Some Like It Wicked

Some Like It Wicked by Lauren Hawkeye

Book: Some Like It Wicked by Lauren Hawkeye Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lauren Hawkeye
Prologue
    Aria’s irritation was a tangible thing as she entered Belladonna, the apothecary that she owned and ran with her twin sister Lorelai. The heat of the paper cups in her hands scalded her skin as the bell hanging above the door jingled merrily.
    “What’s wrong?” Her sister’s voice was immediately colored with concern.
    Though Aria was certain that not all twins were like Lorelai and herself, the fact remained that they had always been acutely attuned to one another’s moods and thoughts. And no matter how much Aria wasn’t in the mood to talk about it, today was no different.
    She tried to school her face into nonchalance as she set the cup of Lorelai’s orange blossom tea and her own triple-shot latte on the counter. From the expression on her sister’s face, she suspected that the effect wasn’t quite what she’d hoped for.
    “I don’t want to talk about it.” Denying that she was upset was useless around the woman with whom she’d shared a womb. Lorelai might have been sweeter and softer than Aria, but she could be ruthless when she wanted something. “It’s nothing new, anyway.”
    Hoping to change the subject, Aria nodded to the dried chamomile and lavender, the fresh sprigs of rosemary and spearmint. “Are you making more salve?” Wandering to the back room where they prepared their concoctions, Aria inhaled the aroma into her lungs, hoping the familiar scents would relax her a bit.
    With the herbal smell, she caught an edge of something else—that burnt sugar smell of magic.
    Turning, she raised an eyebrow at her sister. Though Belladonna did indeed provide magical services to those who knew to ask, they never added anything extra to the stock on their shelves.
    “Mr. Garrison was in. His arthritis has been bothering him with all of the rain we’ve been having. He asked if there was anything else I could add to the salve to help.”
    Aria watched as, flushed, Lorelai spooned the warm salve from the pot into a small tin. Though humans wouldn’t have been able to see it, Aria saw the faint blue glow emanating from her sister’s fingers as she added one final charge of magic to the salve.
    “There.” Nodding, Lorelai set the tin aside to cool, then turned back to Aria. “Now. What’s going on?”
    “I already told you, I don’t want to talk about it. Don’t be nosy.” Crossing her arms defensively over her chest, Aria tried to glower at her sister. Lorelai simply tapped her foot on the floor with impatience.
    “I’m waiting.”
    “Fine.” Scowling, Aria raked a hand through the sleek strands of her glossy chestnut hair. It swung back around her chin as if she’d never touched it.
    Wondering how to phrase it, she opened her mouth, then closed it again. Wetting her mouth with another sip of coffee, she finally blurted it out.
    “I haven’t had sex in almost a year.”
    Lorelai’s expression didn’t change as Aria spoke, but Aria thought she caught the faintest flicker in her sister’s eyes.
    “I see,” Lorelai spoke slowly, as if she didn’t really see at all. “Uh... I’m sorry?”
    Aria couldn’t help but quirk the corners of her lips up in a smirk. “I’m just setting the stage here. Anyway, you know I have a hard time with the men in town.” Her smirk faded as she thought further.
    Surely there was one man out there—just one—who wouldn’t be scared of her. It wasn’t as if she was a gorgon, or anything. And any idiot with half a brain knew that a witch was probably a safer bet than a human, bound by the threefold rule—any harm done would be revisited upon herself times three.
    And there had been one man—one vampire, to be exact. But Declan Steele, her vampire lover, was long gone, and it was her own damn fault.
    She shook her head to clear it of the thought. The past was the past. She just needed a man with enough balls to get her naked, scratch this itch and let her go back to normal life.
    “Continue.” Aria was pleased to hear the frost that

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