AMERICAN WITCH: Friday Snippets (7)

Happy Friday!

Here’s today’s snippet of AMERICAN WITCH.

This snippet begins Chapter Five, and as today is the last Friday before Tuesday’s release, it also concludes the Friday Snippets for AMERICAN WITCH. As always, this is draft material and things are subject to editing (and possibly deletion), so please don’t share.

Hope everybody has a good weekend, and you enjoy!

~ Thea

WANT AMERICAN WITCH NOW?

You can buy the full novel from my webstore now, before it’s available from the third-party vendors. If you can’t wait for the whole story, you can buy it today! Just click here to be taken to my webstore.

Or pre-order AMERICAN WITCH at any of these vendors.

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AMERICAN WITCH

Chapter Five

Molly slipped her phone back into her purse and climbed into her SUV. Only time would tell whether Josiah was as good at keeping his word as he claimed. She had set her course of action. That had to be good enough for now.

The early-morning meeting with her new attorney, Nina Rodriguez, had highlighted everything that had been bothering her, and not in a good way. Nina was an attractive fifty-year-old Hispanic woman with sharp dark eyes and a warm smile who, she said, loved to take cheating assholes of either sex to the cleaners.

Molly had emailed the zip file of documents to Nina the night before, and they went over everything in person. As soon as Nina had laid eyes on the mysterious bank account, she’d recognized the format from a bank in the Seychelles islands.

“Is your husband laundering money?” Nina asked, one eyebrow raised.

“I-I don’t know,” Molly replied. When she’d found the violet panties, she had thought Austin couldn’t do anything more to rattle her. She’d been wrong.

Now, indulging in a newfound sense of paranoia, she drove around in circles while she kept an eye on the surrounding traffic. She was more shaken than she liked to admit, and she’d grown uncomfortable driving the Escalade. It was too distinctive, and the license plate a matter of record.

So she drove to the nearest Cadillac dealership and sold it. While she waited for the dealer to cut her a check, she called a car rental—not the one conveniently located across the street from the dealership, but one from a few miles away—and reserved a sedan. The rental company offered a pickup service, so she was able to complete both transactions within a couple of hours.

After that, she searched on her phone until she located an available Airbnb apartment in a trendy neighborhood near Clark Atlanta University. She chatted with the owner for ten minutes, then bought a week’s stay with one of her prepaid Visa cards and drove to the new place.

The owner lived in a midcentury house, and the one-bedroom rental was over a detached garage. She had invited Molly to use the driveway, so she parked on one side of the garage, near the outside set of stairs that led up to the rental. The door was locked with a lockbox, and the owner had given her the code, so she was able to let herself in.

After a quick walk-through, she discovered the other woman hadn’t been exaggerating when she’d said the apartment was utilitarian. There were basic furnishings—a couch, a chair, a coffee table, and a forty-inch LED TV in the living room, along with a dinette set in the kitchen, adequate bedroom furniture with a double bed, and minimal wall decor.

But it was clean, and the large windows looked out at plenty of trees, giving the space an airy, peaceful feeling. And it was another place that felt fresh and new, a place where Austin had never been.

Most importantly, it was a place where now, hopefully, nobody could find her.

She hauled her luggage up the stairs, unpacked, and then went grocery shopping. By the end of the afternoon, she felt better than she had in days. She had a couple bottles of wine, she could cook comfort meals, and she didn’t have to go out unless she wanted to.

Other things nagged to be added to her to-do list. Things like finding a permanent place to settle down. Trying to find the woman from her dreams, or some other teacher, someone she could trust who was not Josiah.

But thinking about the rest of her life was overwhelming. She wasn’t ready to make any more decisions that would have long-term consequences, and she backed away quickly. That wasn’t what she needed to concentrate on this evening.

She still wore the two-piece suit from the meeting with Nina. Stripping out of her clothes, she had a long, luxurious shower, dried her hair, and dressed in jeans, a sweater, and a new leather jacket. It would get chilly in the park as the sun set.

No makeup. She pulled her hair back into a plain ponytail at the nape of her neck and gave herself a long, level look in the mirror. The woman staring back looked strong, no-nonsense, capable. You couldn’t tell her life was in ruins and she was a stranger to herself.

After shoving cash and identification into her jeans pocket, she folded a photocopy of one of the foreign bank statements and shoved that into another pocket, scooped up her keys, and left to pick up dinner.

When six o’clock came, she sat on one of the picnic tables underneath a shelter, feet planted on the bench seat and dinner sitting in two paper bags beside her.

Something brushed along her awareness. A car sped into view and parked beside her rental. From where she sat, she couldn’t tell what model it was, but it looked dark, low-slung, and powerful. While she waited for Josiah to emerge, she ran her gaze over the area.

A woman with a Great Dane jogged along the side of the park road a couple hundred yards away, but Molly’s and Josiah’s vehicles were the only two in sight. In the summer this picnic spot would be crowded until sunset, but now, as the evening chilled, they should have the clearing to themselves.

Josiah climbed out and strode across the open area like he was conquering it, his body loose-limbed and comfortable. Like her, he wasn’t young. He looked to be early- to midforties, but for all his maturity, his long, athletic body didn’t carry an ounce of spare fat. There was a tight, whipcord element to the breadth of his muscles. He looked nothing like Austin’s pampered, gym-built physique.

