In Home to Hawk Ridge, I had fun with a little trip into paranormal. There are no wolfies or vampires in this story, but instead I used magic and mind games. I researched the work of Franz Anton Mesmer.
Wow what a trip! An interesting history indeed.
I boiled down some of his complex theories for my story, and blended a bit of herbal magic to create a process of ROMANTIC FASCINATION. With enchanted oils, the power of the moon, and a strong mesmerizing stare, my characters mess with people's heads.
Some believe all animals have magnetic threads running throughout their bodies. Ever heard the term animal magnetism? Same thing. Some people have the ability -- so they claim -- to capture a bit of thread and thereby control others. The eyes are the best access point for this thread. Cool...
Mesmer was discredited of course. But still...some people still beleive...
Here is a little blurb. Layla is a fascination master.
Steve pulled up to the pub and recognized some of the other vehicles. This was good. He’d surely win a few bucks to buy a burger and fries. He walked in to greetings and happy faces. His sour mood brightened. Maybe Kat had a good ex-planation. It was a pretty loose plan they’d made. It’s not like they were dating or anything. Right?
A table of men invited him to sit and Steve gladly ac-cepted. He watched them wrap up their current hand and an-teed in on the next. His dad taught him to play poker and for better or worse, those lessons Steve paid attention to. Within a few hands, his winnings pile had more paper than silver and he was getting ready to slide back and ask for a menu from the bar. Then he saw her.
A dark haired beauty atomized from a sultry mist and Steve lost track of where he was in his deal. “Pay attention, Rider. You skipped Harvey here.”
“Sorry.” Steve quickly made reparations to the deal, and with an unusual requirement of concentration, finished the ta-ble. The woman drifted like a dark cloud to the bar while Steve slid his cards into a tight fan. He squeezed his grip on the cards for no good reason as he watched her slide onto a stool and cross her legs. Dark stockings stretched to their limit and a black garter peeked out of a tight skirt. He looked back to the table with a lazy blink. Some of the younger guys at the table made hubba-hubba faces and the older ones just shook their heads.
Steve played his hand and won another few bucks. “I’m pulling out guys. I need some supper.” Steve screeched his chair away from the table and turned to the bar. The men at the table protested and teased him. He barely heard them. The dark haired woman drew him to the stool next to hers.
“I wondered if I’d have any luck drawing a winner like you away from the cards.”
“I’m hungry. I haven’t eaten all day.” Steve waved a hand to get the bartender’s attention.
“Me neither.” Her thigh touched his. A simple act. Inno-cent enough. Why was his heart thundering?
“Join me for a burger?”
“That sounds lovely.”
Steve ordered two baskets and two beers. He extended his hand and noticed it trembling. “I’m Steve.”
“I’m Layla.” She slipped her hand into his and the earth shook. Or maybe it was his wobbly bar stool, but he felt jolted. She kept her hand in his and Steve looked down, rub-bing his thumb over her soft skin. He drew his gaze upward. Screaming crimson flames adorned the sleeves of her sheer black blouse. He managed a weak smile. They seemed most appropriate.
They exchanged a thousand suggestive glances over greasy burgers and Steve wiped his chin far more than he usu-ally would. He wanted to touch her. It wasn’t a well-formed desire, born of any real awareness or intellect. His hands tin-gled and he couldn’t take his eyes away from the creamy darkness of her skin. He pushed his plate away, leaving a salty pile of fries untested. This wanton wastefulness was com-pletely out of character for him and he almost pulled them back. Before he had more than a few seconds to reconsider, the bartender swept them away.
“You have a light appetite for such a virile man.” Her voice somehow sucked the oxygen from the room. In her eyes he saw pools of darkness, mysterious and forbidden. They promised him the world and never blinked.
“Suddenly I’m not that hungry.”
“Suddenly I’m starving.” Layla’s hand reached in and played a devilish game on the inside of his thigh. “Do you live near here?”
Her eyes blazed into his and Steve had great trouble gath-ering his fragmented thoughts and finding his voice. “I do. I have a roommate—”
“Maybe I’ll do him too. Let’s go.” She grabbed Steve’s hand. He managed to fling a fist full of poker winnings on the bar before she led him out the door.
They stood for a moment in the brisk October night. Slowly she touched his cheek and turned his face to hers. “Do you want to play with me tonight?”
“Yes. God, yes. I do.”
“Will you be my toy?”