Highland Dark Magic


Leigh Ann Edwards

Powerful witch Fiona Maguire was furious to be assigned a gorgeous, irritating half-demon as partner. But fighting otherworldly creatures together has shown her that Lorcan Wright is a damn good agent, someone she can trust with her life. In fact, he stirs unexpected feelings not appreciated by their new co-agent, the elven-Fae prince she once loved.

Lorcan Wright has never wanted for women, but he has no idea how to be friends with one, especially a work partner as smart, funny, and sexy as Fiona. Watching her with the Elfae prince drives him crazy, and he has no idea what to do about it.

When the ghost of a Scottish highlander appears insisting that Fiona is his beloved, the two are assigned to travel back in time to the historic battlegrounds, find the spirit, and break his hold on her. However, other angry creatures, including a vengeful vampire, threaten the mission before it’s even begun, challenging their partnership like never before.

The two must set aside their feelings and focus on uncovering this ghost’s identity—before highland dark magic traps Fiona in ancient Scotland for all time.

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Chapter One

Fiona Maguire accompanied her friend, Antonio, to his coveted balcony seats at Boston’s Opera House, with far more delight than she’d expected. She rarely went out these days, and softball practice and karaoke nights were hardly dress-up events. Antonio was widowed and okay with just being friends, which she appreciated, as her life was too unpredictable to add a romantic relationship.

Not that she was looking.

She hoped the play would distract her from the restlessness that had been plaguing her lately. LAMB hadn’t sent her on an assignment in over a month. She suspected the agency was still wary of her, given her fury after the last fiasco of a mission. Maybe they feared she’d place a spell on them—she was a witch, after all.

But using her magic spitefully never ended well.

She hadn’t even heard from her partner for a couple of weeks, which was unusual, as he tended to check in often. She never thought she’d say it, but she’d missed him.

Lorcan Wright was a cocky, smart-arse, half-demon nearly twenty years her junior. He swore like a sailor, drank too much, and slept around. Not to mention the heartache his father, the heinous Dark Lord Odhran, had caused her.

Even years after Odhran had been killed, she’d been barely able to look at Lorcan without being reminded of her all-consuming hatred.

Lorcan, however, had proved to be a capable partner, cheerful, likeable, and great with Fiona’s Irish grandchildren, who were also his niece and nephew. Although he was infamous for his inappropriate comments, he made her laugh, too, something she hadn’t done enough of lately. Between the death of her best friend, Genny, and the horrific Battle of Magic, her heart had been heavy for too long.

She sighed, wishing she could visit her family, but a trip to the seventeen hundreds wasn’t likely, given the situation with LAMB.

“Something wrong, lovely lady?” Antonio’s Italian accent was strong despite being second-generation Italian-American. “You seem distracted, my cara amica.”

How lovely to be someone’s dear friend.

Fiona shrugged. “I have lots on my mind.”

“Perhaps the show will let you escape your concerns then.”

It was a production she’d seen several times. Anything to do with witches naturally interested her. Antonio knew she had mediumship abilities, but certainly wasn’t aware she was a witch. Not many people knew that witches and a ream of other supernatural entities existed—and not just in fairy tales, folklore, or nightmares. Magical beings existed in real life; she wouldn’t have a job locating and assessing them if she wasn’t one, herself.

“Did I tell you how beautiful you look, Fiona?”

She glanced down at her gown, grateful she’d taken time with her hair and makeup. “Thank you. You look dashing yourself, Antonio.”

He preened at the old-fashioned compliment. He was a decade older than her fifty-two years, and his silver hair and mustache gave him a distinguished air.

They were about to enter the balcony when she spotted Lorcan, accompanied by an attractive woman in a white gown that showcased her ash-blonde hair, bronze tan, and stunning figure.

Fiona stopped short. He had told her his father insisted his children be educated and raised with culture, but she hadn’t expected to see him here.

Looking like…like that.

Lorcan Wright’s height and build alone put him in the sex-god category. Add a gorgeous face, magnetic smile and intense green eyes, not to mention the English accent, and he made most women lose their minds.

But all that in a tuxedo?

Lorcan turned toward the balcony and noticed her. “Fiona?”

She couldn’t help smiling at the shocked look on his face. He rarely saw her in anything but casual or workout clothes. He’d certainly never seen her in a clingy, sparkly, dark purple evening gown, with full makeup and jewelry. Her natural brown hair was now auburn and in an updo.

“Hello, Lorcan,” she said. “I knew you liked films, but I didn’t realize you attended the theater”

Lorcan speechless was nearly unheard of, but he recovered momentarily and steered his date closer to her and Antonio.

