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In Magc Series

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Lost In Magic

Magic destroyed her family…

but embracing it is the only way they can be together

 

Until Meredith Williams was brutally attacked and almost kidnapped, she had no idea that magic existed—or that she was born with it. But when her family friend and secret crush, FBI Agent Jack Knight, rescues her, she learns that her mother bound her powers for her own safety.

 

Jack knows it’s time to come clean about his role as a special agent in the undercover magic task force. He’s protected Meredith from afar since tragedy struck her family twenty years earlier, loving her but never being able to reveal his true feelings.

 

Now Meredith must accept who she is, because if she doesn’t, the spellbinding will sentence her mother to death. Yet accepting her magic when it’s caused so much heartbreak and lies isn’t just difficult for Meredith, it’s almost impossible.

 

But the evil that shattered their pasts is back and seeking revenge. And this time, unless Meredith can embrace her magic, it could spell destruction for all of them…

** Lost In Magic is book one in the In Magic Series. Each book has its own Happily Ever After. **

Lost In Magic by KJ Warawa, Paranormal Romance Author

Sneak Peak...

Chapter One

Meredith Williams parked her car in the back lot of her family’s restaurant, The Magic Plate, in Blue Mountain, Colorado. She looked at the Rocky Mountains in the distance and took in a deep breath. She had the best of both worlds, living close to the mountains, but in a city big enough to have everything she could want.

            She pushed through the back door and stopped at the sight facing her: Jo and Rowena, two of her cousins, sitting at the small table in the back of the restaurant kitchen, each with a half-filled glass of wine and an empty bottle between them. “What are you two up to?” Meredith dropped her bag on the counter at the back wall and cautiously approached the prep table. She knew the looks her cousins were giving her; they were preparing for an interrogation. “What’s up? Where’s Reece?”

            Meredith sat in the third chair they’d obviously pulled up for their little gossip session-slash-interrogation, and reached over, taking Jo’s glass from her hand, and took a drink.

            “Hey, that’s mine. Why don’t you take Rowena’s?”

            “Because I expect this little interrogation is all your idea, so I’ll drink your wine while you tell me what’s up.”

            Rowena laughed. “I told you she’d know, Jo.”

            “Well, it’s not every day that you both just hang around the restaurant kitchen drinking wine. Okay, drinking wine is normal, but usually in the restaurant, not the kitchen.”

            “Right. Well, to answer your first question, my brother is in the restaurant and this is girl talk. And this isn’t an interrogation, although I’d like to learn about your date. This is more of a support group.”

            “What? Jo, I told you I thought the guy seemed nice and I was going on the date, regardless of what you said.”

            “No, it’s not about that. Aunt Elise invited Jack and Damon to dinner.”

            It felt like Jo had dropped a ten-ton brick right into Meredith’s lap. Her hand froze halfway to her mouth as she stared at her cousin. “Why?”

            “Aunt Elise said she has something to tell us and Jack and Damon haven’t been by for a couple of weeks, so she invited them. But something’s up because she also invited Ben and Stella.” Meredith loved Ben and Stella like an aunt and uncle and they were always welcome, but usually they came with the kids to hang for a Sunday afternoon, not a Thursday evening with Jack and Damon invited.

           Jo took the glass that Meredith still held in mid-air and drained the rest of the wine. “I’ll get another bottle.”

            Meredith turned to Rowena. “Do you think something is up?”

            Rowena twirled strands of her long blond hair around her finger. “I don’t know, but it seems strange for a weekday. Maybe it’s because we close the restaurant early tonight. They should be here in an hour.”

            Jo returned with another bottle of wine and a glass for Meredith. After pouring, Jo lifted her glass and turned toward Meredith. The interrogation part was about to start.

            “So… how was the coffee date?”

            “It was okay.”

            Jo raised one eyebrow, sending her eyebrow piercing into her purple bangs. “Okay? That’s it?”

            “This was the actuary guy, right?” Rowena couldn’t keep a straight face, the corners of her lips turning up in amusement.

            “I know, I know, I’ve gone from dating accountants to actuaries, but I just wanted someone organized.”

            “Jack is organized. I mean, he’s an FBI agent, so you’d think he’d have his shit together.”

