Seduction's Kiss (The Allure Chronicles)(10)

By: Alyssa Rose Ivy



“I’m not jealous.” I crossed my arms over my chest.

“No? You don’t yearn to be desired, wanted?”

Of course I did, who didn’t? “Sure, but I’m not jealous of her.”

“Fair enough, but you want a man. I can tell.”

“Sure, who doesn’t?” I shrugged. The conversation was turning awkward. I needed to find something to buy so I could make a polite exit.

“I have the perfect thing for you.” She turned and started rifling through a number of little vials. “Yes, this should do the trick.”

“What?”

“Come on back with me.”

“Now?” I asked nervously. Wasn’t this a voodoo shop? What were the vials for? I didn’t know voodoo involved potions. I decided to voice my concern. “I didn’t know voodoo involved this stuff.” I gestured to the vials and bottles.

“I practice many different types of magic.” She moved around to my side of the counter before walking over to the door to turn around the open sign to closed. She locked the door. I assumed that was all part of trying to create an authentic experience. Kalisa took things seriously for the owner of a tourist trap.

What had I gotten myself into? “You know, I really think I’m fine.”

“No honey, you are not fine.” She took my arm and led me back around the counter. Every part of me screamed to run, but one small part begged me to stay and see what she had in mind. How many chances like this would I have? Besides, I was in New Orleans. I might as well experience all it had to offer. When in Rome, do what the Romans do, right? I smiled to myself thinking about what Reyna would think of what I was doing. She hadn’t called which meant she was still sleeping—it must have been some night.

She gathered a bunch of bottles and herbs and stuff as we walked into the back room. The worn floor boards beneath us creaked as we ducked under the sloping ceilings.

She started putting a few vials into a pot cooking on an old stove. I watched curiously until a large flash of fire had me stepping away. You couldn’t deny that Kalisa had the theatrics down.

A strong breeze blew out a few of the candles Kalisa had set up. I shivered. I glanced around. There were no windows. Strange.

“Do you want to drink this or use it as a paste?”

“Uh, the paste.” The atmosphere was great and all, but I wasn’t drinking anything.

She laughed. “I was only kidding. I’d get shut down if I gave you anything you actually drank. Regulations and all.”

I laughed uneasily. “I bet.”

Without warning she pressed her thumb across my forehead. “I call this Seduction’s Kiss.” She ran her finger back and forth over my skin. The mixture was warm—nearly hot.

“Be very careful, child. Seduction’s Kiss can be extremely dangerous.”

And she was telling me this after putting it on my skin? If I’d actually believed anything she was doing was real I’d have run the other way. This was just a silly ‘rip off the desperate tourist’ routine I was positive I’d pay an arm and a leg for.

I rested a hand on my forehead as I ducked to leave the back area. I could feel the beginnings of a headache. “What do I owe you?”

“Nothing, child. It’s on me.”

“Are you sure?” I glanced around the shop again settling on a rabbit foot. I could use the good luck. She let me pay for that.

“Thanks, that was interesting.”

She used a moist cloth to wipe of the remainder of the paste. “Remember what I said about Seduction’s Kiss being strong. Beware of the night.”

“Okay…” I stumbled out of the store with a full on headache, but I knew it was probably from the incense. I knew whatever she’d performed wasn’t real, but she sure put on a convincing show. I’d have to recommend this store to people looking for an authentic experience. I’d add in my anecdote to the app when I got on Wifi again.

I checked my phone on my way to the streetcar. Two calls from Reyna. At least she was finally awake.

I called her back, and she answered on the first ring. “Where are you?”

“I needed to get out of there.”

“What happened? Shaun said you were all weird today.”

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