“I have season tickets here in the balcony.” He pointed.

Fiona glanced at the man beside her. “Antonio, I’d like you to meet my partner, Lorcan Wright. Lorcan, my friend, Antonio Morelli.”

The two men shook hands.

“This is Melissa.” Lorcan didn’t mention his date’s surname. Maybe he didn’t know it. He never stayed with women long.

Their escorts smiled and offered a polite greeting.

Then Lorcan spoke to Fiona through telepathy. “You look bloody fantastic, Boomer! Love the hair. But Jesus, who’s the old, short guy? You could do way better.”

Hadn’t she just been thinking about his inappropriateness? He didn’t have much of a filter. People regularly complimented her on looking youthful, but she found it mystifying that Lorcan didn’t care about the age gap. She suspected it deflated his ego that she hadn’t shown interest in him. Maybe getting her into bed was a challenge. Had anyone else ever turned him down?

Fiona couldn’t deny that she was a little attracted to him—she was alive, after all—but preferred to think of him as a friend. Surprisingly enough she liked working with him, something she’d never have believed when LAMB first forced their partnership.

“Antonio and his brothers own the popular Pasta Bella Affair,” Fiona said.

“Are you serious? OMG!” Melissa fluttered her thick eyelash extensions. “I’ve only been there twice, but I love that restaurant! It’s like…my absolute favorite here in Boston. I never thought I’d be fortunate enough to meet the owner!”

Apparently starstruck, she hugged Antonio, who glanced uneasily between Fiona and Lorcan, clearly caught off guard.

“Thought you liked tall men, Boomer? You could have at least gone for a Luigi, not a Mario.” Again, Lorcan spoke through telepathy.

“Don’t be a smart-arse, Junior,” Fiona replied similarly. “You’re the one with Malibu Barbie.”

His smile broadened, and Fiona had to bite her lip, entertained by the secret communication.

“We should probably find our seats,” Antonio said. “It was nice meeting you.” Then he paused, looking at Melissa and Lorcan. “Perhaps you’ve already dined, but Fiona and I are having a late dinner at my restaurant after the show. If you’d like to join us, I’d be happy to have you as my guests.”

“That would be like…really awesome!” Melissa touched Lorcan’s arm and pleaded with puppy-dog eyes. “Do you want to dine with your friend and Antonio?”

Had she already forgotten Fiona’s name?

Lorcan tipped his head and Fiona hoped he wouldn’t accept.

“Dinner sounds very nice,” Lorcan said.


The older man smiled. “Meravigliosa.” Wonderful. “Meet us outside the theatre’s main entrance. My limo will pick us up there.”

Despite being a multi-millionaire with several thriving restaurants along the East Coast, Antonio didn’t usually flaunt his wealth. Was he intimidated by the taller, younger man?

“Great!” Lorcan replied. “Enjoy the show.”

Lorcan couldn’t keep his mind on the theatre production or the woman beside him. Melissa wasn’t the bimbo she’d acted like with Fiona and her date. They’d had an intellectual conversation over coffee yesterday prior to hot, mindless sex at her place.

They’d hooked up again earlier today, but tonight would be the last time he’d see her, according to his steadfast rule of three. Three dates, three days together, or three sexual encounters, depending on how well they connected.

Judging by the way Melissa had been gaping at Fiona’s date, she liked older men. Or maybe it was rich men. But Lorcan was wealthy, too. His father had left him an obscene amount of money and although he gave regularly to charities, he seemed to have the Midas touch. He invested wisely and LAMB paid him well. Not that he needed money to attract women. Christ, that sounded conceited…even if it was true.

He took another glance at Fiona. She looked breathtaking tonight. The elegant gown hugged her curves, and her auburn hair complemented her fair skin, making her look even more Irish.

He hadn’t called or texted her for a while, half hoping she might contact him first, half afraid she would.

He couldn’t forget that on their last assignment, the ancient grand elder vampire, Xavier, had threatened to harm anyone Lorcan cared about. Fiona had already been targeted simply because they were partners.

The vamp was locked up at LAMB’s facility, behind warded walls surrounded by ultraviolet rays mimicking sunlight twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Still, Lorcan had a strong suspicion he’d cause more trouble. Would Xavier sense his feelings for Fiona?

The bastard seemed to thrive on Lorcan’s interest in him—always wore that hideous smile that made Lorcan want to knock out his fucking fangs or put a stake through his undead heart. So, he limited his involvement to daily confirmation with the guard outside Xavier’s door that the nasty bloodsucker was still imprisoned.

