Authors: Deniece Greene
This book is dedicated to my daughter Rebekah. You have been the
light of my life for the past 23 years. I am proud of the young woman
you have become. You are smart, beautiful and talented; with a heart
too big for your own good. Follow your dreams! You are capable of
Thank you to Lily, Megan, and Natalie for the inspiration you provided.
I’m so thankful for my girls. I love you all and am proud of each and
every one of you. I am blessed by your love, creative personalities,
and energetic enjoyment of life.
I would also like to thank my husband (my very own Prince Charming),
who washed and dried countless loads of laundry, supplied dinner (you
notice I didn’t say cooked), and generally took care of
… while I
typed, and typed, and typed. I Love you!
To my parents…your love and support have been the catalyst behind us
. Thank you for continuing to love and guide us through the many
twists and turns of our lives. Thank you for being the best parents in the
Mrs. Linda Welch - teacher, mentor, editor, friend. If all English
teachers could be like you, the World would have more authors in it
today. You always expected the best from your students and patiently
worked with us until we succeeded. Thank you from the bottom of my
heart for wielding that red pen twenty-some odd years ago… (OK,
maybe closer to thirty)… and for removing a million commas from this
Katherine Land-- Cover Artist Queen! Thank you for taking a beautiful
photo and making it so much more. Your intuitiveness, talent, and
artistic abilities are amazing. Great job Kate!
The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Names, characters,
places, events, and incidents are the product of the author's imagination
or are used fictitiously.
- Recently relocated to South Carolina, she is currently
working as a waitress in a local Pub. Becki has a big heart and sees the
good in everyone. Unfortunately, she is about to be entangled in a battle
between good and evil.
The crate Becki discovers while scuba diving
may contain her heart’s desire, but will she live through it?
Royce St. John
- Special Ops Team Leader. Royce is locked in a crate
and then dumped in the Ocean by Witches shortly after locating and
retrieving the coin initially. Royce is now two years behind schedule and
has no idea what happened to the coin after the Witches zapped him.
He must focus on finding the coin again and returning it to the Secret
Council before things go from bad to worse.
He must focus on
completing this mission with the same single-minded intensity that
helped him to survive losing the woman he loved.
- Becki’s step-sister is vacationing in South Carolina
with her boyfriend, Jonah Trevine. Natie’s life will be forever changed
by a chance meeting.
-Special Ops Team Techno Expert. Sean is a technological
wizard. His latest inventions include; V-Scan, which breaks down blood
in a Vampire’s system giving data on origin and temperature at time of
consumption; and TRAP, The
Techno Residual Aura
- Becki’s uncle, ex-military special ops, single father of
His military background is more than it appears to be on the
Aaron St. John
- Father of Royce St. John, highly decorated former
ART Leader (retired). Aaron is married to Tammy and trying his best to
enjoy retirement…if his children can only stay out of trouble.
Tammy St. John
- Wife of Aaron St. John, mother of Joanna St. John.
Tammy is a former Secret Council member (retired) and she can be a real
- Charismatic playboy, daredevil, oh… and Warlock.
Trevor met Becki at the Pub after he was sent to Charleston to find and
retrieve the coin.
Their friendship was immediate and runs deep.
Unfortunately, Trev’s co-workers are blood-suckers who will kill anyone
who gets in their way.
The Secret Council of Elders
- A council comprised of both mortal
and immortal leaders, who do whatever is needed to make sure the
Witches, Warlocks, Vampires, Werewolves, and other
immortal beings remains secret. They govern all immortal beings and
enforce the rules of conduct.
- Artifact Recovery Team - A Special Ops team created by The
Secret Council centuries ago.
The team is comprised of both mortals
and immortals working together to maintain balance in the civilian
What is that god-awful noise? Royce thought as he struggled to open his
eyes through the sledge hammer pounding on his skull. It seemed to be
keeping time to the beat of music blaring from extremely large speakers
in very close proximity.
