Seraphine Biship, enchanted by a sorcerer in the 1800's, has been by ared Blaylock's side for over a hundred years. As his mistress. But things are changing, Jared has been pulling away, distancing himself, and Seraphine wants to know why. They've been together for so long, has he finally tired of her?
Jared aches to be near Seraphine, his destined mate, but he must pull away to save her. A fairy prince has laid claim to her, wanting her for his bride. Unless Jared can find a way to change the prince's mind, he'll lose Seraphine forever.
* Warning: Bondage
Seraphine Bishop watched with narrowed eyes as her lover pulled on his clothes. Was it her imagination or did he always seem to be in a hurry to run out the door these days? It seemed she was good enough to fuck, but not good enough to cuddle. That hadn’t always been the case. She’d been Jared Blaylock’s mistress since 1895, when he’d found her roaming the streets, half starved, without a penny to her name and without hope of surviving until tomorrow. A sorcerer had taken a shine to her and had cast a spell over her, freezing her in time and giving her the gift of eternal life, except he’d grown tired of her after a few months and had thrown her out. Jared had found her and given her a new life, except he hadn’t been Jared then. He’d changed names many times over the centuries, with very few people knowing his original name—Lord William Stratham. Her warlock was over five hundred years old, but still looked like a sexy thirty-five.
In all these years, Jared had always been attentive, lavishing her with attention and affection, but for the past month, it had been like being with a stranger. He still came to her, spent an hour or two in her bed, then ran for the door as if hellhounds were nipping at his heels and he couldn’t wait to be rid of her. Why he hadn’t thrown her out, she didn’t understand. It was obvious he’d grown tired of her. Really, she’d expected it to happen a lot sooner. They’d been together for over a hundred years. She’d been waiting for the day he’d crossed paths with his mate and end their affair. Seraphine wondered if perhaps that’s what had happened and he just didn’t know how to tell her, or wasn’t ready to let her go just yet. The question was how much longer was she going to put up with it in silence? She’d been quiet so far, taking his rejection as best she could, but it was grating on her nerves. Things were still hot between them, there was obviously still something there, but he didn’t seem to want to acknowledge it.
Jared paused at the bedroom door. His auburn hair fell across his forehead and into his eyes, hiding their green depths from her. She wondered if he was going to say something, tell her it was over, that he wouldn’t be back, but he turned away from her, twisted the knob, and left without a word. Her heart ached and she fought back tears at the cold dismissal. She shouldn’t have let her heart get involved in the first place. She was in his life for one purpose and one purpose only. As his mistress, she didn’t have the luxury of falling in love with him. Unfortunately, her heart had other ideas.
Not for the first time, she wondered if she should shackle him to her bed. Of course, he could always use magick to get away—unless she used spelled cuffs. Now there was a thought. She could make a game of it, draw him into her web so to speak, then after allowing him to give her a mind-blowing orgasm or two, she could torture the information out of him. What had changed? Why was he different? What was he hiding? If he wanted to play games, she’d play, but by her own rules.
Seraphine rolled out of bed, pulling the covers off the mattress. She dumped them onto the floor before heading into the bathroom for a quick shower. Once upon a time, she would have kept Jared’s scent on her body a while longer, but now she just felt cheap and dirty. She hated that he made her feel that way, and she wondered if maybe she should be the one to end it. But where would she go? The only money she had was Jared’s. The house belonged to him, as did everything she owned. Everything had been a gift from him, and she was certain he would reclaim all of it if she were to leave him. It would serve him right to come for his weekly visit only to find her gone. She’d almost rather live in the streets again than be used, and that’s how he made her feel—used.
She didn’t know how to win Jared’s affections again, or if she should even try. He was everything to her, but, obviously, she meant very little to him. Maybe it was time to find a new protector. She knew times had changed, that men didn’t really keep mistresses, or at least they didn’t necessarily call them that. But she didn’t have any marketable skills. She knew how to sew by hand, but most people used a sewing machine for their work, and clothes were seldom made by just one person.
She supposed she could be a waitress. It didn’t seem like it would be difficult to learn. She’d watched them anytime Jared had taken her out to eat. It looked like hard work, probably thankless work, but it would give her some money. No, it would probably be easier to find a new protector. She knew of several men around town who had eyed her appreciatively over the years, one of them a warlock. Of course, he might not want to go against the head warlock, thinking Jared would be upset over her loss. She’d just have to convince him that she was no longer wanted or needed.
