A WITCH’S PROTOCOL – Chapter Seven the Final Chapter

Seated behind the desk, Braiden tapped at the keyboard as code scrolled on the wall monitors. Her desk monitor remained black. When Megan’s fingers stroked the top of the screen, it blinked and filled with icons.

“Everything alright?” she asked.

“Appears so. This happen often? If I were you, I’d move to a single location where only you control the power. The whole system could have been lost and your project as well. Back up?”

“Of course.” If you only knew. The Witch’s Council would be on her ass again. But, she’d report it as an electrical overload due to her computer system. She blew out a breath, her anger spent. “So would you like me to show you…”

“Nope.” His gaze locked on the wall screens he continued typing. “In the original crypto protocol an error occurred in the key set up phase where the encryption key formed. Someone tried a patch, but the new security sequences made matters worse. I tweaked a few things,” he said absently, and pushed back from the keyboard then grimaced as he got to his feet. Braiden stepped to the side as she studied the screens.

“Let’s run that test again,” he said standing behind her.

“That will take the rest of the afternoon.”

“Great. We can do a circuit around the park, then grab a bite to eat. Come back and check on the program. If there’s still a problem we’ll work on it. If not, we can go to my house, I’ll throw baked potatoes in the oven and grill a couple porterhouse steaks. Afterword, we can enjoy wine on the porch and you can call in the raincheck.”

“Raincheck?”

“Yep, spend the night with me.” He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her against him, nibbling and kissing his way down her neck.

Even as she shivered at his touch, she said, “Oh, I don’t think so,” and struggled to get out of his embrace.
He let her twist in his arms until her breasts crushed against his chest and pressed his mouth to hers, his tongue traced the soft fullness of her lips then thrust inside.

Desire spiraled through her and she curved into him winding her arms around him, fingers sliding through his hair at the nape of his neck. Even with his arrogance, she’d let him in her heart and soul.

Braiden swept her into his arms, carried her to the couch and eased her down, she no longer had the energy or desire to resist him.

****

Stars shimmered in the air above them, and burst into multi-colored lights then winked out.
She brushed her moist lips across the pulsing hollow of his throat and whispered, “There is something I need to tell you.”

Braced on one arm, he leaned sideways and stared toward the ceiling, his lips curved in a slight smile. “I don’t think fireworks are allowed inside the building.”

No easy way to break it to him, so she simply said, “I’m a witch.”

Braiden’s eyes widened, then his gaze softened. “Good for me, I’ve wrangled a witch to spend the rest of my life with.”

“What?” she squeaked, staring at him.

“You heard me, and I meant every word.”

Silence settled around them as Megan gazed into his soulful eyes. A series of computer beeps broke the spell and she blinked.

“Sounds like the test is completed,” he murmured, getting to his feet with a groan.

Grasping his offered hand, she stood, grabbed her blouse and tried to cover herself.

Braiden grinned taking the shirt from her. “It’s a little late for that.” He pulled her warm fragrant body to his and touched his lips to hers in a tender kiss.

After several minutes, Megan wiggled out of his arms, picked up the scattered clothing and got dressed.

Braiden pulled on his pants, the top button unbuttoned, then joined her in front of the wall monitors. The message displayed in the middle of the screen–‘Sequence ended, test complete’.

Braiden pumped a fist in the air. “This calls for a celebration.”

She smiled and said, “I still need…”

He wiggled his eyebrows and said suggestively, “To come over to my house for dinner and…”

A shadow crossed the window, then a scraping began on the ledge. Braiden swung around and gaped at the large gray owl perched outside.

Megan hurried to the window and shoved it open. “Pewter, what are you doing here?” She slid a hand up her arm and a leather gauntlet appeared. The bird stepped off the ledge onto Megan’s arm, and fluffed, turned its head to eye Braiden with suspicion.

His gaze shot between the owl and Megan.

“Pewter this is Braiden, he’s a friend. Braiden, this is my familiar, Pewter, she’s a Great Gray Owl.”

“I knew it had to be something like that,” he grinned and the creases on his forehead faded away.

Megan turned her attention back to Braiden. “How about a compromise?”

His eyes narrowed and he said, “Like what?” He glanced over at the owl.

“You go on to the cabin, start the potatoes. I’ll tie up the loose ends here and notify the contractor the project is complete. I’d send out the invoice today. Then Pewter and I will join you. Throw the steaks on the grill and we’ll enjoy a nice quiet dinner, champagne on the porch swing and I’ll let you take me to bed.”

“What about the owl?”

“Oh, she’ll make herself at home in the trees behind your cabin.”

“Sounds like a plan.” Braiden leaned in and kissed Megan, then shook his head and walked toward the door. “Onyx isn’t going to like this”

****

The full moon floated across a star strewn sky, casting shadow figures over the rustic landscape. Braiden sat on the swing with his arm around Megan. The rim of his glass of Champagne touched hers with a tinkle. “We should combine resources and recruit a few talented hackers — I mean programmers. Then we could chase bigger lucrative contracts, yet have more time to spend together like this — forever.”

Onxy snorted and stretched out beside the swing, an owl’s hoot echoed from the trees behind the cabin.

“I’d like that.” Megan said, her head resting on his shoulder. “Forever”

The End


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