Call of Fate
Silver Wood Coven Book 11
It’s only a dream team if the dream is a nightmare.
Summer and her sentinel mates have their hands full when the Magus Corps calls for help. Not only has a band of rogue Wiccans embarked on a bizarre killing spree, they seem intent on a hidden agenda. Although Michael and Troy stand firmly at her side, the Corps doesn’t make it easy. They insist that she take help with her.
Michael comes face to face with his past when the Corps demands that Summer’s team includes Templars. Not only has the ancient brotherhood been victims of the rogue Wiccans, they possess arcane knowledge that will help find them.
Likewise Troy is suspicious of the final team member. Though he had heard of the Fae, he had never met one—until now. Her ancient ties to artifacts of immense power may turn the tide, but her true motives are as inscrutable as her race.
What Readers Are Saying
Another “slam dunk” for the masterful Hazel Hunter and her band of magical beings! Am I the only one asking why the heck this has not been made into a weekly television series?
This installment is another winner in the Silver Wood Coven series! The trio of Summer, Michael, and Troy are getting stronger together. New characters are introduced. There's danger and twists. The sex is hot. I just can't get enough and am awaiting the next installment!
I always enjoy the dynamics among them and they really have become a sold team now. Her men are just as protective as she is of them.
The latest question is…will their new assignment make them or break them?
Holy crossover Batman!
LATE JUNE TRANSFORMED the White Mountains of New Hampshire into a cornucopia of lush colors, from the brilliant greens of maple, birch and spruce trees to the rainbow fields of wildflowers blooming in the sun. The garnet glow of wild raspberry clusters vied with the dusky ultramarine of blueberries waiting to be picked, and both contributed a sweet ripeness to the warm air. In one meadow, weather-smoothed white stones formed a wide circle around one flat-topped boulder, upon which a red-checked picnic cloth had been spread.
As Summer Lautner began unpacking the basket of food she’d brought, she kept holding her face up to the sun. After returning from her native Canada she couldn’t seem to soak up enough light. Every day she spent hours outdoors gardening, hiking, or just sitting and basking in the bright warmth. It had been her idea to have a picnic to celebrate Litha, the summer solstice sabbat to venerate the longest day of the year. Practicing her Wiccan faith was important to her, but so was being with those she loved. Aileen Atwater, Summer’s slender, dark-haired sister-in-law, sat down in the grass by the stones.
“Please tell me you brought some of that wonderful mint iced tea you make,” she said as she settled her squirming six-month-old daughter, Eve, on her lap and unbuttoned her blouse. “Because someone besides me needs a nap.”
Summer poured a cup and handed it to her, as she smiled at the nursing baby.
“How can you tell? She never cries.”
“She never has to,” Aileen said, and rolled her smoky gray eyes. “Her father and I are her personal slaves, of course, and she’s enchanted everyone else in the coven. All Eve has to do is hiccup and even her grandfather comes running.” She took a sip of the tea and sighed. “I’ve missed this. No, I’ve really missed you and the guys.”
“We’re glad to be home, too,” Summer said, and glanced over at Troy Atwater and Michael Charbon, who were working with Aileen’s husband, Wilson, to put the finishing touches on their Litha altar. Her pulse danced as Troy and Michael glanced back at her and smiled, but her sentinel mates always made her heart beat a little faster. “Now tell me everything the baby did since last week.”
Aileen pretended to think. “We tried oatmeal, which she hates, but apple juice was a big hit. She’s gotten very touchy-feely with everything, including my earrings, Wil’s beard, and dirt of any kind. Naturally she’s the most beautiful, intelligent child in the universe, but charming, not so much. On our last trip to town she socked an admiring old lady in the nose.”
“Ah, then stranger shyness has arrived,” Summer said, and sat down beside her. She couldn’t help leaning over to breathe in the baby’s wonderful soft scent. “She always smells so good. I love her new little teeth, too. They’re so cute when she smiles.”
“You’re not breast-feeding her,” Aileen said, and then looked horrified. “Oh, Summer, I’m sorry—I shouldn’t have said that.”
“It’s okay,” she said. Since miscarrying her own daughter last winter Summer still felt blue occasionally, but time had helped heal most of the wounds. “Someday we’ll be blessed again, Aileen, and then you’ll have to listen to me gripe about spit-up and diaper rash.”
“Which reminds me, I’m saving Eve’s best, unstained baby clothes for you,” her sister-in-law said as she buttoned her blouse, and smiled down at her daughter, who had dozed off.
There was no question that Summer would have a daughter. The women of her bloodline only had one child, and it was always a girl to carry on their legacy. Safeguarding the Emerald Tablet, the oldest grimoire in the world, sometimes seemed daunting even now. The spell book had attained consciousness, and transferred itself to the mind of Summer’s oldest ancestor. Since that time every guardian had given birth to the next, who was always female and always destined to take two mates to protect and help her with her responsibilities.
