When the strange antique dealer bestows Ella Mansfield with a weird necklace, proclaiming it magic, Ella refuses to believe. Why would she have a use for such a thing?
But she finds herself the target of some pretty odd characters, including the sexy but enigmatic Quentin, who becomes her guardian, her guide and her lover. Gradually she learns her necklace holds two of the ten original gems stolen from the fairy king - gems that control all the magic in the world. Ella realizes the need to believe, but even more her need to search deep within her heart to figure out who to trust, especially when those closest to her seemed to be following their own agendas.
With bad guys just a step behind them, Ella and Quentin use the magic to jump through time and space while bluffing their way out of questionable situations - in search of a plan. That comes to a screeching halt when Ella finds herself face to face with the man she's been trying to avoid.
Ella's an unlikely hero, learning as she goes - but the ultimate lesson involves a sacrifice she never expected to face, and one that all the magic in the world cannot undo.
|Publisher:||Samhain Publishing, Limited|
|Product dimensions:||5.58(w) x 8.48(h) x 0.72(d)|
|Age Range:||17 Years|
Read an Excerpt
Believe The Magic
By Melani Blazer
Samhain Publishing, Ltd.Copyright © 2006 Melani Blazer
All right reserved.
Chapter OneFeeling generous, I held the door for a man in a Chicago Bears sweatshirt.
"Thanks. Ah, wait," he said.
I paused, leaning forward to see what this guy wanted. Okay, really eager to see what this guy wanted. I hadn't seen one this live in a coon's age. "Yeeesss?"
"You're Ella, Ella Mansfield, right?" And he was asking for me. My toes tingled.
"Yeeesss," I answered again, blinking. "You are?" Only the most handsome man in the universe alive today and I want to jump your bones, cook your dinners and have your babies.
Okay, I'd admit to thinking the first thought, but added the last two just to make it not-so-cheap. My God, he looked good. In a bad boy kind of way. Hair that looked like it intentionally fell into his eyes-and those eyes. Vivid green framed by dark lashes, enhanced by thick eyebrows. Strong jaw lined with stubble. He looked the type to wear black leather or even ripped up denim. Thank God he didn't, because I don't think I'd be able to breathe faced with that vision.
"Who are you?" I repeated, desperate to get my bearing and stop ogling the customer.
"Quentin Paige." He hooked a thumb in the general direction of the corner. "Sam down the street said to talk to you."
"Oh, no, sorry. Don't want anything else Sam has to share with me."
"So you can't sell me a trip to Denver?"
I'd put my hand out, nearly touching his chest to push him back away from me, but at the word "sell" I reached a little farther and bunched my fist in the material above the Bear's logo. No sense ruining a sale. In fact, after scaring me this morning Sam owed me. "Right in here, what was your name again?" I released his shirt once I was sure he'd follow me back to my desk.
"Quentin. I know. Different. My parents were hippies, what can I say."
I nodded. "Mine were rednecks. Still are. Have a seat."
He was silent after that. I totally ignored Sara and Althea despite the holes they were drilling in the back of my head with their eyes.
They were the Saturday regulars who usually managed to make the bulk of their paycheck from those who wandered in on Saturdays. Most of their clients were the working people needing a quick escape. We were good at those.
Marnie, the boss, had taken a mini-vacation herself just this weekend. I'd get tattled on for snatching customers when she got back. Yeah, so I wasn't scheduled to work, but it's not like I just stole the customer. He asked for me. Worst that would happen was I'd have to surrender any commission I made on this one. Or ship the boss back off to Vegas for another weekend. And this time, I just might accompany her. And if I was lucky, never return. No one would miss me, at least for awhile.
"Will you be traveling alone?" I asked in my sweetest professional voice.
He glanced around and nodded. Was this a secret?
"As soon as I can get on a plane and fly."
I leaned over, a mistake because I caught a load of the heavenly lure he wore as cologne. "Did you try the airport? It's a little faster to get a ticket that way on this short notice."
"They want ID. I don't have any." I studied him. He had to be at least my age, but he dressed more like a footloose college student. Must be it, I figured. Emergency run home.
"And you think I can get you a ticket without ID?"
"I know you'll help me get where I need to go."
