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Magical Attraction

Biomystic Security Book 2.5

Jaliza A. Burwell



Magical Attraction

Copyright © 2019 by Jaliza A. Burwell

All rights reserved.

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Copy Edited by Bookends Editing

Book Cover Design by Jessica Soltes

Printed in the United States of America



To my author wife, Ariel, for not letting

me turn this book into ash.






Table of Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Author Note

Coming Soon

From the Author

Stalker Links


Chapter One

~Alijah Orr Part I~

My team buzzed in my ear, and I was tempted to growl for them to shut up. They weren’t even talking about the assignment. Irritation built as one man talked about his baby girl starting school. One thing I learned about parents was that they all thought their children were little geniuses.

For a moment, I contemplated muting the channel, but that wouldn’t go over well with the lead enforcer. So instead, I stalked around the park, tuning them out and keeping my eyes opened, searching for the sick bastard who had gained a taste for children. The enforcers asked for BMS’s help and of course we jumped in. Our target had already taken and eaten three other children. Finally, a break came when he didn’t clean up as well as he should have after his last meal and we caught a scent.

After digging around and scouting the city, we’d found this location. This small park had his scent all over it. His hunting grounds.

Anger simmered as I circled the park slowly, my nose flaring to pull in scents, hoping to find a fresh one. If he stayed on schedule, he’d be here today. There wasn’t much downtime between the kills. The enforcers warned us that he was degrading, probably extremely close to feral now. Reason wasn’t going to work on him anymore. All he had on his mind were children.

He needed to be taken out.

The evening was ticking away, the sun slowly descending as we continued our patrol, staying hidden thanks to a witch’s spell. The necklace kept up a steady buzz of magic, making my skin itch. Unaware that they were being stalked, the kids played hard and slowly trickled out of the park when parents forced them to go home. If he were going to attack, it’d be now, when there weren’t many left. The sun was low in the sky with less than an hour before darkness took over. Everyone would be gone before then.

“What’s the tally” I snapped out, and the chatter died down.

“We have three teenagers, three kids, six adults. Five males, seven females. Three are shifters. The teenagers are humans. Two are fae, three vampires, and an unknown female.”

I ticked off each person they found. “Same here.” No extra bodies. The two shifter men were obviously fathers to one of the kids. They were chasing the little girl as she ran around laughing and nearly falling over. Another kid belonged to two vampires. The third kid belonged to a fae. The humans were hanging around a picnic table with the unknown female. She seemed to be showing off her magic and they were fascinated. Red and orange mist floated in the air, shifting and changing. One of the teens let out a loud laugh as the mist wrapped around her and lifted her from her seat by about a foot.

“We got movement,” someone said, and we went on high alert.

“Third quadrant,” another answered. That was near me. I pulled on my tiger’s senses and felt him.

“He’s fast,” I reported and picked up speed, stalking him. Despite knowing where he was, no one could get sight on him, me included. No doubt he was nearby, and he was hungry. His craziness was thick in his magic, leaving a slimy trail of desperation on my skin.

I hunted him while he did the same with the occupants of the park, getting closer and closer. Still no eyes on him, but his magic signature was easy enough to follow, the violent fluctuations a clear beacon to his position.

“Surround him,” the lead enforcer said. “We need to take him out before he attacks.”

“I don’t think we’re going to make it,” I said, noticing a change in his magic. It was like he drew it all into himself.

“Now!” I barked and charged forward, but the bastard was fast. He was already clear into the park. A long lizard tail whipped furiously behind him as he scurried forward on his hands and feet. His body shimmered, blending in with the ground. A chameleon with magic. That should have been impossible.

“Go, go, go,” the lead enforcer barked into my ear and all the men converged onto the park, using all their speed to get to the target. But he was so damn fast, like vampire fast. The enemy was out in the open, obviously on the warpath for blood, and still the park attendees didn’t notice him. Since they didn’t expect him, they couldn’t detect him. We only spotted him because we were looking.

An elongated and deformed shape launched into the air, releasing a primal roar that froze the civilians. He flew through the sky, and I shifted into my tiger, clothes tearing at the sudden violence of the shift. By the time the shift finished, I was pushing as hard as I could to get to him. He was coming down from the leap, a child screaming just a few feet from him.

When he landed, the ground underneath shook, a current of magic snapping out around him. The child screamed and froze, fear keeping her in place. The target lashed out with curved claws, and the little girl brought up her arms in a bad attempt to stop it. One of the shifters jumped in front to block, blood spurting from his arm as he wrapped himself around the little girl and flung himself backward in an attempt to get away.

The smell of blood renewed the creature’s determination and he went after them again; this time, the second shifter got in the way to block his attack. More blood filled the air as the man’s chest was torn open and he grunted out his pain. Screaming filled the space, adding to the frenzy.

