My Favorite Witch
The day after she was supposed to have
been married, Kira Fitzgerald sat with her back to her desk at the
Pickering Foundation, systematically and symbolically ridding herself of
the dick-wad she’d caught screwing her sister.
by Annette Blair
She emptied her purse of
anything that reminded her of the jock. Then she tossed the debris into
her metal trashcan with gratifying force, and broke a tiny but expensive
vial of his favorite perfume with great satisfaction. She took each of
the addressed, ecru parchment wedding invitations she'd been saving to
torture herself, and tossed them as
Taking this job as Pickering's Coordinator of Special Events had been a first step in
rising from the ashes of her life. Performing this spell was the
second. She’d turn everything that reminded her of the snake into ashes
She added a pinch of healing herbs from
her pouch, lit a long tapered match, and touched it to the edges of her
shattered dreams. “I hate jocks!”
As number of pearl embossed calla
lilies, and ridiculous, romantic words began to singe and curl, Kira
raised her amethyst-tipped wand, tempted to give the jerk what he really
deserved. “I wanna wither your Charlie, Penis!” But like any witch
worthy of the title, she would harm none.
Kira wielded her wand with a flourish.
Reap what you sow,
Recall your faithless past,
Travel the row you hoe,
And grow a heart to last.
Though I wish you no ill,
from screwing me.
This is my will,
So mote it be.”
The fire flared to bright and vigorous life, releasing a sickly-sweet
scent into the air. “Shit!” She’d forgotten perfume was flammable.
flames and the flowery smoke rose, Kira grabbed her consolation bouquet
from beside her computer, rescued the yellow roses, poured the water on
the fire, and doused the small inferno.
when she saw the crisp blue vellum invitation atop her stack of mail,
sitting there, free of its envelope, mocking her.
“Cripes, not another wedding.” She
leaned forward to read it.
to Jason Pickering Goddard’s
Ghost & Graveyard Tour of Rainbow’s Edge
Narragansett and Ochre Point Avenues
Sunday Evening, October 30, 2006, 7 p.m.
Donation: $1,000 per person
“What idiot thought this up? There are
no ghosts at Rainbow’s Edge.”
“Damn!” came a deep, sexy voice, “I
should’ve thought of that.”
Kira yelped and whipped about to gape at
the hunk of manhood who’d materialized behind her, her heart beating
How long had he been standing there?
He made her think of a wolf, hungry yet
calm, every nuance of his aquiline features sharp, like the gleam in his
silver-gray eyes, and the disapproving dimple cut deep in the center of
Like a lazy predator, he leaned against
the connecting doorjamb between her office and the next, arms crossed,
sculpted lips firm, an antique walking stick at his side.
Kira’s heart shifted into overdrive.
For half a beat, she thought he was gorgeous, flawless, but no. He
needed a haircut, a bump spoiled the precision of his nose, and his
square chin bore a decidedly stubborn set, not to mention that
five-o’clock shadow at eleven in the morning.
The small scar that crossed his left
brow intrigued her, but his lips—too perfect for a man—seemed carved in
granite, and the orgasmic promise in his eyes should come with a warning
label. Nevertheless, all the odd parts formed such an attractive whole,
Kira had to catch her breath and rub her arms against a sudden chill.
“How long have you been standing there?”
“Long enough to be glad my name’s not
“Nice talk. Little hormone problem
going on there?”
Kira bristled. “Little attitude problem
going on there?”
“Sorry, geez but that penis talk was
“Who are you?”
The intruder extended his hand with a grin that made her wonder why his
teeth weren’t sharp. “I’m the new Director of Special Events,” he
said. “And you?”
Just call me screwed. “Kira Fitzgerald,”
she said, an empty vase in one hand, and dripping roses in the other.
She placed the flowers
in the vase, glanced behind her at her smoking trashcan, and opened the
window above it. Then she wiped her hands on the skirt of her smocked
tube dress, glad it was black, and eyed her matching blazer with
yearning. “I’m the Coordinator of Special Events,” she said.
“Son of a . . . I mean,
glad to meet you.” The wolf warmed her with his sweeping glance, and
when she took his offered hand across her desk, the heat his gaze had
He let her hand go so
fast, she thought he might have felt the burn as well.
“I guess . . . you’re my
new boss.” Kira took her blazer from the back of her chair and slipped
“You guessed right,” he
“I’ve been alone in this
office for weeks,” she said. “I didn’t expect—”
“Not last week, you
weren’t. I started last week.”
