When the Grave Calls – B. L. Brunnemer

A scream ripped from my throat as I hurled my phone across the room. It hit the wall, shattering on impact. The Templars were useless. “We have our own plans for the necromancer. And they don’t concern you,” the last Templar had said. Plans! They had plans that didn’t involve killing that abomination! I shoved the pile of books off my desk to the floor before I began pacing the length of my study. If that girl and the Templars teamed up it’d be a disaster for any witch out there. It could be the end of witchcraft as we know it. I stopped on the worn rug, my heart sinking. If the Templars got ahold of the power that girl had it wouldn’t just be witches who had to worry, it’d be a disaster for the whole supernatural world. The Templars would go from an annoyance to a full threat. I shook my head. That couldn’t happen. She couldn’t be allowed to team up with them. Right now, the Templars were low in numbers and not enormously effective since the gargoyles were concentrating on their own survival, but if that changed, if she grew stronger with that energy … Oh Goddess.

We had to stop her. It had to end. Anchors. Necromancers needed anchors. Let’s start there. Lexie “YOUR MOM’S going to be home soon.” I laughed as I shoved at Isaac’s arm around my waist. Isaac’s naked body wrapped around my back, his arms stopping me from breaking free. “I like you better naked.” My face burned as I managed to detangle myself from his arms and the sheets.

I rolled off the bed and landed on my feet. He groaned as I picked up my underwear off the pile of clothes next to his bed. “Red, come on. We’ve got like half an hour.” Laughing, I shook my head as I pulled up my panties and looked down at him. “And your brother could come home any minute.” “He’s playing at Vegabond tonight.” Isaac lay on his back, the white sheet draped low on his hips. Oh my … lines of definition. The pull to him was strong enough that I almost took a step towards him.

That was how the last time started. Clothes. I needed clothes. I found my bra and began to pull it on. “I forgot.” He rolled to his side and propped his chin up on his fist. “Come closer and I’ll make you forget even more.” I snorted as he rubbed the rumpled bed sheet in an over the top seductive way. “Not a chance.” I bent down and began pulling on my jeans.

“You better get dressed too. If your mom comes home and we’re in your bedroom she’s going to come looking to find out why.” He groaned again and shoved back the sheet. “Fine. You win.” I watched his muscular backside as he bent over and found his shorts. His ass disappeared into the blue mesh before he turned back around to grin at me. The shit knew I had been watching. Ugh! Focusing on what I was doing, I finished getting dressed. He slipped his arm around me and brought me in against his chest.

I looked up at his face. High cheekbones, slightly pouty lips … Isaac was sexy. There was no denying it. Even the blue hair dye suited him. He grinned down at me as warmth washed through me. I shook my head. “You are going to get us caught one day.” He leaned his head down and brushed his lips over my throat. “Maybe, but it’ll be fun.” I giggled as I pulled away from him and took several steps back.

“You’re too good at this.” “Only with you, Red.” He sighed and sat back down onto the bed. “So, are you going back to Miles’ house tonight?” I nodded as I adjusted the hem of my sweater. “Yeah, I’m still staying there. After that whole mess with Jadis compelling Rory? It just seemed to be what’s best for everyone right now.” He nodded. “In your room?” My shoulders grew tense. It was the first time in a month that he had asked about my staying at Miles’. “Most nights, yeah.

” He clenched his jaw and let out a breath. “Are you and Miles …?” I raised an eyebrow. “Rule one.” The biggest rule we had established was that what happens in a couple stays within the couple. He blew a raspberry. “I’m not getting jealous of Miles. I’m just wondering if you’re sleeping with him too.” “I sleep next to him when or if he sleeps,” I answered. “So, yes.” He shot me a look.

“You know what I was asking.” “And you know that you shouldn’t be asking.” “Lexie …” “Don’t Lexie me,” I countered as I put my hands on my hips. “We have rules, and we need to follow them to keep the peace.” He reached out, hooking his long fingers in the loops of my jeans and pulling me to stand between his knees. “I’m not jealous.” His amber eyes met mine. “Honestly, I was kinda hoping the answer was yes. Then I wouldn’t need to worry about him quite so much right now.” Miles had developed tunnel vision over the last month.

He was obsessed with building some staff that he was sure would help us in our fight against Jadis. The guys had begun to worry about him. Well, not just the guys. “Isaac.” He shrugged. “Can’t blame a guy for being curious.” I smiled and shook my head. Curious my foot, he was being nosey. “I better get going before your mom gets home.” The corners of his mouth curled upwards into a warm impish grin.

“I’ll walk you out.” My face warmed as I slipped my feet into my boots and headed out of his bedroom. Isaac’s walking me out did tend to have more to do with his fingers caressing my backside than with politeness. After several long goodbye kisses at the door, I pulled my Blazer away from the curb and headed back to Miles’ house. I smiled to myself as I drove down the freeway. The crisp autumn air had me pulling my hoodie closed against the chill. Things were tense in town and getting worse, but things with the guys were going well. My smile dropped as worry ate at me. It had been a month since we learned that Miles’ dad died. It had been over a month since Miles acted, well, like Miles.

And I missed him. I blew out my cheeks as I pushed the thought to the back of my mind. Ethan “WİLL YOU GUYS HURRY UP?” I shouted towards the back door of the club. “I wanna get home before midnight!” Last time I called this late Lexie was already asleep. I wasn’t missing my goodnight phone call for these clowns. “We’re hurrying, Michael is still taking down his drum set,” Ollie called from the door. I hung my head and cursed. Ryan had quit after Riley went missing. He’d been spending all his time posting missing flyers around town. Fuck it.