            Leave it to Jo to bring up Jack again. Meredith huffed out a breath and took a sip of her wine. “He’s organized, but he’s not interested. I’ve been flirting with him for years and he friend-zones me every time.” Sometimes she thought he liked her too. He always made a point of dropping in to see her. He’d left Blue Mountain for a few years for university, but after he came back and joined the FBI, he stopped in almost every week to see how she was.

           When she was younger, she used to draw hearts around their names in her notebooks and dream about their lives together. Lately, when he’d drop by, she had upped the flirting, but he never flirted back. It was time to put an end to the fairy tale dreams. She’d keep dating and hope that eventually she’d find someone who made her feel special, like Jack did. Someone who cared about what she was doing and who really listened like he did. Someone who was sexy and got her heart pounding like he did. Someone who always seemed to know when to show up when she needed someone to talk to like he did. But this someone would also want to be with her, and not just as a friend. She wanted to find that special someone so she’d just have to get through dinner tonight. Then she’d put Jack out of her thoughts and move on.

 

******************

                Jack Knight flashed into the back alley, out of sight. He looked around him as he walked to the front of the restaurant. As he approached the front door, he saw Damon Stone’s car pull up. Jack waited for his friend to approach. “Hey, why’d you drive?”

            “I was visiting with some business clients, mostly non-magics. Besides, it’s nice to take her out for a spin now and then.” He grinned as he looked back at the Jaguar F-Type, silver and shiny, parked behind them.

            “Yes, Mister Money Bags. Don’t rub it in. Public servant here, remember?”

            “Oh, please. Don’t give me that crap, Jack. I know you have more investments and money than I do.”

            Jack chuckled. Damon was right, but it was still fun to rib him. They turned back to the restaurant and Jack sobered. His steps faltered for a minute and he stopped in the middle of the sidewalk. That usual sensation – the one that hit him in the pit of his stomach whenever he was about to see Meredith — hit him again. He wanted to see her as much as he didn’t want to. It was getting harder and harder to endure the torture of seeing her and only being her friend.

            “Why do you do this to yourself?”

            Jack looked over at Damon and shrugged. “I don’t have a choice. I made a promise years ago to Ben and Elise to protect her. And you know why I can’t be anything more than her friend.”

            “Speaking of Ben.” Damon raised his chin, looking over Jack’s shoulder.

            Jack watched his mentor and his wife as they caught up to him and Damon. Ben and Stella held hands and appeared to be whispering to each other. They were so in love, even after over twenty years and all the hell they’d been through together. Jack wanted that type of love, but the only woman he wanted it with he couldn’t have.

           When Ben had recruited Jack into the FBI eight years ago, he never knew he’d be tortured watching Meredith from afar. Ben had wanted to pass the mantle of protecting Meredith and her cousins to the next generation, mainly him. But it was times like this when Jack wondered if he should have walked away instead.

            “Hi. I didn’t know you’d both be here tonight.” Stella hugged Jack and then Damon. “It’s so good to see you both here. Damon, is your mother going to be here tonight?”

            “No, she’s out of town with my sister.”

            “Hopefully we’ll see them soon.” Stella turned to Ben as if passing on a silent message to take over.

            “Jack, I think Elise wants to tell the Little W’s.”

            Jack sucked in his breath. “Tonight? Why now? It’s been twenty years.” The moniker Little W’s started when everyone tired of saying all four of the cousins’ name, and it stuck. Little W’s could refer to two, three, or all four of the Williams’ children.

            “We’ve heard some whisperings. Frank is concerned that someone might come for the Little W’s.” Frank, Ben’s older brother, was also the director of the FBI, which made him Ben’s boss, and Jack’s boss’s boss. “Elise is also concerned about her health, but she won’t tell the kids about that yet. Elise doesn’t want them to worry about her so close after Beatrice’s death. Revealing the binding will be enough for them to deal with tonight.”

            Jack scoffed. “You’ve got that right.” Jack held the door open for the others and steeled himself for what was to come.

            They walked in, receiving greetings from everyone. When Elise had called him with the invite, she said she’d have the chefs make up a bunch of the restaurant’s most popular dishes before she dismissed the staff when the last of the patrons left. Elise, Rowena, Stella, and Ben went to the kitchen to bring out their meals while Meredith and her only male cousin, Reece, opened bottles of wine and poured drinks.

