Only one ingredient to go. Marigold held the last bit over the boiling cauldron and began reciting the words to the spell that would grant her something she’d longed for all her life. A prize without compare that modern cosmetics promised but never cured--getting rid of her bloody freckles.
Giddy with anticipation, she took a deep breath and continued her chant. “Hair of the divine beast, grant me the wish I seek.” She dangled the glimmering unicorn hair over the bubbling brew--a frothy concoction she didn’t really want to drink because it smelled and looked icky, but drink it she would if it would help. She dropped the glimmering strand and it sank in the potion with an ominous sizzle. Hmm, hope it doesn’t do that when I swallow it. Marigold opened her mouth to say the words to invoke the spell when she heard movement.
Whirling, she saw a cloaked figure standing at the edge of the candlelight, a scythe in one hand.
“Who the hell are you?” she asked grabbing up her athame and brandishing it in front of her.
“You can see me?” The hooded stranger seemed taken aback judging by his tone.
“Well, duh,” she said rolling her eyes. “You’re, like, standing right in front of me. I’m not bloody blind you know.”
“But you’re not supposed to see me.”
The stranger had an accent, which even given the strange circumstance, Marigold found hot. “Not only can I see you, but I’d like to know just how the fuck you got in here?” The doors to Marigold’s apartment were all locked and she’d spelled them as well. So how had he gotten in without setting off any of her alarms? Maybe he was a demon. Or a ghost, or...
“Death cannot be hindered by a mere mortal lock,” he announced pompously.
“Death?” Marigold giggled. “Oh, come now. You’re not big enough or scary enough to be him.”
Marigold could have sworn she heard him growl. “I might not be the actual Lord of Death, but I am one of his lieutenants. Now, do you mind stopping the idle chit chatter and getting on with what you were doing? I’ve got other appointments to keep.”
But Marigold wasn’t stupid. “Wait a second. If you’re here to collect me for the underworld, then that must mean I’m about to do something deadly.” She eyed her cauldron and sighed. “I should have known better than to try a spell I found on the internet.” Blowing out the candles, she carefully stored the remaining unicorn hair--a precious commodity that had cost her dearly--and turned to face him with a smile. “Sorry. I’ve decided today is not a good day to die. See you in, like, oh, one hundred years.”
“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.” Death’s agent didn’t sound too happy. Lifting an arm, the loose sleeve of his robe fell back and a large hand pushed back the cowl. Blazing eyes regarded her, but that wasn’t what made Marigold speechless. Talk about a handsome hunk of man.
For some reason, when she’d pictured Death and his minions, she’d expected skeletal figures with blazing coal red eyes. Reality vastly differed, in a good way. At a tad over six foot, the Grim Reaper’s minion glared at her with intense dark eyes, chiseled features that included high cheekbones, a straight aristocratic nose and full, sensual lips. His hair was short and a deep ebony color that glinted blue in the dim lights of her apartment and set off his tan beautifully--I wonder if he’d get naked so I can see if he’s tanned all over? His robe unfortunately hid the rest of him, but if his body matched the big hands and thick, muscled forearm he’d revealed, then she thought it a pity he’d taken up soul collecting instead of pole dancing as a profession.
He pointed his scythe at her. “You can’t avoid an appointment with Death, so please cooperate and finish what you were doing.”
Marigold crossed her arms under her boobs and shook her head. “No. And you can’t make me.” I think, she added silently.
“Says whom?” He took a menacing step forward.
With a bravery she didn’t quite believe, but faked quite well, she dared him. “So go ahead, kill me in cold blood, you big--big meanie.” As name calling went, it was quite lame, but somehow she couldn’t bring herself to call him something really nasty. Although, she wouldn’t mind him doing nasty things to her body, naked, of course.
“I’m a meanie? I’ll have you know women say I’m the nicest guy they’ve ever met.”
“And is this before or after you drag their souls back to your boss?” she replied sarcastically.
“I don’t mix business with pleasure.”
“What a shame,” said Marigold. “I guess this means you won’t be able to accept when I ask you to come back for dinner tomorrow night.” The invitation popped out of her mouth, but once extended, she felt no urge to take it back. The man, minion, whatever, was delicious defined.
“Aren’t you afraid I’m going to try and take your soul?”
“Could you wait until after dessert? I make a kick ass cheesecake.”
He didn’t answer, instead, still shaking his head and mumbling under his breath something that sounded like “completely insane,” he faded away.
Marigold knew she should celebrate having escaped Death’s clutch, but instead she found herself a little disappointed. Now how will I get him into my bed for heart stopping sex?
Editor: Victoria Miller - www.victoriaishstm.blogspot.com
Cover Artist: Amanda Kelsey - www.razzdazzdesign.com
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|Four Diva Review for Date With Death|
A boyfriend’s attempted murder leaves Megan floundering in the ocean. Sinking without hope, the bright light she sees in the night sky isn’t her doorway to heaven, but rather the beginning of her accidental abduction by a space pirate. While thankful of his rescue, Megan stays true to form and just can’t keep her mouth shut, even when he keeps threatening to kill her--or auction her off to the highest bidder. Even odder, despite her decision to not get involved with her wickedly hot captor, she can’t help craving his touch.
Tren retired from his job as a mercenary so he could enjoy life, but he never counted on the boredom of normalcy. The acquisition of rare items has somewhat filled the void, but his accidental abduction of an outspoken earthling, who doesn’t know when to shut up, turns his life upside. Her fiery spirit draws him while at the same time drives him insane. Struggling with his urges, he must decide-- throttle her barbarian neck or ravish her delectably lush body?
Despite what his heart tries to tell him, he’s determined to sell her to the highest bidder even as he seduces her body. However, despite his best intentions, he discovers he can’t let her go. And when a foe from his past thinks to steal her, he’ll do anything to get her back.