- Bart Magnus
- Vito Lizorno
- Max Wainwright
- Marc Desterra
I’ve lived alone since my witch parents died in Peru. Famous archaeologists, they discovered the location of a fabled witch artifact, but were killed in the process. Five years later I just received a package containing the artifact, and a note from my late mother, written two weeks ago. Mom warned that I am in mortal danger, and to call my Aunt Zelda Desterra for help immediately.
Zelda Desterra contacted me with an emergency. Her nephew Marc has an artifact, and a note alerting him that his life is in danger. We are bringing him to Italus, and if his parents are truly alive, we will rescue them from Peru. Little did I know that meeting him would be one of the biggest shocks of my long life.
Bart sent me a mental note that we have an emergency and need to save some guy’s life. Good thing we have reliable contacts in other covens where he’s located to react quickly. The whole operation is high security and secret. Once safe, we must find his parents in South America and bring them here too. This is a strange one even for a bunch of vampires and witches.
Agnes told me about all the commotion, and I decided to check out the new guy. The moment I laid eyes on him I went into disbelief and braced myself for a bigger shock. Marc Desterra is my chosen mate, and my vampire is demanding to claim him right now. Zelda knows what is going on, and is giving me the evil eye, while that busybody Craig breezed in and warned Marc that the Greek Sex Machine was hot after him. Damn.
Marc Desterra Desert Vampire
Note spoiler alert: this book contains spoilers for the first, second, and third books of the series. This book continues from book three and begins with a flashback.
I awoke to another beautiful morning near Garberville, the Northern California town hailed to be the gateway to the California Giant Redwoods. When my mind cleared from its sleepy haze, my good mood was somewhat shadowed by the date. Today is the fifth anniversary of my late parent’s death.
My late father, Miles Desterra was a renowned archaeologist, and my mother Lea was an antiquities scholar. During my life with them, we traveled the world seeking the famous lost magical artifacts related to witchcraft.READ MORE
My mother was my private tutor until I entered the University of Cambridge where I followed my mother by majoring in antiquities and specializing in paranormal ancient artifacts as she had before me.
Only two short days prior to when I graduated with honors, I received word that my parents had been killed during a cave accident caused by a local earthquake. They were exploring deep inside the earth while following a lead when the entrance collapsed. The cave is located in Peru close to Lima, South America.
They had told me they were near to finding an Alabaster chest, brought to the New World by two Spanish priests during the Spanish explorations. Dad had also casually mentioned that he was sure that they were being followed as was the usual case for a famous discoverer, and basically thought nothing about it.
Legends told of a carved glorious Alabaster box, holding what is called the Prophet Stone, that was once owned by Alexander the Great. This Alabaster chest contained a huge red diamond famous in ancient times, that had powers to lead anyone who possessed it to fortune and great success with any venture.
The large red diamond was initially found, according to the same legend, by an African hermit witch, who empowered the over seventy carat stone with unique and dangerous magical abilities.
Centuries later, the exquisite gem was meant to only be carried by the priests as the Spanish soldiers marched north to discover and claim new territory for their Spanish king during their long trek.
According to lore, before they could proceed on their conquests to the north, they were attacked and surrounded by native people. The two priests in charge of the stone, hid inside a deep cave, as the soldiers tried to defend them.
The soldiers had managed to push back the native people with much bloodshed, and they were about to leave but an earthquake hit, trapping the priests with their legendary artifact, the same way my parents were killed centuries later. They had traveled to Peru after hearing about a recent earthquake in the vicinity of the hidden cave, spurred on by my Dad discovering a Spanish journal that described the artifact and the cave’s supposed location.
Only the night before their deaths I had spoken to my mother briefly, and she told me the thrilling news that they were close to their discovery. I can remember that last call from my mother Lea so well, and how happy she sounded.
Even my usually distant father Miles had chatted causally with me but briefly, telling me how proud they were of my scholastic accomplishments, and they were wanting to be back home again to plan our next adventure together.
They told me that they could not wait to see me again and show me the long sought-after relic, once they had it in their possession.
That however never came about as within hours they were both presumed dead in the blocked cave with no hope to reopen it, and I felt their anguish in a terrible nightmare; one that unfortunately came true.
Now with a heavy heart, I finally got out of bed and headed for my bright kitchen to make some fresh coffee. The spacious house had belonged to my parents and was situated in a clearing in a dense Redwood forest and hidden not too far from the nearby main highway to the north and south.
I poured myself a cup of steaming rich Arabica coffee, then sauntered to my outside patio. It was an unusually warm morning to enjoy my lush green yard surrounded by magnificent old Redwood trees as I sipped my steaming coffee and relished the songs of the distant birds.
Since my parent’s death, I have personally chosen a life of solitary study, appreciating the profound peaceful setting that gives me the ability to write the books detailing my parent’s multiple adventures and their many exotic escapades.
While very well-respected scholars, their organization skills left a whole lot to be desired as I soon found out. A somewhat paranoid man, my father built a warren of magically protected hiding places throughout the house for his notes, questionable artifacts, and other gathered information to support his findings.
He also had journals that detailed his newly planned pursuits, and five years later I am still discovering many new surprises.
I have been a loner for most of my life, never able to establish solid friendships as I traveled the world with my parents, and only finding a sense of home after their premature deaths.
