Dagon sat in the front parlor sizing up Adam Lottimer. Ali had been right, the man’s fine features could tempt any woman and he did carry himself with an old-world, aristocratic style. His dark eyes were sharply aware of everything around him and there was a sense of strength about him that warned he was not a man to take lightly.
There was no doubt that Lottimer was much older than he appeared which meant he was a witch, though more likely a warlock since a demon resided with him. And that he was on guard was obvious, that he was talented at subterfuge was also obvious.
“I’m extremely interested in security for the manor,” Lottimer said to Sebastian. “With this not being my primary residence, I’d like to make sure that it is protected when I’m not here.”
“Where is your primary residence?” Sebastian asked.
Lottimer smiled. “I suppose that depends on how long I remain at one of my many homes.”
Sebastian was quick to ask, “And do you need security in those homes as well? If so I can offer you a substantial savings.”
“A good businessman, I like that,” Lottimer said. “Let me see what you would recommend for McDevin Manor and we can go from there.”
“I need a tour of the whole place in order to give you an estimate and of course to suggest the best security system for your needs.”
“We’ll have to setup an appointment for that, since I’m presently occupied with refurbishing this place and —”
Sebastian stood. “The middle of refurbishing is the best time for me to have a look. It won’t take that long and since I’m here I can snap a few photos,” —he slipped his cell phone out of his jacket pocket— “and have an estimate written up for you in no time.”
Dagon admired the way Sebastian had really left Lottimer no choice. It would have been rude of him to refuse and so Dagon stood as well. “I’d love to see what you’ve done with the place so far. You do have your work cut out for you. This place has been closed up for some time. Did you inherit it?”
It wasn’t lost on either man that Lottimer stood with reluctance and with even more reluctance escorted them from the room. “I’m afraid we’ll need to make this fast. I have much work to do.”
“Won’t take long at all,” Sebastian said and raised his cell phone. “This baby takes great pics and will give me all the information I need. And what is it you do for a living, Adam? It helps me to know my clients business and hobbies since one or both are usually the reason for the type of high-tech security systems I provide.”
Dagon forced himself not to smile. Sebastian was getting them what they needed without relying on his arcane abilities. That meant Lottimer could sense no magic afoot so what other choice did he have but to accept Sebastian’s generous offer.
Dagon gave Sebastian a firm pat on the shoulder. “You won’t be sorry, Adam. Sebastian is the best in the security field. He’ll make sure no one is able to gain entrance to McDevin Manor without your permission.”
“Are we in the basement?” Ali squinted trying to adjust her eyes to the dark.
“You should know; you transported us,” Sarina said and snapped her fingers causing a surge of light. “Looks like what probably served as a dungeon.”
“Damn, I forgot, though it wasn’t the norm, some manor homes did have dungeons of a sort. I was thinking that if there was a gateway to Hades then it had to be located on the lowest level of the house.” Ali shuddered. “If you’re not claustrophobic you would be after only a few moments in this narrow passageway.”
“And look at these cells,” —the metal door squeaked as Sarina opened one door— “standing room only.”
They continued down the corridor to the end and stepped into a room that obviously once served as a torture chamber. Copies of the many pain-afflicting devices were prominently displayed on the walls. In the middle, where no doubt a torture table once stood, was a symbol. Not a pentagram that many mistakenly associate with evil, but an intricate maze of circles that seemed to have no beginning or end, but forever entrapped.
“Lottimer practices the dark arts,” Ali said remaining on the perimeter of the symbol, not getting too close. “Is there any way this thing can be sealed?”
“I’m not sure.” Sarina stretched out her arm fanning her hand over the area and stumbled back. “There is a hefty energy cone protecting this.”
“So Lottimer’s a powerful warlock.”
“The question is what does Lottimer have planned? Is that demon here to help him release others like his kind or is the demon to be returned for services rendered? And how are we ever going to permanently seal this thing?”
“Did you hear that?” Ali asked.
Sarina listened. “Footsteps.” She snapped her fingers to transport them and nothing happened.
Ali tried but they remained where they were.
They hurried to the standing-room-only cell as the footsteps drew near.