Those obligations had proven to be a complicated mix of blessings and burdens. Over time the Tablet had grown so powerful that it bestowed on Summer almost unlimited magical abilities. But it was also capable of taking her over to pursue its own agenda. Yet since she had become the guardian Summer had found not one love but two. Their winter trip to Canada had made her realize that she could be more than the grimoire’s caretaker. She and her two sentinel mates could work together with the Emerald Tablet and use its power for good.
A kiss on the back of her neck drew Summer out of her thoughts. She leaned back against a hard, muscular chest, then wriggled into someone’s lap.
“What a nice chair,” she said, smiling.
“If you’re looking for furniture,” Troy murmured against her hair, “I’d rather be a bed. Just don’t ask me to be an altar, or Wil might pound nails in my head.”
“Very poetic,” Summer said, and turned around to link her hands behind her mate’s neck. His cool, dark scent filled her head. “You’d make a nice couch, though.”
With his mane of silky black hair framing his handsome features and intense blue eyes, Troy took tall, dark and handsome to a whole new level. She still felt a little thrill whenever she heard his melodic voice. And every time he touched her Summer’s body responded as passionately as her heart.
“Save that thought for tonight,” Troy said, and kissed her brow as he wrapped his long arms around her. “Aileen, your daughter is the nicest, laziest baby I’ve ever seen. All she does is smile and coo and sleep.”
“Please feel free to come over any time around three a.m.,” his sister-in-law told him. “You’ll know she’s awake when the windows start rattling, and our familiars start howling.”
“That’s why we’ve never needed a baby monitor,” Wilson Atwater said as he brought a bouquet of sunflowers, which he presented to his wife. “My Irish Setter comes racing in to jump on our bed and paw off our covers, while Aileen’s Sheltie tries to herd the crib.”
“Primrose doesn’t herd the crib,” his wife scolded. “She guards it. And Robbie only wakes us up because he knows what will happen if he tries to get past Prim.”
“Which reminds me,” Wil said. “If your familiar nips me one more time when I go to get our kid for you, I’m making that dog sleep in the barn.”
“That’s funny,” Aileen said. “Because that’s where Primrose thinks you and Robbie should sleep.”
As the brothers laughed Summer smiled at Wilson. Shorter and slimmer than Troy, the high priest of Silver Wood Coven had shrewd dark brown eyes. He sported a piratical goatee that complimented his foxy features. A talented carpenter and tracker, Wilson had once been deeply jealous and resentful of Troy. It had taken a terrifying attack by an insane Templar to reunite the brothers. But now it was as if the years of estrangement had never happened.
Summer liked Wilson, whose dry humor and quiet strength had made him an effective coven leader, as well as a trustworthy ally.
“How is Silver Wood celebrating the solstice this year?” she asked.
“We’re having a cook-out tonight,” Wilson said as he carefully eased Eve out of her mother’s arms and lowered her onto a soft blanket they’d spread beneath a sunshade. “I thought Father might rip my head off when I told him we’d honor the day with a barbecue in place of the usual bonfire, but he was fine with it. He even insisted on handling the grilling.”
The biggest of the three men joined them, and presented Summer with a basket heaped with sun-warmed berries.
“For dessert,” he murmured in deference to the sleeping baby.
She looked up at her other sentinel mate, who appeared like a gilded statue of some ancient warrior hero. Since his fair hair had grown past his shoulders, Michael had taken to wearing it in a short ponytail. Working outdoors had streaked it white, but darkened his smooth skin to a light bronze. His jade-green eyes glowed with a luminous beauty against his dusky tan, and when he smiled at Summer she felt her insides melt. She took the fragrant basket of fruit from him.
“I can smell those from here,” Aileen said, as she finished unpacking the picnic hamper.
Michael asked everyone to join hands before he said, “Lord and Lady, we thank you for those we love, the bounty you provide, and the day that brings us together in your light. Blessed be.”
Echoing his last words with the others, Summer had to blink back her tears. Since returning home from their trip to Canada, the former Templar had shed the last doubts instilled in him by the order. He had completely immersed himself in his birth heritage. That he embraced being Wiccan as deeply and passionately as he did everything else didn’t surprise Summer, but the change in him did. Michael had finally made peace with himself, his fate and the world. There was an unshakeable serenity to his aura of strength. His Wiccan ability over the earth had grown so much in the last six months that it bordered on an elemental power.
“I’m definitely grateful that it didn’t rain,” Aileen said as she handed out plates to the men. “The last thing we need is a soggy barbecue.”
After the men made short work of Summer’s chicken sandwiches and Aileen’s herbed salads, they went to put the finishing touches on the Litha altar. Summer nibbled on the berries as her sister-in-law stretched out beside Eve for a nap. As she watched the sleeping mother and baby, she wondered when the Goddess would again bless her and Troy and Michael with a child.