Suddenly, the air felt briefly charged before a light purple ball smashed into our target and the impact forced him away from the family. Just as I went to lunge after the target, the young woman who had been showing off to the teens was there, stopping another attack with a shimmering wall in front of her.

Pushing all the power I had into my hind legs, I lunged and hit the lizard bastard. His glowing blue eyes briefly met mine before we collided. He was completely gone, his eyes filled with rage and single-minded focus on the little girl.

We tumbled and I released my anger, clawing and snapping at him, trying to gut him. When we came to a stop, I had managed to get the upper hand to pin him down. The rest of my team surrounded us. Using all my weight, I managed to barely keep him still as the others scrambled to secure him. Before they could come within two feet of us, magic blew out from the man and I was shoved off. By the grunts of those around me, they probably had the same issue.

I rolled and stood up, shaking my body to release the numbness. The target glared at me with slitted blue eyes, his scaly mouth pulled back in a snarl. Nothing about him was human now. He was about eight feet long; his human legs bent at odd angles and were partially covered in green scales so he could run on all fours. His face smoothed out as his mouth partially morphed into that of a lizard’s, giving him a wide creepy smile as his mouth widened—reaching to his ears—and his nose flattened into two slits.

A long forked tongue flickered out and he made a hissing noise, as if warning me off. I didn’t bother with a response and charged after him. We both fought hard. His desperation for child flesh made him messy, and I used that against him as I tore into him, dragging my claws through his weak parts. If I wasn’t careful, my claws would snag on his scales and he’d used that opportunity to return the pain. My side burned and one of my legs didn’t want to hold me up.

He hit me hard, his mouth clamping onto my shoulder, teeth digging deep. I roared and rolled, dislodging him. When I tried to stand, I stumbled, and he used that as an opportunity. Another shifter tried to get to him, but he did it again, sending out his magic in an explosion, and flinging us away from him. Taking advantage of our disorientation, he sprinted toward the woman who still stood in front of the two men with the child.

I finally got control of my feet and ran forward, ignoring the pain. Pain had no place in the middle of a battle. The woman’s eyes followed the creature as he got closer, her expression calm.

When the target was only a couple of feet away, she pushed her hands out and the air thickened with her magic. My nose picked up the smell of ozone and cinnamon before the target let out a painful yowl and began to convulse. His tail whipped all around him as he made a loud keening noise, scratching at the air.

When I got to him, I stopped and glanced at the woman. Her green eyes glowed as they narrowed on the bastard. Finally, when he stopped thrashing around and slumped into unconsciousness, she lowered her hand, sweat dotting her face.

She met my eyes and gave me a tight smile before turning to the family behind her. “Are you okay?” she asked, her voice low and soft. I watched her for a moment and then turned back to the target as the others came over. Once shifted back to human, I glared down at the piece of shit.

“Damn, what the hell is he?” a female enforcer asked.

I ignored them as one of my co-workers tossed me a standard t-shirt and sweats since mine were now a shredded mess. All the enforcers were on guard, expecting him to send us flying again with his magic, but he wasn’t moving. I snorted, grabbed cuffs and chains from one of the guards, and quickly tied him.

When I finished, I stood and rolled my shoulders, trying to relieve the tension that had built up in them. Adrenaline still coursed through me, and when sniffling caught my attention, I looked over at the family that had been hurt.

The little girl was still crying, clinging to her daddy as he held her close. She had a little puffy orange tail poking out, probably from the fear. The father rocked her, his arm still dripping blood. The second father with the chest wound had one arm around the other’s shoulders. His hand pressed against his chest as blood seeped between his fingers. A healer was with them working to fix them up.

My nose picked up the family’s fear. Kitsune. They were sometimes mistaken as shifters, but they were made of magic, and foxes were their natural forms, not human. They were also playful, using magic to play little pranks, but violence was not in their bones. They were loyal companions to anyone they attached to.

The woman talked to the little girl quietly, but I was able to pick up what she was saying.

“…okay. They’re going to take him away, and he’s in big trouble now for scaring you.”

“Really?” the little girl asked.

“Really,” the woman said.

“Thank you,” I said when I got to them. The little girl whimpered and the father turned so that she was hidden. The second father’s face was white and panicked.

“Is she alright?” he asked, his breaths labored. “Did he hurt her?”

“No,” the first father said. “He never got a chance to touch her.” He looked at the woman, tears in his eyes. “Thank you. We wouldn’t have survived that. Thank you.”

She gave them a smile. “Of course. I’m glad she’s okay.” She leaned forward and whispered to the girl. “If I were you, I’d milk this for everything you’ve got. Get some ice cream out of it, maybe a stuffed toy or two.”

That seemed to be the right thing to say because the little girl was grinning big and she yanked on her father’s arm to get his attention.

