Layla gets more love, Ursa gets validation, and Vix becomes more anxious by the minute. Who will emerge from the forest's prison next? (18+)
Layla curled up in Chris’s lap as he rested against the closed van door. “Damn,” he moaned. “That was the best yet.”
“Mmm hmm,” she murmured.
He trailed his hand from below her breast to the curve of her ass. “There’s another thing that came to mind this morning. Something important.”
“I know you’re not that much younger than me, but still, if your mom freaks out and calls the cops...”
“You think I’d say anything to get you in trouble? Besides, I’ll graduate pretty soon. Then she can’t say a word.”
He sighed, clutching her. “I think I can stay out of trouble until then.”
She chuckled. “Sure.”
“What? You don’t think I can control myself?”
“Ah!” she yelped. He’d gotten hard again. “Definitely not.”
He laughed. “Yeah, maybe not.”
“I’m no better,” she said, pushing her ass against his stomach.
There was a rumble from his throat and he pulled her down around his dick.
Layla squealed. “Chris!” Her grin was wide. He wanted her. No spell to urge him. He wanted her.
His hands splayed across her inner thighs, pulling them apart, then trailed his fingers to her most sensitive place, which was still pulsing from her last orgasm.
She huffed, astonished at how amazing it felt. “How are you so good at this?” She demanded, grinding down on him.
“Mmm,” he moaned. “Dammit, I was wondering why you were.” He straightened his torso to press it against her back and let his hands shoot up to her breasts, tugging gently on her nipples. “I just want you to feel incredible, like I do.”
“Oh,” she cried. “I do!” She reached down between their legs to wrap her fingers around his balls.
He gasped, and she bathed in the sound, throwing her head back against his neck. He pushed her over onto her hands and knees and rammed into her from behind, unable to stop. “Layla,” he begged. “Layla, grab me again.”
She shuddered, reaching down once more, wrapping her hand around him. Her mouth dropped open as he became even harder, moved even faster.
He leaned down close, holding himself up with one hand so he could touch her with the other, pulling her onto him with every thrust.
Layla cried out, completely happy.
Ursa stared at her dad. He’d passed out on the couch after snarfing down four hamburgers.
“Shorry,” he’d mumbled with his mouth full. “Hannt eatn n frevver.”
She didn’t mind that he was asleep. It gave her a chance to warm to the idea of having a father.
He didn’t seem angry at Cassandra in the least, though, from what Ursa could gather, he’d sacrificed himself to keep Ursa’s grandfather imprisoned in that forest. She also reasoned that her powers, and the powers of Layla and Vix, were taken to strengthen their fathers’ work.
Cassandra sat on the other end of the couch, watching Ryan sleep. She looked so dopey; Ursa couldn’t stay mad at her. She couldn’t imagine letting go of the one she loved.
“Mom, I need your car for a little bit.”
The dark-haired woman glanced up with a smile. “Alright, baby.”
It was nice, yet creepy, thinking that the three of them were family: dangerous witch, a powerful—what?—warlock?—and then her, Ursa, an insecure girl who suddenly had it all.
She felt apprehensive as she backed down the driveway and headed toward Daughtry’s. This was all just a little too perfect.
When she got to the shop, she stared at her station wagon in the parking lot and saw Vix’s red hair through the office windows.
Was Layla spending time with Chris while Vix just had to wait? That was pretty shitty.
Ursa steeled herself. Last night she’d made an utter fool of herself: a failed seduction, a spectacular amount of vomit, and an admission that she had powers. She didn’t see how Erik could possibly find her attractive after all of that.
Still, she had to go in. Apparently, her special memories of him had all been erased. Would he be able to fill in the blanks? Or had he never noticed her until a few days before?
She pushed open the door and winced as the bell above rang loudly.
Erik looked directly into her eyes.
Even though she’d allegedly had feelings for him before, what she felt for him was new.
Shock ran through her. It was the memory of his thumbs on her nipples, the way he’d flirted mercilessly with her, the way she’d wanted nothing to do with him, but kept thinking about him just the same.
He’d spoken French. He’d read her story and loved it. He’d fixed her car at a ridiculous discount and hadn’t even mentioned it.
And then there was the thought of his hard muscles hidden beneath that loose work shirt, his widening, baffled smile, his clean-cut facial hair and unquestionable manliness.
“Hi,” she said. Yes, this feeling was very new.
He opened his mouth but all that came out was air. Then he shook his head and tried again. “Hi.”
Vix watched them in a bored and likely disgusted way.
