Once inseparable, twin Berserkers, Eryck and Erulf, have been growing apart as Eryck’s magic continues to build. Teetering on the edge of an explosive realization, Eryck struggles with his emotions, especially when he dreams of Kharisma spending her nights in his arms. When one of those dreams turns into nightmare, his trust wavers. Yet the two have no choice but to trust her to lead them on a perilous journey.
Kharisma knows she’s a Berserker’s mate and has been expecting the two brothers to eventually come claim her. But she refuses to be held to a destiny she hasn’t chosen. Instead she wants to blaze her own path, as far from the brothers as possible.
When she gets a taste of what life with them is like, she runs. Overwhelmed, she has to decide if fate had it right or not.
NOTE: This is a previously published work. The title has been edited for TEP.
Eryck inspected Kharisma as the little witch walked through their front door, following his twin through the entrance. She looked around, her little nose wrinkling as she—scented the place? Her chocolate eyes moved about, taking in every corner of the space.
The other four Berserkers and their mates came down the stairs as they entered, all grim-faced. The men, battle ready. Ryden led the pack.
“Is this her?”
Eryck felt his shoulders rise as the six of them stood looking over his—his what? He wasn’t truly sure what she was to him at this point. She wasn’t human, so technically, she wasn’t capable of being a true mate. And after his last dream, he didn’t trust her, even though a little voice screamed that there had to be a reason for the vision.
Weeks of dreaming of being in her arms, hot searing kisses shared between them and the need each night to close his eyes and rush to be with her warred with the new revelations he’d learned tonight. His arms ached to pull her close, to taste her full lips, to push his fingers into her curls and drag her head back, baring her neck to him. His teeth had elongated the moment he’d stepped into her shop. The need to claim her roared in his veins.
But he could not ignore the visions. He felt antsy around her, as if the power surges were heightening. Add the fact that Lofn had pretty much agreed that she could not be trusted. This woman indeed spelled their doom.
And that alone discounted her as their mate when coupled with the fact she was—other.
“This is her.”
Kharisma turned to him—baring her teeth to him? Her eyes widened as she looked at him, as if shocked. “I have a name.”
What was she?
“This—is—Kharisma. Kharisma, these are my brothers. The lighter two are Ryden and Rayne, and that is their mate, Karli. The darker two are Joran and Jakob and their mate, Kara. Better?”
His family nodded their welcome as she nodded back. She looked so normal. He couldn’t scent what she was, only what she wasn’t. She looked human enough, but then again, so did the males in his pack. Most Immortals could pass for humans to some degree.
Her reflexes were almost animalistic. Scenting the space as she entered? Baring her teeth to him?
Shaking his head, he cleared the thoughts. There was no time for this meandering. They had work to do.
“What do we need to gather for the spell?”
“There is only an incantation. Cleansing the room with sage isn’t a bad idea before we begin if you have a smudge stick, but besides that, we just need to bring what power we have to the table.”
“Cleansing. On it.” Erulf rushed up the stairs to his room.
“Where will we be working?”
“My library. If you’ll all excuse us, we need to prepare. We’ll call you as soon as we’re ready to go.” Eryck walked into the room, sensing that she followed. He felt a bit of pride as she walked in and gasped as she looked around at his collection.
Kharisma moved to his desk, her hand shooting out to point at a medieval scroll. “Is that what I think it is?”
“A thousand-year-old scroll? Why yes, it is.”
Her eyes danced all over the room, pride filling his chest at her obvious pleasure. He immediately tamped down the emotion as he caught himself.
She wasn’t to be trusted.
“Can I see the ritual?”
She stepped forward to lay her book on top of his littered desk. Kharisma slowly pulled the edges of the tome apart and turned to the page in question. Stepping back, she raised her arm to allow him to pass.
Eryck quickly scoured the two pages of ancient Norse, the old language making him smile. It was so rare to find pieces outside his collection or a museum, even though this was not the original. The tome was still five hundred years old, which made it quite the find. He wondered if Kharisma would part with it. He could pay her handsomely once this was all over.
“The ritual itself looks quite simple. A quick incantation. I wouldn’t imagine it would be so easy.”
“Easy? That magic has never been accomplished. Ever. It takes incredible power to make this one work. No one in a thousand years has been able to go there.”
“I have the power to make it work.”
“You’re egotistical to think that.”
“Egotistical? No, self-assured. And you know I’m powerful enough to make this happen.” Where was this coming from? When she was around, he felt ten-times stronger. And his ego was in full-force. She was quite right. He was being a narcissistic bastard around her. Was this how his beast was appearing?
He stalked her. She walked backwards, away from him, until she ran into the wall. And he didn’t stop until his body was molded against hers. He lifted her until his lips were inches from hers, his muscled thigh pushing between her supple ones. Kharisma’s heat rested against his leg, and he felt the throbbing heat come from her core.
Her mouth opened and a soft sigh escaped, as if she wanted his kiss.
And then she—growled at him. He cocked his head to the side, stunned. The emotion lasted a millisecond, the lust he’d felt overruling his surprise.
“What are you?” he whispered against her lips as he stole the kiss he needed like air to breathe.