Bewitching the Vampire

Brooklyn Ann

Brides of Prophecy, Book 9

The Lord Vampire of New Orleans meets his match in the leader of the local witch coven.

Magic is returning to Earth, and Raina Callahan’s witch coven is growing more powerful. She’s been warned to be wary of catching interest from dangerous people, and sure enough, she discovers that someone is following her. Her stalker turns out to be the owner of a vampire-themed club—who really is a vampire. And although he is dead sexy and charming, Raina is not okay with his surveillance or his intent to claim her as his. She will use every means of magic at her disposal to thwart him.

Valentin St. Scarasse, Lord Vampire of New Orleans, has a weakness for voluptuous women with magic in their blood. Just when he has his sights set on what promises to be a delicious meal—and maybe a few passionate nights in bed—the Thirteenth Elder commands him to watch over the witch and her coven and keep them safe. But when Raina catches Valentin spying on her, the witch and the vampire embark on a battle of wills that will only end if they surrender to the heat between them.

As the Evil One’s cultists invade the city, Raina and Valentin must learn to trust each other and together, help their communities make an alliance that both sides swore would never happen.



Chapter One

Jean Lafitte Wilderness Preserve, Louisiana



Raina Callahan linked hands with her fellow witches, and they raised their hands to the cloudy night sky. “We banish this storm and will it to dissipate before it reaches landfall.”

Her coven repeated her words in an overlapping chant. The fire continued to ripple at a sharp angle with the wind.

This was the most ambitious spell the New Orleans coven had attempted together. Raina wasn’t sure they were powerful enough to pull it off.

The four witches combined the elements. Raina represented water. She called forth her power to steer the moisture in the air away, back toward the sea. Alma used her affinity with Earth to cool the energy and to hold the spell like a living wall. Jack and Cinna combined their mastery over fire and air to dry out the air and send the current of cooled, dry air towards the approaching hurricane.


Raina closed her eyes as she felt the power coursing within her form and mingling with her coven sister and brothers.

Their bonfire roared, candles flickered, and their ring of crystals began to glow.

“Oh shit,” Cinna whispered, “Can you feel it?”

Raina and the others gasped before Cinna finished speaking.

The coming storm pressed against their power. Miles away and yet seeming so much nearer.

Were they crazy for doing this? Everyone who could afford to evacuate had left in the last two days, clogging up I10 and Highway 90. The rest were holed up in their homes, emergency shelters, or the Waffle House. And here they were in Jean Lafitte National Park, where solid ground was varied and a wrong step would make you gator food, trying to banish Hurricane Shelley before she reached the city.

Admiration for her friends’ bravery swelled in Raina’s heart.

If Raina and her coven failed, they could be carried away by floodwaters, struck by flying debris, or even killed.

But if they succeeded, they’d save their city from a hurricane that forecasters feared would be almost as bad as Katrina. Raina knew she’d be wracked with guilt forever if she didn’t try to stop it.

Another gust of wind struck their circle like a physical slap. They swayed but kept their footing, ignoring the sting of sparks from the fire flying at their legs. “Keep your focus!” Raina cried through clenched teeth. “Let’s do the Convergence Canticle.”

She began the chant they’d written together to serve as a tool to increase their focus and magnify their power.

North, South, East, West

We come together at magic’s behest

Earth, Water, Air, and Fire

Thus we seek our desire

Our powers combined as one,

Our will be done.

As the voices of Jack, Alma, and Cinna mingled with hers, Raina felt a fresh surge of power build within her, emit outwards, and mix with that of her fellow witches. That power raced across the swampland, over scattered lakes and marshes, and toward the Gulf of Mexico to slam into the storm.

Drying air that was naturally already humid, and doing so over so much water, felt like an exercise in futility. And yet, there was some ingredient in the coven’s magic that was making a difference. Not the strength of their command of the respective four elements so much as their willpower.

Even though Raina felt the familiar dull ache in her temples that surfaced any time she overexerted her magic, she held firm, continuing to chant and focus her power on Hurricane Shelley.