“Oh my God, Jonah, you are giving me a headache,” Natie said
rubbing her temples. “I want to relax and work on my tan, not listen to
you pound on that stupid crate. I don’t know why Becki had to bring
that thing on board anyway. It’s probably full of junk no-one else
wanted, a stupid time-capsule or something.”
“Well we won’t know if we don’t get it open, will we?” Jonah asked
snidely, as he continued to pound and pry using the limited resources he
had available on the boat.
“Seriously, leave the stupid thing alone, Jonah! Uncle Kurt has the
tools to open it at his house and you
giving me a headache! Give it a
gives you a headache,” Jonah complained, as he threw
the hammer and screw driver he had been using into a small tool box.
concentrating instead on rinsing the saltwater from her mask and
She would take the equipment home and dump it in the
Saltwater deposits could build up and destroy scuba gear if it wasn’t
properly cared for.
Becki had hoped to find a few sharks’ teeth while she and Jonah were
diving, but they had not had any luck today.
She had found a crate
though, the one Natie and Jonah were arguing over; of course, they had
been arguing over one thing or another for the last four years, so why
should today be any different?
Becki shook her head and continued to clean her equipment as Natie
continued to argue with Jonah.
Meanwhile Royce struggled to piece
together the events of the past few days.
Where the hell was he?
shifting into a more comfortable position, but seemed to be tightly
wedged into an awfully small space.
Royce St. John led a Special Operations Force, for the Secret
Council of Elders. “The Council” consisted of both mortal and
immortal members, and Chief Elder Arimus ruled with a strong hand.
Their primary function; to make sure humans continued to believe
Vampires, Werewolves, Witches, and other mythical beings were just
that, a myth.
Royce’s team had been activated to locate and return a set of coins
that had been stolen centuries ago.
The coins were quite special and
If this particular set of coins ended up in the
wrong hands, the consequences could be devastating to the entire
As his brain struggled to analyze exactly where he might be, he heard
something that made his blood run cold.
“Jonah, don’t worry about the crate right now. I’ll get Uncle Kurt to
work on it,” Becki offered, hoping to avoid the inevitable shouting
match between Natie and Jonah.
“Fine,” Jonah agreed. “I’ll just shove it off to the side, and you can
deal with it later. Hand me a beer, would you?”
Suddenly, Royce felt himself moving.
What the hell?
“Shit, Becki,” Jonah complained as he shoved the crate out of the
center of the walkway, “this crate seems heavier than it did when we
pulled it out of water. Kurt may have to come and pick the bitch up.”
Royce began to feel ill.
This could not be right!
His brain could not be
functioning properly; there was no way hell he could be…trapped in a crate?
“Jonah, do you have to cuss all the time? You know I don’t like to
hear it. You could say the same thing without using those words,” Natie
said. Since her eyes never left the article she was currently reading, she
didn’t see Jonah flip her off.
“I don’t like to hear you complaining all the time, but that doesn’t
stop you,” Jonah responded.
Becki groaned inwardly.
The constant bickering between Natie and
Jonah were about to get on her very last nerve.
If she had to watch
him flirt with one more waitress, counter worker, or tourist, things
were going to get ugly.
He was definitely not the kind of person she
would have picked for Natie, but Becki would tolerate him because she
loved her sister.
Natie’s dad had married Becki’s mother when the girls were five years
old. From that day to this, the Stephens Girls were a sight to behold and
double-trouble when they needed to be. Becki wasn’t sure how much
more of Jonah’s obnoxious behavior she could tolerate before he got an
up-close introduction to TROUBLE…in
Royce was a person of process. He needed to think things through
from the beginning and then figure out how to get out of this mess. He
couldn’t just burst out of the crate like a bimbo popping out of a lifesized birthday cake at some old geezer’s ninetieth birthday party.
Royce tuned out the bickering still going on between the two lovebirds and got down to business.
