Water slid over my body, and I lifted my face to the warm spray.
Delicious soreness ached in my muscles as I reached for the shampoo.
Crashing at Ethan’s house was dangerous, but the romantic rendezvous
we’d shared had taken me to new heights of pleasure.
However, not all good things last forever.
My brother, Nolan, lived with Ethan, keeping an eye on the place while
Ethan was deployed with the Army. Neither of us knew exactly when Nolan
would arrive home from spending the weekend with his girlfriend, but he
had work in a few hours. The chances of him swinging by were high. That
meant I needed to leave as soon as possible.
Part of me hoped I could slink away before Ethan woke up, but it was
only a matter of time before he stirred. The fact he hadn’t yet
indicated to me just how ‘active’ we’d been last night, since not only
was Ethan a trained soldier, but now he was becoming more and more of a
werewolf. That last part scared me.
I leaned my forehead against the white tiled wall. Regret squeezed
my heart like a vise. It would be so easy to blame Jessa, my friend and
mentor, for pushing me into the werewolf debacle, and even easier to
torment myself for having used wolf’s bane. If I’d gone with the common
method of crafting the salve instead of making my own potent blend,
then this would not have happened.
Those thoughts led to madness. I balled my hands into fists. Neither Jessa nor I could’ve known what was going on.
The supernatural world was one of magic and potions. Witches were real
since I was one. Werewolves, on the other hand, were beasts of legend,
not fact. That shocking revelation brought fear and pain crashing
through my door and harmed those I cared about.
Both Ethan’s and Jessa’s lives were changed forever, because I
couldn’t protect either of them from the werewolf’s attacks. The
ramifications of my failure were incomprehensible, especially for
Releasing a sigh, I focused on the bar of soap and reached within
myself for my magic. Jessa made telekinesis appear so effortless. If
I’d learned one thing recently, it was that I kept myself locked away,
hoping others wouldn’t burn me at the stake. Being powerless wouldn’t
help those I cared about, or me, when the time came to protect them.
Fear and atrophy shriveled my magical muscles. While I still wasn’t
convinced about using my power, especially not as openly as Jessa did,
I refused to wait for the next disaster to hit before I acted.
Something deep inside me knew we weren’t out of the woods yet.
No matter how hard I concentrated, the soap remained rooted in place. Ugh.
How could I measure up as a witch if I couldn’t even accomplish the
basics? If my grandmother were here, life would be much easier.
Instead, she rested in her grave.
The bathroom door creaked open and my heart leapt into my throat.
Panic pushed me to remain small and silent, even though the spraying
warm water gave away my presence. If Nolan was home before work, I
would be screwed.
My brain scrambled for excuses about why I was here, much less why I was taking a shower.
The mugging wouldn’t work anymore. Things had mostly gone back to
normal. I spent more time at home whipping up potions for Jessa’s new
age shop, Eternally Magick.
With Jessa in the hospital, she couldn’t run the shop, and I needed to
help. What family she had was several states away, and they couldn’t or
wouldn’t take time from their lives to assist her.
Besides, Ethan and I didn’t need to be as careful about Nolan coming
around to my place. He rarely swung by these days, and when he did, he
usually called first.
“Mia? Everything okay in there?” Ethan nudged back the shower curtain, tension tight in his naked shoulders.
Air whooshed from my lungs in a rush and my shoulders slumped forward in relief. “You scared me.”
“Sorry, sweetheart. I felt a lot of energy buzzing in here. Just
wanted to make sure you’re okay.” He let go of the curtain, and it fell
back into place. The slightest twinge of sadness nibbled at me, but
this was for the best. If he got in the shower with me, I might never