“Can we? Get ice cream?”

“Of course, my little kit. As much ice cream as you want,” he answered.

“Not too much, she’ll get a tummy ache,” the second father said and the first one just rolled his eyes. They fell quiet as the healer began working on the second father, stopping the blood flow from his chest.

“May I speak with you?” I asked the woman.

“Of course,” she said and we stepped away, leaving the couple to comfort their little girl and to get fixed up.

“Thank you for your help,” I said.

She nodded and glanced at the unconscious man as he was restrained and taken into custody. His lizard form had receded some so he looked a little more human, but not by much.

“Who is he?” she asked, crossing her arms over her breasts. Her light brown hair was pulled back into a French braid, showing off a pretty face with knowing dark green eyes.

“We don’t know yet. We’d been hunting him for a few days now. He had gotten a taste for children and ate three of them already.”

“A lizard that could use magic?” She shook her head, amazement lighting up her eyes. “Is that even possible? And how was he able to get so close? He didn’t seem like someone able to stay hidden.”

“Are you questioning our abilities?” I asked, my voice deepening.

She shook her head. “Not at all.” She reached out and pointed at the name scrawled across the left breast on my t-shirt. “After all, you were able to hunt him down. I’ve heard about that company.”

I looked down at my shirt. “Biomystic Security,” I said.

“The company owned by a hellhound.”

“Lombardi.”

She nodded. “I’ve heard of him.” She glanced around at the team members. “Four BMS members and five enforcers. What will happen to him?”

“He’ll be executed. He ate children.”

Expecting to see a reaction like revulsion, I was surprised when she just nodded. “Good. A little unfortunate though. I’d like to poke around him a little. I never thought I’d see a shifter type being who could use magic. They are usually energy-based.”

I looked her over again. Something about her attracted me, and I wasn’t the type to make friends. “Who are you?” I asked and then snapped my mouth shut.

She blinked and looked at me, her lip curling into a smile as she shifted closer. “For your reports?” she asked.

I just nodded. Sure, I’d go with that.

“Dr. Laila Porter.”

“Doctor?” I raised an eyebrow in challenge. She couldn’t be older than sixteen.

“I just turned nineteen, so don’t give me that look. And yes, doctor. I received my PhD this winter in Magicka Engineering from Ravenwood Academy.”

I raised an eyebrow, impressed. Ravenwood was the top school in America. “What are you doing now?” I asked.

“Does it matter?”

“Not really.”

She nodded.

“How did you see him?” I asked. “We only knew he was there because we were looking for him, but no one else could see him. You did and you reacted fast enough to keep that little girl safe.”

“With all that magic, I could feel him,” she said. “That helped me see him coming and it gave me enough time to react. Almost not fast enough though.” She blew out a shaky breath and tucked her hands behind her back. For the first time, I realized she had been scared. She didn’t show any signs of her fear until now, no doubt the loss of adrenaline bringing her down.

“You did good, Dr. Porter. Really good. That little girl is safe and unharmed because you were brave enough to step in and help her.”

She blinked a few times and nodded, swallowing hard. “Thank you, Mr.?”

“Alijah Orr.”

“Alijah the tiger shifter. Nice.”

“How did you do that?” I asked.

“Magic user. I just gave him a little shock.” She snickered. “Or well, more than a little.”

“You electrocuted him.”

She shrugged. “I only told the magic what I wanted. They decided on the intensity.” Her expression darkened. “They probably knew how big of a bastard he was and didn’t want him getting back up again.”

“They?”

She met my eyes, as if to challenge me to call her out as she said, “Magic.”

“Magic is its own person?”

“Magic is very much alive. It’s unfortunate that not many understand that, including other magic users. Magic is a logical entity. Ask it, talk to it, be polite, and they are very responsive.” She took in a breath and released it slowly. “Sorry, I needed to stop myself before I went on a rant.”

“I think I get it.”

“Yeah?” She searched my expression for a lie.

I nodded. “Yeah. Sometimes, I think energy is the same. If we fight against it, it tends to get its revenge.”

“Orr! Help us out, man,” an enforcer called out.

Not bothering to look at him, I lifted my hand to let them know I heard them and that I’d be there.

“Well, thank you, Dr. Porter. You were a big help.”

She nodded. “And thank you for all your help.” Her eyes dropped down to the Biomystic Security name on the shirt again with a thoughtful expression. “I’ll see you around.”

I nodded before heading over to the team to clean up the rest of the mess. There wasn’t much to do, we just needed to get the man properly contained before moving him. We didn’t want to risk him breaking chains when he woke up since we still weren’t clear what he was exactly. Shifters weren’t amphibians nor could they use magic, and he wasn’t using a glamor. The way he changed between the human and lizard form was similar to shifters. Glamors were sudden. They dropped the moment they were released. We didn’t know what the hell this guy was, which happened more often than not. I kind of agreed with Dr. Porter. Too bad he was going to be executed come this time tomorrow. It’d be too dangerous to keep him alive any longer than that.