Okay, she had to be honest. The man was sex on a stick.

He wore a similar outfit, jeans, a black shirt and leather jacket, and the slanting evening sun gave his dark hair chestnut highlights. Look at that, he wasn’t quite as dark and dangerous as she’d first thought.

Then she met his hard, catlike amber eyes. A sense of his magic, dark, polished and well-honed, shimmered against her mind’s eye. It felt as sleek as his car looked and infinitely more powerful.

She threw everything into full reverse. He was every bit as dangerous as she had first thought. Every bit and more.

Maybe it hadn’t been the smartest idea to meet him in such a secluded spot. But he was a district attorney, she reminded herself, not a serial killer. By the time Josiah reached the picnic shelter, she had wrestled her reactions under control.

He climbed up to sit beside her, moving his long-limbed body with fluid ease. “Good venue for dinner.”

“I thought so too.” Digging into the first of the two bags beside her, she pulled out a six-pack of craft beer and offered it to him.

He accepted a bottle. Setting the six-pack between them, she handed him the second bag. He peered into it and then at the logo on the outside of the bag. “I’d hoped I was smelling fried chicken. Is this from a chain?”

“Nope. You will want to remember the name of this place. Best fried chicken in Atlanta.” She used the opener she’d bought to pry off the bottle cap, handed the opener to him, and took a pull from her bottle.

“Excellent. I was too busy to have a real lunch.” He selected a large piece and handed the bag back.

“How’s your job going? No nasty surprises, I hope?”

He replied lazily, “Nothing I can’t handle.”

I bet. She avoided saying that out loud.

Searching through the bag, she pulled out a foil-wrapped biscuit. The food was still hot, and she rolled the top of the bag down over the rest to hold in the warmth.

Then she crumbled her biscuit and sipped at her beer while Josiah ate in silence. When he finished his first piece, he fished out another. He seemed to be in no hurry to break the silence, but she had an agenda.

“What do people call you?” she asked. “Are you a witch or a warlock?”

He shrugged, finished his beer, and took a second bottle. “Either or both. Sometimes sorcerer. Occasionally asshole. Personally, I’m not in love with labels.”

Lingering warmth from the sunlight touched her face and hands, but the evening chill was setting in. “I don’t want to become a major force on the Eastern Seaboard. The thought never occurred to me, not even in my wildest daydreams.”

He grinned. “That was where I lost you, wasn’t it?”

She nodded. “One of the places. I could tell you want it though.”

“Oh yes,” he said, his voice deepening. “I’m going to be governor of Georgia within the next two election cycles.”

Looking at his hard, determined profile, she believed him. “But when you say become a major force,you don’t really mean by using the human political system. Do you?”

“No, although it will help to gain political power as well.” He glanced at her, a quick, calculating look, and then back over the clearing. “Most witches are territorial, especially in the witches demesne, which is run by a very old, well-established council. Outside Louisville, you might find areas held by either solitary witches or full covens. They don’t much like other people of significant Power moving in on their turf. Wars have been fought over who gets to hold which city. You might as well know I intend to claim Atlanta for my own.”

Wars.

Abruptly certain she shouldn’t be drinking alcohol while talking to him, she set aside her beer. “The Atlanta area isn’t pro-magic.”

“Give me enough time and I can flip it.”

His confidence was so rock-solid she believed him. “I never claimed Atlanta as my territory, and I don’t have the ability to hold it even if I had. If there isn’t any other mature, practicing witch here, the city is wide open for the taking, right?”

He shook his head. “That’s not a yes-or-no answer. Atlanta may not be claimed by a resident witch, but it’s a place of special interest to a certain dangerous Power, which brings me to an important point. This Power likes to operate under the radar, out of public sight. I know you think I spelled your cell phone when we talked in the bar, but I didn’t. I could tell you were under some distress last night, and that’s why I cast a spell to contact you. The communication spell uses the nearest and best available way to reach out. At the time, that happened to be your cell phone, but it could also have been your television screen or computer monitor.”

“I see.” She took a slow breath. Looking at him sidelong, she asked, “How did you know I was distressed?”

“I could feel it. You were spewing Power like a geyser.” He tilted back his head and finished his beer. “More importantly, any creature with sensitivity and Power would have been able to feel it, and Molly—if you don’t trust me on anything else, trust me on this one thing—you don’t want to come to anyone else’s attention like that. It shows you’re out of control and makes you a mark to predators. There are creatures in this world that would love to sink their teeth into you and suck all the magic out of your bones like sucking the juice from a ripe peach.”

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Copyright: 2019 Teddy Harrison LLC

All rights reserved

WANT MORE AMERICAN WITCH NOW?

You can buy the full novel from my webstore now, before it’s available from the third-party vendors. If you can’t wait for the whole story, you can buy it today! Just click here to be taken to my webstore.

Or pre-order AMERICAN WITCH at any of these vendors.

Amazon  |  B&N |  Apple Books |  Kobo |  Google Play

One Response

  1. Rhyanna S DeTuathana says:

    i like what read. unfortunately I can’t affordd to buy it because govt garnished my ssdi and I am struggling to pay rent, utlities. sigh.

    Good Luck though

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