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Blurb: Tiana Wells is a practicing Druidic pagan. So when her best friend discovers she’s magically bound, it doesn’t take much prodding to get Tiana to do a ritual of unbinding. But something evil is released, and the next thing Tiana knows, she’s investigating a string of grisly killings with, Ian Spencer, the sexiest detective in Scotland Yard. There’s nothing she’d like more than to fall into his arms – but she’s desperate to catch the killer without Ian learning she may be responsible for it.
The first time Ian Spencer sees the lady anthropologist, he knows he’s a goner. No matter that he and Tiana are hard on the trail of a serial killer, whenever he’s with her, his mind turns to sex. He can’t do anything that would jeopardize the case, or worse, put Tiana in danger. But it’s torture to work so close to her and not be able to have her.
Their passion rises with each body found, and so does the danger. But desire may be a lethal distraction, now that Jack is Back.
Tiana looked at her friend Kyrie with concern. “Are you sure you want to do this spell?” She was concerned that releasing this magical binding might cause more trouble, especially since they didn’t know who had placed it upon Kyrie. Tiana fingered her pewter pendant, the warmth reassuring her of protection.
“I’m sure. What do I have to lose? Would you put up with someone binding you, preventing you from doing something because it’s against what they want, regardless of what you want?”
“Well, we don’t know who did the spell. It might’ve been something done to you as a child in order to protect you.”
Kyrie’s features scrunched up. Tiana resisted the urge to laugh at her raven-haired friend. “I don’t care. It’s not fair to place a binding on me and not tell me why.”
Jules nodded. “I agree with Kyrie, Ti. I think we should do the unbinding ceremony, and then, once the person figures out it’s undone, they can explain the reason behind its existence.”
“Okay, Jules. Since you’re just as fanatic about this as Kyrie, we’ll do it,” Tiana acceded as she stood in the northern part of the room. The two women stood in the middle, where a small table acted as an altar. On the table were the implements they’d use to break the binding surrounding their friend, including candles, a bowl of water, and other items that might be necessary for the ritual.
Once the circle of protection was invoked and they had thanked the elements and gods for their presence, protection, and blessing, Tiana lit a deep-amethyst candle.
“This is Kyrie, the one bound by forces unknown. Hear our plea to break the binding.” Kyrie spoke the words she’d been told to say. “I beg the elements to release me from the binding. Just as this cord has knots that I undo, let me be unbound.”
Tiana watched as Kyrie undid each of the nine knots. When Kyrie got to the last one, Tiana nodded to Jules as Kyrie handed the undone cord to Tiana.
“Let the last knot be undone, let the binding be let loose. Thus we three ask and demand acquiescence,” intoned Jules.
Tiana’s hand slipped to her pendant, feeling strong warmth pulsating within it. Feeling nervous, but also reassured, she spoke the final words as she placed the cord in the bowl and lit the cord fire. “Let the elements release the binding that exists in this circle. Let it hold no more.”
As the cord burned to ash, Tiana sensed something happening. Looking at both Jules and Kyrie, Tiana saw that they seemed at peace with the ritual so far. She seemed to be the only one who felt a cool rush of air swirling around them. Suddenly, a huge cloud seemed to float up from in front of her, swirling around, then disappearing out the window. Neither of her friends seemed to see what she did. A chill crept down her back, and she noticed that her pendant was cold to the touch. Then it warmed again, slightly. What just happened, and why do I feel it’s not good?
“Well, that’s done,” Jules said with a slight smile. “Now we can enjoy the rest of the weekend.”
Kyrie nodded. “Thanks, you two. I know it’s not one of your things, Jules, but I feel much better now. How about you, Ti?”
Tiana nodded her head and pasted a smile on her face as she began the cleansing ceremony to help speed out whatever negative energy might remain. “I’m okay. Let me close this circle, then we can go lie about and watch movies.”
Silently, she used a sage and sweetgrass braid to smudge the air and cleanse it. Once she was done with the ritual and had released the circle, she joined her friends. “There, all done. Let’s put this stuff away, and we can bury the ashes in the morning to make sure the binding is released.”
As they left the basement of Kyrie’s house, Tiana looked back and wondered what it was she felt.
* * * * *
Free. I’m finally free of that damned witch! Once again, I am free to continue what I want to do. With that thought, the spirit released went searching for a way to cause fear and havoc. Having been bound for such a long time, he felt the need to feed once again upon the blood he would spill and the people who deserved to be terrorized. Searching for a way to slake his thirst, the spirit roamed the night, searching for someone to inhabit. For him it would be an indirect kill, as the person’s spirit would crumble before the sauciest killer known to London.