When I turned to scan the area, Dr. Porter was already gone, along with the rest of the kids and parents that had been there. I wouldn’t have wanted to stick around after this incident either.



Chapter Two

~Dwight Lombardi Part I~

I stared at the flimsy file, frowning at all the information that should be in there but wasn’t. Rhett was good at his job so that meant there really wasn’t much to find in this woman’s past. She was a mystery.

“Is this really it?” I asked, knowing the answer already. It still needed to be asked.

Rhett nodded, and I held back a scowl. I trusted him. If this was what he gave me, then this was all there was. I just couldn’t believe this was it. The supernatural community was so diverse that not much could be hidden. There was a past here, but the applicant found a way to hide it.

The vampire’s spine straightened as he stood tall, eyes not meeting mine to prevent a dominance fight. He’d lose before it even began. “You know it is.”

I glanced back down at the file, at the picture of the girl, no, young woman. Light brown hair, which fell in soft waves, framed a small, narrow face. Intense green eyes with flecks of gold. If I didn’t know better, I’d say she had an alternate form, something very much predatory. The way she stared at the camera, she was challenging the world.

My lip curled in a snarl as my instincts wanted me to challenge her back. I doubted the piece of paper would like it if I shredded it apart, and I didn’t want to explain to my second-in-command why I felt threatened by a piece of paper.

And this woman claimed to be exactly what we had seen. As a true magic-user, she didn’t have another form. There was no shifting, no glamour, nothing. She didn’t have a beast to explain those prowling eyes. She just stared at the world, ready for it to kick her back down. I had no doubt it had pushed her down over and over again. She was well versed in getting back up again. That was practically a requirement in my company. Amusement filled me. She wouldn’t go down without a fight and if anything, she’d get back up swinging.

Interesting.

Dr. Laila Porter.

Nineteen years old.

A foster nobody and yet our top candidate.

Sir, Dr. Porter is here, Ellana reported, her voice a soft whisper through my head.

Send her in, I thought, letting my secretary read my mind.

Ellana was a good secretary, older, proper, and knew how to get what I needed done. I overpaid her just to keep her with me. Her telepathy was a good bonus too. She was better than some of the other options. I had to be careful with who I hired as my secretary. Once, I hired a female who decided to act like she was the boss. Rhett was more than happy to escort her out of the building when we found out she used her position to push people around.

I nodded at Rhett to let him know she was on her way in. Rhett stepped to the corner of the room, the shadows stretching around him, masking him so he could watch the interview.

Interviewees never noticed him. The tell tale feel of his energy wrapped around him, hiding his presence. Even his energy signature disappeared soon after. The door clicked open just as he disappeared from sight and in walked the young woman in my files.

When the doctor strolled in, she automatically demanded attention, and she wasn’t even trying. She went to her seat and sat down, absolutely calm, no nerves to be seen. My other self perked up. She had our complete attention without saying a single word and she knew it too.

Cocky.

She settled into the chair, crossed her long legs, and smiled at me.

“Nice to meet you, Mr. Lombardi.”

I held back a shiver as her low mellow voice filled the space.

Instead, I relaxed and examined her. I had some sensitivity to magic, and I could sense it from her now, just under the surface of her skin. Strong. I’d met a few Level A1 users. She felt stronger and yet A1 was the highest ranking.

“A pleasure,” I responded and continued to stare at her, letting the silence stretch out between us. A lot was said about a person depending on how they reacted to silence. While letting it stretch out, I scanned her.

She wore black slacks with a pale purple button up shirt. Her sleeves were rolled up, nothing inappropriate. Even all her buttons were done up. Her brown hair was down, falling over her shoulders. No piercings, no noticeable tattoos, not that I was against those. Plenty of my employees had them. I would probably have a tattoo if there was a way for it to stay. The moment I changed into my other self, it disappeared.

What I thought was interesting was that she didn’t wear any jewelry. Magic-users were usually covered in rings, bracelets, necklaces, even pins. The stones in the jewelry had different purposes. They could be used to store magic, spells, curses. They were protection charms or helped the user focus, stay calm. It could boost their own magic, or even suppress it.

Dr. Porter dressed plainly, but nothing about her was plain. There was a soft shine to her hair, a roundness of youth in her face, and she held herself with the confidence of someone who was used to being successful. I’d pegged her correctly when she’d walked in. She was cocky. She didn’t fidget; she didn’t show any signs of nerves. She dared to meet my eyes when she spoke. In fact, she was returning the scrutiny, looking me over just as carefully as I did her. And she still had the same look in her eyes like she did in the photo: challenging. In her mind, it was her against the world.


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