A Curve of Claw - R.E. Butler

R.E. Butler - Wiccan-Were-Bear #1 - A Curve of Claw

A Curve of Claw (Wiccan-Were-Bear #1)
R.E. Butler


Chapter One

I tapped my pen back and forth absently on the blotter and looked at the door. I could hear Melo clomping down the tiled hallway and knew he would fill the doorway with his bulky body and then he’d fill the room with his shit-eating grin.

As expected, his large leather covered shoulders brushed against either side of the doorway and his curly blonde hair hung in a riot of ringlets around his head.

“Hey kitten, what’s doing?” He drawled, stalking into the room and coming around my desk. His dark eyes looked predatory and expectant.

“Hey, Mel.” He leaned over and kissed my cheek. Moving away, he dropped onto the leather couch with a thud; his body sprawled out like he’d been arranged by a photographer.

“Solstice is coming up; Midas wanted me to check in with you for supplies.” Midas was their tiger king and a heavenly hot piece of tiger ass himself, although he was currently shacked up with a tigress from another pride.

As South Corner of the ruling coven for Northern Ohio, and one of only two natural born witches in the Midwest, I was a pretty hot commodity. The other natural witch, north and most powerful, was my grandmother. She’s over 200, but she looked my age. Even if she didn’t act like it. I was technically only 18, although I’d been 18 for 3 years now. A natural witch was also known as a hereditary witch, one that was born from a witch. An unnatural witch was a human that could tap into the supernatural world in some minute way like being able to cast a small spell.

Five were-groups and one very large vampire coven lived in our area. The five were-groups had allied themselves to our coven and the vampire coven had allied itself to me personally. On our solstice celebrations, each group sent guards for the corners, except for the vampires. And being my guard had the lovely perk of often being invited into my bed later. For some reason, I was always a little horny after I called power.

I’d been South Corner for three years, since I first turned 18 and came into my full power. I’d been around the weres and the vamps for long enough that I had some pretty serious standing friendships with them and bedmates whenever I was in the mood. But nothing more than playing, because I wasn’t ready for that life. What I had with the men was casual. Occasional dates, no serious expectations, and no overnights. I didn’t expect to get married for a while. A long while. Mostly because I had this thing called long-life, which in the simplest terms meant that when I came into my powers, my aging slowed down to a crawl. I only aged one year for every twelve years that passed on the calendar. As a natural witch, my grandmother also had that same power, but the unnatural witches in the coven did not and aged normally. So while my grandmother was technically the oldest witch in the coven, she appeared quite young. It happened to be the same way for all were-groups. Vamps, of course, lived forever but had to drink blood and died at dawn. I think I’d rather just age slowly. It also meant that age wasn’t really anything you could gauge. You could think the guy you were boning was 25, but he was actually a few hundred years old.

I swiveled in my desk chair. March 21 was coming up damn fast and I was starting to feel twitchy. That meant that something big was going to happen. Maybe a new member to the coven or a baby being born, or a death of course. Here’s hoping it’s not my death.

“I’d love you to be my guard, Mel, if you’re offering. We’ll need four more, of course, for my grandma and Bitty and Gwen and then the coven as a whole.”

“I’m so glad you didn’t ask me to be anyone’s guard but yours, Elizabeth.” His lush lips split into a wide smile. He was pure male. Sex and power and heat, and a damn beautiful white tiger when he shifted. “Come over here and give me some honey, sweet.”

Although we weren’t alone in the offices that belonged to the coven in the back of the Cleveland Mother Earth Store, aka Witch Central, I couldn’t resist.

Gathering my broomstick skirt as I crossed the small