Maybe tonight, she thought, and pressed her hand against her flat belly, and imagined it swelling with their daughter. Litha was a time of fertility and sacred to the Goddess. As the land flourished with the bounty of the harvest, maybe she would too.
Michael and Troy both stopped working to look over at her, and Summer blushed a little. Their mating bond included the ability to read each other’s thoughts, and from the frank, carnal images in their minds both of her men were more than ready to get her pregnant—or just enjoy trying.
Not in front of the baby, Summer scolded, and then laughed along with her mates.
Wilson frowned at his brother. “What’s so funny?”
• • • • •
That evening Summer took a cleansing bath, and anointed herself with fragrant oil before slipping on the thin emerald silk robe she wore for personal rituals. Troy and Michael had already prepared themselves, and were waiting for her as she came out of their bedroom.
Resplendent in an amber robe, Michael wore a crown of oak leaves and acorns, and held the torches they would carry out to the meadow’s stone circle. He took a moment to admire her upswept hair before he leaned down to kiss her lips.
“You look like a goddess yourself, Beauty.”
“Green is my color.”
She touched his cheek, breathing in his hot, earthy scent before she turned to Troy, who wore a shimmering blue robe, and had a sprig of holly tucked in his midnight mane. He held the carryall containing what they’d need for the ritual, and handed her the Litha altar basket.
“Are we ready?” she asked.
“Oh, yes,” Troy said. Her dark warlock brushed his mouth over hers. “You would not believe how many times we almost interrupted your bath.”
“Wait for it,” she murmured as they walked out into the night.
Millions of tiny stars spangled the onyx dome of the sky, where a fingernail of a waning moon glimmered. Michael ignited the torches, and handed them out before he and Troy flanked her. From there they walked to the meadow, stopping in front of their Litha altar.
Built of stone, and piled with oak and pine, the dais seemed to bloom with the sunflowers, daisies and yarrow tucked into its seams and clefts. Summer placed the wicker basket of summer fruits and vegetables before the polished brass disc symbolizing the sun. She handed her torch to Michael.
“On this the longest day, and shortest night,” Summer said, “we honor the ways of the Goddess.”
Troy set down the carryall, and he and Michael planted the torches in a triangle around the altar. From the large case, they removed thick blankets and a quilt, which they spread over the ground. Once her men rejoined her, she laced her fingers through theirs.
“As the time of the Oak King wanes,” she said, “and the Holly King waxes, we offer thanks for the coming harvest, the miracle of life, and the wonder of love.”
Troy handed a loaf of herbed bread to Michael, who broke it.
“In gratitude for the bounty of the earth,” he said, solemnly feeding a piece to Summer and his sentinel brother before he took a bite of his own.
Troy filled a goblet with golden wine. “In gratitude for the bounty of the water,” he said, and held the goblet to Summer and Michael’s lips so they could drink before he did.
“In gratitude for the bounty of the garden,” Summer said, and took three tart green apple slices from the altar basket. She fed two to her mates and then ate the third.
Troy fetched the coin, cup, wand, and short sword for the offerings. He handed them to her one at a time as she placed them on the altar at the four points of the compass.
“Spirits of the earth, water, fire and air,” she said, touching each offering as she invoked their suit. “Bless our circle of family and friends with your strength, protection and wisdom, and help us to better serve the world with our gifts.”
A shimmer of green light rayed out from her fingers to envelop each offering, making them glow briefly before it faded away.
Summer froze. An unexpected show of power from the Emerald Tablet usually preceded more of the same. But as she waited, she didn’t feel the entity rising inside her. Though she exchanged quick glances with Troy and Michael, she took a breath and continued.
“May the time of the Holly King bring abundance to the realm of mortal and Wiccan,” she said, “so that we may continue to grow and learn, and live and love. For this we offer ourselves and our bond as being, knowing and believing, in all who rule from above. So may it be.”
Troy and Michael repeated her affirmation, adding the oak crown and holly sprig to the altar, and ended the ritual offering by kneeling with her in a final gesture of respect. After they rose, they picked up the torches and carried them to the stone altar, where they placed them on the pile of oak and pine. As the flames of their bonfire blazed up, Summer felt another twinge of power, this time in her heart, but again it faded as quickly as it came.
“I think the Tablet wanted to join in,” Troy said as he slipped his arm around her waist. “At least, it felt like it did.”
“Perhaps it shares our faith,” Michael said, and tucked a lock of Summer’s long, sun-streaked brown hair behind her ear. “It does contain all the magic and wisdom of the ancient Wiccan.”
“I take that to mean that I should stop worrying,” she said, drawing her men over to the blankets and quilt. “Maybe you two can somehow distract me.”
