The Witch’s Plaything Excerpt

Cover for The Witch's Plaything featuring a woman wearing a witch's cone hat with wide brim. A book with a swirl of airy magic is sitting on her knee and a jack o' lantern is sitting in her lap.

In the flashes he made out a surgeon holding a saw and a soldier warding him off. Each flash revealed the advancement of the saw to the prone man’s leg. Cressida’s voice floated over the booms of thunder.

“During the Civil War, the Bailey Home for Haunts was conscripted as a field hospital. As you can see, many men lost limbs which could not be saved. Quite a few of them did not survive the blood loss and resulting infections despite cauterization. Their souls haven’t left this last place of terror.”

The sheet dropped revealing the doctor’s face was really a skull. Screams from his students filled his ears. Even he jumped and bumped against Cressida. He murmured his apology, but the secret smile continued to grace her lips.

“Follow me.”

The sheet raised back into position as they exited the room. Back in the darkened hallway, Brent leaned down to Cressida’s ear. “I’m sorry about that.”

“It is of no concern at this time. Another infraction and you will be punished.”

The last was said with such relish that Brent plotted how he could brush up against her without drawing attention to them. Maybe he could get her number at the end of the tour and they could hook up when he sent his students out for dinner on the town.

“Halt.”

They paused in what felt like the middle of the hallway.

“Turn to your right.”

They all did as instructed, and light began to fill a room separated from them by glass. A woman was confined neck and hands in old fashioned stocks. Her blouse was ripped down her back, exposing creamy white skin. Off to the side, a man in a devil’s mask stood with a bullwhip in hand.

Brent heard a few snickers from the guys in the group. A whisper carried over their heads. Kevin. “Ten bucks her boobs fall out and you can see nip.”

The crack of the whip was the only response. The woman in the stocks flinched. Even from this distance, Brent could see the bloom of red on her back.

He shifted on his feet. The man in the mask wielded the whip again. The woman writhed, but Brent wasn’t sure if the sound she made was one of pain or pleasure.

Cressida pressed up against him. “Do you wish to feel the lash, Brent?”

His half-formed erection hardened to steel. He choked out an answer. “No.”

The hand not holding the candle ran up his thigh to cup his cock. “You lie to me. You will be punished.”

She released him and he nearly moaned at the loss of pressure. He definitely needed her number.

The light in the room faded to blackness as the whip came down a third time on the woman’s back.

“Follow me.”

He couldn’t resist the command in Cressida’s voice. She led the way through a doorway and closed the paneled barrier after he crossed through. He paused. “My students…”

“Are in the care of someone else, now. You have willingly chosen to follow me and you are mine.”

“What are you talking about?”

Cressida walked around the room, lighting other candles with hers. The soft glow intensified until he saw the room was filled with pillow-covered lounge chairs. A table in the corner was set with a cut crystal decanter containing a ruby red liquid. Cressida removed her cloak and tossed it onto the lounge in the center of the room.

Her arms were bare, and above her corset all she wore was the mesmerizing necklace. He hadn’t seen anything like it outside of paintings from the Renaissance. She must have noticed his preoccupation as she raised a hand and ran her fingers along the chain, pausing under the stone. Wiggling her fingers, she moved it so light flickered off of it.

The flares entranced him and made him want to do whatever she commanded.

“Remove your jacket and shirt, Brent.”

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