I should call her now. I pulled out my phone and turned around, eyes widening. Three men were standing there in the shadows. What the fu— Miles “FİND THE WİTCH,” I bit out between clenched teeth, frustration bleeding into my words. “I want results, not excuses.” I hung up my phone and barely resisted the urge to slam it into the desktop. How hard could it be to find a witch in Spring Mountain? Why were they taking so long? Were they not looking hard enough or just screwing around? Maybe they really were searching and Jadis was just that well-hidden. “Miles!” Lexie’s sweet voice came from the hallway, the sound a soothing balm to my anger. My jaw and shoulders began to relax. Taking deep breaths, I was almost back in control by the time there was a small knock on the study door.

“Come in,” I called, trying to use the voice I knew she liked. The door opened and Lexie’s head popped inside. Her copper hair was down in damp curls around her shoulders as she stepped into the room with a smile. “Hey.” “What can I do for you?” I asked, rolling my neck as the last bit of tension seeped away. “Nothing, I just wanted to see you.” She walked through the study to stand across the desk from me. “It’s not often you’re not working at the forge.” She began to slightly chew at the corner of her lip as she shifted her weight. Guilt ate at me.

“I’m sorry, Angel.” I eyed her black V-neck and black flannel bottoms. “You’re in your pajamas?” She looked down as she fingered the hem of her shirt. “Yeah.” Wait … I remembered setting an alarm this morning. Didn’t I? “Don’t we have a date tonight?” She wrung her fingers as she looked up at me. “I figured you’d be busy with your project.” Her words drove a blade into my chest. She was planning on letting me work on our date night? No. Just no.

That would not stand. I walked around the desk and took her hand. “Not again, Angel.” Lexie WARMTH WASHED through me as Miles led me through the house, pausing in the kitchen only long enough to turn off the lights at the back of the house and outside before he held the back door open for me. Guided only by the soft glow from the pool, Miles took me to the chaise lounge at the end of the patio. “Here.” He picked up a folded blanket and handed it to me. “I thought we could do a bit of stargazing tonight. There is supposed to be a meteor shower.” I smiled.

“And you put a blanket out this morning?” The tips of his ears turned pink. “I remembered a few hours ago,” he said before gesturing to the lounge. I sat down, checking that there would still be room for him. Miles joined me, and I rested my head against his shoulder as his warmth wrapped around me. Curling up against him, I spread the blanket out over us as I took in that wintergreen scent. We looked up at the sky. Dry leaves rustled in the breeze. An owl hooted from somewhere in the distance. I looked up at him. “Are you okay?” His eyes were half closed as his gaze swept across the night sky.

“Sure.” My phone vibrated in my pocket. I pulled it out and saw the number. It was a text from an unknown number. Fuck that. I didn’t even look at it as I shut off my phone and tucked it back into my pocket. “Who was that?” “No one worth interrupting my time with you over,” I muttered before looking up at him again. “Sorry.” He brushed his thumb across my jawline, sending my heart racing. “What’s wrong?” I leaned more into his touch, savoring the warmth.

“I miss you, Nemo.” His thumb moved to my cheek and began to stroke it gently. “I miss you too, but this is something I have to do. If I can get enough staffs made, maybe I can turn the tide of a fight when it comes.” I nodded, still holding his hand to me. “I understand that, but I … I’ve never seen you like this.” “I know. But I’m still me. You’re still important to me.” His face softened along the edges.

I took the opportunity to really look at him. His chestnut brown hair was starting to curl around his ears again. The bags under his eyes were a slight purple above his high cheekbones and angled jaw. He was still handsome, but anyone could see that he needed sleep, and certainly more than the few hours he could manage every now and then. “You have to promise to go to bed at a decent hour tonight,” I said. “I will.” His eyes warmed as they met mine. “How are we doing?” I smiled. After I got jealous of Lucy last month, Miles and I had checked in with each other daily. If Miles wasn’t being attentive enough I could tell him before it ate at me too long, and it guaranteed that I could get his complete attention when I needed it.

He was trying to make sure I felt loved. It was sweet and seemed to be working pretty well so far. “I’m worried you’re not sleeping enough.” He nodded as if he expected it. “To be honest, I’m not. But I’ll try to go to bed at a decent hour tonight.” I looked down at his chest. “My room or yours?” He reached up and tucked a stray hair behind my ear. “Mine.” I smiled and met his eyes.

“Will you set an alarm so you come to bed at a decent hour?” His cheeks tinted pink as he shifted, pulled out his phone and set an alarm. “There.” He tucked the phone back into his pocket. “I’ll come to bed at eleven tonight.” “Thanks, Nemo.” I reached up and brushed my fingers along his jaw. “Are you okay?” “Honestly? I don’t know.” “You’re not really talking to anyone,” I whispered. He moved to face me. “There’s a lot going on.

With Jadis, her witches in town—” “With your father,” I couldn’t stop myself from adding. He shook his head, his face falling into that blank-wall look he’d perfected at some point. I’d come to know that look well; it was his ‘I’m done talking about this, please change the subject’ face. He looked back up at the sky. “That doesn’t factor.” “Of course it factors.” “No. It doesn’t,” he said, his voice sharp. “The fate of the supernatural world hangs in the balance at the moment. Hangs on our moves, our decisions.

There’s no reason for it to even be a blip on the radar.” Oh, sweetie. He was focusing on the big monster so he wouldn’t see the one sneaking up on him. Even I could see it. My chest grew warm. “But it is.” He licked his lips and swallowed hard. “It shouldn’t be.” “Miles.” Something in his gaze made my words freeze in my throat.

“Could … could I just hold you for a while?” he whispered. My throat tightened at the need in his voice. I nodded before settling back down into his embrace, relaxing in the warmth and scent of wintergreen as his arms tightened around me.

.

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