Though Ursa had mentally scolded Layla, she also ignored her sister. “What was that?” she asked Erik, unable to stop the corners of her mouth from curling into a grin.
He licked his lips, still smiling. “I forgot how to talk for a second. I like seeing you.”
Vix groaned loudly, shot to her feet, and sulked out of the building.
Erik stood and rested his hands on his desk, leaning on them. He looked anxious. “Last night you called me a sneak.”
“I did?” Her brow furrowed. She had no memory of that.
He bit his soft bottom lip. She knew it was soft; she absolutely remembered that.
“I don’t want you to feel like I’ve swept you along or tricked you into liking me.”
She laughed. “I don’t feel that way, I promise.”
His blue eyes bored into her brown ones again. “Then, let’s go out. Let’s go on a date.”
“Oh, you know, I don’t need any fancy—“
“Ursa. I’m taking you out. I want you to know me better before…” he trailed off and his eyes drifted down to her chest before snapping away.
Her nipples turned rock hard under her bra. “Before you have your way with me?” she finished for him.
This time she could hear the breath escape his lungs. “I’d never say that.”
“Even if I want you to?”
His jaw clenched, but he looked at her again. “I suppose I can make an exception.”
She couldn't believe this. She couldn't believe how smooth he was.
She nibbled on the skin of her bottom lip, trying to muster the courage to ask what was really on her mind. “What was between us? Before?”
His eyes widened. “Before?”
“Before my mother… did what she did. Was there anything between us?”
He deflated. “I was only interested in your mother before. I don’t know how or why that changed, but it did the moment you walked through that door the other day.”
She swallowed. “A spell.” That’s what he’d said. He was bewitched into loving her mom.
His eyes pleaded with hers. “It sounds insane, but I thought about her all the damn time. I’d like to know why it stopped. I’m eternally grateful.”
“I want you to know that I believe you. And as far as I’m concerned, my attraction to you began the moment you started talking about books.”
He relaxed visibly and smirked. His eyelids were low. “So you really have no memory of hitting on me the night I rescued your car?”
Her jaw dropped. “Absolutely not. I still think you’re making that up.”
“No. It made me think about you. I hadn’t thought of any woman that much in more than a decade. I want you to know that, too.” He looked at his hands for a moment, then back into her eyes. “Did you break the spell?”
She rubbed her mouth. “I have no idea.”
“You’re a witch,” he reminded her.
She scoffed. “Well, I just found that out too, okay? I’ve never knowingly cast a spell. Honestly. I seem to be a different kind of witch. I’m a… soothsayer.”
He grinned. “Soothsayer?”
She wanted to pinch him. Or kiss him. “I don’t know! A diviner. I can travel places in my mind. I just learned all this after I got home last night. I found my dad that way.”
“I’m really glad you found your dad, Ursa. But why don’t you seem happy?”
Ursa pursed her lips. “So much is changing. …and my mom, she’s been going on about her own dad returning from somewhere and being dangerous to us…”
She shrugged. “She hasn’t told us everything yet. But I get the feeling that something bad is going to happen.”
Finally, Erik walked around his desk and gently grasped her arms. “What can I do?”
Ursa knew this was supposed to be a serious conversation, but all she could think about was his hands on her skin. She shyly looked into his eyes, lips slightly parted.
His eyes narrowed on her mouth and he swallowed. Then he pulled her into a hug.
Ursa melted against him. Her arms encircled his waist. Touching him while she was sober was so much more electrifying. “Um, Erik?”
She could hear him breath in and out, trying to steady himself. “Yeah.”
She was so nervous. “Can you… touch me more?”
There was a low rumble in his chest. “I want to. God, I want to, Ursa.”
Goosebumps covered her arms.
“Tonight,” he said. “After I close the shop, I’ll come pick you up from your house.”
“But my mom and dad will be there.”
“Yeah. I don’t care what I have to do. I just want to be with you.”
“But you’ve only liked me for two days.”
His hand ran down her back, making her sigh. “So? All relationships start somewhere.”
Vix kicked rocks by the curb as she walked toward home. She couldn’t stick around and see any more gooey love junk or she’d scream. She envied her sisters. She felt empty. She knew what it was like to be in love. It hadn’t been real, but… No, her mother had said that it was real, it just might not be right.
Why was she going home anyway? Her mother and Ursa’s dad were as gooey as the rest of ‘em.
After a while, she reached the edge of the forest. She peered into the trees. So, was her grandfather trapped somewhere inside? Was her dad?
