Conjurer at the Crossroads [Ghost Seekers]
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by Melinda Barron
Category: Erotica/Paranormal Erotica/Romance
Description: Pebbles Malloy has been fighting her heritage as a conjurer. She doesn't mind working at her grandmother's shop in the French Quarter, but she doesn't want the responsibilities that come with conjuring. Then she tells the members of the Ghost Seekers that she can banish an incubus who has decided to target one of the group's lovers. The problem is that she doesn't have enough practice to harness her energy and get rid of the demon for good. So she promises to meet the demon at the crossroads and sign a pact to bear him a child, something he desires more than anything in the world. But as time passes, Pebbles finds out this demon has a tragic past, one that haunts him and keeps him enslaved when he would like nothing more than to reclaim his soul... Can Pebbles and her fellow Ghost Seekers find a way help the incubus break out of his prison, or will she find herself in his position, lost to an evil presence in mind, body and soul?
eBook Publisher: Resplendence Publishing, LLC, 2010 RP
eBookwise Release Date: December 2010
4 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [120 KB]
Reading time: 75-105 min.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Halloween, Present Day
* * * *
Cold mist swirled around her feet as Pebbles focused her mind on the demon standing in front of her. So great was his concentration on seducing the woman of his dreams that she might actually have a chance at catching him unawares. She had a spirit jar nearby, just in case it turned out to be that easy.
"You are not welcome here." The voice was deep, melodic. "I will kindly thank you to leave, or else wait your turn." The demon shifted positions, his body moving enough that she could see his erection, jutting out proudly from between his legs. "You will have to settle for being second best, however. The gorgeous creature whose energy feeds me is my first intention."
"She does not want you."
The demon's deep blue eyes darkened and narrowed. His hand went down to stroke his cock. It was long and thick, and uncut. The energy around him pulsed as he moved his hand. He was strong; much stronger than she'd anticipated.
"This one does want me. The man has fed her mind with lies. I will push them away. Be gone from here, and I will finish what I've begun. Once she is heavy with my child, I will seek you out."
There was no way she was leaving. It had taken two spells and almost all of her energy for her to invade the incubus's realm. He could not impregnate Tempest until he gained human form, but in his spiritual world, he could claim a good deal of her soul, giving himself enough energy to materialize and get her with child.
Pebbles was here to see that didn't happen.
His hand was still moving, his energy focused on Tempest, the object of his desires.
Tempest. She was the one who needed help, the one who would be doomed if Pebbles didn't get the attention of the incubus, and stop him from taking over her will, from losing her soul.
"Have you no honor?"
The demon's hand stopped moving and he turned his gorgeous gaze toward her. "I am a demon, an incubus with only one goal: to beget children on human women, to get them to give me that precious gift so I can use it as I see fit. Honor has no place in my world."
The energy pulsing around him dimmed. If she could keep him talking, maybe the distraction would give her time to capture him in the spirit jar she had handy. She would need Rumer's help with that, and her witch friend stood nearby, in case her help was needed.
"Have you ever had honor in your life?" She could see by the look on his face that the question confused him, and it gave her a second to focus on the outside world. Tempest, the object of the incubus's attentions, lay on the couch with her lover, Franco. Tempest and Franco were in the circle Rumer had cast, showing their love for one another with heavy petting. The other ghost seekers were on the outside, ready to jump into action if problems arose.
The plan had been for Pebbles to ban the incubus with a prayer, or capture him in the spirit jar, but even without sex, he was strong. Pebbles was pretty sure that meant he was a very ancient demon, and ridding Tempest of her unwanted houseguest was not going to be an easy task.
They'd tried to drain him of his energy by taking Tempest away from him, and Pebbles was surprised to find he had as much energy as he had. While her question had distracted him it didn't pull him away from his goal enough for her to capture him.
"You're a witch, aren't you?" His voice was soft, seductive. He cocked his head slightly, a smile appearing on his strong face. "No, not a witch." His gasp of surprise sent chills up her spine. Then he laughed out loud and threw his hands out to his sides. "A conjurer. How intriguing. I've met very few of your kind during my travels."
The hair on the back of Pebbles' neck stood up. "I'm neither." She tried to keep her voice even. He would try to seduce her, and if she wasn't careful, he would succeed.
"How is it that you have entered my world, then?" He turned toward her, his erection still firm, drawing her attention to its length. It seemed to grow even more and he grasped it, ran his fingers up and down the shaft. "Do you like what you see? It can fill you perfectly, and bring us both a great deal of pleasure."
She jerked her gaze back to his face. Damn but he was handsome. Her breath came in short, uneven gasps as he focused on her.
"I can be whatever you like," he said, taking another step. She could hear the sounds of Franco and Tempest moaning as they caressed each other. It only served to make it harder to resist the being in front of her.
It was easy to see how women had fallen for him, only to meet their tragic ends. He would come to them during the night and they would open their legs for him. She could do that, she could feel his length throb inside her wet, tight folds.
No! No! No! He is a demon. An incubus. You are here only to help get rid of him. She had to stay focused.
"You didn't answer my question." She remained in place, determined not to run from him. "Is there no honor in your world?"
"We can fuck. You like to fuck. I can tell." He was standing inches away from her, his energy seeming to surround her, fill her. "Would you like me to lick your sweet core? Then fill it with my hard manhood? I bet you taste like...ambrosia."
"Never." He put his lips next to her ear. "She is mine."
