Their Obsession

By: Eliza Gayle

Chapter One


“Can you feel it? I’ll soon be free. My time is coming, and all hope will be lost.”

Marc jerked awake, his body coiled tight and covered in sweat. His gaze swept left and right as he crept from the bed, searching for the source of distress.

A sudden gust of mist and wind tore through the room, shattering the calm. Glass and ceramics crashed to the ground in a flurry of noise and dangerous debris.

“What the hell?” Aidan jumped from the bed, muscles taut in defense, searching for the source of the disturbance.

“Relax. It’ll be over in a second.” The thick and suffocating air pushed desperately at Marc’s skin as he fought to stay upright. A quick glance at Aidan showed a healthy dose of anger mixed with fear on his lover’s face. “Do. Not. Fear. This,” he yelled over the swirling vortex. “Fight it.”

He pushed against the dark power filling the room. It pushed back. Son of a bitch. His muscles strained, and the blood pounded in his head as the unseen evil slammed them into the wall, pinning them in place. Sweat poured from Marc’s body as he fought to continue breathing and expel the demonic spirit. He should have seen this coming.

With every physical and mental aspect of his being strained to the breaking point, he pushed and struggled harder. Invisible fingers wrapped around his throat, cutting him off from the life-giving force he needed to stay alive. Despite Aidan’s and his considerable combined strength, the darkness wrapped them from head to toe in a shadowy shroud. He dared not break his concentration to check on Aidan and, instead, racked his oxygen-deprived brain for another solution.

Frigid air moved in, and the temperature of the room fell by at least fifty degrees. But that cold touch made him remember what it was he sought. A faint heat source in the room now beckoned him like a lifeline. His arms dove through the swirling blanket of obsession, greed, and jealousy surrounding them as he groped for the crystal amulet he knew had to be mere inches from his grasp.

His body twitched and flailed against his movements, and a sliver of fear tried to break through his resolve. A century ago when he’d faced these very fears, his inexperience had gotten the best of him. Not this fucking time.

His right hand wrapped around the heated crystal, which warmed his hand with its magic. Shards of light and color burst through his skin, heating him from the inside out. Hope and joy fragmented the rage, forcing the hateful and unbalanced emotions from the room in a fiery display of dominance. His body collapsed onto the floor in a heap of exhaustion and sweat alongside Aidan.

Marc blew out a hard breath and looked at the damaged room. The balance of power was shifting more quickly than he’d expected, and they’d just been warned.

“What was that?”

“That, my good man, was the welcome wagon.” Marc stood on shaky legs and placed the crystal amulet around his neck for safekeeping. Odds were they’d be revisiting their fears in the coming days. “It appears our witch has arrived.”

* * * * *

Jayde rushed down the sidewalk, sweat trickling down her back as she hurried toward the glass doors of the bank. She gripped her bag tighter, willing her hands to quit shaking. What could possibly be in that damn safety-deposit box to warrant the increased fear racing through her the closer she got to it? It had to be the heat, the hot, sticky air she dragged in and out of her lungs. Much longer, and she would certainly melt.

She’d grown accustomed to the mild climate of San Francisco and had forgotten that during the summer in South Carolina, you never knew what to expect. Rain one day, heat the next, but always the miserable humidity. Instead of the jacket and skirt she wore, she longed for a thin sundress and sandals. Not to mention a tall, cold drink. The kind with an umbrella and some fruit on the side. Something with enough liquor in it to make her forget why she was here.

Her stomach knotted in grief at the memory of the polite phone call she’d received a few days ago. She’d woken to the shrill ring of her cell phone at an ungodly hour of the morning and had been ready to curse the person calling. Those words were forgotten when the caller informed her that her beloved grandmother had died the night before, and that she was needed in Hickory Falls as soon as possible.

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