Stacey and her four hot male friends are home in Los Angeles on leave from the military. Being off duty doesn't mean they can ignore a case of missing civilians and divers that takes a mystical bent. From curses to sea monsters, it's a mission that takes very special skills. Working with a secret unit of the military, they write their own standard operating procedure for this investigation. With a little help and a lot of nerve, they find group love and make the California beaches once again safe for everyone.
ExcerptFour GI's & A Witch
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Copyright ©2012 Cheryl Dragon
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Home from her second tour overseas, Lt. Stacey Andrews had enjoyed her leave so far. Hanging out with her family in Los Angeles made it seem real. No more patrols or looking over her shoulder, unless she went into the wrong neighborhood, of course. Home felt safe, but she was still a small single woman a lot of men underestimated.
She parked her SUV and headed for her aunt's spirit shop. She needed to reconnect with her coven. Being both a soldier and Wiccan might sound like an odd combination, but to Stacey, it was all about working for the greater good. Evil had to be contained in whatever way possible.
Chimes jingled overhead as she entered. Lavender incense greeted her, along with the warm colors of autumn filling the small front shop. Crystals, jewelry, candles, and such were sold there to pay the rent. The real magic happened in the back rooms. Wicca training, various lessons, and coven meetings brought people together here. Empowering women in the rough city was Aunt Bitsey's mission.
"Miss me?" Stacey asked.
Bitsey looked up from her display of fairy necklaces. "Blessed be. Don't you move!"
Stacey froze and waited for the inevitable. Burning sage wafted around her as her aunt, clad in a gauzy green dress, muttered cleansing words to release the violence and keep evil away. Finally her aunt set the items aside and hugged Stacey hard.
"I'm fine." Stacey hugged her back. "How's everything here?"
"Oh, you know, always some trouble going on in a big city. Sandra had a vision of you." Bitsey headed to the back room and nodded at a young woman to go watch the front.
"A vision with me involved?" Stacey took a seat in the small room where some of the psychics did readings. Her aunt closed the door so they wouldn't be disturbed.
"Yes. Not about what you were doing while away, but something you needed to know when you came back. This is about your future." Bitsey sat stiffly.
"My love life? I could use one." Stacey grinned. There were men she was interested in, but none of them had made a move. All the men were soldiers who worked together, so things could get complicated if she tried to start something. Not to mention, how could she pick among four great guys?
"Sort of your love life, but it's bigger than that. She sees you surrounded by four men, all attractive and all fighters. The five of you are joined by love and a purpose. She sees you on a mission for us." Bitsey tapped on her tablet and handed it to Stacey.
The news articles were about missing women from the beach. Midnight swims, early morning training for triathlons, and even members of a high school girls' swim team had disappeared. No trace of bodies, the women -- nothing. People searched frantically and rewards had been offered.
"What happened?" Stacey asked.
"The police and Coast Guard investigated. I've seen other military types out there too." Bitsey shook her head. "Something is very wrong, and it's beyond what they can handle."
"You mean it's mystical?" Stacey asked.
"I believe so. We've tried to investigate, but they block our access. You and your friends might be able to help out."
"Do you have any idea what is causing the disappearances? A spell? A curse? Is it a person attacking them?" Stacey had never wanted to mix her military life and her Wiccan one, but people were missing. This time there didn't seem to be a choice in the matter.
"It's an object that triggered it. Something was unearthed that turned some people wrong somehow. We can't get specifics without getting closer, but the missing people are dead. Their energy has been consumed. You must be very careful." Bitsey put her hand on Stacey's.
"I won't be alone. This is an odd thing for the military to handle, though." Stacey knew she'd never approach it alone.
"That's why it needs your touch. Do you know the four men Sandra saw in her vision? She seemed very certain they belonged with you long-term." Bitsey smiled suggestively.
Stacey felt her cheeks grow hot. "I think I know. They're all attractive and good men. They'll want to help with this problem. Maybe we are all supposed to work together long-term?"
"Sandra made it sound very personal. Intimate." Bitsey shrugged. "I don't mind alternative lifestyles, you know that. However, the men seemed to be involved together as well. Sandra was confused, but she trusts the information she gets."
Stacey smiled. Sandra was Bitsey's lover and best friend, another aunt in Stacey's mind. "Sandra is never wrong, is she? I'll go round up the guys and we'll check it out. I'm not sure how far we'll get but we can try."
"Try hard. Be careful. Whatever was unearthed is strong and mystical. It has no say in what it's doing. Make sure to protect yourself and your men as much as possible. Use every bit of energy you have for protection spells before you go near that beach." Bitsey's face went very stern.
"It's okay. We'll handle it. Don't let it make you negative now. We might need your help later. If you find anything that'll help, let me know." Stacey kissed her aunt on the cheek.
Bitsey nodded. "I need that sage and some meditation."
"I'll stay in touch. If I get a picture of what it is, I'll send it to you. Maybe the coven can help with research and ways to fight it? You'll be a lot more on top of mystical things than a group of soldiers." Stacey headed out and sat in her car for a few minutes.
Four men. She knew exactly who they were. Their sexual energies were often directed at her. She felt them at night, dreaming about her as she dreamt of them. Stacey's gifts were connected to energy and sensing it was second nature. It'd saved her life and others overseas. Now the beaches of her hometown needed protection.
It all fit with Sandra's vision. The men were connected as well. She also felt their sexual energy charged in other directions. Moe Finnegan and Tommy Cassidy were the two obvious ones. The two hunks were friends with benefits... especially off duty. Both insisted it wasn't romantic, but until Don't Ask Don't Tell was reversed, they had never admitted doing anything at all.
Stacey knew better. They both wanted women and each other. Neither knew how to talk about their bisexuality or feelings. They were men, after all. Still, they'd be the easy ones to lure into helping her and something more personal. She loved them both, but if they couldn't figure out a way to have a healthy relationship, she wondered if they'd be screwing around in the old soldiers' home and insisting they were just friends. It was up to her to nudge them out of their rut.
Eddie and Will would be much harder to manage. As she drove through the familiar streets of L.A., she was grateful they all lived so close. It would make meetings and conversations easier. Will first. Eddie would shut down if she brought up a subject he didn't want to deal with. That man was all action, strong and silent. The women flocked to him, so if he'd ever been with a man, it was on the way down low. Will was the most sensitive man of the four. Stacey needed an ally to help her convince and seduce the others.
Shaking off the sexual desire, she knew it'd happen. Aunt Sandra was never wrong. If she doubted her vision at all, Sandra kept it to herself and went deeper into her meditations for clarification. If she spoke of it, Sandra was sure. Even if it wasn't logical or obvious, Sandra felt it was right deep in her soul. Stacey wouldn't mind loving that many men, but it wasn't exactly normal -- even in L.A.!