Ah… it’s time for The Blood Witch to celebrate its birthday 😁 This is one of my best-selling, most loved books, and I can see the appeal. Really, I can LOL
We have a werewolf king who thinks he’s in control, and we have a blood witch who can end him in a heartbeat.
I wrote this for National I Am In Control Day which is celebrated annually on March 30th, and Conri, our king, might think he’s in control, but he’s really not. And to be fair, he soon realises his entire kingdom is about to fold and some of his most trusted people have betrayed him.
At first, he believed it was the blood witch who’d moved into his kingdom, but he soon realises that instead of blaming the witch, he needs him to help him hold the throne.
Nick has been close to kings before – it ended badly, and he’s not keen on a repeat, but there are ways he could help. The question is if he wants to or not.
I loved writing this one, and I’m revisiting this world pretty often in my mind, so we’ll see… maybe we’ll end up there again one day.
The Blood Witch
Nick Adore has been in hiding for six years. He does his best to pass himself off as human and only wants to be left alone. But one day, he walks in on a robbery. Instead of quietly walking away, he reveals himself as a blood witch, and now the werewolf king demands to see him.
Conri Biast is king. He has been the king of Norbridge for eleven years, but someone is trying to take him down. For months, he’s known there’s a blood witch in his territory who refuses to pay his respects, and that puts him on the top of his list of suspects. But when he goes to confront the witch, things don’t turn out the way he’d planned. The witch is his mate.
Nick doesn’t want to be anywhere near Conri. Being close to kings always ends with him getting hurt, but he finds himself sucked into the power struggle. Conri doesn’t know who he can trust, but he knows he needs Nick by his side. Together, they’re strong, but are they strong enough to keep the throne?
Gay Paranormal Romance: 43,009 words
JMS Books :: Amazon :: books2read.com/TheBloodWitch
Nick Adore curled up in the ratty old armchair he’d bought at a thrift shop when he’d first moved to Norbridge six years ago. He’d never believed he’d make it this far. He’d been shocked and overjoyed at being alive, but the joy had faded. The freedom of being able to go where he wanted still meant a lot, but the soaring gratitude to the universe for each breath it granted him had vanished.
He had nothing.
When he could, he stayed away from people. He’d managed to get a job transcribing for businesses where he didn’t have to talk to anyone. Boring, and it wasn’t something that would make him rich. Most workers he knew of did it as a side hustle, but it allowed him to stay at home—away from people. And he needed to be away from people.
His plan had worked great until one night seven months ago.
Sick of beans and rice and oatmeal to keep him upright, he’d splurged for a pizza. Since he hadn’t breathed fresh air for days, he’d walked down to the pizza place on the corner of his block.
There had been a hold-up.
The police were already on their way when someone fired a gun. The owner of the pizzeria was hit in the shoulder and panic ensued. Not because she’d been shot, but because she was a wolf shifter.
Only humans were allowed to own businesses, and she had registered as such, but since the sirens already were getting nearer there hadn’t been any time to hide the evidence.
The woman—female—had cried. She had kids to feed, and if it came out that she was a wolf, which it would if the police investigated or if they took her to the hospital, she’d go to prison.
Prison for shifters wasn’t anything like prison for humans. Nick might dislike shifters as a rule and fear them on principal, but he didn’t wish that fate on anyone.
She might be a wolf, but she was only trying to make ends meet, and she had children to care for. Nick couldn’t stand the thought of her locked up in a cage and tormented for years to come.
Shifters were barbaric brutes, and he wanted nothing to do with any supernatural beings ever again, but to allow a mother to be caged for trying to feed her kids… It was a stupid law, prohibiting supernatural creatures from owning businesses.
He’d acted without thinking of the consequences. He’d seen her fear and stepped into the middle of the serving area. Power had sparkled at his fingertips as he’d told her to run. Then he’d altered every drop. He couldn’t remove it, but he’d turned it into human blood. They would never be able to find a match. The job had been too hurried to be a complete match of DNA, but it would show up as human when scanned.
It had been terribly naive of him.
Everything he’d run from had come crushing back. Not everything—it was a new city, a new king, new rules to play by. But Nick didn’t want to play.
In the beginning, it had been subtle inquiries. About once a week, someone had tried to contact him. It had been different people—humans, shifters, and one had been a vampire. Shudder.
At first, they’d been polite, but they’d slowly grown more and more intense, more and more demanding.
The king insisted Nick should come see him—Nick wasn’t going.
Last week, he’d ordered groceries online. When the delivery man had rung his doorbell, and Nick had opened it, a man—shifter judging by the growl—twice Nick’s size had tried to push into his apartment. He’d closed and locked the door and shouted to the delivery man to leave the groceries outside, then he’d called the cops.
