top of page
Wicked Warlock (Cursed Coven)
Chapter 1

Copyright @ Marina Simcoe

It was not my fault.

There was no Do Not Disturbsign on the handle. I had knocked, twice, and yelled, “Housekeeping! I brought your towels,” with no answer. However, when I used my key to open the door to the top-floor suite, a tall, tanned, athletic man walked out of the bathroom—dripping wet and butt-naked. It was a nice butt, too—tight and round, and all kinds of gorgeous. I only caught a side-view before he turned to face me and I promptly forced my gaze up.

“Good morning.” He gave me a lopsided grin, raising one jet-black eyebrow in an elegant arch. Hands on his hips, he didn’t seem embarrassed by his nudity one bit.

With a body like his, I probably wouldn’t be either.

“Towels . . .” I croaked, tearing my stare away from him, but uncertain where to look. “You called down for them.”

“Yes, I did.” He stepped closer. His gaze traveled idly down my body, somewhat distractedly.

My uniform suddenly felt too tight, and not in a sexy way.

‘Keep your distance from the guests—especially the ones on the top-floor,’Mimi had told me many times. ‘They often see us as the extension of services offered by the hotel. Rich, entitled assholes,’ she would often add under her breath.

Not that I needed her repeated warnings. Over the years working here, I had seen many people staying in the top-floor suite. All of them were rich. Most acted entitled. And some were indeed assholes, whose interest I would prefer not to attract in any way.

Not that the wet Adonis in front of me seemed particularly interested in any extendedservices on my part. The mere presence of his perfect body this close, though, made it harder to breathe, and I took a step back.

“There was no sign . . .” I mumbled the excuse, only God knew why—the man hadn’t demanded an explanation of my invading his privacy.

Suddenly, he prowled my way, prompting me to press my back into the entrance door behind me, then reached out with his right hand. A bright flash of light reflected off the huge purple stone set into the ring he wore. My heart raced when it seemed as if he were about to touch me. A spark of amusement in his eyes, dark as moonless midnight, only increased the feeling—exciting and uncomfortable at the same time.

I dropped my gaze and immediately regretted it—apparently, his ring was not the only thing that was huge.

My face felt hot, as if it had caught on fire.

“Towels.” I thrust them at him, desperate to put an end to this.

“Thank you.” He took the top one, leaving me standing there with the rest trapped by his wet, naked body, which was between me and the bathroom where I could put them down and flee.

Taking a step back, he unfurled the towel and unhurriedly wrapped it around his trim hips. My attention went to the large, intricate tattoo on his side—black, green, and purple, it ran from his hip all the way up to his right shoulder.

With my gaze, I traced the colorful lines, following the sharp ridges of his toned muscles under his skin. My stare crossed his, and I realized he had been watching me from under the dripping-wet strands of hair, a wicked grin playing on his lips.

The amusement in his expression appeared to border on mockery to me.

Another ‘rich, entitled asshole’ toying with the hotel maid?

Mortification and the burning desire to get out of there overtook me.

“Well, um . . . enjoy your stay,” I blurted out.

Giving up on my plan to make it to the bathroom after all, I pressed the remaining three towels to his bare chest, leaving him no choice but to take them, then yanked the door handle, escaping into the posh foyer.

Instead of waiting for the elevator, I dashed for the stairwell and ran all the way down the stairs, desperate to get away from the wicked grin of the hot, tattooed, top-floor guest, and the teasing glimmer of his black-as-night eyes.

* * *

“Housekeeping!” I knocked on the very same door again, two days later.

The unpleasant tightness in my chest grew as I lingered in the hallway, reluctant to use my key to enter the suite.

The weekend was over. I tried to convince myself that chances were the hot guy with the wicked grin had moved out.

In any case, whoever was occupying the suite must be out, since no one answered after I had knocked for the third time. One hand on the handle of my cleaning cart, I leaned over to use my key on a lanyard around my neck.

A sudden loud noise from inside the suite made me shrink back. The floor under my feet seemed to lurch up before all went quiet again.

Unsure what to do next, I went to lean my ear against the door, only to jump back again—the surface proved to be too hot to touch.


Alarm shot through my brain, and I yanked my walkie-talkie from on top of the stack of clean towels then tossed it back on the cart when nothing but static came out of the device. My cell phone was downstairs in my locker, along with the rest of my stuff.

It wouldn’t take long for this old building to go up in flames. The best idea was to get out as soon as possible. I turned toward the stairs with the intention of pulling the fire alarm on my way down.

A deep groan reached me through the door of the suite. The sound was followed by more noise and cursing. Someone was definitely inside that room . . .

“You need to get out!” I hammered on the door with the toe of my shoe, not willing to risk burning my knuckles.

My worry spiked, as no one replied and nobody exited the room. What if they were trapped? Or hurt, unable to move?

Quickly sliding my key through the slot, I wrapped my apron around my hand before pressing the handle down then opened the door while hiding behind it.

No fire burst out, though. There was no smell of smoke in the air. I carefully peeked around the door.

Semi-darkness greeted me. All the lights were off, and the curtains had been drawn closed on the large bay window. The interior of the spacious living room was illuminated by whatever daylight came through a perfectly round hole that seemed to have been cut out through the glass and the curtains on the window. Green-and-yellow lights curled and sparkled along the edge of the cut-out.

“What is that?” I mumbled, stepping into the suite.

There was no sight of fire or smell of smoke inside, either.

“Fuck me!” A deep voice sounded right behind me, making me jump. “Who the hell are you?”

“April,” I mumbled, cautiously watching a dark, menacing figure by the wall rise to his feet. “I thought there was a fire . . .”

Dressed in a thin, black coat that reached his knees, he drew the hood low over his face, then yanked the silk scarf up over his mouth and nose before I had a chance to see his face.

“No fire. And why April?” The silk scarf now muffled his deep, rumbly voice.

“I’m April,” I clarified. “It’s my name. I work here.”

bottom of page