Raven by Kelsie Belle

Raven by Kelsie Belle

Raven

The White Witch’s Legacy, Book 1
by Kelsie Belle

Siren-Bookstrand

eBook ISBN: 978-1-63258-210-2

[ Shifter Romance ]

Hunting evil creatures is his business, and then he encounters a creature so lovely he can’t resist falling under her spell. Raven is a bewitching beauty that calls to the beast inside Xander from the first day he laid eyes on her and he is everything she could ever want in a man. But secrets, lies and dark magical powers threaten to ruin their chances of ever finding their way to love.

Note: Prologue omitted.

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Chapter One

He was here again. This must be like the fourth night this week and God knows how many nights in the past three weeks. He was just as mesmerizing as the first night she’d seen him, sitting at that very table, nursing his liquor in that same somber manner. He had the physique of a well-trained athlete, extremely tall and strapping, with powerful, ropey muscles everywhere. He wore his sandy blonde hair in a short trendy cut that suited him perfectly, it offset his angular face and slightly crooked nose. She wished she knew what color his eyes were, she’d never gotten close enough to him to see them. But she would bet her last penny that they were just as breathtaking as the rest of him was.
He usually came in around ten, always alone and spent about an hour or two just sitting there. He never picked up anyone as far as she could tell, never accepted any of the many offers he’d had from the ‘working’ girls to enjoy a little special time in one of the rooms upstairs. He simply drank a few rounds and watched, he was always watching. She swore she could feel his eyes boring into her flesh the whole time she was on stage. Whenever she would chance a look at him during her routine, she would find his gaze fixed on her every move and it was as if she could feel the warmth of his breath on her skin, his big, callused hands caressing her sensitized flesh…
“You’re up next, get that suit on!” a loud female voice barked from behind her, jolting her from her musing. Irritation rose in her chest like a tidal wave but she did her best to tamp it down and spun away from the curtains that hid the dressing area backstage. As she slipped on the costume she had chosen to perform in tonight, she reminded herself why she was here, why she was doing this. She had no one, nowhere to go. She’d been running and hiding for months, ever since the night she had witnessed her aunt being slaughtered by a possessed beast. It had been just a few weeks after her twenty-first birthday, that fateful night when her life had changed forever. Hazel had spent those weeks explaining the history of her descendants to her. She’d given her the box of sacred gifts her mother had bequeathed to her and taught her the significance of each one. But just when Myra had been coming to grips with all that she had found out, and was finally prepared to take on the task expected of her, the shit had really hit the fan.
The beast had attacked during the night, while Myra was sound asleep. He’d obviously been sent for her but Hazel wouldn’t let him get to her without a fight. By the time the sounds had reached her and awoken her from her slumber, it was already too late. She’d peeped out of her room to see what was going on, and had witnessed the beast easily subduing Hazel, then killing her with a powerful blow to the chest. She’d been terrified, but had enough wits about her not to try and save the old woman. They’d planned for such an eventuality and she knew it was more important to save her own life at all cost. So she’d hidden for hours in the hideaway they’d created behind the back wall of her closet. She hadn’t come out until her peculiar sixth sense had assured her that the coast was clear. Then she’d taken only the box of sacred treasures with her and run, not looking back for even a second.
Smoothing her hair with one hand, she checked her appearance in the mirror. No one would suspect that the seductively dressed vixen staring back at her was that same girl. She’d created a whole new persona for herself, one that would surely throw off anyone looking for her, even for a little while. She was a ghost here, a woman that hadn’t existed until a few months before. This was what she had to do, this was who she had to be. Until she found the missing pieces to the puzzle she’d set out to solve, this was how she would live.
She zipped her boots up and straightened with a loud sigh, then smoothed her hair again. When she heard them call her name, she squared her shoulders and immediately sauntered toward the door, summoning the confidence she’d come to depend on. There was no place in her life for sexy, blond strangers that made her weak in the knees, no matter how much she wished things were different.
 