           Jack stuck his hands in his pockets when Meredith approached. Whenever she was near, he wanted to reach out and pull her toward him. He’d avoided giving her a hug when he walked in because one hug was never enough. He wanted to hold her and never let go. She was so beautiful. Her bright hazel eyes, full lips, and thick, dark wavy hair were just some of the many things he loved about her.

            “Here, Jack, your favorite red. I’m sure the scotch will come out after dinner.”

            “Thanks, Bubbles.” She scowled at the nickname, but didn’t say anything. He wasn’t much of a drinker, but she knew what he liked. Just like he knew everything about her. How her smile and her laugh could make anyone feel welcome, how she bit her lip when she was nervous, how she made list after list to never lose track of anything, and how she loved spreadsheets. He never understood her spreadsheet obsession, but it was just one more thing that made Meredith unique. And only a small portion of what made her beautiful to him. She turned, but he didn’t want their time together to end quite yet. “How’s work going?” He wouldn’t let himself touch her, but he couldn’t stop from torturing himself. He loved listening to her.

            “It’s fine. The renovations for the new condos in the south building and the retail spaces in the north building are coming along fine.” She answered him politely, but not with the warmth she usually exuded.

             “That’s great.” Man, he felt like he was in high school all over again. He tried to think of something else to say, just to keep her talking and maybe get her eyes to light up like they did when she discussed something she was passionate about.

             “Dinner’s ready.” Elise summoned everyone to the table.

             “I guess we’d better sit down.” He gestured to the table, hoping she’d sit near him. He didn’t want their time to be over as he never knew when he’d get to talk to her again. He must be a glutton for punishment.

             “Ah… I’m going to sit by Rowena.”

             Meredith turned and walked to the other end of the long line of tables pushed together before he could say anything else. She sandwiched herself between Stella and Rowena. Jack took a seat at the other end of the tables, with Ben beside him and Damon across.

            “You’ll be able to tell her soon.” Ben spoke only loud enough for Jack to hear.

            “Really? You think it will be that easy? I don’t. I feel like it’s a dream, a fairy tale that will never come true. I’ve lied to her for twenty years and I know Meredith. She’s not going to take this well and she’ll feel a loss of control. I think most people would feel that way but this is Meredith. It will be worse for her knowing that someone made a decision about her entire life without consulting her. What if you or I were denied our innate gift of magic? You think we’d take it well? I know I certainly wouldn’t.”

            “I’d probably lose my shit, but all we can do now is be there for them.”

            “If she’ll even let me. Maybe it would have been easier all these years if I never saw her. You didn’t know what you were asking when you assigned me to protect her eight years ago. It’s been excruciating.”

            “I did know, Jack. I’ve always known how much you care about her, that’s why it had to be you.  Life isn’t fair, and I haven’t always agreed with Elise and her sisters, but they did what they thought was best.”

            “Do you really think the Little W’s are in danger after all this time?”

            “Frank does and I’ve always trusted my brother’s intuition.”

            “Shit. Okay, maybe telling the Little W’s is the right thing to do. But is Elise just going to blurt out that we’re all magic people and the Little W’s are too? And that they’ve been spellbound for twenty years? She thinks they’ll be okay with that?”

            “No, but now that Beatrice and Lillian have both died from the effects of what they did, Elise is worried that she doesn’t have much time left. I don’t think Elise or her sisters ever expected a threat to surface once the Little W’s were spellbound. Elise wants to make sure Meredith and her cousins can protect themselves if the threat that Frank has heard about is real. Especially since Lillian and Beatrice aren’t around any longer.”

            Jack avoided looking Meredith’s way by watching his glass as he swirled the last of his wine around. He wanted to look at her forever. She was just so beautiful. Not only her looks, but on the inside, too. She was the kind of person that other people gravitated to. She came across as organized and confident, but Jack knew underneath she had more than her fair share of insecurities and anxiety. She couldn’t hide those, at least not from him. Her vulnerability made her even more attractive to him.

           Finally, he looked at Ben, his friend and mentor. “I don’t think Meredith will take it well. She’ll be angry and upset at what she’s been denied and the loss of control. Not to mention Jo will likely lose her shit because she’s been lied to. I think Rowena and Reece will most likely take it in stride.”

            “I agree. So brace yourself. You may have to help them pick up the pieces. You’ve been there for them from the beginning. You, more than anyone else, should understand what it’s like to disagree with a parent’s decisions.”

            Jack huffed out a breath. That was the understatement of the century. The real question was, would Meredith forgive him?

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