I stopped for a moment, looking at the closed doors to Sara’s apartment. I had to push her in and create the barrier before I lost myself in her smile and did something I would regret later. She was a seer witch but also primarily a human and the one not very aware of her own gifts and potential. Still, even the best witch doesn’t live long enough to be worthy of the interest of the Lord of the Forest, so why suddenly do I want to have my hands all over her and carry her to bed in this cramped concrete cage she lived in? Even now, with her safe behind closed doors, the temptation to break in and taste her lips was overwhelming.
My hand leaned on the dead wood, and green tendrils of ancient magic carved intricate patterns, I marked this place as mine, and that was the best protection I could offer her at the moment. I knew it was time to go. With recent attacks, I didn’t have time to deal with … this, but I couldn’t stop seeing her stunned reaction and the raw hunger on her face when I touched her. At least I was not alone in my cravings, and as soon as I sorted out whatever was causing problems in my city, I would return to her, even if only to find out what was so alluring in this stern doctor.
Driving home, I couldn’t stop thinking about the situation. Sara’s magic made her mine, the same as half of the magical population of Gdansk. The forest and the sea divided this merchant town long ago when it was still a fishing village with barely a few citizens. Jurata rarely crossed paths with me, preferring her ports and sailors while I precede over the verdant forest and land dwellings. Even with the expansion of humans, we didn’t change our ways, but my encounter with Sara told me neglecting the humans, I might miss something vital. My initial plan of having an insider in the biggest trauma hospital in the city turned out better than I expected, and seeing her working on this shifter boy, I realised we gained an asset worth keeping. It also made me wonder whether there were more ordinary people who lived their lives unaware of the magic they carried. All because of one woman who resisted my compulsion. I had already decided to keep her, but now I had to create a place where she could execute her skills without worry or hesitation. Her own magical emergency room.
I burst into laughter and almost caused the accident when my car danced on the road, imagining how surprised she would be when I showed her a brand new workplace, which would be very close to my office. I reached for the phone and rang Adam.
‘Find me a small empty warehouse preferably close to our main building and contract the builders, as we would have to renovate it.’
‘What for?’ Adam’s voice was surprised, and I didn’t blame him. That purchase was a significant investment, and I always was prudent with money.
‘We need our own hospital, especially now with these recent attacks we need a secure place where we could take the injured.’
‘And that has nothing to do with your newly gained doctor?’ Adam’s sarcasm was palpable, but not without its merits. Still, it was not his place to discuss Sara’s situation.
‘Keep your thoughts to yourself, bloodsucker, and find me the place.’
I heard his throaty laugh on the other side of the line and promised myself to discipline him later. Adam was incorrigible, but I had a soft spot for him, still seeing him as a young man who, after one fateful night, awakened dead, confused, and craving blood. With no nest laying claim on him, I was tasked with this burden, and through the years, I think I just got used to him. If nothing else, he was entertaining and fresh, and eternity knows I needed this.
I parked the car with the screech of tires and walked to the house. The white walls contrast nicely with the vivid green of the plants occupying every corner. I chose this place long ago when this small island was still covered with forest, and the temple was filled with a tribute to the horned god. Although times changed, I kept this land pure, with only a few settlements to avert human attention. The rest was mine, and the law I helped to create protected it for me. I sat in the oversized chair and looked across my desk at the statue of women painstakingly carved in yellow amber.
Jurata, I barely remembered her face, but the statue was there to remind me about the woman who almost broke this place and my heart with it. I reached and stroked the soft feminine curves of a statue, reminiscing of the times when the world was young, and I still believed in the flickering affection of the sea goddess. When the missionaries of the new god came to this land with the axes and torches, I adjusted she could not. Now her name was the symbol of storms, and many still call a piece of amber Jurata’s tears. But Jurat didn’t cry. Her rage destroyed Stary Hel, the wealthiest city in the Baltic region, before she just gave up and never returned from the depth of the sea, ruling her domain through her messengers.
I trailed my finger over her face, but I could only see Sara and her determination to save an unknown shifter. My little human was a fighter, possessing the trait I strongly admire. Maybe that pulled me to her. Seeing her for the first time when she stood her ground against the opponents that defile common sense was refreshing. I looked once again at the statue and locked it in the drawer with one smooth move. It was time to go back to business.
I had no clue what caused the latest attacks. There was no warning, no demands, nothing that would give me the faintest idea where to direct my wrath. It was just my people who disappeared or, like in the case of the young wolf, came back injured with horrific wounds all over their bodies. He was the first who survived. I took the phone and called the local pack alpha, it took him 4 long rings to pick up the phone, and I hoped he was not playing pissy dominance games because I needed his cooperation.
His voice was wary, and I suspected he had my number coded as ‘don’t pick up from the asshole,’ on his phone screen. ‘I’m glad you decided to pick up Tomasz, your young wolf. How is he?’
‘Licking his wound and confabulating about the human doctor that saved his arse. Is it true? You letting humans into our secrets now?’
His accusations irked me, this and the fact he cared more about his secrets than the life of the pup. ‘Send him to me, I need to ask some questions, and yes, there is a human doctor in my service. Her name is Sara. She will help and be discrete, but if any of your pack put the finger on her or be rude, I will get you to hang dry by your tails.’ I didn’t realise the magic reverberated in my voice until the words left my mouth. The silence on the other side of the line was deafening, and when I was about to say something else, I heard quite compliant. ‘Yes, master. He will be on his way in a minute.’
I put the phone down and cursed my lack of control. I strived to guard rather than rule the magical world, and my Gdansk blossomed under such an approach. Yet, I forced the alpha of the wolf pack to submit just because he mentioned Sara. I needed to distance myself from her as this interest was slowly becoming an obsession, and no one in the right mind would want to see an obsessed forest god. My delicious witch, let’s see what time and distance do with my thoughts. I firmed my resolve and stretched on the chair, scrolling through the local news while waiting for the young werewolf to arrive.