****
 
Raven…yes, that suited her. She was just as darkly exotic as the creature her name depicted. He wasn’t even sure if it was her real name or just a stage name she used to hide her identity. Either way, it was completely fitting. Long, straight tresses of jet-black hair tumbled down her back, and onyx sloe eyes offset her stunningly beautiful face. As always, she was dressed in full black, and even her makeup was predominantly black. Tonight, her outfit was a long-sleeved, leather lingerie catsuit, with a front zipper that stopped just at her bustline, revealing full breasts barely covered by a lacy black bra. Pointy, high-heeled black boots adorned her legs right up to her shapely thighs, making her petite body seem much taller than it was. The ensemble was extremely sexy and it fully accentuated her lush curves.
Xander Kane brought his glass of neat Bulleit bourbon to his lips as he sat staring at the girl called Raven rocking her hips in time to the erotic music on the dimly lit stage in Rendezvous Bar. Her movements were slow and sensual, provoking an answering ache in his already rock-solid cock. He’d been drawn to her like a magnet to steel from the first moment he saw her, and that feeling had only intensified each time he came to this place. He watched as she gripped the pole in the center of the stage and swung herself up on it, her back arching backward so that her hair almost swept the floor as she spun on the pole. Her breasts thrust upward and she looked so wanton in that pose that Xander’s groin tightened in anticipation. The noises of the other patrons around him in the smoky bar were completely lost on him. His entire central nervous system was attuned to Raven as she worked her way across the front of the stage. She wasn’t a stripper, she was an exotic dancer. She never took her clothes off, but his mind had no problem removing them for her. In his head, Xander was already fully acquainted with every lush curve of her body and he wanted her, desperately.
He beckoned to a buxom blonde waitress as she passed by and slipped her a generous tip as he whispered his request in her ear. Tonight, he would have his heart’s desire. Raven would be his tonight. The pretty waitress smiled brightly and hurried away to do his bidding. He finished his drink as he watched her approach the side of the stage, just as Raven completed her final number and prepared to exit. The waitress leaned in and whispered to her, jerking a thumb in his direction. The dark-haired beauty looked his way, and even in the dim lighting, his extra-sensitive eyes could detect the frown marring her lovely features. Turning back to the waitress, she shook her head forcefully and proceeded to walk away. Xander’s chest ached at her rejection and he had to struggle to remain seated and not chase after her like a sex-crazed adolescent. It served him right, anyway, sitting here pretending he was normal, pretending a lovely specimen like that would want the creature that he was. As impossible as he knew it was, he almost felt as if she had seen through his façade, had taken one look at him and known that he didn’t belong here, that he was an imposter. The waitress looked back at him with a shrug, offering a weak smile before she walked away, and the ache in his chest intensified.
Just then, Raven stopped short, her whole body stiffened and her little hands clenched at her side. She spun around at lightning speed and Xander watched as she looked around the bar wildly before her eyes finally fell on him again. To his surprise, she started walking purposefully in his direction until, finally, she slid into the chair across from his, her dark eyes piercing him with a heated stare.
“I’m not a whore,” she said bluntly, and the melodic lilt of her voice enveloped him like rich silk—she sounded just as exotic as she looked. But in that instant, it wasn’t the sound of her voice or her beautiful face that held him utterly captivated. It was her scent, the overwhelming fragrant scent of her that wafted up to his keen nose and almost made him pounce on her across the table the minute she sat down.
Xander shook his head forcefully, swallowing hard as he fought back his unnatural urge to taste the exquisite beauty sitting across from him, even as his mouth watered and his fangs threatened to descend. With great effort, he forced a playfully smirk, attempting to ease the tension he felt radiating from her. “The thought didn’t even cross my mind,” he assured her, hoping his voice didn’t sound as strained to her ears as it did to his own.
“You offered me money…”
“For a private dance,” he said, twisting the truth conveniently. “I love watching you move. I want you to do it just for me, for my eyes only.”
“That’s all? Just a dance?” Her skepticism was blatantly etched on her face.
“That’s what I offered to pay for, yes.” Though Xander had no intention of settling for just a dance, he knew he had to play his cards right, cajole her into thinking his intentions were mainly honorable.
He watched as Raven licked her lips slowly and once again her eyes darted around the crowded bar. She shifted in her seat, her discomfort a clear contrast with the natural grace she exuded. “Do you have somewhere in mind?” she asked suddenly, turning back to him. “I have a room upstairs, but I won’t take anyone up there.”
The urge to do several fist pumps at his triumph was almost overwhelming, but Xander remained cool and replied, “I’m staying at a motel a few blocks over. We can go there, if that’s okay with you.”
She seemed to consider his proposal for a short moment, her eyes flickering nervously to the doorway. When her dark eyes returned to his face again, she said quietly, “Okay, let me get my bag. I’ll be just a moment.” Then she rose quickly and was gone before he could respond.
Xander flopped back in his seat and exhaled loudly. He wasn’t even sure what had just happened. All he knew was that, without even trying very hard, he’d somehow convinced the siren that had been calling to him ever since his first trip to Rendezvous to come back to his hotel room with him, and the feeling of triumph had gone straight to his unruly cock. It was like a goddamn iron pipe in his pants right now, and he prayed he’d be able to control the overzealous organ long enough to get her to relax before he made his move.
Moments later, he saw Raven returning with her bag, and he quickly removed money from his wallet to settle his tab and tip the waitress before rising from his seat. No words were spoken as, together, they exited the dim bar, sliding smoothly into his red Dodge Challenger and setting off for his motel. The hunter in Xander didn’t miss the way Raven kept looking behind her as if she was terribly afraid someone might be following them.
 
