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Camryn [Witchy Woes Book 6]
by Michelle Hasker

Category: Erotica/Paranormal Erotica/Romance
Description: Ever since the spell blew up in her face, Camryn's world has fallen apart while her fellow witches have prospered. Maybe being good isn't all it's cracked up to be. She's lost her job, her apartment and her boyfriend. Her health is suffering and she looks like death warmed over. What good is being ethical if you have to pay for it with everything you have? Rating: Erotic Romance--Explicit (Contains adult content, language, and graphic sex)
eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, 2008
eBookwise Release Date: February 2009

eBookeBook

10 Reader Ratings:
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Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [98 KB]
Words: 19886
Reading time: 56-79 min.


"Oh what a surprise awaits Camryn and the reader! If you have enjoyed the rest of this series, you need to read Camryn's story."_Steph B., The Romance Studio


Chapter 1

"I call upon light and earth at the north to illuminate and strengthen the circle." Candace's voice rang out loud and clear. The sand beneath Camryn's bare feet responded to Candace's power and sent a surge of strength to her. She needed it tonight, and judging by the looks the others in Sandra's coven had given her, they did, too.

"I call upon light and air at the east to illuminate and enliven the circle," Allison said as a gust of wind blew around the circle.

"I call upon light and fire at the south to illuminate and warm the circle," Tamara said as a burst of warmth licked against her cold flesh.

"I call upon light and water at the west to illuminate and cleanse the circle," Macy said.

As the next wave crashed on the shore Sandra lifted her athame and stepped forward. She stopped in front of the altar and said, "I draw this circle in the presence of the Lady and the Lord, that They may aid and bless us in our work."

As Sandra walked around the circle, flames danced along the line she made. They weren't normally this bright. She continued with the ritual that was designed to protect them while they cast tonight's spells. Sandra moved back to the altar and blessed the salt which she then sprinkled in a circle around them. As it touched the flames, the color turned bright white, and rose, wrapping over them until they were sealed inside the circle.

Again, they went around the circle, starting with Candace.

"I call upon you, Guardians of the North, Element Earth, to guard this circle. By the body and strength that is ours, we ask you to attend this rite." Before she finished speaking, a loud rumble sounded underneath them. Candace smiled and looked at Allison.

"I call upon you, Guardians of the East, Element Air, to guard this circle. By our breath and thoughts, we ask you to attend this rite." Another strong gust of wind whirled around the outside of the circle. With a smile, Allison turned to Tamara.

"I call upon you, Guardians of the South, Element Fire, to guard this circle. By our energy and consumption of life, we ask you to attend this rite." As Tamara finished, flames leapt up surrounding the circle, reaching high and wide, like a protective shield. Tamara turned to Macy with a smile.

"I call upon you, Guardians of the West, Element Water, to guard this circle. By our emotions and blood in our veins, we ask you to attend this rite," Macy said.

A light rain drizzled down upon them, then ceased as Sandra lifted her arms up in the air, holding her athame up high. "Hail to the elements! Welcome to the Lady and Lord! We stand between the worlds surrounded by light, love and power."

Sandra poured wine onto the ground for the Lady and Lord, and turned to face Camryn. She tried to disguise her nervousness and awe, but knew she failed. "I know we've done spells before, but the power you five hold is amazing." Camryn looked around the circle and prayed the women would finally accept her like Sandra did.

"Are you ready to begin, Camryn?" Sandra asked, reminding her of the more important reason they had all gathered here tonight.

"I'm not sure where to start. I did spells for love, money, health, a job and looks."

"Did you follow my instructions?"

"Yes, I did. But--"

"No buts. Get your spells in order, dear. Job, looks, health, love, money. Please start when you are ready."

Camryn nodded, but looked nervously around the circle. Tamara looked ready to leap on her, Candace looked bored, Allison was hard to read, but not as hard as Macy. Sandra looked impatient. Camryn sucked in a deep breath. Time to make amends for her wrong ways.

Sandra piled some small oak twigs inside the cast iron cauldron. Camryn rifled through her papers until she produced the one she wanted. After Camryn read the paper, she reached for the frankincense candle and lit it as she said, "Please cleanse me, as I reverse the spells I cast in ignorance." The flame flickered, but held strong. Phew.

Camryn looked down at the sheet and repeated the spell, hopefully word for word. The flame stayed strong and true. When she finished, she dropped the paper in the cauldron. It burned with a brilliant flash of light.

Camryn moved onto the next spells with more confidence, and was finished in no time. She dropped the last paper into the cauldron and a huge flame leapt out of the cauldron and split into five separate flames. One shot at each corner, and the last at Sandra as she stood next to the altar. Screams filled the air, most of them coming from Camryn as each of the Wiccans suffered the magical blows.

The beach vanished, and was replaced with Tamara's living room. Confusion swam through her as she spun in a circle and looked around the room.