When he’d later phoned the grocery store to figure out how to pay what he owed, the bill had already been paid.
He didn’t like it.
He didn’t want to owe anyone, least of all one of the king’s people.
* * * *
“Has he moved?” Conri Biast growled at Zephirah as she entered his office.
“No.” She shook her long, glossy hair and gave him an unimpressed look. Zephirah was the alpha female of the local lion pride, and she considered herself queen of the city.
Conri didn’t want a queen. He was king, and he was not sharing his throne with anyone.
“Either you have to let him go or we go get him.” She sat on the chair opposite the desk. Zephirah’s men had guarded the witch for the last week—it had been a mistake to let her know there was someone he was interested in. Conri hadn’t told her it was a blood witch they were watching, but he’d asked for her help. He’d let her think the man was a magic user who hadn’t made his presence in the kingdom known—that part wasn’t a lie. But now she wanted to fix this little problem for him, and Conri didn’t want her to fix anything.
“I promised Cellica no harm would come to him, no matter what.”
Zephirah huffed. “A stupid thing to do. Why would the king promise anything to a low-ranking female? She’s no one.”
Conri was not getting into this discussion. He might be harsh, but he believed himself to be fair, and a vow was a vow.
Cellica had been frantic, terrified. She’d run straight to him. He had brought Lev, his human lawyer, to the restaurant prepared to see them throw Cellica in a pit. When they got there, the blood had shown up as human.
The police were searching for a human female with a gunshot wound, but not because they wanted to lock her up. No, they wanted to take her to the hospital.
It wasn’t until they left the pizza place that Cellica had told him about a man with blue sparks at his fingertips telling her to run.
A blood witch—Conri had a blood witch in his kingdom, and it could earn him power and freedom beyond any king’s dreams. He wasn’t sure how it would work, but it was what he’d heard—a blood witch could strengthen a king’s power in ways no one else could.
Conri had promised no harm would come to the man who’d saved Cellica, but now the little shit refused to pay his respects, and Conri was running out of options.
People flocked around him. They came to Twilight, his nightclub, simply to be close to him. His bed never lacked lovers, and his schedule didn’t have any gaps unless he put them there—which he tried to do as often as possible. Everyone wanted to be close to the king, and when he summoned someone, they showed up. He did not beg for anyone’s attention. He didn’t have to. He was king. The fucking witch.
“I’m going to talk to him.” He grabbed his phone and called Urien, his second in command.
Most would frown at a werewolf having a vampire as his closest ally, but it worked great. Conri didn’t do packs, so he didn’t have a beta, and if he’d picked an alpha from another shifter group, all hell would break loose. Urien was a godsend.
As soon as the call connected, he spoke. “Will you be in soon?”
Urien slept through the day, so Conri couldn’t fault him for not being in earlier—it was the only downside with having a vampire as his second.
“I’m already in the building. There was some trouble by the stage. It’s sorted.”
Conri hummed. In one area of the bar, they had live performances during opening hours. If there was trouble, it often started there.
“I’m going out for a bit. You can reach me on my cell.”
He ushered Zephirah out of the office and locked the door.
“I’ll come with you.” Zephirah fluffed her hair.
“No, I’m going alone.”
She pouted. “But it could be dangerous.”
He gave her an impassive look until she snarled “Fine!” and stomped away. Conri feared she’d become a problem one day soon.
The closer he came to the house where the blood witch lived, the deeper his frown became. Blood witches were wealthy beyond belief, and yet this one lived in the worst part of the city.
Cellica lived here because the pack had shunned her. She’d broken a mating—no one ever did. The male she’d been mated to had been picked for her and wasn’t her true mate. He had personally made sure the mate wouldn’t come back. He could do nothing about how the pack treated her, not without becoming a member, and he wasn’t going to. He had tried to move her to a better area which she had refused, but she had allowed him to pay her rent a couple of times when things had been worse than usual.
He jogged up the stairs of the decrepit building where he’d been told the blood witch had his apartment and knocked on his door.
Conri frowned at the door but didn’t reply. When the footsteps moved away, he knocked again.
“Open the door.” Conri would not shout through a closed door.
“Open the door or I’ll open it myself.”
“I’m calling the cops.”
Conri cursed. “I only want to talk to you.”
“Don’t patronize me.”
Conri frowned again. He wasn’t patronizing. “I wasn’t.”
“How naive do you think I am?”