I stood up. I needed my job. Wanted Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome who was sitting in front of me, but he wasn't gonna cover my rent when it came due in two weeks. "Sorry. No ID, no ticket."
Quentin grabbed my hand and hauled himself to his feet. The toes of his shiny new Nikes touched the tip of my boring black ankle boots. Must be a lot of static in the air. I felt the tingles of it up and down the front of my body.
He grabbed both my hands and flipped those deadly emerald eyes in my direction. "Holy-" I said before his mouth landed on mine. I love roller coasters, but saying that's what his kiss felt like would be an understatement. Maybe I could liken it to being the roller coaster, not just riding it. When I drew back, his eyes had turned dark.
I caught my breath and tried to step back. He had my hands tightly in his. "Hey, you're hurting me." What in the heck were Sara and Althea doing anyway, charging admission? "Help me here."
"Looks like you're doing fine all by yourself," Sara jeered.
"You're doing just fine," Quentin repeated, his breath fanning against my cheek in a way that cooled my skin and set my blood on fire. That was not good. Men weren't any more abundant in my life than money, so of course I'd react this way. I drew in a breath. "I'm still not going to sell you a ticket."
"I don't want a ticket. I need you to help me in another way."
"Shhh," he crooned. I felt like the rats in the Pied Piper, mesmerized by the spell of his once again green eyes. He lifted our joined hands to my chest. Whoa, danger zone. His eyes met mine. His stare was so intense, I couldn't look away. I tried, trust me.
The high neck of my sweater had hidden the necklace. Until now. He pulled the collar down just a bit until he could see it, and sighed, almost a lusty sound. His eyes were black again. I wanted to rip my gaze from his and check his mouth to see if he had fangs. I expected his next move to be Dracula style, leaving me drained of blood on the floor of the office. Talk about a gruesome death. Sara and Althea would really charge admission to see that.
His head didn't move closer, but his hands reached higher. He touched the bared skin just above my pulse and electricity coursed through me. From the necklace? I wanted those beads to freakin' electrocute him for scaring me this way. I held my breath.
He was smarter than that. He made me touch them, his fingers closed over mine. "Move them together."
"Push them together. They'll slide."
He jerked my fingers toward the center. I half-expected the rope to break on the back of my neck. Or sever my head.
"Break it up, you two. There's a customer here," Althea ordered.
The spell was broken. I stepped back, shaking and feeling like I'd run a marathon. Backwards. While wearing scuba gear.
The voice snagged my attention. Sam was here.
I tugged my collar back over the necklace and slid into my chair. Let Sam handle this.
"Can I help you, sir?" Althea, in her long, tight skirt, walked toward Sam, her behind twitching. I groaned and rolled my gaze back toward her intended victim. At least he was ignoring her.
"He's come after this one." I pointed at Quentin, trying to let Althea know Sam wasn't a potential customer.
"You stay out of this Ella-Mae. This one's mine."
I raised an eyebrow, but realized she was nothing. The action was happening right in front of me.
"What are you doing in here? I told you to stay away from her." Sam walked right past my co-worker and launched into Quentin.
"I need to get out of this town, man. You need to give me my stuff back."
Sam's finger tapped the still smiling Bears' logo. "What are you going to do, call the police? You've been identity diving all over the place. You realize you're causing more havoc than you've helped to avert. I may have to replace you."
"You wouldn't do that. I've got the power now."
"Not without the gems." Sam looked my way.
Quentin dove at me, landing right on me, on my chair. The chair wasn't prepared either and tipped right over.
"Blasted!" I yelped and pushed upward. Quentin popped three feet in the air above me and hung there like a side of beef in a meat locker
I laughed at the expletive that emitted from his nicely shaped mouth.
And once I realized I could think and keep him afloat, I checked out the rest of him too. I'm one to like longer hair, but his was just plain messy. I was totally convinced those weren't his clothes. The baggy sweatshirt belonged on someone about a dozen years his junior or thirty years his senior. I wondered if I could undress him while he hung there. I leaned back, still positioned in my tipped chair, and waggled my pinky. His sweatshirt rose to show off a nicely defined set of abs. "Nice," I murmured.
Excerpted from Believe The Magic by Melani Blazer Copyright © 2006 by Melani Blazer . Excerpted by permission.
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