“It’s a good thing we’re slim,” Ali said her face nearly squashed against Sarina’s.
Sarina tried again to transport but no luck, they stayed where they were. “A containment spell,” she whispered.
“I don’t think it will be necessary for security down here,” Lottimer said, “but I did want to show this area to you.” He passed through the narrow passageway Sebastian and Dagon following and into the torture chamber. “Since it’s what you’ve come to find.”
Sarina shook her head and Ali stiffened.
“They’re in trouble,” Ali whispered.
“If you haven’t noticed so are we”
Dagon grabbed Sebastian’s arm and tugged him back away from the circle. “So there is a gateway from hell here.”
“It’s been here for some time, with few knowing of its existence,” Lottimer said. “But now with you two snooping around not to mention your lovely, though nosy wives, —he shook his head— “I’m afraid something must be done about it.” He smiled. “Ladies, please join us.”
“Damn, he knows we’re here,” Ali said. “Now what?”
“He may be the least of our problems,” Sarina murmured. “We now have to face our husbands.”
“Oh pish,” Ali said, “they had to know that there would be no way they could leave us behind. This is all their fault.”
“No it isn’t.” Sarina insisted loudly and then whispered in Ali’s ear just before they left the cell. “Keep Lottimer occupied while I work to free us.”
Dagon and Sebastian shook their heads as the two women entered the room squabbling.
“I could dispose of them both for you and provide docile mates in their places,” Lottimer offered with a laugh.”
Both women went to their husbands who immediately wrapped a protective arm around each.
“How about we just do away with you and make the world a safer place,” Ali said with a stunning grin that even had Lottimer melting to it.
“Your beauty takes one’s breath away,” Lottimer said. “Why not join with me? I can give you an extraordinary life.”
“She already has one,” Sebastian said, “and I agree with her this world would be better off without you.”
Lottimer grinned. “Perhaps, but I’m not going anywhere —and if I want your wife— she would be as easy to take from you as it is for me to solve this little dilemma.”
Dagon tightened his hold on Sarina. “And how is that?”
“A wave of my hand and a memory wipe spell and I could extend it so that it is as if either of you lovely couples ever meant. And have Ali believe she belonged to me.”
“I would never love you,” Ali said.
Lottimer laughed again. “Darling, I could care less if you loved me. Your beauty will surffice.”
Sebastian went to step forward, but Ali stopped him with her hand to his chest. “Don’t waste your time. He doesn’t understand, the pitiful fool.”
Lottimer suddenly turned to Sarina. “What have you done?”
Sarina simply smiled as a wind suddenly circled the room gathering with a swirling force. And after the tempest finally settled another Tempest stood in its wake.
“You dare to harm my sister,” Tempest said hovering in the air over the gateway from Hades.
“She looks magnificent, doesn’t she?” Sarina said proudly admiring the white gossamer gown threaded with gold that she wore, gold sparkling slippers and her fiery hair fell in a tumultuous array of curls to her shoulders. She was decked out in her witch’s finery, but then she was the Ancient One, the oldest of witches and the most powerful. She was also very pregnant and looking all the more radiant.
Lottimer smiled though worry wore in his dark eyes. “Ancient One,” he said with a respectful bow of his head. “I didn’t realize Sarina was your sister.”
“I am in no mood to play games with you, Adam,” Tempest snapped.
He smiled and his charming tongue took command. “You used to like to play games.”
A crack of thunder sounded so loud that it had everyone looking to see if it had split the room in two. And then suddenly hovering next to Tempest was Michael, her husband.
He slipped his arm around Tempest’s waist and placed a gentle hand on her rounded stomach. “Are you all right? You left so suddenly.”
“I’m fine,” she said though anyone could see that she was angry. “Sarina reached out to me with fear and I couldn’t take time to explain. I had to rescue her.”
“Of course you did,” he said reassuringly and kissed her cheek before turning to Adam. “You speak to my wife respectfully and just to make it clear, Tempest never liked your games.”
“But she played them,” Adam said.
“What choice did she have?” Michael said. “She had to keep people safe from evil and so she battled you as she does now to save her sister and the others.”