Slowly but surely, they felt the brutal force of the storm abate. The wind still whipped their clothes, but most of it came from the direction of land rather than the sea. The distant howl they’d heard out from the direction of Live Oak had faded completely, and the rain stopped.

In tandem, the chanting slowed and quieted. When the four witches released their grips on each other’s hands, they swayed and almost stumbled.

“We did it,” Raina breathed. “Holy Goddess, we did it.”


Valentin St. Scarasse, Lord Vampire of New Orleans, gaped at the witch coven in a mixture of awe and fear. The witch coven had broken up a hurricane. A fucking hurricane!

Doing his duty of keeping an eye on the coven, Valentin had been worried when, instead of evacuating the city like everyone else who was able, the damn witches drove to the Jean Lafitte preserve.

He’d been this close to mesmerizing the four witches and commanding them to accompany him to his private shelter, but two things had stopped him.

The first was his reluctance to bring the coven under the same roof as most of the vampires of New Orleans. Secondly, the witches radiated power and purpose with this seemingly mad venture into the wilderness mere hours before a hurricane was supposed to make landfall.

They had a plan, and Valentin couldn’t suppress his curiosity to see what it was.

And so, that was why he found himself huddled beneath a cypress tree, soaking wet instead of sheltering comfortably. Memories of Hurricane Katrina flashed through his mind. Waking up in putrid, brown water, covered in bites from various swamp creatures, unable to leave his flooded prison until sundown. And then the hellish nights after, finding out which of his people survived and which were dragged out into the sun by the merciless water.

Thankfully, his gamble with nature paid off. Because the New Orleans witch coven had made a gamble of their own.

When he’d first overheard Raina and her coven telling the members of Rage of Angels that their magic was getting stronger, Valentin was intrigued. He’d always had a taste for witch blood. Unfortunately, his dining plans were destroyed when Delgarias, the Thirteenth Elder, ordered Valentin to keep an eye on the witch coven and report on their activities.

What would Delgarias do when he learned that the witches had grown powerful enough to alter the weather?

The only beings Valentin had heard of being that strong were the high sorcerers of Aisthesthai, the world that Xochitl Leonine, lead singer of Rage of Angels, ruled over. Xochitl was prophesied to lead an army of vampires in a war against her father, who was also the creator of vampires.

Valentin had refused to swear allegiance to Xochitl until he was granted entry to Aisthanesthai. He wanted to see, smell, feel, and taste that magical world.

But now it seemed that magic was coming to him. Maybe he should wait before telling Delgarias the coven had become so powerful. At least for a little bit longer. Unfortunately, Delgarias wasn’t the only vampire Valentin had to worry about. Others would want to harness this magic for themselves. Valentin would have to increase his surveillance and probably Mark the witches as his property to keep them safe. Or at least Mark the leader.

Once more, his eyes drank in the magnificent sight of Raina Callahan. Her rich brown hair tumbled down in decadent dark waves to frame lush, generous curves that never ceased to make him salivate. When his gaze roved over her plump backside, delightfully rounded belly, and marvelous breasts, Valentin wondered which he hungered for the most: her body, or her witch blood.

By the time the coven packed up their spell instruments and started the long walk back to the preserve’s parking lot, Valentin’s hair had dried from the coven manipulating the air, but alas, his clothes were still soaked. To think, he’d followed her out here in case she and her crazy coven needed to be rescued from the storm. Instead, they’d rescued the entire city of New Orleans and surrounding areas.

Pride, admiration, and ambition warred with a fresh sense of trepidation. Power like theirs would not stay hidden for long. Although his first concern was other vampires, the AIU, and, from what he’d heard regarding Queen Xochitl’s coming war, Mephistopheles himself could try to take control of these witches and harness their power for his evil aims. And Valentin didn’t know if he would be able to protect them from a government agency, let alone a would-be god.


“Whoa,” Raina gasped as she wobbled on rubbery legs. “That was intense.”

“Uh-huh,” Alma muttered and did trip as she headed to the tarp that covered their bags. She cursed as she wiped the mud from her jeans. “If I don’t get somewhere dry, I’m going to melt like the Wicked Witch of the West.”