Lorcan didn’t want anything to disrupt his working relationship with Fiona but when he’d called Henry Dalton, LAMB’s CEO, about the current lull, Dalton claimed they needed time to recuperate from the last mission.

Lorcan didn’t need time.

He didn’t need recuperation.

He was well rested, antsy…and bored.

He blew out his breath, causing Melissa to give him an annoyed side-eye.

“Sorry.” He covered his mouth but was unable to stop his leg from bouncing.

He could only run and work out so much. There were no further improvements needed on his brownstone. He liked the mid-eighteen hundreds, three-story building, and enjoyed renovating it. Maybe he’d buy another property and flip it.

Suddenly, Melissa gasped and grabbed his arm, pulling him from his thoughts. It was a dramatic part in the play, leading up to the intermission. Although witches weren’t his favorite topic for a shitload of reasons, he’d seen the production before and needed a drink.

“Would you like some wine?” he asked.

Melissa didn’t take her eyes off the stage. “That’d be nice.”

When Lorcan got to the bar, he was surprised to see Fiona. Equality notwithstanding, he preferred to cater to the ladies he was with. Was Antonio not such a gentleman?

“So, where’s Mario?” he whispered in Fiona’s ear and she jumped. “Or is he more like Don Corleone of Godfather fame? I’ve heard there’s an Italian Mafia in town.”

“Don’t sneak up on me like that! And don’t generalize about everyone’s heritage.”

She turned to face him, and he couldn’t help staring at her lips. He’d never seen her wear lipstick.

“How did a super-perceptive witch who’s also a highly trained LAMB agent let me sneak up on her?” he whispered. “And how come your geriatric date isn’t getting your drinks?”

“Listen, Junior. Antonio’s closer to my age than you are. It’s the twenty-first century; I offered to get our wine.”

“Are you sure you didn’t intuitively know I’d be here and couldn’t resist seeing me in this tux again?” He touched his lapel and grinned.

She shook her head. “You’re impossibly vain!”

“Does Mario have trouble with stairs? Maybe requires a new hip? Probably needs those little blue pills, too.” He gently nudged her with his elbow.

She rolled her blue-green eyes, bewitching with her eye makeup.

“You claim I’m hung up on age,” she accused.

“You are bloody age-obsessed, Boomer. But you look smoking hot!” He purposely let his eyes rest on her breasts with the tasteful glimpse of cleavage. God, she was sexy. If he didn’t know she was around fifty, he’d guess her to be late thirties. “Be still my heart!” He thumped his hand on his chest.

She narrowed her eyes. “You’re so full of shite.”

He laughed. “You still haven’t learned to accept a compliment.”

Next in line, Fiona stepped forward, ordered her drinks and paid.

“See you after the show,” she said. “If you trust your date not to make a move on Antonio.”

He grinned. “She just might, but if Mario wants to be with Melissa and not someone as se—”

He stopped mid-word and looked away. He wanted to tell Fiona she was what? Sexy? Sensual? Sensational? She was all those. But no matter what he said, it would sound sexist or give away how attracted he was to her. He had to be inconspicuous—simply continue their usual banter.

“What does your golden-haired elfae prince think of you seeing other people? He might shoot an arrow through Mario’s old ticker.”

Fiona wrinkled her nose. “Who I’m seeing is none of Rohese’s concern. I haven’t heard from him in weeks and don’t even know where he’s stayin’ since he started working for LAMB.”

“You sure Goldilocks doesn’t go back through the portal in your shop to the elven realm and stop by for some different kind of magic?”

She shook her head again. “See you later, Lorcan.”

He watched her walk away and his body reacted in a way he didn’t want—certainly not here. The woman at the bar smiled seductively.

“I have a break in five.” She winked. “I know a place we could go.”

Did she recognize he was horny…or was she simply attracted to him?

He threw the redhead an interested gaze. “I’m game.” He motioned to the nearby seating area. “I’ll wait over there.”

“Still want the wine?” she asked, and he nodded.

She set two wineglasses before him. He paid, then drank them both while waiting for her.

“You were gone a while.” Melissa pouted as he passed her the wine.

He’d had to get more.

“Needed to use the facilities. There was a lineup,” he lied, still a little breathless after his exuberant encounter with the woman from the bar.

“For the men’s room? That’s unusual.”

Melissa sipped her wine and turned her attention back to the play. He sat down and tried to concentrate on what was happening on stage.

End of Excerpt

Highland Dark Magic is available in the following formats:

ISBN: 978-1-962707-16-9

April 23, 2024

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