* * * *
 
“Lose the costume, keep the boots.” Xander whispered his instructions as he set up background music on the bedside table.
“Look, I don’t strip, okay, mister …?”
“The name’s Xander, and I don’t need you naked.” Not yet, anyway. “Keep whatever you have on under the catsuit. But remember, this is my show, so we’ll play by my rules. I’ve been watching you for a long time and I really want to see you this time.” His words were low, purposefully seductive as he sought to set her mind at ease.
He noticed her hesitate for a moment, then her hand went to the zipper of her costume, and soon she was stepping out of the provocative outfit. Xander bit back a groan as he saw her supple flesh almost completely uncovered for the first time. The scrap of thong and demi-bra she wore were barely enough to cover the essentials and he could feel his willpower hanging by a thread at the sight of her in them. He hurried to find a suitable soundtrack for her performance, then sank his big body down on the bed to enjoy the show.
Raven dragged the lone chair from beside the dressing table and placed it a few feet away from where Xander sat at the edge of the bed. Slowly, she began to roll her hips in time to the music, moving around the chair and using it as a centerpiece for her erotic dance. She turned her back to him and bent over at the waist, giving him a full view of her lovely backside. Xander’s balls tightened and his cock strained as he watched her body dip and sway, her firm tits tantalizingly on display, her plump ass jiggling deliciously. Her sensual dance went on for only a few minutes, but by the end of it, Xander was aching to touch her. Involuntarily, he reached out and ran his hand along the length of her spine, undeterred by the way her body tensed at his touch.
“Come closer,” he commanded, grasping her wrist and gently tugging her to him.
She stilled immediately, then tried to pull away from him, her face stricken with panic. “You said you only wanted a dance, and I—”
“Shh, I just want you to dance on me. A lap dance, that’s all I’m asking for.” His voice was a deceptively gentle coo and he was pleased when she relaxed and let him pull her to him. Tentatively, she straddled his hips and resumed her sensual movements, rocking her hips and sliding her body against his. Xander inhaled sharply, drawing in her intoxicatingly rich scent, and a completely crippling lust grabbed hold of him then, causing his cock to swell to an almost painful degree. With all the rigid self-discipline he possessed, honed by years of training, he willed himself to remain focused and not devour her as the beast within him would have him do. He knew she could feel the unmistakable evidence of his arousal straining between them and he would have to be very careful not to scare her off as it was.
Slowly, he wrapped his hands around her waist, his mouth gently nuzzling at the crux of her neck. “I want you, beautiful,” he said softly.
Instantly she stiffened and tried to get off his lap. “I told you, I don’t take money for sex! Let go!”
“Who said anything about money?” he said, holding her firmly in place but giving her his best seductive smile. “Believe me, I’ll pay you for the dance, but I never pay for sex. The multiple orgasms I’ll give you will be payment enough.”
He watched her suck in a sharp breath and her face flushed a bright crimson, yet the slight shiver he felt run though her body told Xander that his words had not been repulsive to her. Seizing the advantage, he began placing soft kisses on her shoulder blade as his fingers trailed along the column of her spine, his hands traveling downward until they were resting on her hips. “You have absolutely nothing to fear with me, Raven,” he whispered against her ear. “I just want to make you feel good. I promise you won’t regret giving yourself to me. I’ll only give you pleasure in return, with my hands, my mouth…all of me.”
A soft whimper escaped Raven and she slackened against him slightly. Her eyes met and held his and he could clearly see the misgivings shining in their depths. “That sounds so good…but I can’t do this…God, I shouldn’t.” The hesitant words told him all he needed to know—she had reservations, but she was certainly not unwilling. His cock throbbed with delight at that realization.
He bent his head again and continued to kiss her all over, placing feather-soft pecks on her exposed skin, causing her to moan with her obviously mounting desire. “Just relax and let go, okay? You can trust me.” He covered her full breasts with his hands and squeezed them gently, brushing his thumbs across the already-tight nipples through her sheer demi-bra. Then his hands found and released the clasp at her back, so that her lush, naked breasts spilled forward. Xander tossed the bra aside before leaning forward to lick one dark nipple with his hot, wet tongue, then repeated the action with its twin. When he finally sucked the taut bud into his mouth, Raven let out a harsh cry, her back arching to press her breast more fully into his mouth. She sank her fingers into his blond hair and writhed in ecstasy as he suckled on one nipple, then the other.
Finally, Xander relinquished his claim on her breasts and gently pushed her up so that she was standing in front of him. “Take your panties off for me, beautiful,” he rasped as his hands went to the front of his short-sleeved shirt to unbutton it and slide it off.
He watched as she hooked her trembling fingers into the sides of her thong and wiggled her way out of the tiny scrap of fabric. His eyes fixated on the landing strip on her neatly shaven mound and he groaned as need overwhelmed him. She bent to unzip her boots, but his fierce growl gave her pause. “Leave them,” he said, his voice rough with barely restrained hunger. “I want to fuck you with those heels on. Come here.”