According to Cellica, the man was short, slim, and young-looking. Conri had been thirty-one when he’d become king, and he’d ruled this city for eleven years. When Cellica had said young-looking, he’d assumed the witch was in his early twenties—a pup. Someone he could intimidate and control. The months leading up to this day had told him the witch wasn’t easily intimidated. “Open the door.”
“I think not. Calling the cops now.”
Conri growled. “I’m the king.”
“I don’t care.”
For a second, anger flared in his chest, then he pursed his lips. “You’re not human, which means you belong to me.”
“I’m human. Now go away.”
A second later, Conri heard the witch talk on the phone, informing someone—the police most likely—there was someone trying to break into his apartment.
Conri growled. “I’ll be back.” He gave the door a soft knock before slinking down the stairs and out on the street. He walked to the back of the building and counted the windows. The tiny balconies didn’t look sturdy enough to carry his weight, but it was worth a try.
He waited a good half hour, watched a patrol car drive by the building without stopping. The witch had probably called the cops again once he’d left.
With one last glance around, Conri jumped and grabbed the railing of the first balcony. He heaved himself up, balanced on the railing, and reached for the next. He scraped the back of his hand on the metal edge as he climbed. The blood welled up, leaving smears on the balcony below the witch’s, and Conri cursed. If someone called the police and then collected evidence, he was screwed, and all because the spoiled brat wouldn’t open the door.
He dragged himself over the railing and landed soundlessly on the cracked concrete floor of the balcony. Holding his breath, he listened for any signs of the witch calling the cops. When no sounds came for several minutes, he stepped closer to the window and peeked inside.
A small, black-haired man was staring at a laptop, his fingers flying over the keyboard. A pair of headphones rested over his ears. Conri’s breath got stuck in his throat.
This was the blood witch? He took a step back and counted the balconies—it had to be the right apartment.
Conri didn’t know why he hesitated. He could open the balcony door and walk right in, but something in the man’s appearance held him back. Why was he living in a tiny apartment? The building could fold any day considering the shape it was in.
According to the intel he’d gotten, the witch rarely left his home, and the last few weeks, he hadn’t even opened his door when he’d had groceries delivered.
He grabbed the door handle and cracked the lock.
* * * *
Nick looked up as a shadow filled the window of his balcony door. A second later, a huge man yanked it open and stepped into his one-room apartment.
He dove for the phone, but the man moved fast as lightning, and a growl filled the air. When his fingers gripped Nick’s wrist, he kicked the man’s knee and flung himself backward. He wasn’t strong enough to fight a shifter, but he only needed a few seconds to collect his thoughts.
With a deep breath, he released his magic. Power dripped from his fingertips as he allowed it to build.
The man advanced on him, but when Nick flung his magic at him, he halted mid-step. The look he gave Nick was curious at first, then his face twisted into something savage. Panic shone in his eyes.
“Right now, your blood is moving very, very slowly. Your body is shutting down. Leave and never come back, and I’ll let you live. If not, I can stop your blood flow. It’ll show up as cardiac arrest in an autopsy.” Nick was gonna be sick. He’d sworn he’d never be close to a king again. His power was draining, with black dots dancing across his vision.
He stopped the magic. “Leave.” His voice was hoarse, and his knees wanted to buckle.
“I’m the king.” The man didn’t sound any better off than Nick was.
“I’ve seen kings die before. Now leave.” He curled his fingers around the backrest of his chair, praying the king would leave before he collapsed. The black dots multiplied, and a roar rose in his ears. “Leave.”
He wasn’t sure if the man left or not as he sank down on the chair. He needed to rest. In an hour or two, he’d get something to eat, and soon after, he’d be back to normal. It would be fine.
When he had rested, he’d pack a bag and leave the city. It was stupid to think he could live here once he’d tipped his hand. Six years was too long to stay in one place—he should have known. He should have run as soon as he’d helped the female in the pizza place. So naive to think they’d leave him alone once they’d realized what he could do.
A hand landed on his shoulder, and he shot off the chair. He still couldn’t see properly, and he had no strength. A strong arm wrapped around his waist, a low growl sounding close to his ear.
Nick pushed at the man—the king—lazy sparks of magic jumped to his fingertips, but what could he do? He didn’t have enough power to slow his blood a second time. Shifters were so much stronger than humans. He could take down more than one shifter before blacking out, but then he had to act quickly, not hold on to the control and stand around chatting as he had.
“I won’t hurt you.” His words were soft and sounded far away despite the man holding him close. A sound followed. Nick couldn’t say if it was a moan or a growl, he couldn’t tell if it was a sound of pleasure or of pain. One of victory most likely—the king had caught himself a blood witch.