The Djinn's Desire
The Djinn's Desire
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An ancient genie falls in love with a curvy human, but hers may be the one wish he can never fulfill.
- Immortal Billionaire Hero
- Reluctant/Virginal Heroine
- Magic Curse
- Sinister Genies
- Surprise Twists!
In a world where wishes have dark consequences, Tanika's heart is a fortress, built from the loss of everyone she's dared to love. Bound by a childhood wish gone horrifically awry, she's the unwilling master of a malevolent djinn who can only be confined by her vow of virginal solitude. Her resolve wavers, however, when an enigmatic billionaire graces her salon. Ophir's intense gaze offers unspoken promises, and his touch ignites her long-dormant desires.
For over a millennium, Ophir has sought a passage back to his realm, wearied by immortality on Earth. He's irresistibly drawn to the curvy hairdresser who smells of magic makes him think staying on Earth might not be so bad. All he has to do is convince her not all djinn are foes.
Yet the sinister presence of Tanika's bound djinn lurks in the shadows, ready to exploit her burgeoning love and unleash evil upon the world. With secrets exposed and emotions teetering on the edge, Tanika is caught in a maelstrom of past tragedies and future fears. Can she place her trust in Ophir and let his love liberate her, or will her past forever dictate her future?
Dare to unveil the mystique of wishes and the human heart. Embark on Tanika and Ophir's spellbinding journey, where every page deepens their perilous love and culminates in a twist that will leave you breathless. Can love truly conquer the darkness? Read now and find out.
Intro Into Chapter One
Intro Into Chapter One
Tanika Skye jiggled the lock on the accordion grate protecting the salon and gave it a good hard kick before the bolts slid free. Using her full weight, she shoved the screen aside. On the cracked plate-glass door, the Seance Salon’s logo had been hand-painted in bright pink letters around a rendering of a gold crystal ball with a comb and pair of scissors. The remaining glass on both the door and the large window had been painted black to hide the interior from prying eyes.
She picked up her basket of towels and entered the dusky shop, a small bell above the door frame jingling. The overheads flickered on with an annoying electric buzz, revealing two beat-up hairdresser chairs and their accompanying plate mirrors, a pair of folding chairs next to a magazine rack for waiting customers—which she never had—and a small area at the back surrounded by a threadbare velvet curtain where she did psychic readings. The scent of permanent-wave solution cloyed the air, directing Tanika’s gaze to the hair sink; Birdie had once again neglected to wash the hair-rollers from her last client.
Or the water’d been shut off. Either was possible.
Much as Tanika loved this place, sometimes she wondered exactly what she was proving by keeping it open. Dropping her basket of clean towels into Birdie’s station chair, she moved to the sink and turned the faucet to hot. To her relief, a solid stream of water emerged. She checked the black-cat wall clock Birdie had bought on a whim, saying it fit to have a witchy bit of decoration in the salon. Seven-fifty a.m. If she hurried, she could get the rollers cleaned before her first reading this morning and air out the stink. The chemicals didn’t mix well with the scented candles she used during her readings.
The soft jingle of the store’s bell drew her attention, and she turned, hoping for a walk-in. No one was there. She pressed her lips together and returned to washing the rollers. Sometimes if she ignored his antics, he went away. The water she was running sputtered and turned icy. Dammit. Cringing, she kept washing.
Then the lights went out.
With a sigh, she settled back and glared at the dark wall in front of her. “Fucking poltergeist.”
In response, the lights flickered back on. The nearby velvet curtain rippled, and a scrawny, bare-chested man stepped through it. Not around it. Through it. His voice sounded just as emaciated as his body. “I told you not to call me that.”
She dumped the curlers into a strainer and turned to face him. “Then stop fucking acting like one.”
He tilted his head, the craggy lines on his face attempting a pleasant smile. “You know how to get rid of me.”
“Nope. I keep telling you. You die with me.” She’d been saying this so many years, the words no longer even gave her a twinge of regret.
His visage turned into a snarl, purple djinn magic sparking in his eyes. “What do you care what happens to me? Your wish has already been paid for. Just embrace it and live out your happy little mortal existence while you still have time.”
Tanika’s stomach churned, just as it did during each of these interactions for the previous fourteen years. In truth, she wanted to do exactly what he suggested. Create a stable home with a family to love. A little girl’s dream. One she’d eschew forever if it meant the demon—he called himself a djinn, but to her he’d always be a demon—living in her mother’s locket could never terrorize anyone again. She turned away from him, busying herself refilling the shampoo. He usually went away if she ignored him long enough.
He glided to a stop directly in front of her, his amorphous lower body bisected by the rim of the sink. “How about I swap it out for a new wish?”
She shook her head, refusing to look at him.
He slid closer and leered in her face. “You’re going to lose the salon.”
Her upset stomach tightened into a rock, hating that he was right. Every time she tried to settle into one spot and build a life, something went wrong, and she was certain her demon had a hand in it, much as he denied it. She’d grow comfortable, make a few friends, then somehow everything would get ripped out from under her. If she wasn’t going to embrace the fulfillment of her wish, he’d take away anything that might pass as a surrogate.
Most recently, her landlord had raised the rent on her crappy little lease, hoping to edge her out and demolish the aging building to make way for a new hotel. She and a handful of fellow tenants were putting up a good fight, but it wasn’t a battle she was likely to win. And finding a lease she could afford elsewhere in town would be next to impossible.
The bell tinkled, this time for real, and the apparition of her demon popped out of existence. “I’ll be right with you!” Tanika called, drying her hands on a nearby towel.
Instead of her first client, Mr. Daniels stood at the door, his white apron smudged with what looked like chocolate. “I brought you an éclair, Tanika. Before they’re all gone.”
“Oh, Mr. Daniels, you didn’t have to do that.” Her hips were curvy enough without his constant feeding. Not that she was going to say no to a chocolate éclair.
“It’s nothing.” The white-haired old man took her hand and placed the cream-filled delight in her palm. “I still owe you for cleansing my place of that pesky spirit.”
Heat crept up Tanika’s throat. The pesky spirit had been her demon, and once she’d figured out he was making trouble after hours, she’d moved her mother’s locket off-site to a safe deposit box. Now the djinn could only materialize through the connection of her unspent wish, keeping his power limited to her direct physical vicinity. “You don’t owe me anything, Mr. Daniels.”
“I tell all my customers about you.” He looked around at the shabby interior. “I don’t know why you and Birdie can’t get more business.”
She shrugged. “Not many people believe in magic. Why do you think I’m cutting hair on the side?”
“You don’t read the bumps on people’s heads?”
Phrenology? Damn. Why hadn’t she thought of that? She’d need to add it to her list of services. “Uh, yes. Yes, I do.”
He glanced at her wall clock. “I’d better get back to the cafe, my dear. Have a good morning.”
Although it was barely after eight a.m., Tanika plopped down in her hairdresser chair and took a big bite of éclair. With no telling what the future might bring, she was going to enjoy every moment of what she had right now.