Authors: Dominique Eastwick
Wiccan Haus Book Four
An imprint of
Siren’s Serenade, Wiccan Haus Book Four, Copyright © Dominique Eastwick, 2012
All Rights Reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without prior written permission of the publisher.
This e-Book is a work of fiction. While references may be made to actual places or events, the names, characters, incidents, and locations within are from the author’s imagination and are not a resemblance to actual living or dead persons, businesses, or events. Any similarity is coincidental.
633 Edgewood Ave
Lancaster, OH 43130
Published by Musa Publishing, July 2012
This e-Book is licensed to the original purchaser only. Duplication or distribution via any means is illegal and a violation of International Copyright Law, subject to criminal prosecution and upon conviction, fines and/or imprisonment. No part of this ebook can be reproduced or sold by any person or business without the express permission of the publisher.
Editor: Elizabeth Silver
Cover Design: Kelly Shorten
Interior Book Design: Coreen Montagna
This e-Book contains adult language and scenes. This story is meant only for adults as defined by the laws of the country where you made your purchase. Store your e-Books carefully where they cannot be accessed by younger readers.
Dedicated to Tina B., T.t., Star, Delphina, and Toni the fans
who inspire us to write more books in the series.
Special Thanks to Liz, Kate, Sara, Nya, Luna for helping to bring this world to life. And for loving the Island and its inhabitants as much as I do.
As Always to Nadine, Tamara and last but not least my Hubby.
at her mother. Either she would tell her matriarch off, laugh in her face—or worse, burst into a sea of tears. The final would be a humiliation she couldn’t quite deal with. For the last two centuries, Serena had listened to her mother lament to their chorus of mermaids how incompetent and embarrassing her middle daughter was as both an heir apparent and a mermaid.
True, Serena hadn’t done her duty to either her queen or her people. She had failed to secure the line of succession. Serena didn’t understand why, but when she had been born the old sea hag had declared she would be the strength of her people;
would bring about change and
would succeed to the throne. Serena had long ago decided someone had misheard. Serena would never be the strength of anyone and didn’t see why the old woman of the sea had the power to decide who would be next on the throne. She certainly hadn’t shown the strength her people thought she should have when she had helped those shipwrecked men out of the watery depths.
“This is the last time you will embarrass me.” Her mother’s voice boomed through the cavernous throne room.
“I can’t kill a man just because he is a
.” Serena looked at her mother now, and wished she hadn’t; her striking beauty had turned cold and harsh.
“They pollute our waters, rape our food source, and you can’t protect your people by dragging the few worthy specimens to us so we can mate?”
“Not when mating with them means they shall take their last breath!” Having known the pleasure of Para men on more than one occasion, Serena had yet to understand why her mother and sisters were so keen on seeing any man die after giving a mermaid what she wanted. “I will find a man on land and mate with him but I will not kill one.”
“You have exactly one year from this day to do just that. You
secure the line, or we’ll force the mating on you, Serena. Do what you have to, but you had better be with child by this time next year.”
“You will. Do not defy me on this.” Her mother turned her back on her, flipping her tail forward and away from Serena.
Gasping, Serena understood the meaning. When a mermaid turned her tail from you, you were no longer worthy of her attention. For all intents and purposes, she was outcast until she fulfilled her destiny. Turning away herself, Serena barely paid heed to her sisters turning tail from her as well. Not one of them had the scales to stand up to their mother.
With all the power she possessed, Serena pushed herself out of the great hall and toward the surface. Moving faster and faster, she focused on the sun’s light twinkling at the surface. Cresting, she threw her long blond hair back with a flick of her head, tresses drying instantly as they hit the air. And then, finally, she allowed her anger to mount. She hit the ocean surface with her fist and screamed with all the sorrow her soul would allow. She wanted to sing, but if there were boats in the area, they would only succumb to her sorrow.
“Serena.” The whisper seemed to come on the breeze. Turning, she saw her eldest sister just at the surface. Unlike Serena, Serafina had never enjoyed the air or the sun. Grabbing Serena’s hand gently, Serafina pulled her back down into the depths into a cave they had played in as girls. Coming out of the water into the dark recesses of the cave, Serena followed her sister to the area lit with pools of bioluminescent fish. “There is a place run by other Paras. They might be able to help you.”