"She doesn't want you."
"Does that matter?" The demon stroked her upper arm. "I can feel her inside my heart. She will give me what I desire."
"Yes." He put his face right in front of her and licked his lips. "It's what I want most, to father children to serve our Mistress."
"Franco will stop you." She shook her head. "He'll never let you get control of..."
The demon's deep laugh made Pebbles shiver.
"Do you think I care about him? I will fuck him, too, over and over, and he will love it. I will take his health, his mind, his soul until he wants nothing more than to die. Then the woman will be mine, and mine alone."
The demon grasped Pebbles' wrists in his hands. "You and your friends thought to starve me, but your plan was pitiful. There is only one way I will leave the woman alone."
Her stomach felt as if it had dropped to the floor.
"I would welcome a child of your loins, one that inherited your talents, Conjurer. Give yourself to me, or I destroy the two who have mistakenly put their trust in you."
"Never." The hands around her wrists tightened and Pebbles heard Rumer call her name.
"I'm fine," she answered. "Keep them going."
The sounds of sex increased and the demon leaned toward her. Damn he was seductive. She could see why women would fall under his spell.
"It is your choice, Conjurer. Answer me, or I take them both, the man to kill, the woman to breed."
Her heart raced. The spirit jar wouldn't work on him, even if Rumer was in here with her. Prayer wouldn't work. She needed time to find another solution, and the only way to do that was...
"I don't trust you." She moved closer to him, lifted what she hoped was a provocative gaze toward his face. "You will lie to me."
"And why should I trust you?" He let go of her and moved toward the circle. She had no doubt he would be able to blow through it like a hurricane could batter down trees.
"Wait! We could make a bargain." What the hell was she saying? "A formal one, at the crossroads."
She had his full attention.
"For a child?"
Pebbles opened her mouth, but nothing came out. She swallowed hard and nodded.
"We will go now." He held out his hand. "Then you will give yourself to me."
"No." She tucked her hands under her arms. "My friends must not know of this arrangement. I will meet you the day after tomorrow, at three a.m."
His laughter was deep. "You are a smart little conjurer." His face remained impassive as he watched her. Finally he nodded. "Now would be best, for at the stroke of the clock it will be All Saints' Day, a fitting time for you to lose your soul."
"No. We use my time, or I show you how powerful I really am." Would the bluff work? There was no way she could destroy him. He would probably kill her if she tried. For a moment, she thought he would say no, but then he nodded.
"Very well, the day after tomorrow at three a.m. If you fail to show up, I will come back here and finish what I started."
The palms of her hands were drenched with sweat, and she could feel it building on her brow, inching down the side of her face.
"I will be there."
"As will I, sweet Pebbles." He lifted eyebrows in amusement. "Or should I call you..."
"Don't!" She held up her hand to stop him from speaking, which brought another question of concern from Rumer.
"I'm fine," she yelled back. Then she focused on the demon. "She won't stay out much longer, and if she enters this realm, you will die."
"I doubt that." He stroked a finger down her cheek. "Your offer is accepted, for the mixture of our blood will make a powerful demon. My mistress will be much pleased with my gift to her. I will see you soon, my lover."
He disappeared and the air around her grew frigid. She hugged herself as the spirit plane faded and she saw Rumer rushing toward her. "Are you all right?"
"I'm fine." She hoped her voice wasn't shaking.
Pebbles assured Tempest the demon was gone. The poor woman, she thought. She'd wanted nothing more than to open a B&B, and she'd ended up with a demon invading her dreams. The upside was she'd found the love of her life during the process of trying to rid herself of the incubus.
"Are you sure he won't be back?"
"Yes, I'm sure." Not for you, anyway. He's here somewhere, but I've made a deal for you, Tempest.
"Are you all right?" Rumer put her hand on Pebbles' arm.
She shrugged it off. "I'm fine. I took care of him."
Damn Rumer for asking that question! "Prayer." Please, please, please let her believe me! Let her think that the power of prayer banished the demon for good.
"Thank God," Tempest said. Franco still held her tight. Pebbles glanced at Rumer. She nodded once, a slow movement that let Pebbles know she didn't believe her, not totally.
"You don't feel him, do you?" Pebbles glanced at Martin, one of the group's mediums. "What about you?"
"I feel nothing." He walked to them and put his hand on Rumer's shoulder. "Which is absolutely perfect to me. I love it when there's no malevolent spirits around. It's okay, babe."
Pebbles could tell that Rumer wasn't convinced. The witch watched her carefully, as if she expected Pebbles to start speaking in tongues, or admit that the demon was still around. She wasn't going to do that, though. She'd made her deal, and now she would find her own way out of it.
Finally, after what seemed forever, Rumer nodded. "I guess we should celebrate then."
"Go to the restaurant," Franco said. "Tell them I'll be there in a bit, and that your food and drink is on the house tonight."
"Not for me, thanks." Pebbles moved toward the door. "I have a busy day ahead of me, and this has left me tired. I'm going home, to bed."
"We'll walk you," Dev said, stepping toward her.
"No, I'll be fine, but thank you for the offer. I grew up in the Quarter, and I'm not afraid to be out at night by myself." She hurried her steps. "I'll be in touch."
"Wait!" Quinn's command almost stopped her in her tracks, but her frightened mind took control of her feet and she started to run. She needed some fresh air, and she needed some time to think.
The only problem was she needed more time than she had.