Too Hexy For Her Wand (Hot and Hexy #2) - Susan Hayes

Chapter One

Fern staggered through her front door laden with the spoils of her week-long shopping spree. She was tired but still cruising on the high that only came after a successful bout of retail therapy. “Home with two minutes to spare. Told you we’d make it.”

Following behind her was a train of bags, boxes, and parcels soaring through the air like floats in a tiny but costly parade.

At the rear of the lineup of brand-name bounty walked an elegant black Persian cat, her fluffy tail twitching from side to side like a disapproving pendulum. “We should have been back hours ago.”

Fern shrugged at her familiar and fell into the nearest chair with a contented sigh. The international shopping spree had been fun, but it was good to be home. Her penthouse was so much bigger than any hotel room, and all her favourite things were here.

“You wanted us home by midnight. We’re here. I don’t see the problem, Tiff-Tiff. Why are you so cranky tonight?”

“I am not cranky.” The cat sniffed and leapt lightly onto her bed, which was crafted to look like a hot-air balloon tethered several feet above the ground. The basket formed a cat-bed but also served as a viewing platform that overlooked the cityscape captured like living art by the floor-to-ceiling windows.

“Want to bet?” Fern waved her hands, sending shimmering waves of green sparks flowing from her fingertips. Two empty dress racks popped into existence, and she watched with satisfaction as, one by one, her purchases left their bags and hung themselves in neat rows. Her new shoes walked themselves over and settled into pairs on the floor where she could admire them.

Her familiar perched in the middle of her bed, her golden eyes wide. “There was a reason I asked that we come home sooner. I can’t say much, but I wanted to prepare you—”

Whatever Tiff was about to say was obliterated by the chorus of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”

Swirling globs of neon lights spun across her artfully painted walls in eye-gouging shades of pink, lime, and orange, as several pounds of glitter drifted down from her ceiling in a vertigo-inducing fog.

“What the fuck is happening?” Fern shrieked, hardly able to hear herself over the noise.

As if in answer, a loud pop of streamers and yet more glitter exploded into existence in the middle of her living room. They added another layer of the iridescent sand to the tiny dunes transforming her parquet floor into a sparkly miniature desert and burying her new purchases.

“My shoes!” she squealed, dark green sparks crackling around her fingers like angry fireflies.

She threw out her hands and chanted.

“By the Goddess in her grace,

Get this crap out of my place.

Glitter be gone, every scrap, every trace,

Send it all to outer space.”

There was a rush of wind like someone had turned on a giant vacuum, and seconds later, only a few glittering traces of the stuff were left floating around. She briefly wondered what glitter would do to any satellites it crossed orbits with but then dismissed the thought as she remembered what was really important—her new clothes.

She ignored the present draped with streamers still sitting in the middle of her floor and rushed to the dress racks. “They’re all going to need to be dry cleaned, and I haven’t even worn them yet!”

Tiff had avoided the worst of the glitter storm, but a few suspicious sparkles glinted in her silky black fur, and she looked even crankier than before. “That woman is certifiable,” she muttered to herself, twitching her tail indignantly.

“What woman?” Fern didn’t know what the hell was happening, but apparently, her familiar did. She turned to stare at her cat. “What do you know?”

Tiff gave her a frustrated look and then hopped off her bed and padded over to the gift box half-buried in lime green streamers. She swatted a few of them aside and tapped the neon green and yellow plaid wrapped parcel beneath. “You need to open this.”

“You’re worrying me. What is all this?” She flipped her blonde hair over one shoulder, zapped a couple of cushions from the couch to the floor, and sat down beside her familiar, suddenly wanting to be close to her oldest and dearest friend.

Tiff sighed. “Happy birthday, Fern. All this is why I wanted to get home earlier, but you wouldn’t listen.”

Worry ticked up a few more points and tipped the scales into fear. “If it was so important, why wait until now to say anything?”

“Because I couldn’t.