Banned from using his magic, Severin is banished to live in the world of humans. So what’s a sixth level mystic meant to do? Simple: use his remaining skills and open up a bakery at Christmas Creek. Severin’s creations are all low cal, but it is his Decadence line—the erotic desserts—that cause a culinary stir in the normally quiet Australian town.
Severin’s plans for revenge against his enemies are put on hold the moment he meets Will Lawrence, the young Aussie whose golden hair and sexy smile bring Severin to his knees… all things considered that’s not such a bad place to be when you have a lover like Will. Except the vampires demand Sev’s blood, the shapeshifters want a piece of him, and the unmarried women of Christmas Creek want more than his chocolate éclairs… Except he isn’t a ladies’ man. Watch the fur and fangs fly.
Just what was a former sixth-level wizard doing in the kitchen? If anyone dared question him, Severin had a reply: go drop in the void, which was equivalent to the human expression—mind your own … expletive-of-your-choice … business.
The recipe was not going well. The damn toffee was stick-jaw when it should be brittle and the red cherries he had planned to use contained wriggling things. In his life, he’d faced down warlocks and rabid vampires, but the sight of something wriggling or slithering sent him running. Even if the wriggling thing was a quarter of an inch long.
Returning to the kitchen after the worms had been removed by the domestic cleaner, and after a medicinal brandy to settle his nerves, Sev resumed work on his sponge cake.
Sev stared at it. This was not one of his culinary masterpieces. But a wizard never admitted defeat. So, begin again. He wove the containment field, the tips of his fingers glowing purple.
Ripples of chocolate oozed over the cake, peaking in the centre. Severin concentrated his spell on the design. Frustration didn’t describe the moment. A wizard in disgrace, his magic reduced to six percent, what had taken him a nano-second before, was consuming precious minutes. And the spell wasn’t working.
Just a little more and—
“Severin! You can’t do this!”
With his attention diverted by the sound of Tarix’s voice, the binding shattered and chocolate erupted like a volcanic plume, slamming against the ceiling. The glutinous mass fanned outwards, splattering the kitchen.
Severin ducked as rogue globules flew past. A warm, sticky droplet stuck to his cheek. He wiped it away and stood up.
Hell’s coldest depths! He stared at the disaster. The normally pristine kitchen was coated in chocolate and slivers of congealed toffee. Just great! It’d take him hours to clean—unless he could bribe a wizard to vanish it all with a wave of his wand. No, that wasn’t going to happen. Severin was outcast and he’d be left to stew in his own chocolate.
“What the hell happened?” Tarix demanded, striding into the room, his gaze on the chocolate trickling down the walls.
“You—that’s what happened.”
“Me? I didn’t do a damn thing.” Tarix’s green eyes danced mischief.
Sev ignored the glint, focusing instead on Tarix’s transformation. His auburn hair, that was his pride, was secured in a severe bun at his nape by a metal clasp. The black and crimson tabard and leggings hugged his powerful frame. Sev swallowed hard. The sight invoked memories, best left in the past. At Tax’s side the ceremonial knife rested in an ornate gilt sheath. Tarix was a lover not a fighter, which was another reason why Sev had been so surprised when he’d heard that his former bed-mate had taken on guard duty. But, who could follow the thought processes of a cat shifter? Sev had tried for centuries and failed.
Tarix stepped up to Sev and ran a thumb over the older man’s cheek. He held out his thumb, the tip encased in chocolate. Tarix put it into his mouth and licked, slowly sucking. His green eyes, holding Sev’s gaze, sparked gold.
Uh-oh. When Tax looked at him like that Sev knew he had to watch out for his arse—literally and figuratively. He wasn’t in the mood for any cat-boy games and retreated a step, placing himself behind the work bench.
“What is it you want?” Severin asked.
Splat. Drip. Squelch.
Chocolate dripped from the ceiling.
Both men looked up. The corner of Tarix’s lip curled.
Sev’s fists clenched. Just say it… just you dare! Was the cat-boy foolish enough to make a joke of a wizard’s spell gone wrong? He watched Tax, his heart rate increasing. It was suffocatingly close in the kitchen. The cat returned the stare, a heated gaze, that under normal circumstances would have had them tangling on the floor or on the bench in seconds.
“These aren’t normal circumstances,” Tax said huskily, picking up Sev’s thoughts.