The idea of another man touching her left her cold inside, but she had to be realistic. There were going to be other men in her life. It wasn’t like she could wait forever for Jared. The warlock meant more to her than anyone else ever had, even her family, but then they’d turned their backs on her when she’d run off with the sorcerer. She’d gone from having loving parents, three brothers, and two sisters, to having no one. If she’d thought life was cruel then, it was nothing compared to now.
Seraphine got out of the shower, dried off, and pulled on some panties and a sundress. She braided her long, wet hair, the strands looking like spun gold as the sunlight filtering through the window hit it. Looking in the mirror, she studied her reflection, the same one she’d seen for so long. Her eyes were still a bright robin’s egg blue, but they had lost their sparkle. Her skin was still pale and creamy, but she’d lost that special glow only a woman in love gets. Had Jared noticed the changes in her appearance? Did he even care?
She was smoothing chapstick on her lips when there was a knock at the front door. She wasn’t expecting anyone, and seldom had visitors, so she was more than a little curious about who was standing on her front stoop. Peering through the peephole, she was surprised to see Clarissa Mayburn, the town’s most prominent psychic and medium. She’d met her a few times and had even shared a pot of tea with her once at the local tea room. Still, it was rather odd that the woman was here.
She opened the door and smiled, hoping she looked happier than she felt. Clarissa smiled in return, her face lighting up. She’d always been pleasant the few opportunities Seraphine had had to speak with her. Her brown hair curled wildly about her face, and her brown eyes were warm and welcoming.
“Good morning, Seraphine. I hope it’s okay that I dropped by without calling first,” she said in a chipper voice.
“Yes, of course. Please, come in,” Seraphine said as she stepped back, allowing the other woman entrance into her home. She closed the door behind Clarissa and motioned for her to have a seat in the living room. When the woman was settled, Seraphine was at a loss as to what to do next. It had been a very long time since a woman had stopped by her home. “Would you like something to drink? Perhaps a cookie? I made them last night when I couldn’t sleep.”
Clarissa waved her hand. “No, don’t go to any trouble. I just came to talk.”
Seraphine took the seat opposite the lively woman. “About?”
“You know what I am, right? You’ve heard the talk, I’m sure.”
“I know you’re a psychic.”
“Do you understand how it works?” Clarissa asked.
Seraphine shook her head. “I’ve never met one of your kind before. I’ve heard you hold séances to help people find closure.”
“Yes, that’s a small part of what I do, but there’s more to it. I’m here today because my guides gave me a message for you.”
“And they had a message for me?”
It wasn’t that she didn’t believe the woman, but it was a little farfetched that someone would have a message for her. Everyone she’d known was either dead for centuries or still alive because they were paranormal and lived for damn near forever. Surely if someone was going to give her a message, they would have done so long before now.
“You’ve been feeling conflicted over something. My guides tell me that all is not as it seems. You should wait and see how things unfold. They also say that trouble may be coming your way.”
“What kind of trouble?” Her brow furrowed. “Should I be worried? Do I need some protection charms?”
“They wouldn’t hurt, for certain, but I wouldn’t worry just yet. When the time comes, you will have a protector. Do not doubt him.”
Why would she doubt the man who was going to save her? Was it someone she knew? Perhaps she knew him better than she thought. What if it was Jared? Would he truly save her if she were in trouble? She had doubts, which brought her full circle. Yes, if it was Jared, then she had doubts.
“Is there anything else?” Seraphine asked.
“No, that’s all for now. If they speak to me again pertaining to your situation, I’ll be sure to let you know.”
Clarissa rose and Seraphine did as well. The psychic made her way to the front door and opened it, obviously ready to let herself out. She paused, giving Seraphine a searching look. It seemed she was debating whether she should say more or not.
“There’s one more thing,” she finally said. “Follow your heart, it won’t lead you astray. That’s where your power lies. You may not be like the rest of us, gifted with magickal abilities, but you have your own gift. The power of love is formidable. Never forget that.”
Seraphine nodded and closed the door behind Clarissa after the woman cleared the steps. She’d given her much to think about. If what Clarissa said was true, then her faith in Jared had not been misplaced and he would be there for her when she needed him. She had a hard time believing that at the moment, but if what the psychic said it was true, who was she to argue?