"Let's do this." Sandra led the women as they walked into the center of the room, and turned north. Sandra picked up her besom. "As I sweep, may the besom chase away all negativity from within this circle." She walked around them in a large circle as she made sweeping motions. "Sweep away all the negativity. I clear this space for our work tonight."

When she finished, she put the broom--besom--down and walked over to an altar. She lit some incense and several different colored candles, then rang a bell.

Since Camryn had been in this coven she'd seen the others' magic grow and strengthen. The outline of their circle was brighter than it had been so far, and it reached at least a foot off the floor. She knew it surrounded them and protected them, but it was amazing to be able to actually see their power.

At the altar, Sandra picked up one of the candles, and turned to the north and Candace. Candace accepted the candle, and lifted it into the air as she spoke. "I call upon light and earth at the north to illuminate and strengthen the circle."

A loud rumbling sounded under their feet. The light and power flowing in the circle around them grew stronger and reached up higher than before. Camryn ached to benefit from their newfound strengths, but for some reason her powers had actually diminished. Diminished? They were all but gone.

"I call upon light and air at the east to illuminate and enliven the circle," Allison said as a gust of wind blew around the circle. She held out the candle to Sandra, who accepted it and walked over to Tamara. Tamara held out her hand and waited for Sandra to give it to her. She smiled and clasped her hand around it when she finally received the candle. Tamara and the others all looked at Dante. Camryn knew that tonight was his initiation so to speak. Even if he didn't know it, he was about to become one of the coven. No. He'd already become one when the others decided to let him attend the ritual.

"What?" His confusion was endearing, but annoying. Only Sandra had made her feel as welcome as the others made Dante. Jealousy raged through her, but she tried to dampen it. Now was not the time or place to let those thoughts form.

"Would you please join Tamara in calling upon fire?" Sandra looked at him pointedly.

"I'm not--" At the sudden narrowing of her eyes he didn't finish. Sandra wasn't about to take any garbage from him, and that made Camryn feel a little better. Quickly, he walked over to Tamara. She grabbed his hands and had him put them on the candle.

"We call upon light and fire at the south to illuminate and warm the circle," Tamara said.

Instantly, a rush of warmth spread through the circle.

Sandra smiled as she took the candle and turned to Macy at the west corner. Macy accepted the candle and raised it in the air. "I call upon light and water at the west to illuminate and cleanse the circle."

A fine mist fell on them before it vanished.

Sandra placed the candle on the altar and picked up her athame. She lifted it in the air and said, "I draw this circle in the presence of the Lady and the Lord, that They may aid and bless us in our work." As she walked in the circle, dragging the knife along the floor, flames shot up behind the athame.

Sandra walked to the altar and put down the athame. She picked up some salt, blessed it and then sprinkled it in the circle around them. As it touched the flames, the color turned bright white, and rose, wrapping over them until they were sealed inside the bubble.

Again, they went around the circle, starting with Candace.

"I call upon you, Guardians of the North, Element Earth, to guard this circle. By the body and strength that is ours, we ask you to attend this rite."

Before Candace finished speaking, a loud rumble sounded underneath them. Dante stepped closer to Tamara. It was sickeningly sweet the way he was so protective of her. Perhaps because his power was so strong and he was so obviously on the right side of goodness and evil he was accepted more easily? Whatever the reason, it wasn't fair.

"I call upon you, Guardians of the East, Element Air, to guard this circle. By our breath and thoughts we ask you to attend this rite." Dante squeezed Tamara's hand as Allison spoke, and Camryn felt a pang in her chest. Her lover had abandoned her after that night on the beach. She'd expected as much even while she'd hoped it wouldn't happen. She'd used magic to ensnare him. He hadn't actually loved her. She doubted anyone ever would.

Another strong gust of wind whirled around the outside of the circle and brought her thoughts back to the spell. She was really going to be in trouble if they realized how bad her thoughts had turned. Everyone looked at him and Tamara. She took his hand in hers and raised them.

"We call upon you, Guardians of the South, Element Fire, to guard this circle. By our energy and consumption of life, we ask you to attend this rite." As Tamara finished, flames leapt up surrounding the circle, reaching high and wide, like a protective shield. She grinned at him, and made Camryn's stomach churn.

"I call upon you, Guardians of the West, Element Water, to guard this circle. By our emotions and blood in our veins, we ask you to attend this rite," Macy said.

Camryn felt the light mist again, which stopped the second Sandra lifted her arms up in the air, holding her knife up high.

"Hail to the elements! Welcome to the Lady and Lord! We stand between the worlds surrounded by light, love and power." Sandra poured wine onto the ground and then turned slowly to look at them all. "Let's do this, ladies and gentleman."

Once back at her altar, she picked up two candles. She rubbed something on them and drew symbols on them. This spell was to help her, but Camryn had never felt less a part of the coven than she did tonight. The same ladies who welcomed Dante so eagerly, had yet to accept her into their coven. Even if she had cast a spell that hurt them all, they hadn't given her a chance even before that. Damn it. Dante even had a part in the spells, while she did not. Maybe all the corners were taken, but they'd made room for him, hadn't they?

