you doing this?”

  “Oh, child,” the woman cooed and Serena’s eyes searched for the place where the sound was coming. Finally, she spotted a small door with a tiny, barred window and she could see a gnarled hand grasping the bars. “I only wished to help you regain your rightful place on your throne… as Amelia wished. As we all wished. I never thought that Domonique would want to destroy you. I am so very sorry, child. So very sorry.”

  “I don’t understand…” Serena choked out, feeling as if her world was crashing down around her. Her eyes went back to Dante, so still, and her heart seized painfully in her chest. She needed him so damn badly. She needed to see those eyes… to feel his arms around her. Please, oh please Dante… look at me!

  “Your Grandmother was our sister,” the old crone explained quietly. “She came from Royal blood, and led us faithfully, honestly for many, many years. You, my darling girl are to take her place. You are destined to balance the powers of good and evil. You, my darling child, are the key that we so desperately sought. But, we didn’t foresee the betrayal that we would face,” she murmured, sounding so broken. “Domonique and that filthy wolf have killed all of my sisters… all but me.” There was a long silence. Suddenly a groan filled the room, and Serena’s breath hitched in her throat, her gaze locking on the man she loved as he struggled to open his eyes.

  “Dante…” she sobbed, her tears coming in earnest now.

  “The silver weakens him,” the crone called and Serena wanted to slap her. Um… nothing like stating the obvious, you crazy old bat!

  Dante’s eyes opened with a dizzying snap and he suddenly growled in nothing less than pure rage as he saw Serena strapped down. He pulled against his restraints with a mighty roar. “Serena,” he ground out, his face showing the strain of his effort to escape his chains. “What the fuck is going on?”

  “Domonique wants your beloved’s power,” the crone replied quietly, and Serena watched as Dante’s face took on a look of sheer fury.

  “That bitch won’t get near her,” he promised harshly, his gaze not leaving Serena’s for a moment.

  “I fear all might be lost, dear boy,” she answered with a sad little huff, and Serena found herself struggling against her restraints with everything that she had. There had to be a way out of this. There was just no freaking way she was going to just sit back and give up! Oh, hell no!

  “Who in the Hell are you?” Serena ground out as she tried with everything that she had to loosen the leather that held her arms to the table.

  “I am known as Felicity,” the woman explained softly, lifting her face to the bars and giving Serena a sad little smile. “Amelia was my best friend and confidant. She was a wonderful, powerful Queen who was worshiped and adored.”

  Serena tried to digest everything that was going on around them as she struggled to free herself. Her Grandmother had been some sort of Witch Queen? And… they thought that she would take her place? Not bloody likely!

  “Baby,” Dante rasped and again Serena’s heart clenched painfully in her chest, knocking what little air she had left right out of her in an instant. “Are you all right?”

  “Yes,” she choked out between sobs, wanting nothing more at that moment than to have his strong arms around her.

  “Hush, Vampire,” Felicity warned. “They are coming.”

  Serena watched as Dante yanked on the chains once again, her heart breaking for him. All he was hired to do was to find her, and now… She couldn’t even finish the thought. She couldn’t let them kill him! She wouldn’t!

  The door to their prison opened and Domonique walked through, followed by the mangy cur who had attacked her, his expression feral… bloodthirsty.

  “Ah, I see that everyone is awake!” She laughed happily as she walked over to where Serena lay bound, and Serena heard Dante growl angrily.

  Domonique glanced his way and gave him a sickly sweet smile. “Oh, Dante,” she whispered in a sing-song tone that had Serena gritting her teeth. “I am sorry that this had to come to be. I would have enjoyed getting to know you better. But, no… you had to go and fall for our divine Queen, didn’t you?” She hissed the words at him, her face suddenly pinched in anger. “Tynan, let’s get this over with once and for all. I’m growing bored with this entire charade,” she muttered and Serena wondered just what kind of bat-shit crazy they were dealing with here. “It is my time to take my rightful place as Queen.”