“That’s our specialty,” Troy said, as he untied the belt of her robe and slid his hands inside to span her waist. “Especially when all you have on is a robe.”
“You will not need it or the fire,” Michael said as he slipped the fabric from Summer’s shoulders, drawing it away to bare her naked curves. “We will keep you warm.”
As Summer stretched out on the makeshift bed, the thrill of being sky clad with her men in the starlight made her shudder. Once Troy shed his robe, he knelt down at her feet, gripping her ankles and easing her legs apart. Behind her Michael lifted her shoulders and propped her against his knees, his big hands stroking down her arms.
Watching her dark warlock kiss his way from her instep to her thigh made a dark, luscious ache knot in Summer’s lower belly. He found every sensitive spot on her skin with his lips and tongue, and when he sucked lightly she couldn’t stop her hips from lifting in mute invitation.
“You are the bounty of the garden, Beauty,” Michael told her, his deep voice rumbling low in his chest. He took hold of her wrists and drew them up to his chest, first kissing and then sucking on the tips of her fingers. “You bloom every time we touch you.”
Troy blew a soft breath over the dark curls covering her sex, his heavenly blue eyes locking with hers as he placed a soft kiss just below her navel.
“We want to be your sacred fires tonight, love,” he whispered as his mouth moved to her entrance.
The first stroke of his tongue parting her folds made Summer gasp. The velvety rasp of his carnal caress made a hot quiver race from her heels to her head. At the same moment Michael cradled her breasts in his hands, circling her nipples with his thumbs. But when he tugged gently, twin bolts of electric sensation sparked.
Seeing and feeling Troy’s mouth working against her drew a moan from Summer, who lifted her bottom as the slick, ravaging pleasure went on. Her dark warlock alternated between lashing her clit and penetrating her with his tongue, until she shook with pulsing needs and jutted her breasts against Michael’s steadily massaging hands.
Troy lifted his head to catch Michael’s gaze, and together they turned her, urging her up on her hands and knees. As her dark warlock gripped her hips, Michael gathered her long hair in his fist. The moment Summer felt the thick, satiny head of Troy’s cock pressed into her softness, she parted her lips for Michael’s broad dome, engulfing it with her mouth.
“Gods, your pussy is so wet now,” Troy said as he pushed into her, stretching her around his hard, swollen shaft as he plowed deep. “That’s it, love, take me. Take every inch of me. Oh, you are so soft and tight.”
Being impaled by Troy’s smooth, pulsing cock made Summer sigh with gratification around the heavy girth of Michael’s erection, which filled her mouth just as snugly. She bobbed her head over him as she worked her mouth up and down, her hard-tipped breasts rubbing against his thighs as she sucked him.
“Feast on me, yes,” Michael said, groaning the words. “I think we will have to take her over and over tonight, Pagan.”
“Whatever our lady desires, Paladin,” Troy said, grunting as he pumped in and out, his fingers sliding down to caress her frantically throbbing clit. “Right now I think she needs to come for us. Do you want to do that, love? Do you want to give it to us while we’re fucking you? You know how we love to feel it on our cocks.”
Bliss shattered inside Summer as she let herself be skewered by her lovers, her lips closing around Michael and her pussy gripping Troy like a fist. Her pleasure poured into their connection, flooding their minds with the exploding delight she felt, until her mates both stiffened and came. Swallowing Michael’s spurting cream and feeling Troy jetting deep inside her triggered another, stronger climax to join the first. It rolled through her in waves of immense, shocking delight.
Before they ended, her mates curled up with her on the quilt. They held her and murmured sweet words of love as their flushed skins cooled and the tremors of pleasure finally eased away. Having sex with Troy and Michael always seemed new. They never tired of the bond that allowed them to share what they thought and felt with each other. Tonight it seemed particularly precious to Summer, maybe because they weren’t being hunted. They were simply together on a beautiful night to honor their gods.
“We are together, and safe,” Michael murmured to her when he picked up on her thoughts. “Our world is as it should be.”
“We’ll keep it that way, too,” Troy said and kissed her shoulder. “Whatever it takes.”
“I know,” Summer said lowly. Her gaze drifted to the altar. For a moment it seemed as if the four offerings to the elemental spirits were glowing again, but when she blinked the green shimmer vanished. “So will I.”
- Book 1: Rescued
- Book 2: Stolen
- Book 3: United
- Book 4: Betrayed
- Book 5: Revealed
- Book 6: Lost
- Book 7: Divided
- Book 8: Gone
- Book 9: Burned
- Book 10: Reclaimed
- Book 11: Call of Fate
- Book 12: Sea of Love
- Book 13: Palace of Pleasure
- Book 14: House of Desire
- Book 15: Ship of Dreams
- Book 16: Lens of Time
- Silver Wood Coven Box Set