“Well no, I was on . . .
vacation last week. Personal stuff . . . to settle.” Like finally
getting her things from the Penis’s apartment.
Her hot new boss waited,
for more of an explanation, Kira supposed, but she’d rather not
elaborate. “I wouldn’t have cast— I mean, I thought I was alone or. .
. ” She pointed over her shoulder and down toward the trashcan.
“Ah. . . .” He winced.
“Is the Penis begoned forever?”
“Nah. I’m sure he’s
Kira bit her lip and
shifted her stance. “Anything in particular you’d like me to . . .
coordinate this morning?”
“Now that you ask.” Her
boss gave her another deadly wolf grin, but fortunately for her, she’d
mastered the art of hunk-resistance.
“I don’t suppose you
could scare up a few ghosts for Rainbow’s Edge,” he said. “You know,
say something that rhymes, and twirl that . . . thing in the air, the
way you . . . toasted . . . Charlie.”
“Do you honestly believe
in magic?” Kira asked.
“Threaten one penis and
a guy will believe about anything you tell him.”
Kira bit her lip,
refusing to be charmed. “Did you have this invitation printed?”
“Seemed like a good idea
at the time,” the hunk said. “How do you know Rainbow’s Edge doesn’t
have any ghosts?”
“I’ve read histories on
all our mansions.”
He tilted his head.
“Maybe you need to get a life?”
Kira slapped her palm
with the invitation. Bite me, she thought. “Good thing these
haven’t been mailed yet.”
“Oh, but they have.”
She glanced at her desk
calendar. “You ordered them before you started the job? What are you,
some kind of overachiever?”
“I wanted to get a head
start, but I didn’t mean to put you on the spot. Nevertheless, I was
assured that you could work, ahem, magic, and coordinate any event I
thought would bring money into the foundation.”
Kira thought about ways
to put him on the spot to raise money for the foundation, like . . .
selling him to the highest bidder. Hmm. Revenge for fun and profit.
She smiled, and re-read
the invite. “The phantom ghost is a problem, pun intended, though the
event is perfect for All Hallows Eve. But if anybody’s willing to pay a
grand to attend, which I seriously doubt, they’re gonna expect to meet
this drive-by playboy, and I don’t think we can depend on him to show,
even if he is Bessie’s—”
“I see you two have
met.” Bessie Pickering Hazard, Chairman of the Board, swept into Kira’s
office, making for an awkward moment, as Kira had been about to trash
her neglectful grandson.
“I came down to perform
the introductions,” Bessie said, “but no need, I see.”
Kira and Bessie embraced
like the friends they’d become in the past month, because it was Kira’s
first day back after a week of overdue cancelled-wedding damage
control. “I missed you, Bessie. How are you?”
“Glad to see you back.
When you didn’t come home last night, I was worried. Everything okay?
“I drove down from
Boston this morning,” Kira said. “Everything is . . . as expected.”
“What do you mean, she
didn’t come home last night?” the wolf asked with snapping eyes.
Gram? Kira felt herself
go cold. She wished a vanishing spell existed that she could perform
lickety-split. But she remained visible, if the focused glint in Mr.
Tall, Dark and Incredible’s eyes was anything to go by.
No wonder she’d thought
of him as a wolf; they called him an ice wolf in the news for pity’s
sakes. Now that she knew who he was, she saw that his stance, his
demeanor, belonged to every arrogant jock she’d ever encountered.
Come to think of it,
hadn’t her ex looked up to this guy as some kind of role model—less for
his skill on the ice than for his money, women, and cars, it was true,
but what could you expect from a penis?
Talk about your worst
“Didn’t I tell you?”
Bessie said, with such innocence, Kira became as suspicious as her
grandson. “I couldn’t pay Kira as much as I wanted,” she said, “so I
gave her an apartment at Cloud Kiss, rent free, as a job benefit. She’s
been with me for a month, now.”
“No, you didn’t tell me,
but I think you might have mentioned it before I sublet my condo and
“Oh, no,” Kira said.
“Oh, yes,” Goddard
said. “It appears, Miss Fitzgerald--”
“Mizz Fitzgerald. It
appears we’re neighbors, here and at home.”
Bessie gave them an
“isn’t this cozy?” smile, and Kira began to understand the wolf’s
“As a matter of fact,”
Bessie said. “You’ll be sharing a kitchen.”