When she was standing between his spread legs, Xander’s hands spanned her tiny waist as he placed butterfly-soft kisses on her taut stomach, trailing down to her nether region. “Fuck, I can smell you. Are you wet for me, beautiful?” It was a rhetorical question. He didn’t wait for her to answer before his hand delved between her legs to investigate for himself.
He felt Raven’s legs begin to shake, slight tremors coursing through her body as he ran his fingers through the slickness between her thighs. She gripped his shoulders and shifted a little, opening herself further to his explorations. A little mewling whimper escaped her as his fingers brushed over her rigid clit before sliding up into her wet heat. “So tight…you feel so good.” He slowly undulated his finger inside her, pulling back and pushing in. Her pussy clenched around him and she rocked her hips back and forth. “Do you like that, beautiful? Do you want more?”
She moaned and nodded her head quickly. “Yes…God yes, give me more, please,” she whispered.
Xander pushed another finger into her tight cunt and curled them inside her, rubbing against her walls purposefully. Raven rocked her hips faster, trying to fuck herself with his fingers and create greater friction on her clit. “Please…please. I need…”
“Tell me, beautiful, tell me what you need,” he whispered as he continued to torture her with his hands, pressing his thumb against her clit and rubbing lightly.
“Fuck me, please. I can’t wait…I need you.” He could tell she was frantic with her desire now, the tremors going through her body getting stronger and her breathing shallow as she continued to rock on his hand.
Xander removed his hand from between her legs and eased her away so he could slide his jeans off. He quickly extracted a condom from his pocket and sheathed himself before pulling her back to him. He watched her eyes widen as they fell on his considerable girth thrusting up between them. She swallowed hard and hesitated as he encouraged her to straddle him again. He smiled reassuringly and gently pushed her legs apart, preparing her to sit on him. “Don’t worry, you can take me. I won’t hurt you, I promise. Just take what you need, beautiful,” he coaxed and she whimpered softly in response.
Gripping his granite cock, he aligned it at her dripping entrance as she held onto his shoulders for support and slowly began to lower herself onto his length. He heard when her breath caught as his huge cock stretched up into her body, inch by inch. She gasped loudly, her face contorting perceptibly at the intrusion. Then she pulled back a little before attempting to push down again and Xander gently stroked along her spine in an effort to soothe her.
“Relax, don’t fight it,” he told her. He felt her drag in a deep breath and her small body slowly relaxed to accommodate his length. He groaned loudly when, finally, his thick cock slid all the way into her tight channel and her wetness completely enveloped him.
“Fuck! You feel like heaven. Ride me beautiful, ride my cock,” he commanded, his voice a harsh, grating sound.
She put her knees on the side of the bed and began to ride him in earnest, sliding up and down on his cock, causing her heated snatch to swallow the thick, hard shaft with each pass. Xander gripped her hips and bucked upward, fucking her back with equal enthusiasm. He watched as her ample tits bounced to the rhythm of her sensual movements. After a few minutes of steady fucking, his hand slid between them to find her clit and he rubbed it with purposeful strokes, causing her pussy to flutter around his cock even as she continued to ride him. “God! Oh God, I’m coming!” she screamed seconds later, throwing her head back in abandon, her nails biting into his shoulders as her vaginal walls pulsed around his cock.
“Hell yeah, beautiful, come for me. Come on my fucking dick.” Xander savored the feeling of her cunt strangling his shaft as she came. He held her until her tremors subsided, reveling in the beauty of her release. A second later, he flipped her so that she was lying on her back and he was on top of her, and wasted no time sliding his cock into her heat again. “Hold your legs back for me, baby. Let me fuck this sweet pussy,” he told her.
Raven moaned and grabbed her legs, pulling them as far back as she could as Xander pumped into her with mighty thrusts, his powerful arms holding him above her as he worked. He rolled his hips and stroked into her, the head of his cock sliding against her sweet spot and almost driving her insane. “Oh! Yes, God yes!” she cried, her hands gripping her booted legs tightly as she held herself open for him.
“Yeah, baby, take me. Take the dick,” Xander growled as he plunged into her over and over. Soon his balls began to pull up and his cock flooded with cum. He wasn’t going to last much longer. Xander pulled back, sliding his dick completely out of her soaked cunt and gripped it in one hand. He used two fingers to spread the lips of her pussy, exposing her clit fully, then he began to rub the bulbous head of his cock over the rigid bud, pressing down on it and building pressure to encourage her climax. She moaned and writhed wantonly, biting down hard on her bottom lip as her face flushed with pleasure. When finally, he used his cock to slap against her clit several times, Raven released her hold on her legs to grab the bedhead, letting out a tortured howl as she came again, hard and swift. As she continued to convulse beneath him, Xander plunged into her cunt again and fucked her hard. A short while later, his body went rigid, and then he was shooting jets of warm cum deep inside her body.
 