Cinna nodded. “Do you think anywhere will be open so we can get some hot food?”

Jack laughed. “You know Waffle House never closes.”

Raina shook her head. “No way can I deal with a crowd after that. I can make us waffles at my place.”

After putting out the nearly dead fire, the coven gathered up their stuff. They picked their way carefully through the Louisiana wilderness, trying to hold their flashlights steady. With their physical exhaustion, it was tougher coming out than going in.

But their triumph and elation kept the witches on their feet.

“I can’t believe we did it,” Cinna said as they stepped over a cypress root.

“Right?” Raina shook her head in wonder. “I never guessed we’d come this far.”

Less than a year ago, the best they could do was summon a ghost. And that was with all four of them working together.

But all that changed nine months ago. Rage of Angels had been part of the Metalfeed Tour, which was sadly isolated to west coast states. Raina had been scrolling through the music section of the Grimoire message board, a site for witches, and saw an odd post from Shonda Wu of the Sacramento coven.

Confirmed. Rage of Angels IS magic.

Every witch and even some non-practitioners made the same claim about the eccentric metal band. Though Raina couldn’t deny that Rage of Angels’ music invigorated her in a way that no other did, she’d always scoffed at the idea that their magic came from anywhere but the listener’s own imagination.

And yet, the entire Sacramento coven claimed they had a huge increase in power after seeing Rage of Angels live. There was even a video attached of a rain spell working in the California desert. Sure, that could have been faked, but other videos followed. Levitation, fire, and even summoning the dead.

All throughout the west coast states, more witches reported an increase in their powers after seeing the band live. When Rage of Angels announced a full US tour, Raina and her coven made sure to get tickets for the Jackson show and VIP tickets for their New Orleans concert.

Jacking her credit card debt for heavy metal concerts had put a nervous knot in Raina’s stomach until the band mounted the stage at the Mississippi Coliseum.

Raina had felt magic within her since she was ten years old. The sensation was a subtle, ASMR-like tingle accompanied by a thrum in her heart when she put that energy into willing something to happen.

What radiated from Rage of Angels was most definitely magic, and in a strength that Raina had never dreamed possible. The magic flowed between the band members and then through the audience. Raina gasped as the power entered her body in reverberating waves. Her coven jolted beside her, each witch crying out simultaneously, “Did you feel that?”

They also realized that the lead singer, Xochitl Leonine’s signature purple fireballs were real.

The rest of the set was an experience in magical ecstasy that bordered on sensory overload.

Although Raina and Cinna enjoyed Bleeding Vengeance almost as much as Rage of Angels, the coven left the venue early, unable to take any more sitting still with power coursing through their veins. They drove back to New Orleans in a rush and headed out to Jack’s place near Audubon, where they could practice their magic in secret. Like the Sacramento coven, they tried a rain spell first. The blue sky above was closed in by clouds, and a light drizzle fell upon their outstretched hands.

Raina and her friends had danced in the rain like dorks before ordering a celebratory pizza and discussing what magic they’d try next. It wasn’t long before each witch developed command over one of the four elements. Jack could create wind out of nowhere, Cinna could summon heat and set things on fire, Alma could make the ground shake, and Raina could form a little raincloud over her palm.

That was when they decided they needed to talk to Rage of Angels and find out if the band was increasing people’s magic on purpose.

When they met the group during the meet and greet before the New Orleans show, Raina was shocked to discover that not only did the band members not consider themselves to be witches, but they were also surprised at the effects their music had on witches. They then invited the coven to meet them on their tour bus after the show, where they were sternly cautioned to be discreet about their magic because certain groups and possibly the government were actively looking for witches for nefarious purposes. Raina gave them the link to the message board the witches used, with a promise to keep in touch.

The whole encounter left her with more questions than answers. The band had denied being witches themselves, yet Raina could feel magic radiating from each musician and their entire crew. Xochitl’s husband was even using a glamour spell to hide his real appearance. Even the band therapist, who’d shyly admitted that odd things had been happening with them as well, didn’t identify as a witch.