  The Were stepped up beside Domonique and glared down at Serena, his golden eyes shining. “I wouldn’t mind having a go at her before you kill her,” he rasped, his voice low and dangerous, and Serena heard Dante struggling against his binds once again with renewed fury and realized that he had to be exhausting himself.

  “I’ll kill you; you Son of a bitch,” Dante hissed, and Domonique burst out laughing.

  “Oh, my, my…” she cooed softly. “It seems that you have made yourself an enemy, Ty.”

  “Why are you doing this?” Serena choked out, a sense of hopelessness washing over her.

  “Why?” Domonique asked as if she were daft. “Because, I have served these bitches for the last six years with not so much as an ounce of respect! They’ve treated me no better than a servant! And, all I ever heard was how there will be a new and glorious Queen… blah, blah… blah!” She spat out at her, leaning down to glare into Serena’s face, her expression one of complete loathing and Serena found herself wondering how someone could hate another person so much without ever having met them before. “But, once I kill you and take your powers, I will be the most powerful witch in existence! That’s why; you stupid cow!” She turned and snapped her fingers. “Give me the dagger,” she demanded, and the Were handed her a long, silver blade. “I will be Queen,” She laughed, her eyes gleaming dangerously, and Serena could feel the evil and madness radiating off of her like a thick, toxic cloud. It was positively stifling.

  “You will never rule, Domonique.” Felicity called, her voice sounding much stronger than it had only a moment before. “Serena’s blood-line is pure, and only the pure of heart may rule.”

  Dante watched the scene unfolding before him in a blind rage. Gathering up every bit of strength that he possessed he yanked on the chain binding his arms to the wall, and finally heard it snap.

  He fell forward on his knees, his body protesting painfully, but he would not lose Serena!

  “Get him!” Domonique screamed, and the Were lunged forward.

  Serena watched helplessly as he pounced on Dante, reining blow after blow upon him as he fought against the chains that still held him. And, Serena’s anger pulsed through her body like a force of nature - vibrating through her body to her very bones.

  The two men rolled and grappled on the floor, until Dante shifted quickly to the left and wrapped the chain around the Were’s neck, effectively putting him out of commission in a millisecond now that the coward no longer wore the leather gloves to protect him from the silver.

  Dante pulled with what little strength that he had left and held it until the Were’s body went completely limp and sagged against his weakened frame. He tossed the mangy cur away from him before collapsing to the cold, stone floor.

  Serena looked down at her bound hands in shocked silence as she realized that she was glowing! Her skin glowed with a delicate blue light that pulsed with each beat of her heart. Not knowing what to do, she prayed for her bindings to disappear, and gasped in wonder as the leather straps opened and popped off of her wrists.

  Serena slid from the table and faced Domonique, who was watching everything that was going on around her in dumfounded shock. “Impossible,” she breathed, her attention going back to Serena.

  “Don’t underestimate the
power of pure love, child!” Felicity cackled from the other side of the door, her amused laugher cutting through the silence of the room. “Use your power, Serena,” she instructed her softly. “Let it guide you.”

  The two women faced each other, their eyes locked in silent challenge. Serena’s eyes flicked to the dagger that the witch still held in her hand and she gave her a small smile as she willed it to leave her grasp.

  Domonique screamed in surprise as the knife was viciously ripped from her grip and flew across the room, only to imbed itself into the thick stone wall. “I bind your powers and banish them forever,” Serena husked, her throat feeling as if she had swallowed sandpaper, but she pushed on.

  “No!” Domonique shrieked, falling to her knees in front of Serena, her face a pitiful mask of pain and surprise and pure hatred.

  Serena watched in fascination as a flash of red light filled the room, illuminating the dank basement in a colorful glow. She didn’t know what in the hell she was doing, or even how she knew what to do, but thankfully it seemed to be working! The light swirled and spun around the room a moment before shooting straight into Serena’s chest, knocking her backwards to the floor.