Serena pulled her hand from her sister’s; what hope was there if even the meekest of sisters couldn’t be on her side even in private? “Help me kill someone?”
“No. Help you break the curse that forces us to kill a man to get with child.”
Moving over to the clear pool in the center of the cave, Serafina ran her hand through the water. The image of a small island appeared in the pool. “They heal people. Perhaps they can heal you, or at least help you to find peace with your destiny.”
“I want nothing to do with this destiny.”
“You have very little choice, my sister. This place can help, I just know it; it’s called the Wiccan Haus.”
One Year Later
, head of security for the Wiccan Haus, placed back into her hand the pen specially designed by Sarka, one of the Wiccan Haus owners, to bind Serena to her word.
Why couldn’t he just take her for her word? Just once? So maybe she’d given him reason to doubt her word on an occasion or two, but no one had been hurt. Not really. But looking at the tall, dark brooding man before her, she knew the answer to that was he didn’t take anyone at their word. And that was what made him so good at his job. It also added to his appeal.
Oh, what she wouldn’t give to get that cat into her pond just one more time.
“Damn it, Serena, sign. The humans are arriving any minute, and I don’t have time for your games.”
She slammed the pen against the paper, causing the ink to splotch, sucking in her breath as the metal burned her fingertips. Without reading the contract, Serena signed her name and yanked a hair from her head and placed it in the envelope attached to the contract. “Happy?”
“Fucking ecstatic.” Rekkus snatched up the contract before disappearing into the office behind the desk. No man—human or Para—should fill out a pair of jeans the way he did. And she knew just what was in them too.
“Welcome back, Serena.”
Serena closed her eyes. It really was bad form to check out another woman’s mate when she was standing right there. “Hello, Dana.” Serena held no ill will against the human woman who had captured not only the tiger’s heart but his soul. But that didn’t mean she couldn’t replay the sex with him in her head.
“He does look good in those jeans doesn’t he?”
“I wasn’t looking. I was just…”
“You were looking, everyone does. But then, who am I to blame you?” Dana leaned into Serena, whispering in her ear. “It’s okay, you know. I’m not the jealous type.”
“Why are you so nice to me?”
Shrugging, Dana laughed. “Because I can be. Maybe this time you’ll find whatever peace has eluded you.”
With that, Dana followed Rekkus into the office. Serena wished she could figure out what it was about Dana that made her so damned nice. No one except Serena’s older sister was ever nice to her for no reason. Hell, even when Serena had been fucking Rekkus he hadn’t been nice to her. That had been just two Paras slaking their lust. Sex didn’t mean the same to Paras as it did to humans, or so she was beginning to understand.
Still, there was the trust issue gnawing at her. How did a mermaid who trusted no one get people to trust her? And why did it matter so much to her anyway?
But then what was to trust? She’d overheard Myron the receptionist and card reader say to Rekkus on Serena’s second visit that she couldn’t read her with her cards. That she had tried several decks, but none read the same. When Rekkus had questioned that, Myron shrugged and explained that mermaids were never truthful even to themselves, so how could the cards read her true intent when she didn’t even know it?
And that was the crux of the issue.
Serena had spent years fighting her true nature to bring human men to their doom as a mermaid. So what did someone who couldn’t embrace their true self, pretending to be anything else, really become in the end?
“Serena, I have you in one of the cabins this week. As we weren’t expecting you, your usual room was given to a Were-shark in need of the salt water bath.”
“Thanks, Myron. It’s fine.”
“Sage said to tell you she will be down to infuse the cabin later. There isn’t a bath, but its right on the beach, so you should be fine. But a word of warning: it’s damn close to Rekkus and Dana. And aside from them being rather loud, if you catch my meaning, if a human sees your…um…fin, Rekkus will blow his already volatile top. He is, to put it bluntly, a walking time bomb at the moment and no one is quite sure why. Not even me…” The gypsy placed her cards one at a time on the table then scrunched her nose at the results.