Lottimer got annoyed. “We struck a necessary bargain that has worked well through the years and now these idiots interfere, though it’s the blond one’s second time.”
“I knew you looked familiar,” Ali said. “You’re the one I saw in bed with that woman all those years ago.”
Lottimer smiled. “You should have joined me when I invited you.”
“Not on your life,” Ali said.
Sarina stepped forward, Dagon remaining close by. “I don’t understand, Tempest, you knew about the gateway from Hades?”
Tempest floated over to her sister and eased herself to the ground giving Sarina a hug before she answered, “Gateways from Hades exist in various areas throughout the world. Once one is found we contain it by allowing a warlock to reign over it.”
“I choose who may enter this world from Hades and serve me and I make certain that the portal remains closed on All Hallows Eve,” Lottimer said, “the reason for the private dinner party. Those with sufficient power help me to secure the portal.”
“He’s a necessary evil,” Michael said floating over to stand at his wife’s side.
“So you approve of the demon he keeps here?” Sarina asked.
Tempest and Michael turned raised brows to Lottimer.
He shrugged. “It doesn’t want to leave; it enjoys it here and it serves me well.”
Tempest stepped forward. “I will speak with this demon.”
“Be my guest, dear,” Lottimer said with a curt bow.
With a snap of Tempest’s fingers they all were transported to the front parlor.”
“How did she do that?” Ali asked drifting over to Sarina while Dagon and Sebastian walked over to speak with Michael.
Sarina said with pride. “Her power is unfathomable.
“The demon,” Tempest demanded.
Lottimer bowed his head respectfully and summoned his servant. The woman walked in the room her posture stiff.
“Anna,” the Ancient One wishes to speak with you,” Lottimer said.
Eyebrows rose, mouths dropped open and heads shook.
Sarina couldn’t stop shaking her head.
Tempest turned to her. “Don’t worry over it. It wasn’t Lottimer’s spells that kept you from sensing anything; it was mine. I had to make certain this place was protected from prying eyes and inquisitive humans.”
“Sarina must have sensed something since she was felled with pain,” Ali said.
Tempest cast Lottimer an angry look.
He held his hands up. “I did nothing. She must be more skilled than you give her credit for.”
Tempest beamed with pride. “Well she is my sister.” And with that she turned to Anna. “You will come with me and we shall talk.” Tempest walked out of the room with Michael on her heels. She stopped and before she could say anything he said…
“Don’t even think about talking with a demon alone. It’s not going to happen.”
Tempest smiled and sighed and held her hand out to him. He took it, wrapped his arm around her waist and the trio left the room.
“You would not last long here if it wasn’t for my sister-in-law,” Dagon said.
“A threat?” Lottimer asked with a laugh.
“A promise that you would be wise to remember,” Dagon said.
Lottimer’s laughter died. “Then it is best I remain in the Ancient One’s good graces.”
Sebastian laughed this time. “You’re a necessary evil, pal, and that’s all.”
Tempest and Michael returned with Tempest announcing, “Anna enjoys her sojourn here and so she shall remain until further notice. Now I could use a nice cup of tea and some women time.”
Sarina and Ali rushed to her side and chatted away as they transported out of the room.
“Much luck with your wives, gentlemen,” Adam said with a smirk and a laugh as the three husbands followed their wives.
However, not before Michael warned, “Behave, Lottimer.”
Lottimer’s grin grew and he whispered, “Not likely.”
It was a lovely evening spent with family and friends though Sarina was happy when Dagon and she were finally alone in their bedroom.
“Lottimer will never behave no matter how much Michael warns,” Sarina said.
“You saw that did you?” he asked.
“I saw much after my sister arrived, though I can’t say I made sense of it all, but given time I will.”
“You should have never followed me, though no doubt Ali had something to do with that.”
“Don’t blame Ali, she but gave me the perfect excuse—”
“To do as you will,” he finished approaching her slowly. “And now, witch, I’m going to do as I will.” He scooped her up into his arms before she could say a word and carried her to bed.
Hope you enjoyed The Devil’s Den 🙂 You can find out all about the Wyrrd witches in their books: The Wedding Spell, Magical Moments, Magical Memories and Remember The Magic.