  That last thing that she was aware of was the sounds of chains popping and locks snapping, then only silence.

  Serena cautiously and slowly opened her eyes with a hearty groan, only to find those electric green depths that she loved more than life itself staring down at her in nothing less than pure panic. She tried to sit up and get her bearings, but Dante’s hand on her shoulder stopped her.

  “Easy, baby,” he whispered, lowering his face until his lips brushed hers, softly, tenderly… filled with so much love.

  “What happened?” She croaked.

  “You kicked some serious Witch ass… your Highness,” Dante chuckled; the relief, clear in his voice. He kissed her once again, his lips lingering against hers. “I have never been so scared in all of my very long existence,” he admitted softly, his features showing her just how much. “I thought I was going to lose you.”

  Serena wrapped her arms around his neck and returned his kiss. “Ditto,” she whispered when they had come up for air. “What happened to Domonique?”

  “Esmerelda has her locked downstairs,” he laughed.

  “I told you not to call me that, Vampire!” Felicity huffed as she shuffled into the room carrying a tray of tea and mumbling to herself.

  Dante jumped up and took the cumbersome offering from her, and Serena smiled. Ever the gentleman, she thought with a sigh. One of the many, many reasons I love him so.

  Dante grabbed a cup and sat back down beside Serena, helping her to sit up a bit. She sipped the heavenly liquid and grinned. “What happened down there?” She asked, finally. Everything seemed to be nothing more than a confusing blur.

  Felicity broke out into laughter, and Serena had the image of her standing around the opening of a dank, dirty cave stirring a cauldron flash before her eyes and she tried to cover her amusement with the back of her hand.

  “You showed your Royal blood-lines, my dear.” She snorted. “You stripped her of her powers. Just and fair! I knew that you would be as wonderful a Queen as your dear Grandmother! And, thanks to your love, the Were has been put down! All is right with the world,” she laughed again happily, picking up a teacup in her gnarled fingers and taking a sip. “Blessed be!”

  “But, I… I don’t want to be Queen,” Serena gasped, and her eyes met Dante’s with a look of sheer panic.

  He cupped her cheek in his hand, his gaze so warm and tender and filled with such love, that she was suddenly breathless. “It’s all right, my love,” he whispered reassuringly. “Esmerelda and I had a very long talk, and it isn’t what you think.”

  “I told you to stop calling me that!” She bit out indignantly, her eyes narrowing, but Serena swore that she saw the tiniest bit of humor there, as well as affection. It seemed as if her Vampire had worked his charm on the old girl and she had a cougar crush. Serena could see that tiny wisp of a smile on his face as she looked at him.

  “Well, then what is it?” Serena asked, looking back and forth between the two of them.

  “You will only need to make yourself present when there is a matter that needs to be taken up with the Queen.” Felicity explained. “Your Grandmother served for almost a hundred years, and lived the life that she wanted.”

  “You mean that I can go home?” She asked, her heart flipping around in her chest.

  Felicity snorted and took another sip of her tea. “Oh, of course you may! I will contact you if there are matters that need your attention. And, now that our little traitor has been stripped of her powers, she will be banished from here forever. You and your mate will be safe… and very happy I might add.”

  Serena looked back to Dante and practically beamed. “But; what about you, Felicity?” she asked, suddenly feeling sorry for her. “You can’t live her all alone.”

  “Oh, pooh!” The old woman laughed. “I have other sisters who would be more than happy to come and stay with me. There is no reason to worry your pretty little head about me. I won’t be alone for long.” There was a hint of sadness to her tone as she spoke, and Serena realized that she had lost so many people in one quick moment in time.

  “You’re welcome to come and stay… with us,” Serena offered, looking to Dante for confirmation, and he nodded.