The Secret Council of Elders had contacted Royce and his Special
Ops Team to recover a set of missing coins. Arimus, the Chief Elder,
had explained that the coins were originally Merlin’s, who had “spelled”
each of them centuries ago. Unfortunately, the coins had been stolen by
Pierce Regan, a rogue warlock, who had then disappeared. Pierce had
eventually double-crossed the wrong immortal and met a gruesome end.
At some point, the coins had been separated and fallen into circulation
among the general population.
The coins should have been easy to locate and recover.
fearing they might someday fall into the wrong hands, had built in a
failsafe. He had hidden a unique frequency in each coin as he created
The hidden frequency should have functioned similarly to a
modern day “homing beacon”. However, because Pierce had been a
trusted friend to Merlin he knew what measures to take in order to avoid
discovery. After stealing the coins, Pierce had “cloaked” them all by
wrapping each coin separately in a spell crafted specifically to suppress
the unique frequency Merlin had so carefully woven into each one.
Witches, working for the Council, had been trying to lift the “magic
cloak” for hundreds of years. Unfortunately, the task had turned out to
be very difficult, almost impossible. Recently, however, they had been
receiving intermittent signals from the coins. The Council had decided it
was time to turn the reins over to their Special Ops Team. That was
where the story ended, according to Arimus, the Council leader.
However, it was beginning to appear that a few pertinent details
might have been omitted during the briefing. It seems that someone or
else had also taken an interest in coin collecting. Royce would
be clearing up that situation with Arimus… just as soon as he got out of
the damn box.
ART, otherwise known as the “Artifact Recovery Team” was Royce’s
They had successfully tracked one of the coins from Italy, to
Savanna, and finally to Charleston, South Carolina.
Royce had then
simply walked into an antique shop and casually purchased the priceless
coin for a bargain price of two-hundred dollars.
The owner of the
antique shop had discovered the “rare coin” while cleaning out her
brother’s apartment shortly after his death.
“The circumstances surrounding my brother’s death were a little
sketchy,” she had confided to Royce. Evidently his body had been
found in an alley, riddled with puncture wounds and deep gashes. The
authorities suspected his injuries were sustained as a result of an “animal
attack”, but Royce had other ideas as to what might have caused Allen
Royce had expressed his sympathy at her loss, purchased the coin,
and then asked the shopkeeper to wrap it in one of her small velvet
pouches “to prevent it from being scratched”. He was somewhat
amazed at how easily this coin had been recovered.
Pocketing the coin, he mentally drew a hash-mark; one down, five to
go. Royce remembered holding the door open for an older gentleman as
he was exiting the shop; the gentleman had tipped his hat, smiled, and
wished Royce a
Something about that little man had seemed peculiar. Royce couldn’t
shake the feeling, so he had contacted Sean with instructions to pull
surveillance video of the area to review.
“No can do boss,” Sean had immediately responded. “The
surveillance cameras are down.”
“Shit,” Royce did not like to be told
. “When will they be back on-line?”
“Not sure, it shouldn’t be too long. I’ll see if I can get him when he
leaves the shop,” Sean had promised.
Still, one coin had been easily secured and in the spirit of celebration,
Royce had decided to treat himself to a detour through White Point
Gardens. He had planned to enjoy the majestic Oaks and Spanish-moss
one last time before leaving the city. And
is where it all went to
in a hand basket
“Son of a bitch,” Royce muttered.
“Jonah! I thought I asked you to stop with the language,” Natie
Royce almost laughed aloud, but that would not be a good
idea… so he settled for a silent chuckle.
“What? I didn’t--” Jonah began defensively.
“Natie,” Becki interrupted, “are you sure you don’t want to go down
with me tomorrow and hunt for teeth?” she asked; as if she didn’t
already know the answer to
“Need I remind you that if you are finding sharks’
, there have
been or still are
out there?” Natie shivered.
“Don’t be a big baby. The water temperature is awesome, and I
to protect you if we run into sharks, eels, giant octopi or any
other man-eating sea creature,” Becki said biting her lip. She tried, but
could not mask the laughter sparkling in her eyes.
Sharks! What the--?
Had Royce heard correctly?