The band kept to their word and not only joined the message board, but also emailed Raina personally to see how the coven was doing. Tentative plans were being made to meet up in person when the drummer, Aurora Lee, planned to come to New Orleans to scope out wedding venues. She was engaged to a lawyer who’d defended the band when their record label sued them for disappearing a year ago.

Rage of Angels had also been right about another thing. Someone was interested in the New Orleans coven. Only days after that fateful tour bus meeting, Raina started getting frequent feelings that they were being followed. Even more unnerving was that sometimes she even felt like she was being watched at home. She and Alma secured the perimeter of their little house with protective spells.

A scrying spell served to partially identify the one who watched her. The water in her bowl revealed the figure of a man, though his features remained frustratingly obscured. Other divining spells failed to reveal the man’s intentions toward them, aside from an alarming indication that his interests lie mostly with Raina alone. He wasn’t an ex or anyone she’d ever met. And he was always alone. For months, every time Raina stepped out of her house, she felt him watching her. A couple times, she even caught fleeting glimpses of a man with long hair and emerald green eyes that seemed to glow.

Raina considered reaching out to Rage of Angels to tell them about her stalker, yet some inner voice urged her to keep this to herself. At least until she learned more. Maybe the band didn’t trust her reports on the coven and had hired someone to spy on them. Raina would find out if that was the case. And in the meantime, her coven worked their magic as privately as possible.

As if summoned by the thought, the back of Raina’s neck prickled with an all-too-familiar sense that he was watching her again. If her stalker had followed her and the coven out to Jean Lafitte in the path of a hurricane, he deserved to be swept away by the storm. Her gaze darted between the trees, but she didn’t see him.

No. She was just imagining things this time. Her senses were raw from tonight’s exertion. Like going days without sleep, she was seeing and hearing things that weren’t there. The sight of the parking lot that was empty except for Raina’s van reassured her. Yet part of her remained on edge.

When they crammed into Raina’s Nissan Leaf, Cinna turned on the radio. It was still tuned to the local news station.

A woman’s cheerful voice emitted from the speakers. “Hurricane Shelley has appeared to run out of steam shortly after making landfall in southern Louisiana. The storm has now been downgraded to a Category One tropical storm and is projected to deplete lower before she reaches New Orleans.”

Alma cheered in the backseat, and the others joined in.

On the whole drive back, Raina constantly checked her rearview mirror for signs of being followed. The roads were mostly deserted, aside from a truck and later an SUV that turned off to other roads shortly afterward.

It’s all in my head, Raina chided herself. After something goes right, I always convince myself that something is still wrong.

When they got to Raina’s house in the Irish Channel, she felt that familiar prickle on the back of her neck. Stronger this time. He was here somehow.

She got out of the car and put a hand over her eyes, trying to see through the drizzling rain. As always, she didn’t see anyone. But she could feel him.

Alma put her hand on Raina’s shoulder. “Is your stalker back?”

“He might be. It’s hard to tell.” Raina’s throat was scratchy as she answered. “I’m so drained right now.”

Jack shook his head before grabbing his and Cinna’s bags. “I highly doubt anyone is out in this weather. And soon, it’s going to be chaos when those who evacuated come flocking back to the city. Speaking of, I think I’m gonna pass on waffles tonight.”

Cinna shot him a stern look. “Still, we should do that threat-banishing spell we’d been discussing. I know we don’t have the strength tonight, but maybe in a day or two.”

Raina and Alma waved goodbye to Jack and Cinna as they crossed the lawn to Jack’s car.

Alma snorted. “Cinna and Jack were the ones who wanted waffles in the first place.”

“Yeah, but I get it,” Raina said, grabbing her bag. “They probably want to get home before they’re too exhausted to drive. We should have gone back to their place instead of ours.”

“No way. I want to be in my own bed. But since it’s now the two of us, I got leftover crawfish etouffee in the fridge.”

“Mmmm,” Raina murmured appreciatively.

As she followed Alma into the small house they rented, she forced herself not to look over her shoulder. Yes, her coven would do the spell to banish the stalker as soon as possible, but in the meantime, she had more immediate plans and just enough power left to protect herself.

Brooklyn Ann

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