Hope you’re having a fun weekend! The clocks have gone back here last night, so an extra hour – which I may need to recover after cocktail pitchers last night! Today, I’m sharing the next part of my free prequel to Love Reawakened. (Again,this isn’t fully edited yet so please excuse any mistakes) Hope you enjoy 🙂
Emma shivered as she stood in the cold cemetery. Really, whoever said being a witch was going to be glamorous? Right now, she’d settle for warm and indoors. Her eyes settled on the tall figure in front of her. Maybe warm, indoors and with some company? His broad shoulders flexed as he made intricate movements in the air. She hadn’t quite realized the amount of power he possessed. It filled the air all around her, strumming through the ground and sending shivers through her. Normally magic warmed her, but death magic was weirdly cold, sending a chill seeping into her bones.
She forced herself to concentrate on what he was doing. This was a police investigation and two officers stood stiffly to attention on the other side of the grave. It was an important raising, hopefully it would bring a murderer to justice.
Her eyes went back to Garret, concentrating on his movements, on the words he chanted. Pure necromancy, such as he performed, had some subtle differences from the way witchcraft was used to raise, but many of the basic elements were the same and she could follow what he was doing at least. She could feel the pressure in the air as he drew the circle together, a moment before the ground before his feet boiled and bubbled, and a figure rose out of the churned earth.
Emma was barely aware of Garret droning the ritual words, of the police officer stepping forward and asking various questions. All she could do was stare at the corpse. The man was dead, yet standing in front of her. He was short, had probably been stocky in life but already the muscle was wasting away, giving him a scrawny, slightly saggy look that was a little un-nerving. His dark hair was still quite thick, but his face was drawn, his eyes sunken and the deep brown colour dull and glassy. He was there and yet not. She could see him walking a few steps around, answering the policeman’s questions, and yet he was robotic, stiff, like an animated puppet with someone pulling the strings. With Garret pulling the strings. She looked at the necromancer. He seemed perfectly calm, unbothered by being in the middle of a graveyard having a conversation with a corpse. But then, this was commonplace for him, wasn’t it. Maybe he did it everyday.
Bile rose up and she forced it back down. She couldn’t do this. There was no way she would be able to control someone who had once been a living, breathing person like that. What possible right did she have? She needed to get out of here. Turning on her heel, she half-ran, half-stumbled away from the grave, away from the talking corpse, and most of all, away from the man who had brought him back to life. At the end of the cemetery, she sank onto a bench, her legs shaking. Tears filled her eyes. She didn’t belong here, what kind of witch couldn’t even look at a zombie without having a panic attack. She was never going to be able to do this, and she might as well give up the whole thing. Get a normal job, wait tables or some such crap. God, she was an idiot to think she’d had any chance of being something special.
She didn’t know long how she sat there, but the sound of footsteps made her slowly raise her head out of her hands. Garret was stood in front of her, his deep brown gaze boring into her.
“There wasn’t a lot of assisting happening back there,” he commented. “Want to tell me what happened?”
Her vision blurred again. Great, now he was disappointed in her as well. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I just…”
What was she supposed to say? That she was a failure, an idiot, that she’d been stupid to think she could ever do this in the first place?
“I’m sorry,” was all she could manage to repeat.
His gaze softened slightly and he held his hand out to her. “Come on.”
She simply stared at it, blinking back her tears. “Where are we going?”
“You look like you need a drink. Or maybe six.”
She took his hand, letting him pull her to her feet. Couldn’t argue with that.
Garret leaned his hip against the side of the bar, his lips twitching as he watched her down another shot. For a little thing she sure could put them away. Her eyes met his and a smile spread across her face.
“You’re slacking. What’s up, can the big, bad necromancer not keep up with an itty bitty girl.”
She staggered slightly on the last words, and he quickly reached out, grasping her round the waist and supporting her against him. Her skin was warm and he could feel her soft curves leaning into him. Not a good idea. He grabbed his beer with his free hand, gulping it down. Maybe that would cool him down. Her head tilted up at him, her green eyes sparkling.
“You trying to cop a feel, sweetie? Don’t worry, I’m not exactly complaining.”
Garret sputtered on his beer. “No!” When she mock pouted at him, he found himself stuttering. “Not that you’re not… but we’re… look, I think maybe you’ve had enough.”
What the hell was wrong with him? He never got fucking tongue-tied around women, let alone little slips of girls where he was certainly not going to take advantage of a student/teacher relationship.
She was still grinning up at him. “I’m fine. I want to dance.”
Yeah, like that was a good idea when she was nearly falling over just propping up the bar! She was already heading towards the dance-floor though, half-dragging him behind her. Er, hell no!
He stopped dead, her body jerking back into him when she refused to let go of her death-grip on his wrist.
“I don’t dance.” He told her firmly.
For a moment she studied him, head tilted to one side. Then she shrugged and released his wrist. He was surprised at the pang of loss her touch caused.
“Your loss,” she laughed. “I’ll catch you later. Or if you actually want to stop being such a grouch and have some fun, come find me.”
Before he could answer she had turned, her hips blatantly swaying as she made her way to almost the dead-centre of the dance floor. Taking a few steps backwards, he leaned back against the bar, bringing the beer to his lips as he watched her. Arms raised, she twisted and twirled, her hips rolling to the music. The thin t-shirt rose up, baring the skin of her mid-drift and her hair swirled around her like a dark red cloud. It took all of about thirty seconds before she had drawn the eye of pretty much every guy in the room. He watched as the first one approached her. Her smile was light as she shook her head, but the first guy had barely stepped away before another one was there. He drained his bottle and slammed it back on the bar harder than needed. For fuck’s sake! He was definitely gonna regret this but he couldn’t leave her to the wolves.