When I had to pick an emotion-packed excerpt for this snippet, I knew exactly which one it should be. WITCH'S CURSE may be short, but it's full of emotion and twist. Give it a try.
As punishment for using magic unwisely, Catherine Wein, ex-witch and totally cursed, is doomed to spend each year in a different woman's life. It's New Year's Eve and at the stroke of midnight she’ll make the switch to another host’s life. Catherine's determined to grab for as much happiness as she can with her remaining hours in Kindra Merlot’s body.
Enter sexy cop, Sam Cade. Dumped by his girlfriend right after Christmas, Sam isn't in the mood to celebrate until he sees the willowy beauty, Kindra. Her sensuality and sexual aggressiveness revives his lagging spirits. Is she the one for him or is she another lying, cheating woman like his ex? He hopes he has more than just one night to find out.
Sam twisted his head around and fumbled with the alarm on the nightstand. “It’s eleven-fifty-three. Why? Did you want to ring the New Year in?” He pressed a kiss to her hair and sucked the lobe of her ear between his teeth. “I can think of better ways to welcome in the New Year.”
Panic rose up inside her, threatening to choke off her air. “I can’t. I have to go.”
“Why?” The arm around her tightened.
She leaned into him and pressed a kiss to his chest then moved up until her lips hovered over his. “I have to.”
“When can I see you again?”
As if a knife cut into her, Catherine sucked in her breath, reminding herself that in five minutes she’d be God knew where in someone else’s body, starting all over. Swallowing hard on the lump in her throat, she sent the silent question to Kindra, Do you want to see him again?
Fear racked her, making her entire body shake. I can’t.
Catherine dropped a kiss to his lips, delving deep, knowing this would be their last. “I can’t see you anymore.” A tear slipped from her eye dropping to his cheek. Before he could form a response, she leaped off the bed. “I have to go.”
She scooped her dress from the floor and stepped into it, zipping it the best she could as she scrambled for her heels.
“What the hell?”
“I can’t explain. I can’t see you again.” She couldn’t face him, couldn’t witness the look of betrayal in his eyes.
“Are you married?”
“No.” When she spotted her shoes, she grabbed them and ran for the door. With only minutes to spare, she had to get out. But she couldn’t resist one last look.
Sam had climbed from the bed and was reaching for his trousers. His muscular, naked body was beautiful in the lamplight. She’d really miss him.
He was stepping into one trouser leg when Catherine jerked the door open. She had to get to the elevator before he did. If she left Kindra’s body before she got away, Kindra would go nuts. Catherine punched the button on the elevator, holding her heels looped over one finger in her other hand. “Hurry! Hurry!”
As the doors slid open, Sam emerged from his apartment. “Kindra, wait!”
Catherine dove into the elevator and hit the button that closed the doors. Her fingers punched the lobby button. She didn’t want to get off on her floor in case Sam followed her to Kindra’s apartment. As the elevator descended, she counted the seconds. It must be midnight by now. When would her soul float free and Kindra be on her own?
When she reached the lobby level, she could hear the happy shouts of the party-goers ringing in the New Year. This was it.
“Take care, Kindra. I love you and please give your life a chance.”
I love you too, Catherine. Don’t worry about me. I’ll be all right.
As she stepped into the crowded lobby, Dolly descended on her. “Catherine or Kindra?”
“Both.” Catherine grabbed Dolly’s hand and held on, not wanting to go but knowing she had to.
“The clock is striking midnight as we speak.” Dolly hugged her. “I’ll always be here for you. You know that.”
“I know.” Catherine kissed her cheek. “Be happy, Dolly. And watch out for Kindra.”
“I will.” Dolly’s eyes glistened with unshed tears.
A tingling sensation started in her toes and worked its way up her legs into her torso. “Goodbye, Dolly. Blessed be.”
Though Dolly’s tears fell in earnest now, Catherine couldn’t reach out and comfort her friend. She’d risen above the gathering, weightless and disembodied from Kindra’s mortal being.
There in the middle of the dance floor stood Michael, dressed in black, his shock of white-blond hair a striking contrast to the somberness of his clothing. Invisible to all those around him, his gaze was locked with Kindra’s.
“No!” Catherine could see all that was going on, but she was powerless to do anything about it.
Kindra moved toward Michael, her steps slow yet steady.
“Kindra? Are you all right?” Dolly held onto Kindra’s arm and walked alongside her.
“I’m fine,” she answered in a monotone voice, her gaze fixed in front of her.
“Shouldn’t we go back to your room, sweetheart?” Dolly tugged the woman’s arm to no avail.
“No, I think I’d like some fresh air.” By this time, they’d reached the lobby doors exiting out onto the busy streets of Hell’s Kitchen.
Dolly held tight to Kindra’s arm. “No, you can’t go out there.”
Kindra turned to Dolly, her face set and strangely at peace. “Let me go, Dolly. It’s what I want.”
“No. Catherine made me promise.”
“Go back to the party, Dolly.” She peeled Dolly’s hands off her arm and pushed through the door.
Catherine moved to follow, knowing she could breeze through the entrance as if glass, brick and mortar meant nothing.
Behind her, she heard a male voice call out, “Kindra!”
Sam pushed his way through the crowd, a frantic frown creasing his forehead.
Kindra didn’t stop. She followed Michael out onto the street.
Catherine burst through the walls of the building just as Kindra reached the curb to the busy street. “Michael, don’t do this.”
“It’s her time, Catherine. I’ve come to collect a soul, and I won’t leave without it.” Michael held out his hand to Kindra. “Come.”
If she had a body, she’d throw it in front of Kindra to stop her, but Catherine was nothing more than a lifeless soul. “Please, Michael. If you want a soul, take mine. Kindra’s young and has so much talent. She deserves to live. Spare her and take me.”
Michael’s brows rose on his forehead. “Take you? You stole her from me a year ago today. Why should I take you?”
“I don’t know. Just do it. Kindra is a gentle soul who wouldn’t hurt a fly. She deserves to live more than I do. I’m mean and nasty. That’s why the council cursed me. I deserve to die. Please, Michael. Don’t take Kindra.”
Michael rubbed his chin for a moment and then looked up to where Catherine’s soul hovered. “No.” Then he stuck out his hand.
Powerless, Catherine watched in horror as Kindra stepped off the curb in front of a speeding car. The car hit her in the side, flinging her back to the curb like a rag doll.
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