After reaching White Point Gardens, Royce remembered feeling a
He scanned the area while reaching for his
weapon; he sensed
were close by. He caught a glimpse of-
Who? Witches, it had to be
They had to be responsible for boxing him up like last
year’s Christmas decorations. As if simply immobilizing him were not enough, they
had evidently then dumped him in the ocean. Why?
Presumably, their intent had
been to slow him down.
If they had wanted him dead, he would be shark food by
Royce breathed as deeply as the confined space would allow.
appreciative of the magical seal around the crate, he would not be
passing out forgiveness any time soon; when he found those Witchy
women…well, the reunion would not be pleasant.
“Ha!” Natie scoffed. “You know I’m not going down in those sharkinfested waters with you! I’m perfectly content right here.” Natie was
not really what you would consider the “outdoorsy type”, she didn’t like
bugs or snakes, didn’t like the ocean because there were
in it, was not
a fan of camping, hiking, or anything else that did not involve at least
four stars and room service. With long blond hair and big blue eyes, she
was used to being flirted with, pampered, and catered to.
loved Natie. Well, everyone except Jonah it seemed.
“I wish I could get this stupid thing open,” Jonah said, smacking the
top of the crate as he passed by.
He and Becki had been diving earlier in shallow water, looking for
sharks’ teeth, when she spotted the crate. It looked fairly new, wasn’t
overly large, and turned out to be fairly light weight. Becki sure hoped it
wasn’t full of drugs or something else illegal. She planned to text her
uncle to ask if he could help her open it tomorrow.
Kurt, her mother’s brother, was a master diver and an expert in
“all-things-ocean”. He was also a building contractor with a garage
full of tools; surely they could find something to pry off that stubborn
God knew Jonah could barely open a can of beer, and the
thought of power tools in his hand was enough to send her screaming
into the next county.
“Don’t worry about it Jonah,” Becki said, standing up to stretch. “I’ll
deal with it later. Right now, we need to pull anchor and get back to the
Becki made her way to the captain’s chair calling over her shoulder,
“What are you guys doing tonight? Are you going to come in to the Pub
Jonah started to answer, “That sounds--”
“No!” Natie interrupted him. “We are going downtown for a carriage
ride after dinner, and then having an early night. I have a seaweed body
wrap and spa pedicure scheduled for tomorrow morning.” Glancing
toward Becki she asked, “Do you want to go with?”
“I guess we aren’t going to the Pub,” Jonah sarcastically rolled his
Becki concentrated on guiding the boat back toward the marina. She
loved her sister, but Jonah?
Not so much.
Together, they could wear
you out like no other. There was no way Natie could be happy with him.
As high-school sweet hearts, they had been a cute couple, one of the
crowd. The fire had dimmed somewhere around the time that Natie had
caught Jonah with their mutual friend Rena.
Why they continued to
torture each other remained a mystery to everyone. Break-up, make-up
seemed to be the theme of their relationship. Their life was nothing but
Natie, with her natural charisma,
admirers everywhere she went, which in turn tended to make Jonah
jealous. She loved to look good and thrived on attention, but Natie was
a one-man-woman. Unfortunately, Jonah was that one man.
Becki checked the time. Her shift started at six o’clock this evening,
so there was no way she could clean off the boat right now.
were good that she could talk Landon into meeting her at the marina
after work to pick up the crate and her diving gear.
“Have fun tonight, and give me a call after your pedicure and
wrap. You know that appointment is way too early for me,” Becki said
as she hugged Natie. By-passing Jonah, she rushed to the parking lot
and quickly climbed into her cute little yellow sports car. The car had
been a gift from her parents and was just perfect for zipping around
town. The down side was the lack of cargo space, definitely not enough
room for the crate. She waved at the couple as she zoomed past them.
“Anything before noon is too early for you!” Natie yelled. This was
so true. Becki enjoyed nothing more than lazing in bed in the morning.
Too bad there hadn’t been anyone she wanted to ‘laze’ with lately.
Where was her dream man anyway?