During my junior year at university, I’d had a brief fling with a handsome assistant professor. We had vowed to keep things quiet as fraternizing with a student could have ended the other man’s career. He swore many times over, that he loved me, and would take me with him when he left to pursue his career.
Despite our strong mutual sexual attraction, when the opportunity came for my clandestine lover’s career to move forward, he left without so much as a word, and took my heart along with him.
I soon learned through others that he was engaged to be married and had a small child from a previous marriage in tow. I was truly devastated and deeply hurt by his deception and using me, and vowed never to trust again, while thinking of all kinds of delicious spells to throw at him.
However, as the years passed, the devastation was replaced with a longing for someone, anyone, to share my life and end my loneliness, but for now I was somewhat content and settled from that respite.
From those early years until now, I had always kept in close correspondence with my sweet and funny Aunt Zelda Desterra, a wonderful, beautiful lady, and a very accomplished and famous witch.
Although not all that close to my parents, she genuinely helped me through the dark days after their deaths, and even offered to visit, but I declined her offer knowing I needed my time alone to grieve.
After their deaths, Zelda had gone out of her way to help me quickly settle their estate, create investments, and encourage my choice of career. With her help she opened my father’s family trust to me a few years early, allowing me to pursue my own interests with the vast resources. I had been born extremely late in life to my parents, and with no other children in my mother’s family, most of my cousins were old enough to be my parents.
Zelda had recently related the entertaining and tragic strange events unfolding in Arizona, and how my second cousin, Joffre Gregory was now a hybrid witch vampire. She has lately been encouraging me to visit her Sedona home to get away, to meet and to become acquainted with some of my family.
Joffre is only about three years younger than I am and had retained his friendship with Craig Wainwright that I had heard about. We were related by maternal witch lines, and there was a remote possibility that we would be similar in power and had often heard there was a distant possibility we might even think alike, but as I said the possibility was remote.
She’d also kept me up to date on Joffre’s best friend, a werewolf named Craig Wainwright’s antics. I knew I’d love to meet him, if only to hear him rail on someone. It has been such a long time since I had dealt with any family, or even had truly laughed with someone, that I was now thinking that maybe I should take up her offer and get away for a while.
We shall see.
I was just about to go get myself some more coffee, when I heard the distant neighbor’s dog begin to bark frantically. It wasn’t too long after that I heard the faint chime of my front doorbell and wondered who would disturb my peace at this early hour without at least calling me first.
Heaving a deep sigh, I wandered back into my house and to the front door, then looked out the viewing hole in the door, but saw no one and the streets seemed empty. I then pulled the door open and looked around but there was no one there, but I did, however, see the postal truck in the distance, turning back onto the highway.
I glanced around and saw a wrapped box the size of a large shoebox, covered up with brown paper, with several stamps on the outside. I reached down and picked it up and then froze, with my heart pounding in my chest, as I looked at it.
The box was posted one week ago from Lima Peru, it was addressed to me in my late mother’s distinctive handwriting. I looked quickly around once more, and when I saw no one, I went back inside, locking the door behind me, my heart pummeling.
In just seconds, I was shaking so hard I had to put the package on the kitchen table, and just stared at it without moving. I could not understand how this could happen considering she had been dead for over five years, yet the ink on the package looked fresh and new as if it had been addressed recently.
I went over to get a knife, and then carefully opened the adhesive tape, and removed the brown, outside wrapping paper once it was free. I then slit open the heavily taped sturdy cardboard box.
I slowly opened the box, and it contained a dense solid foam that filled the box completely.
There was no way to lift it out due to the tight fit, so I got some scissors and cut the corner of the box, then slid the foam away from it. Clear adhesive tape secured the foam by being wrapped tightly around it to keep the seams from opening.
I painstakingly used the sharp knife to cut the seams and opened the foam container and gasped.
The Alabaster box was gleaming in the morning light, with a folded piece of paper next to it. I lifted the top and saw the huge dazzling red diamond resting in the center of a carved out decorative Alabaster flower.
With trembling hands, I picked up the folded paper and saw my name written on the outside.
‘Marcus, my dearest son,
We did find the box, as you can well assume since it is before you. I gave this package to a friend we trusted with our lives, to mail it to you since we can’t manage to find a way to safely return to you, and we are not able to show it to you ourselves.
We had to place this in safe hands, because we are being followed but have managed to elude them for the moment. We have magically cleaned up the remaining debris surrounding this legendary artifact. We knew we have been followed as is common practice in our travels, but after we left this package for safe keeping to be delivered to you, we went out briefly and returned to find our temporary rooms ransacked and having been searched.
We all needed to find another safe house after this package was mailed. We will fly home when we find a way to be safe since we do not trust our teleportation skills to be effective for some unknown reason, and will see you then, so please hide this box!
I feel you too may be being watched now that they know we have escaped from our trap. Please call and trust your Aunt Zelda and go to her at once for protection!
If we are not there with you by the time you receive this package, do this for me now, and your loving father Marc, please, please listen to me and do not delay after you read this and pick up the phone.
Do not stay in our home when you get this, as you may be in mortal danger, and they will stop at nothing to obtain this treasure.
All my love now and forever, my darling son,
P.S. Trust only Zelda, as she will help you to be safe.COLLAPSE