When Sandra finished with the white candle, she moved on to the black one. After she finished, she lit some more incense and then the white candle. "This flame burns for protection. Protection from accidents, protection from danger, both known and unknown." She lit the black candle. "This flame burns for safety. Ward us from accidents, ward us from danger, both known and unknown."

Sandra picked up a pouch, filled it with various items and turned to Candace. Candace added her personal item into the pouch. As Sandra stitched the pouch shut she chanted softly, "Herbs and stone protect Candace with your energy. Draw favorable energy and repel negative energy. As I will it, so mote it be." Before she handed it back to Candace she sprinkled salt over the pouch. "I empower you with the element of earth." Then she passed it though the smoke from the incense. "And the element of air." Next she passed the pouch through both candle flames. "And the element of fire. And the element of water." She sprinkled water on the pouch. "As I will it, so mote it be." She repeated that for each of them, even Dante.

"Now we petition Goddess Ma'at, the Goddess of Truth and Balance."

"Why?" Dante asked. Camryn bit back a sigh. When she asked questions she got dirty looks. Dante only received a hush from his lover. How unfair. She did sigh this time and winced at Macy's warning glare.

"We want to know why the spell backfired and rectify any wrongdoings."

Dante opened his mouth to ask what she meant, then decided not to when he noticed Camryn watching him. At least she assumed that was why he stayed quiet this time.

Sandra rang a bell at the altar, and raised her hands. "Goddess Ma'at, I petition Thee. Your son and daughters request Your presence. Please hear our plea and assist us this night."

"What do you offer me?" A husky feminine voice came from the center of the circle.

Sandra lifted a sheet, uncovering a silver birdcage. She reached inside and pulled out a white dove.

"We offer you hearts, pure and true, love and loyalty. Honesty in all we say and do."

Sandra released the dove into the center of the circle, and it vanished. In its place a beautiful dark-skinned woman appeared. She had long black hair and wore a crown with ostrich feathers in it. Large gold bands circled her upper arms, and a heavy necklace of gold encircled her neck. Her gown was white and on her feet were gold slippers. Camryn had no doubt this was the Egyptian goddess they'd summoned.

"What is it you ask, daughters and son? Who stands on judgment tonight?"

"We do, my Goddess." As Sandra spoke they all dropped to their knees and bowed their heads.

"Why are you here before me, then?"

Sandra answered for all of them, something Camryn was extremely grateful for now that she was in the presence of this Goddess.

"When we brought Camryn into our coven we knew she needed help to undo the evil that had been done to and by her. By giving her our assistance, we helped her cast a spell to reverse or undo the harmful spells she'd cast against various people or for herself. In the process we were all hit by a strong magic and have suffered in various ways.

"Tamara was struck by magical flames that burned her and landed her in the hospital. She is still recovering, my Goddess. We're not sure if the flames have damaged her more than--more." She quickly looked at Dante, then back at Ma'at's feet. Of course, they were keeping Tamara's secret even though they welcomed him into the coven. Camryn snorted.

"Allison has developed problems with her appearance. Candace keeps finding jobs, but gets fired or quits because she can't tolerate the injustices done to her at work. Macy almost drowned, and now she has power, more power than she can control, and it's growing to a dangerous level."

"And what about the young man, other young woman, and yourself?"

"Dante is here to learn. He has a special power, Goddess, and we want to help him learn to use and control it. Camryn hasn't really been affected by the spell yet, as far as we can tell. In our outrage, we accused her of trying to sabotage our coven, but we've apologized for our mistake and received forgiveness from her."

Ha, Camryn wanted to laugh. She'd lost her job and her boyfriend, yet that paled in comparison to all their woes apparently.

"And you?"

"I've lost my job, and am about to lose my home. No one is willing to hire me, and I'm afraid I'll have to leave here."

Camryn gasped. She'd be screwed without Sandra. She was the only one willing to help her. Panic raced through her, but she remained silent. As desperate as she was to talk to Sandra about this, she wasn't willing to face the Goddess' wrath.

Ma'at was silent for a while, a long while. Finally, she glanced around the circle.

"The circle was not sabotaged, but someone did try. Women seeking to hurt those who aided Camryn. They tried to keep you from helping her. They don't want her spells reversed, and they want her back."

The fear she felt at those words increased her panic. Camryn sobbed and wondered how her life had gone from golden to shit when she'd only tried to do the right thing.

"However, your protection stayed strong and those others did not interfere with your spell."

"Then this is our punishment, my Goddess?"

"It's not a punishment, my dear. All will become clear in time, but there is no need for me to cast judgment upon any of you here."

"We also seek to restore balance, to rectify anything we've done wrong."

"You wish to stop the curse you believe has come upon you all. I'm afraid this is something that has been decided already and has been set in motion with no way to stop it. Have patience, faithful ones. You will see. I cannot tell you more. You are not meant to understand this right now. Have faith. It will all be clear soon enough."

Without warning, Ma'at vanished.

* * * *

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