  “No,” Felicity scoffed, giggling softly. “My place is here. Besides,” she snorted with a gleam in her eye as she studied the pair. “You two need your time alone. I don’t relish the thought of drinking my afternoon tea and having to watch the two of you run around the house buck naked!” Serena’s face flamed as Dante broke out laughing.

  “Indeed we will be,” Dante replied softly, his eyes clashing with and holding hers with a heat that stole the breath from her body.

  “Oh, my God!” Serena gasped and reached into her pocket, pulling out the locket. “I almost forgot the key!”

  Felicity smiled warmly. “No, child, that isn’t the key. You were always the key. You are the one who needed to find your heart’s desire before taking your rightful place on the throne.” She sighed heavily and set her cup down.

  “So, the locket was my heart’s desire?” Serena asked, completely confused, and Felicity shook her head.

  “No, that is the necklace that is to be worn by the Queen,” she explained. “True love was your heart’s desire.”

  Serena’s mouth dropped open as the force of her words hit her. She looked to Dante and realized that Felicity was right. He was her true love. He was her heart’s desire; she just hadn’t realized it. She had no doubt at all about him, and when he stared back into her eyes and gave her that grin that she loved so much… she knew that all was right with the world.

  Epilogue

  Serena huffed out a breath and blew her bangs away from her eyes, frustrated as hell. She sensed, more than heard her mate come into the room; that electric current that he brought with him causing her body to instantly tingle and vibrate.

  Dante stepped up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist, his lips at her ear as he nibbled playfully. “What are you doing?”

  Serena turned in his arms, her burgeoning belly pressing up against him, and smiled. Dante’s hand slid around her and he rubbed the place where their child grew inside her. “Attempting to perform a spell that Felicity insists will tell me the sex of the baby,” she answered softly, placing a kiss against his chin as her arms wrapped around his neck.

  Dante kissed her soundly, before leaning back and shaking his head with amusement. “The two of you are incorrigible!” he laughed. “Serena, do you really want to know?” He asked, placing soft kisses along her jaw and he felt her wiggle against him.

  “I’d like to know what colors for the nursery, and Felicity is hounding me relentlessly. She wants to know what type of layette to purchase, and since the old girl is going to be the Godmother, how could I refuse? But, it just isn’t working. Some Queen I
am!”

  Dante’s lips traveled down her neck to her collarbone, and she purred - the sound warm and so damned sexy. “I am just eternally grateful that we are able to have a child at all,” he whispered against her skin, travelling over the swells of her breasts. “I don’t care as long as she has your eyes, and wonderful, head-strong spirit.”

  “Mmm,” Serena moaned, her head falling back as Dante’s lips met her sensitive peak over the thin t-shirt that she wore, and she found herself needing to feel his touch on her skin. “You are so sure it’s a girl,” she croaked, completely losing her train of thought when, as if reading her mind, he pulled her shirt up and over her head, his mouth going back to her breast in an instant.

  He teased one, then the other before lifting his eyes to hers. “I know that whatever powers that be were looking down on us, they allowed us to create this child so that a new Queen could be born,” he said the words so softly, and passionately that Serena found her eyes filling with tears. “So, yes… I believe that we will be blessed with a girl, as beautiful and feisty as her mother who will grow and one day will serve in fairness and love just as her mother has done before her. And, at that time I plan on taking you away somewhere where our days and nights will be filled with nothing but making love. No more Queen duties!”

  Serena felt the tears sliding down her cheeks before she could stop them as she looked at this amazing man. She didn’t think that it was possible that she could ever love him any more than she already did… but with each day that passed, he proved her wrong. Her love only grew stronger with each moment that they spent together, and she found herself silently thanking the Gods for bringing him into her life.

  He dropped down to one knee and kissed her belly, his tongue tracing the cavern of her belly button, and bringing a giggle to her lips. She braced her hands on the table behind her as Dante’s seeking mouth moved to the apex of her thighs which was already hot, wet… aching to be filled by the man she loved.

 
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