Season Of The Witch: TEASER #5 (Extended Version)

SBSW7

 

Darius didn’t look up.  “You’re late.”

“You’re lucky I came at all.”  Kristof glanced around again.  “Of course you had to pick the dive-y-est dive bar this side of Market.  I think that door handle just gave me a venereal disease.”

Darius coughed, and signaled the bartender.

Kristof glanced at his empty glass.  “Little early for you, isn’t it?”

It was, but he didn’t need someone pointing it out.  “Shut up.”

Kristof snorted.  “Don’t be a dick to me just because your black witch has you all bent out of shape.  We go back too far for that.”

Darius blew out a breath.  “Yeah.  About that.”  Before he could get any further, the bartender appeared.  Darius nudged his glass towards him.  “Another.”

Kristof raised his eyebrows.  He waited until the bartender shuffled off, then turned back to Darius.  “Drinking our lunch today, are we?  What’s gotten into you?”

Darius scowled down at the scarred bar.  No way was he about to admit to Kristof just how much Georgia had gotten under his skin.  He should be angry with her—hell, he should be furious, the lying little witch.  But all he could think about was how neatly her wrist had notched into his hand.  How soft her skin was, how delicate the flutter of her pulse had felt against his thumb…

Kristof’s eyebrows ticked up another notch.  “Shit.  Don’t tell me she put a spell on you.”

Darius sneered.

The bartender returned with his shot of Grey Goose.  Darius slid him a few bills, tilted back the glass and drained it in one swallow.

Kristof shook his head.  “Must have been some spell.”

Darius bit back a growl.  “You have no idea.”

Kristof blinked, but let it slide.  “So, I’m assuming you called me here for a reason.  That is, unless you just wanted to pour your heart out while we paint our nails and braid each other’s hair.”  He aimed a pointed look at Darius’ bald head.  “Well, while you braid my hair, anyway.”

Darius snorted.  “Asshole.”  His chest felt a little lighter, though.  Whether it was the ribbing or the alcohol, he couldn’t be sure.  He slid a sidelong glance at the platinum-haired witch.  “I saw Father Gregory the other day.  I told him about the case.”

Kristof stilled.  “Really.”

“Yeah.”

Kristof stared at him for a moment.  Then he lifted a finger and signaled the bartender.  “Excuse me.  Two more of whatever he just had.”

Neither of them spoke while they waited.  A few minutes later, the bartender slid matching vodka shots across the bar.  Kristof waved Darius off and paid for them both.  They each sipped wordlessly.

Kristof was the first to break the silence.  “Are you sure that was wise?”

Darius sighed.  “No.  But he was the only person I could think of who didn’t have some kind of angle in this thing.”

Kristof’s eyes were hard.  “He’s a Catholic.  They always have an angle.”

“And what would that be?”  Darius took a heavier sip, sucked in a breath as the vodka blazed a fiery trail down his throat.  “So a coven of witches gets murdered.  No harm no foul, as far as they’re concerned.  Hell, whoever it was did them a favor.”

“I can’t believe you just said that.”  Kristof stared at him.  “Did you seriously just say that?”

“I’m not saying I like it.”  Darius fingered the rim of his glass.  “You know I don’t.  I’m just saying out of all the people I’ve talked to so far, Father Gregory was the only one who didn’t have some kind of agenda.”

Kristof’s lips thinned.  “You think I have an agenda.”

“Don’t sound so hurt.  It’s not like I blame you.  This whole thing is a shit storm in the making, and you and yours are right in the middle.”  Darius leaned forward.  “Whatever you’ve got going on, I just wish you’d tell me.  Maybe I could help.”

Kristof barked out a surprised laugh.  “Who are you, and what have you done with Darius deCompostela?  Seriously, did you just offer to get involved in subversive business?”  He peered at him a little closer.  “Maybe Georgia Clare really did put a spell on you.”

Darius leaned back again.  “Fuck you.”

“I’m flattered, but I like us better as friends.”  Kristof’s eyes grew serious.  “I’ll tell you, if you’re sure you want to know.  But you’re walking a fine fucking line here, Darius.  Don’t forget, I know the wolves you’ve been keeping at bay.  They’re going to get a hell of a lot more persistent if word gets out you’re involved in this.”

Darius grimaced.  “I’m already involved.  I might as well know what I’m dealing with.”

“Whatever you say.”  Kristof paused, as if trying to decide where to begin.  “How much do you know about the Witching Council?”

Darius thought for a moment.  Not a lot, aside from what Georgia had told him, and she had reason to be biased.  “Not much.  I was under the impression they ran the community around here.”

Kristof nodded.  “They do.  We witches generally keep ourselves to ourselves.  The powers-that-be know that.  They know we don’t need much convincing to keep away from the mundanes.”

Darius took a sip of vodka.  “I bet.”

Kristof made a face.  “I swear.  Tell someone you’re a vampire or a werewolf and they think it’s sexy.  Tell someone you’re a witch and they go from zero to Torquemada in three seconds flat.”  He huffed and sipped his drink.  “Anyway, point is, it’s in our best interests to keep a low profile.”

###

SEASON OF THE WITCH is coming Oct. 1st!

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