She shuffled on. What could she do about it? She was just a healer. Lame. Her talent was circumstantially useful. She had to wait until there was someone to heal before she could use it. Ursa could use hers any old time. Layla wouldn’t even try to use hers, even though she was apparently more powerful than any of them.
Vix stuck out her tongue. She knew Daughtry was right. She shouldn’t feel so mediocre when she had magic.
The station wagon pulled up beside her and Ursa shouted through the open passenger window. “Hey, Vix! Hop in!”
Vix frowned but obeyed.
“I’m really sorry,” Ursa said as Vix buckled in. “I know I’m being really selfish right now.”
“It’s okay,” Vix grumbled.
“You ready to go home?”
Ursa drove off. “What do you think of my dad?”
The blonde sister shot a worried glance at Vix. “Are you okay?”
“I’m like the dud.”
“Why are all these great things happening to you and Layla? I’m completely bummed out.”
“What great things?”
“Cool magic, boyfriends, information about your dads. What do I get?”
“Well, you have magic, too!”
Cassandra could tell something was wrong the moment Ursa came home with Vix dragging her feet behind. “What happened?” she asked her eldest.
Ursa shrugged and pointed her thumb at Vix. “She’s extremely depressed.”
“I’m going to bed,” Vix said.
“Oh no, you’re not,” Cassandra informed her. “Come here.”
Vix shuffled her feet toward her mother who lifted her chin and looked into her eyes. “Your love for that boy went away.”
“Ursa, can you make your sister some hot cocoa.”
“I don’t want any, mom,” Vix said.
“Ursa?” Cassandra prompted, and her oldest went into the kitchen. The dark-haired woman looked down at Vix. “You’ve lost something very wonderful. I don’t blame you for feeling down about it. The only thing that will make you better is time.”
“But I thought you said it wouldn’t hurt me.”
“The loss didn’t hurt. I suspect the emptiness does.”
“So I just have to live with it?”
Cassandra nodded. “What’s always helped me was keeping busy. Focus on something else. Put all your energy into it. Do you have anything like that?”
Vix nibbled her lip. “Working on cars.”
The woman sighed. “Then work on cars.”
“But you hate it!” Vix blurted incredulously.
“I don’t think it’s ladylike. But I know that you’re passionate about it, so I won’t give you any more trouble.”
Vix cracked a tiny smile, which warmed her mother’s heart. “Okay.”
After Vix had her cocoa, she called up old Daughtry and asked him if she could come work for him after school for a while.
“Sure!” he said. “We could use another set of hands around here sometimes. You’re hired, Vix.”
Erik hung up the phone and chuckled. Just as Ursa said, things were changing.
He saw Chris and Layla through the shop's front window. She kept opening her mom’s car door and then closing it to talk to him more. Erik was happy for her.
Layla let Chris kiss her again. “Move in with me,” he begged.
“You’re crazy,” she said, grinning. “I haven’t even graduated yet.”
“What are you going to do when you graduate?”
She shrugged. “Bother you?” she joked.
“Holy shit. You’re hired.”
That made her laugh. But something kept nagging her. She felt she should tell Chris about what had happened to them. She should tell him that she was supposedly a witch. Right?
He bent down to peer into her eyes. “What happened?”
She smiled. He made her so happy. “I’ll tell ya later.”
Ryan woke up sooner than Cassandra expected.
He sat up, eyes wide. “Someone’s coming,” he said.
She grabbed his hand. “Who?”
He peered at her. “Someone named Sam?”
Cassandra blushed furiously. “Layla’s dad.”
He looked pained at the information. “I see.”
“I never intended to be with anyone—“
“You don’t have to apologize, Cassy. Really. But what should I do? Should I leave?”
“No!” she protested, pulling his arms around her. “I’ve missed you for so long. I can’t lose you.”
He sighed. “Well what about these other men? Can you stand to lose them?”
Cassandra’s mouth hung open. “I…”
Ryan shook his head. Then he ran his hand through her dark, curly hair. “Don’t worry. We’ll figure it out.”
She gazed at his sandy hair, his rich, brown eyes, and his soft smile. How did she ever fall in love again when he was gone?
Ursa and Vix watched their conversation from the kitchen.
“So now Layla’s dad is coming?” Vix asked.
“Don’t get all freaked out again. You should be excited. It probably means that your dad’ll show up too.”
Vix shrugged. Calling Daughtry had helped. The hot cocoa had helped, but she still felt hopeless. “What’s mom going to do with three men?”
Ursa shook her head. “I have no idea, but from what I understand, when all our dads are back, our grandfather will come too.”
“And mom’s scared of him.”
“I guess our dads were scared of him too.”
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