* * * *
 
Xander Kane was not used to being duped. As a well-trained warrior that had spent almost all his life training to hunt and fight, he was usually excellent at reading people and predicting potentially dangerous situations. Nevertheless, a petite, dark-haired siren named Raven had well and truly taken him for a fucking ride.
She was gone, had simply disappeared, and he felt like a goddamn chump for not seeing it coming. He had woken on Sunday morning to find himself alone in his motel bed, after spending almost all of Saturday night fucking the little temptress into oblivion. She had left sometime during the night, when he’d been knocked out from sheer exhaustion. Not before she’d ripped him off, though. She’d emptied his goddamn wallet, which he didn’t really mind so much. What got his blood boiling was that she’d taken his knife, the one his father had given to him the day he slayed his first monster, the one he always had with him, even in the damn shower. He’d immediately gone to Rendezvous in search of her, but the owners said she hadn’t been back since Saturday night. Her room was still intact, and she hadn’t taken anything with her, but it was now Wednesday and she had not come back once.
Xander was still pissed as hell. He wanted to throttle the little bitch, but there was nothing he could do if she never intended to show her face in the bar again. The owner had no information on her to share. Apparently in-depth background checks were not a requirement for landing a job in a strip joint. No one else seemed to have any idea where she might have gone to, either. She had no friends or family that anybody knew of, so searching for her was simply a waste of his time and energy. It was as if she’d been a wraith, a beautiful ghost that had existed only in his mind.
That thought made his footsteps halt abruptly on his way to the motel door. Could she have been something else entirely? Something more than just a mere human? Fuck, he didn’t want to even contemplate that prospect. He would have sensed if something was off with her, wouldn’t he? No, it just wasn’t possible. He refused to believe it could be possible. But after the job he’d completed in the village of Siren’s Edge several weeks ago, he’d be a fool not to consider something like that. He knew all too well that things weren’t always what they seemed. He and his team had tracked down a whole coven of witches that had been plaguing the area and it had been one of the ugliest battles they’d ever been involved in. It was the reason he was here in Balcavia these past few weeks. He’d needed a break after that hunt, just to recoup and pretend, even for a while, that he was normal.
Walking over to his car after he exited the motel, duffel bag in tow, he slid his sunglasses over his eyes to block out the glare of the midday sun. He yanked the door of the Challenger open and tossed the bag over to the back seat. Then he slid behind the wheel, immediately shifting into gear and speeding out of the paved parking lot. Sighing loudly, Xander turned up the stereo in his car and rolled his windows down, letting the wind rip through his hair as he drove onto the highway, leaving Balcavia behind. Yeah, he was finally ready. It was time to go home.

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