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Conrad Drake has been a Wiccan defender for four hundred years. He isn't happy when the Elder's messenger tells him that his new partner is an initiate that doesn't even know she's a witch. ...But when he learns that the woman is the daughter of the man who trained him, he feels honor-bound. Little did he know that this initiate would not only turn his world upside down, but the whole Wiccan world.
Neither would realize the changes they would face. Ghosts from the past and the new Warlock leader would force them to dig deep within themselves to find hidden strengths. If they fail, the planet they protect could be destroyed along with humanity.
Selenia checked her watch. He’ll be here soon. She started out the door, then remembered her cloak. It wouldn’t be good to show up without some sign we acknowledge the rituals. No matter how outdated. She secured the silver clasp at her throat as she rushed to the portal chamber.
The room was empty, except for a set of steps that led to a glowing blue doorway framed with polished redwood. It was one of twelve portals situated throughout the world which were used to access the Wiccan temples. Everyone had the ability to create private portals, but the temple was powered by its own magic, preventing unauthorized access.
Selenia touched her hair to ensure no stray strands had escaped the thick braid, which wrapped around her head like a silver crown. When the light from the door grew brighter and swirled into an explosion of stars, Selenia knelt on one knee, her heavy black cloak flowing over the flagstones around her.
A moment later, a man, dressed in a long golden robe adorned with silver thread, appeared. His pale blue eyes surveyed the room, then settled on the woman kneeling before him. “Rise, Selenia.”
Selenia rose to her feet and smiled to cover her nervousness. It wasn’t every day the high priest’s personal messenger visited. “We are honored…” She paused, unsure of what title to give him. “Would you care for a tour of the temple?”
He walked down the steps. “No. Has he been told of my visit?”
“No, sir. We thought it best to keep that from him until you got here.”
“I’m sorry, Selenia, I didn’t mean to sound so abrupt. My birth name is Olsen.” He motioned to the hallway. “Shall we go? I take it Conrad still has an aversion to authority?”
Selenia led him out of the room. “It’s not that he doesn’t respect or admire the wise ones, Olsen. He just hates ceremony.”
“Oh don’t worry, Selenia. I know Conrad well. How is he?”
Selenia sighed. They walked in silence for a moment. “I’m not sure. He was close to Robert. They worked together for fifty years. Losing him had to have been hard on Conrad, but he doesn’t mention it. He has also refused to take another healer.”
“That’s why he’d bolt if he knew I was coming. Fifty years ago when the Elders made it law that no Witch could work in the mortal world without a healer, he was adamant he could work alone. I imagine now that Robert is dead, he will return to that idea.”
Selenia opened a set of doors that led onto a balcony overlooking a large earthen-floor arena and walked to the rail. Below, two men and a woman circled a man stripped to the waist in the center. His golden skin and black hair gleamed with sweat as he spun to meet each attack. One threw bolts of fire. The woman threw shards of lightening while the last attacked with a kick, meant to connect with his ribs. The object of their attack defended himself against the magic with an invisible shield while spinning away from the well aimed foot.
Selenia smiled with pride. “Conrad is still our very best warrior. Perhaps he could remain to become a mentor? We have very few highly skilled teachers.”
Olsen quirked a brow at her. “That is your task, my dear. Conrad Drake is a defender. We need him. More now than ever before.”
Selenia wanted to ask what was so important, but by the grim look on Olsen’s face, she decided she didn’t want to know. “If he won’t take a healer…”
Olsen turned his attention back to Conrad. “His partner has been chosen for him.”
Conrad changed from defensive to offensive and leaped over an attacker to land behind him. In one smooth motion, he wrapped his arm around the man’s throat while casting a wall of flame between them and the other two. He paused when he sensed he was being watched. Releasing the man, Conrad looked up at the balcony and made eye contact with Olsen.
* * * *
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
No. of Pages: 262
Paper Weight (lb): 11.2
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