Meriel Owen, next in line to control the largest organization of witches in the country, is asked to investigate the owner of a notorious club reportedly siphoning magic from the font of the Clan. It’s a direct violation of the Clan Code of Conduct, but one look at Dominic Bright and Meriel’s willing to make a deal. One taste of the sexually feral outlaw witch, and she’s eager to go further: he’s her bond mate, a legal conduit into the world of Clan witches and their magic.
Playing by the rules isn’t Dominic’s style, but bonding with Meriel—night after explosive night—is. However, Meriel has unwittingly invited someone else into her world: Dominic’s mother, a dangerous and poisonously influential magic addict whose lust for death and power corrupts all she touches. Now her shadow is closing in on Meriel, her Clan, and the man Meriel loves, and it’s casting them all into the inescapable heart of darkness.
BOUND BY MAGICK: HEART OF DARKNESS by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2011, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group
Releasing November 1, 2011
Dominic Bright in the flesh was a punch to the gut. A sensory wallop of total and unbelievable hotness.
Sprawled in a booth in a roped- off VIP section, his physical presence was nearly as large as his magickal one. The dark T-shirt he wore stretched over tight muscles and broad shoulders. Black boots peeked from the bottom of his jeans.
Long legs stretched out before him.
Masculine. The man was breathtakingly masculine. Sharp features marked him, heavy- lidded, sexy eyes, a goatee; his shoulder length hair was thick and she wondered what it would feel like between her fingers. His lips promised such carnal delights she had to take a deep breath to steady herself.
His energy was immense. He had reserves she’d lay odds he had no idea how to use. She wondered if he even knew he was a Council witch. So much raw power emanated from him she wanted to lean in and take a long sniff.
Since that would undermine her own position and power, and since most people didn’t smell each other in public, she refrained from the aforementioned sniffing and found her own center.
His gaze caressed up her body and settled upon her face.
“Welcome to the Heart of Darkness, pretty witch.”
His voice was deep and scratchy. He didn’t yell over the music and yet she heard him perfectly.
She continued her approach, steadying legs that may have buckled had she been a lesser woman, stopping finally when her thighs touched the table. The scent of his magick hung about him like a heavy cloak. And fed her like she’d been starving.
“Mr. Bright, you’ve been a very naughty boy.”
“So I’ve been told a time or two. I take it you’re Clan Owen here to spank me.”
“I bet you have.” But she wasn’t there about that. Not until she finished this other business at the very least. She modulated her voice, not yelling, but whispering on the wind. “You tapped into Owen property without asking.”
His eyelids slid down just a little and she nearly moaned when he licked his lips. “Very nice. All that sex and magick . . . potent.”
One of her brows rose as she favored him with a smile.
This one was a charmer.
“But you’re not a hunter.”
He knew enough to understand at least something of the structure of a clan. Ignorance wouldn’t be his excuse for theft then. “If I was, we wouldn’t be talking. We don’t want to kill you. We’re not like that. Most of the time. We just want you to ask nicely when you take our property.”
“Would you like to sit?” Goddess, his mouth was an ode to the creator. The way it quirked up just a bit when he finished a sentence was a sight burned into her retinas.
Her gaze flicked over the women splayed on either side of him before moving back to his face. She wouldn’t spill Owen business in public. Nor did she want to share his attention with anyone else. “I’d prefer to speak with you in private.”
He stood, stepping over the women carefully, and Meriel tried not to gulp like a sixteen- year- old girl. He moved the few feet to her, his energy barely leashed. It was a good thing she stood nearly six feet tall because Dominic easily topped
six and change.
“Shall we go to my office?” He motioned with his hand and she allowed him to steer her, his hand at the small of her back. That touch nearly undid her.
Dominic had felt the Owen witch the minute she walked through the doors out front. Her power rolled through the building, slid through him, velvet and warm. Her presence coursed through his veins. She’d sent out her spell as he watched her drink with Simon at the bar.
He liked the way she tasted on the air. Bright and spicy. Dusky and earthy too. Her spell was clever and apparently effortless. Something like that might take him a few hours to create. He admired it, even as he kept out of range.
Unreasonable anger sparked when Simon did what Simon did best. Dominic had stewed as the Were put his hand on her waist and she responded, standing close and flirting.
The closer she moved to Simon the more agitated Dominic had become until finally grabbing her spell and tugging hard to snag her attention. When she’d turned and he saw her face, really saw her face, he’d hesitated a moment, fascinated. Beauty and power, a very potent combination in any woman.
Watching her approach had been worth giving her his location earlier than he’d planned. She moved like sex, rhythmic, smooth like honey. Generous curves filled out the snug shirt and he liked the look of her legs with the short skirt and mid- calf Frye boots she wore.
Shit kickers, those boots. They sealed the deal as far as he was concerned. Another woman would be teetering in sky- high stilettos, but this one looked just as hot and she’d have been able to run his ass down if he gave her trouble.
He didn’t know a whole lot about the universe of clan witches, but he’d done some digging on Owen when he’d decided to use the back rooms there as a club for Others.
This one was the daughter of the leader Edwina Owen. Next in line.
In a world of beautiful women, this one lodged herself in his attentions. He wanted more of her, which was interesting in and of itself. Powerful, so powerful he fought the urge to drag his tongue up her throat to get a taste. She held it to herself, snug. Tightly controlled just like the rest of her. He wanted to muss her up.
Unbelievably, after less than ten minutes of seeing her, he had a mighty big want on for the delicious Ms. Owen.
He usually avoided sexual interludes with other witches. He was outclan and his unaffiliated status tended to make clan witches territorial. Before he’d been with them a few months they started talking about clan affiliation.
And he wasn’t a joiner.