Red moaned and hung his head, nearly finished with his circle.
“Somewitchneeds to get his car fixed,” Sky grumbled.
Nolan snickered. “Red’s car broke down during the escape and he called Sky for a pickup.”
“We didn’t even get to have dinner!” Sky added and Nolan tightened his hold on the sweet man.
“You can grab drive-thru later,” Red snapped. “Now give me a little room.” He waved both hands at his audience and Nolan quickly retreated several steps with Bel and Sky.
The earth witch stopped to pet Damon on the head a couple of times and whisper what sounded like reassurances to him before he stood. The wind picked up as he rose to his feet and held his hands out flat over the pig, ruffling his jeans a little and pushing around his red hair. Red spoke, but Nolan couldn’t make out a single word of it. Just a rising and falling of gentle sounds that were strangely soothing.
Yet a tingle danced along his skin. As Red started to move his hands in a series of distinct formations in a type of witch’s sign language, the sensation increased.
A glow rose from the ground, brightening the grass from dark green to a light and vibrant new green. The strange light washed up Damon’s pig body as he continued to calmly sit in the center of the circle.
The change happened quickly, like a high-speed video of a flower unfurling in the sun. One second he was a pig and in the next, the pig was standing on his hind legs and it was like he just kept rising, growing taller, flesh changing to clothes until he was a short, slender twink with a thick crop of tousled brown curls, warm brown skin, and enormous eyes.
“Damon,” Red said with a relieved sigh.
The young man looked down at himself, his hand pressing into the front of his long-sleeved red shirt. “God, it’s good to be human again.” His nose suddenly wrinkled and his face scrunched up. Plucking at the front of his shirt, he lifted it and stuck half his face inside to take a long sniff. “Eww. I smell like sweat and pig.”
Red reached out and rubbed his hand on the top of Damon’s head, messing up his hair some more. “Come on. I’ll take you inside and let you shower. You can borrow some of Moon’s clothes for now.”
The witch kneeled and replaced the knife in the kit and closed it up. With it tucked under his arm, he led Damon toward the house.
“That was fascinating! But I forgot to video it,” Bel cried. “I’m so bad about remembering these cell phones have an easy video option. I would have loved to watch that many more times so I could make notes.”
“That was kind of amazing,” Nolan murmured when he could get his tongue to work again. So far, he’d watched Sky summon a variety of minions and raise an army of the dead straight from their graves. Now a pig had turned into a human. This was never going to get old.
“Oh! I know!” Bel exclaimed, his hands suddenly flapped in front of him as if they had a mind of their own. “Sky, could you change Nolan into an animal so I could record it? You don’t need to make him a pig. It could be any animal just so long as it was large enough to pick up on the video.”
Nolan’s head stopped. Okay, that was not okay. He wasn’t ready to be any animal. Yes, he was getting adjusted to all the magic and crazy, but it was too soon to start performing magic on him.
There must have been something in his expression because Bel backpedaled. “Well, if it hurts, I certainly wouldn’t ask you. Damon didn’t seem to be in any pain, though.”
Sky chuckled but quickly covered it with a cough. Nolan glared at him. No, he wasn’t fast enough with that so-called cough.
The traitor cleared his throat and bumped Nolan with his elbow. “Actually, I can’t change Nolan into an animal at all. Different kind of magic than Red, and it’s one of the areas where we don’t overlap. I’m a necromancer, and Red’s an earth witch.”
Bel’s shoulder slumped. “That’s a shame. But I understand. Fox is an earth witch as well, right?”
“Would you be willing to stay and chat for a bit about your style of magic? You’re the first necromancer I’ve met. We have plenty of food and beer, if you’re hungry.”
Food, beer, interesting conversation? That all sounded good to him, but Nolan hesitated to chime in. This wasn’t at all what Sky had in mind when it came to their date. There was no doubt that the witch wanted them to have some quality alone time. He wanted that too.
But, on the other hand, were there going to be a lot of chances to chat with a very chill and sweet vampire?
“Nolan? Do you mind if we linger for a little while? Probably until Damon’s out of the shower, at least. I’m reluctant to leave until I know what Red’s next step is.”
Before he could even reply, his stomach let out an embarrassingly loud growl. With everything going on, he hadn’t even noticed that he’d grown hungry.
He laughed and shrugged. “I’m good to stay. I want to learn more about witches, vampires, and shifters too. Plus, food.”
The vampire clapped his hands together. “Excellent. I brought plenty.” He waved for them to accompany him toward the house where the bonfire was still burning. “It’s taken a few full moons to learn how much to bring. The wolves will eat their fill of the deer, stumble to the bonfire, shift, relax, and be hungry all over again. Shifting burns an extraordinary amount of calories. I’m still taking measurements, but it looks as if they burn three times the average on nights of a full moon hunt.”
“Bel, if you don’t mind me asking, are you a scientist?” Nolan inquired.