Born for Magic

By Tracy Wolff All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Fantasy

Blurb

The last thing archeologist Heath Gallagher wants to believe in is magic. Sure, he's seen a lot of weird things in his life, but weird is a long way from supernatural and that is one journey he'll never take. But when his sister ends up in a mental hospital, suffering from a "curse," his skepticism doesn't matter, not when his sister is on the brink of losing her mind forever. Desperate for answers-- and a way to help her-- Heath turns to Dr. Irisi Murdoch, the world's foremost scholar on Heka, the oldest magical force in the universe. But from the moment they first meet, Heath gets a lot more than he bargained for. Irisi is more than a scholar-- she's a full-blown, hereditary witch, one who has been charged with protecting the ancient magic her family has spent five thousand years accumulating. The last thing she'd ever do is hand that knowledge over to a man who wants to use it even as he refuses to believe in it. But dark, insatiable forces are at work around them, forces determined to seize Irisi's magic and the power that comes with it. Can she and Heath put aside their differences, and the heat that burns between them, long enough to save his sister ... and the world?

Prologue

She had the power.

Born the eldest daughter of the eldest daughter in a chain stretching hundreds of generations long—a chain that could be traced directly to the most powerful Egyptian priestess ever born---- she embraced her power. More, she understood it.

Hagara’s blood ran in her veins, her magic flowed through her mind and heart and soul. Because she was the three hundredth—a sacred number—she was also the most powerful yet. She knew this. Honored it. Embraced it even as she feared it.

But there was no room for fear tonight. No room for anything save the fire.

Stretching her hands over her head, she let it burn through her. Let it sizzle along her nerve endings and slide along her skin. Let it clear her mind-- her soul-- of everything but this.

“Hamouzeth Beeth Athanabessetori.” The words of the ancients poured from her, half-prayer, half- alchemy. All magic.

Fire danced over her fingerprints, growing stronger with each word that she spoke. “I invoke you, power of my power. Blood of my blood. The blood of Isis and the strength of Isis and the power of Isis shall be mighty to act.”

The flames were nearly a foot high now, balanced in the palm of her hand, greedily licking their way over her wrists and up her forearms.

And then it was time. “Lehab el Isis. Lehab satah.”

She repeated the sacred words and heat surrounded her, growing fiercer with each syllable that fell from her lips, until the air around her crackled with electricity. “Flames of Isis, flames burning bright, grant me your wisdom. Your protection. Your strength to do this most terrible thing.”

She felt it move in her then, the power of centuries—millennia-- coalescing within her.

Bringing her hands closer and closer together, she condensed the fire into a wildly burning sphere. Lifting her face to the heavens, begging forgiveness for what she was about to do, she focused on using every ounce of physical strength, every gram of magic within her. And then she hurtled the fire to the ground, straight at the ancient scrolls laying inches from her feet.

The ground shrieked. The outraged cries of the many generations that had come before her burned through her soul, but her resolve was as steady as her hands as they guided the flames in their path of annihilation. Before her the papyrii jumped and sizzled and smoked, their destruction a terrible weight upon her soul though she had no choice. Her other options dried up long ago.

And so she kept the fire burning--fighting old and new magic alike-- until her task was done. Until the scrolls of her ancestors were nothing but ashes at her feet.

They weren’t the only scrolls depicting Isis’s magic, but they were the only ones that had been handed down from her mother and her mother’s mother. The only ones she and her sisters had been charged with safeguarding. The only ones readily accessible to Tet.

Reaching down, she scooped up the burning embers, ignored the pain shooting through her hands as she did so. It was nothing to the pain winding its way through her soul as she imagined three hundred generations of her family, silenced forever.

“Enteha. It is done,” She lifted her cupped hands far above her head.

Then, centering herself, centering her power, she flung her hands outward. The ashes scattered to the four corners and then beyond, helped along by the strength of her commitment. Over the mountains, across the seas, she closed her eyes and watched as they thinned out and disappeared.

Their great magic untraceable.

A tear slipped silently down her cheek even as her lips curled in self-disgust. There was no time for tears, no reason for them. She had done what was necessary, what she had had to do to protect the magic of her ancestors now that Tet had finally found her and her sisters after two decades of searching. And she would do it again if the need arose.

Again and again and again, until her sisters were once again safe.

Until Tet-- with its greedy, grasping, monstrous magic-- could no longer reach them.

Until her power-- and the power of those that came before and would come after-- was once again protected.

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