As You Wish
- 38.7K words
A race against time to save a loved one from supernatural forces leaves Karis, a novice clairvoyant, no choice but to trust a very sexy genie granting three wishes and an offer to help her tap into her psychic abilities...if she'll come willingly to his bed. Karis has always turned her back on the supernatural world. When her estranged, self-proclaimed physic mother mysteriously disappears she puts her life on hold to find her. When she discovers and touches a beautiful bottle in her mother's belongings, she comes face to face with Vander, a very sexy telepathic genie who offers her three wishes. The only way Karis can help her mother is by trusting Vander and her own tamped down physic abilities. She will have to face her own fears and listen to her heart to fulfil her wish for happiness.
She was running. Her bare feet crushed the dry, cracked earth. A branch scratched her face and knocked her off balance. She pushed her body to move faster. The unforgiving terrain tore at the soles of her feet. Blood seeped from the dozen of cuts caused by tiny sharp rocks.
He…or it was gaining on her. The gruesome, guttural panting of the creature boomed in her ears. The animal was only a few paces behind her. A taunting laugh filled the night air.
She stifled a desperate scream. Escape. She had to escape, but it was nearly impossible to see anything in the pitch-black nightscape.
Up ahead, her mother’s voice guided her towards safety.
Another hideous howl pierced the eerie silence.
She was so close. Just a few more feet…
Karis was jarred awake by her own desperate screams. She sat up, sweaty and shaking. Her heart pounded furiously in her chest. Goose bumps swept over every inch of her skin. Still shuddering, she scanned the room. She was alone, safe at home in her own bed. She glanced at her small alarm clock, dismayed to see it was two-thirty in the morning. She had only slept for a few hours.
She took several deep breaths and lifted her hand to her face. The skin still throbbed where the branch scratched her.
“It was just another nightmare,” she whispered.
With the agitated rhythm of her heartbeat still thudding in her ears, she flipped the switch of her lamp on her nightstand. Nothing was out of place. No one was hiding in the dimly lit corners of her room.
“You’re losing it, Karis,” she said, hating the quiet serenity of her bedroom. It mocked the icy cold dread wrapping around her.
Her hands trembled as she reached for a pill and her water bottle. She swallowed down a Xanax and sighed. She hated her weakness, the fear seizing her even now when she knew she was safe.
Karis swung her legs out of bed and pulled on a silk robe. She shivered as her bare feet touched the cool wood floors. She padded into the bathroom and flipped on the light. Her eyes drifted to her reflection in the mirror and she gasped.
There was a thin line of blood on her cheek! She reached for a tissue and wiped at the red streak. There was no blood on the tissue and no sign of injury on her face when she looked back in the mirror.
What the hell was going on?
She turned on the faucet and splashed water on her cheeks. With a frustrated curse, she shut the water off and roughly patted her face dry. Tears threatened to fall, but she swallowed them down. Her mother was alive somewhere. She had to be.
Her doctor was convinced the nightmares were caused by the stress of her mother’s disappearance and Karis wanted to believe in the diagnosis, but she sensed the dark dreams were something more. The nightmares were always the same, but now they were increasing in frequency and becoming more vivid. Bedtime had become a battleground. Five months of interrupted sleep and worry was beginning to take a toll on her mentally and physically.
Her mother’s old cuckoo clock chimed downstairs, reminding her of all the boxes she had in her living room since her mom’s house had foreclosed. Restless and unwilling to climb back into bed, she walked out of the bedroom and headed for the stairs leading to her living room.
She switched on the light, struggling not to succumb to the tears still filling her eyes. Everything her mom had ever cared about was now in storage or stacked on her living room floor.
One box marked Rare Finds & Books caught her eye on the coffee table. She walked across the carpet to the box, thinking about her mother who loved travelling the globe to meet other gifted people. She had acquired trinkets and artefacts she believed held some kind of magical powers along with loads of literature about magical realms and physic phenomena from all over the world.
With the box in her hands, she moved to the couch. She lifted the cardboard flaps and casually shifted through books apparently from Egypt—the last place her mother had visited before disappearing. Her fingers touched something hard and cool and she wrapped her hand around the slender neck of the object. She pulled up, surprised by the weight of the intricately painted, cylindrical-looking bottle.
She held the piece up in the light, admiring the delicate, hand-painted arching designs of turquoise and maroon swirling around the outside of the smoky black glass. Real gold appeared to be etched around the base and top of the bottle where the lid twisted in an ornate loop that sparkled in the dim lamplight flooding the room.
Drawn to the uniqueness of the piece, Karis wrapped her hand around the lid and lifted. She yelped and pulled her hand away from the glass as an electric shock coursed through her fingers. Her hand trembled as she smoothed her palm against her bare leg.
Since when did an electric shock feel pleasurable?
What the hell was this thing?
Rubbing her fingertip along the shaft of the cool glass, she gasped as another shock rippled through her, tightening her nipples while a pulse of desire simultaneously zipped down to her core. Bringing her finger to her mouth, she turned the piece carefully in her hands. She studied the details of the artwork and noticed something glittering on the bottom of the bottle.
She turned the blown glass piece over and leaned in to get a closer look at the markings written in red. Using her other hand, she touched the embossed markings with her index finger. With a shocked curse, she snatched her finger away from the painted surface and brought her hand up for inspection. A crimson rivulet of blood ran down her finger.
“Just great,” she muttered, getting up to go in the kitchen. After cleansing the wound, she wrapped it in a paper towel and returned to the strange artefact. Taking care not to touch the paint on the bottom, she studied the markings again. “Arabic?”
Her mother was fluent in over ten different languages and would have instantly recognised the foreign markings. Karis stared at the inscription and appreciated the painstaking handiwork and the skill required to work on such a small area. She touched the arcing designs and yelped when the whimsical colours appeared to move.
Quick as lightening, she sat the vessel down on her coffee table and shook her head. Her medication had to be the reason she was seeing things that weren’t there.
She leant back on the couch and closed her eyes. The tick-tock of the cuckoo clock seemed to echo in her head as another pleasurable zing coursed through her fingers.
Something was wrong.
She sat up straight and gasped in shock as she stared at the bottle.
Medicated or not, the paint on the smoky glass was swirling around.