“Wait a minute,” the
kitchen-sharers said as one, surprising Kira and making her stop and
regard the jock, as he regarded her, with even greater mistrust if that
Bessie waved away their
concern. “Don’t worry. It’s not like you’ll be tripping over each
other. Neither of you bothers to cook.” She patted Kira’s hand. “The
kitchen separates the suite. You’ll hardly know he’s there.”
Oh, she’d know. They’d
both know. After all, she’d insulted the hell out of him. Worse than
that, ever since he’d opened his mouth, she’d had this hormone thing
going on, like popcorn on high heat, which really pissed her off,
because that made him right. She did have a hormone problem.
The fact was, if he
caught her raiding the fridge at midnight—which she did in her sleep—she
just might . . . pop.
Kira gave herself a
mental shake. According to The Penis, her new boss was the best
Wizard’s goalie in thirty years, a wolf on and off the ice. Just what
she needed, another jock in her life. A player. A man who collected
women like loose change.
And hadn’t Bessie said
that this one had been named the best kisser in America or some such
Air. She needed air.
She should have realized that the slash across his brow and the bump in
his otherwise perfect nose meant that he’d been kissed by sticks and
pucks as well as starlets.
“Listen,” Kira said,
raising her chin as she regarded him. “I didn’t know you were Bessie’s
“The fact that I’m
Bessie’s grandson has no bearing on my ability to do my job!”
Kira stepped back.
“And what’s with you?
How could you not know? You don’t read the papers, watch TV?”
“Not for sports or
reality shows, I don’t. I like the movie channel.”
“So you hate jocks and
Damn, he had been there
for a while.
“Let’s get something
straight,” he snapped, a miffed ice jockey in wolf mode shooting hard
sparks of silver her way. “Whoever I’m related to, whatever I used to
be, or will be again, by God, I’m on board right now to get The
Pickering Foundation back on its feet, and while I’m here, I plan to
work myself, and everyone else, to the bone. Are we clear on that?”
“Sure. Of course. No
“Glad to hear it.” The
jock turned on his heel for a last-word exit, but he gasped, faltered,
and grabbed his cane. So much for a spectacular retreat, Kira thought,
wishing to hell she hadn’t witnessed it.
“Gram,” he shouted. “My
Bessie winked at Kira.
“Jason!” he snapped from
his office. “You will call me Jason! No, maybe you should call me Mr.
Goddard when I’m on the job, and I’ll call you Mrs. Hazard.”
“Six months,” he said,
with no less bite. “You have me for six months and not a day more.”
“Yes, dear,” Bessie said
with a last grin for Kira before shutting herself into his office.
If Kira hadn’t been so
shaken, she might’ve laughed—so sweet and innocent had Bessie looked
before facing the snarling wolf in his den. Snarling and angry with the
But the closing click of
that door had Kira covering her heart. Six months with eyes like his
gazing down at her—as if in heated expectation . . . of . . . not what
every other woman was willing to put out.
Would she be able to
interact in a businesslike manner, in a sane manner, at least in the
office, for six months on a daily basis with a man who looked like every
girl’s fantasy? A man with the eyes of a predator, an irresponsible
jock who’d been chased by, and slept with, every acclaimed beauty in the
Kira wasn’t certain, but
no way could she bear the heat Goddard seemed to generate day and
night. She didn’t know what his problem was: a personality clash, plain
old dislike, the nepotism chip on his shoulder, or maybe it was her
magic spell. Whatever. It didn’t matter, because they were stuck
working together, and they’d both best get over it.
At least the electricity
between them wasn’t sexual. She’d already failed that test. She didn’t
have enough sex appeal to interest her own bridegroom, never mind a
brazenly rich, sexy playboy jock.
She knew by Goddard’s
reputation, and by her ex’s praise, that the hockey wolf was the kind of
cocky jerk who needed no more than to snap his fingers, or flash his
smile, to get a woman into his bed. “Well not me, buddy.”
The man was spoiled—that
was a headline-making fact—spoiled and rich, and so well put together
that women followed him as if they were pups, and he had a bone in his
Kira clamped a hand over
her mouth when she caught her pun. A pretty meaty bone, too, as far as
she could tell. Made Charlie look like he kept a cocktail frank in his
Excerpted from My Favorite Witch by Annette Blair.
Copyright © 2006 by Annette Blair. All rights reserved.
No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without
permission in writing from the publisher.