Morganna Cork has survived her first month in Puesta Del Sol. A month in which she discovers she’s part of the Magick community filled with shifters, psychics, werewolves and individuals with myriad other powers.
Her estranged aunt, Aiofe, has returned to take control of the Magick Council, the Cliffside Inn, and the sacred stones that her cousin Maeve and she hold in their possession.
The tension between Morganna Stone and werewolf pack leader, Callupo Stone, reaches its breaking point as they race to discover a Magick object Aiofe is after and its significance.
Earlier that evening, an abrasive pounding on my bedroom door jarred me from my slumber. I was so tired my eyeballs burned. Since being flayed like a fish, I’d been avoiding sleep; I was afraid I’d wake back up in that cave. I was nearly delirious with exhaustion.
Not wanting to leave the comfort of my sleep-warmed bed, I called out, "Come in already," because, really, who else would knock on my door like that?
All six-feet and four inches of Callupo Stone bounded into my bedroom. He was clad in a black leather jacket, jeans and boots. What could be said about Callupo that couldn’t be summed up with a meaningful gulp?
Shadows concealed his face and expression. "Get dressed. We've got some work to do." The words were ground out purposefully, every syllable calculated to deliver a moderated tone. I still knew he was pissed.
Since arriving in Puesta del Sol to work for my cousin Maeve at The Cliffside Inn, he’d been this grumpy, sexy, pain in my behind. Then, after an attack on the Inn by Aiofe Cork and her cronies (Aiofe being Maeve’s estranged mother) he’d been appointed my around-the-clock bodyguard. I’d made the mistake of going down to the beach alone, albeit to look for Callupo who I thought was injured, and been kidnapped by Aiofe. How were Anya and I to know that she had cursed some of the magical objects Uncle Brendan had left behind? Phantasmagoria was another one of her brands of trickery. After being held hostage for nearly a week, Callupo and his pack rescued me. Suffice it to say that I was devoid of independent decision making privileges when he was on bodyguard duty.
Also, Callupo was a werewolf. This meant he was stronger, hotter (I mean literally, his temperature was always feverish) and more ferocious than your average man. He was also strangely territorial, but I wasn’t going to consider the ramifications of that at this moment in time.
"What? Why? Where are we going?"
"This is not question and answer time. This is do as I say and let's get the hell out of here time." Yep, super pissed.
Since he'd demanded that I leave him be just this morning, I could be assured that this little excursion was not of his own volition. Instead of waiting for my reply, he started to pull drawers out and rifle through them.
“Do you have anything black in here?”
"Hey!” I shouted as he started tossing items onto the floor. “Do you mind?”
“Not at all.”
I slammed the drawer he palmed shut and threw my body across the dresser. Arms flung wide, I demanded with more courage than I felt, “You are not going through my clothes.”
Callupo took a step closer, crowding me as per usual, “Two minutes. Then I’m picking you up and hauling you out of here in whatever level of dress you reach.” He was much too controlled to let the door slam behind him, though.
I ran a hand through the lustrous, red hair that now fell in a thick tumble down my back. The spell Maeve had cast to make my hair grow back had caused it to return thicker and longer than before it was burned off. I tied it back in a braid before throwing on black leggings and a sweater. I chanced dashing to the bathroom to run a toothbrush along my teeth. When Callupo came back in, I was zipping up my leather motorcycle jacket.
He jerked his head and then I followed him silently as we glided through the quiet halls of the Inn. Down in the sitting room, the crackle of fire blazing in the hearth was the only sound. Two heads swiveled in our direction simultaneously. Ralph Stone, Callupo’s adorable younger brother, and my best friend Anya Demidov.
Including their dark hair, Ralph and Anya were all in black, as well. I gave her a questioning stare, but she shrugged her shoulders, apparently no more informed than me.
“Let’s go.” Ralph stood up and lumbered through the front door. We all followed suit.
It was early December and not quite forty degrees out. A thick fog coated the atmosphere from the ground up, and if the moon was still high in the sky, I wouldn’t know it. I shivered, partially from the cold and partially from the eerie cast to the landscape. How were we going to drive if the fog was so dense it obscured Ralph standing next to me?
Callupo slid effortlessly into the driver seat and started the engine. Ralph first helped Anya in then hopped in next to her in the back of a never before seen black Range Rover. I debated climbing in the back, as well, but Ralph’s cocksure grin stopped me, a silent dare. I glared back and slammed the door behind me once I was settled in the front seat.
At the click of my seatbelt Callupo squealed out of the drive, the force of the acceleration throwing me against the seat. The way we cut through the fog gave the impression that the clouds were rolling past us at a hundred miles per hour instead of the other way around. I envisioned what we must look like, a motorcade of one, headed to our destination on a top-secret mission.
I tried for bravery, but my white knuckles clutching the armrests gave me away. How could he see anything? We were like an airplane flying through a cloud. What if an animal decided to cross the highway? Or a person for that matter?
We were at the interchange of Seacliff and Main in less than five minutes, I cringed as we turned the corner, surprised that we hadn’t ended up on two wheels. We passed where Bar None, Maude’s and Gael’s would have been in a blink of an eye.
“You, uh, want to slow down?” I managed to squeak out.
Ralph responded instead, “Relax Morganna, our night vision is impeccable. We can probably see better in this than you can during the day.”
“Oh,” I replied dumbly. I wasn’t able to make my hands unclench so I closed my eyes instead.
This was likely a good opportunity to get some information from Callupo about our destination, but he didn’t seem in the chatty mood. Frankly, I wasn’t going to do anything to distract him from driving. Once we settled onto the highway the consistent rhythm of the car lulled me back to sleep. It was the most comfortably I’d napped so far. I was hoping it was the car and not the proximity.
Given my preference, I could have slept slumped against the window, my seat heater cranked all the way up, for hours. This mission’s director was Callupo, though. He shook my shoulder gently, as we switched lanes to exit the highway. When I opened my eyes, the first signs of dawn were showing.
B. Jane Lawson lives in Los Angeles where she is a business woman by day, writer by night and cyclist on the weekends. Her obsessions include Starbucks soy chai lattes, fashion, and music. B. Jane is the author of two novels in the Morganna Cork series.
She has had a life long love affair with novels of all kinds. B. Jane's favorite genres include paranormal romance, historical fiction and true crime. Her favorite authors include Amy Tan, Karen Marie Moning, Pat Conroy, Jane Austen and J.K. Rowling. She loves to travel and her dream vacation is a safari in Africa.