Magic & Mayhem: How To Train A Witch, Bk 1 of the Baba Yaga Saga

Sexy, Funny Paranormal Romance 

She’s the Jezibaba, not the Jezibooboo. Sleeping with Professor Hottie is out of the question… or is it?

After three hundred years of keeping the magical peace in the world, Jezibaba is a hundred years past being ready to hang up her witch’s hat. The Council of Witches still can’t be trusted but she will happily step aside to leave their treachery to her successors to punish.

Two new witches—two Baba Yaga—have been chosen as potentials to take her place. Yet before she can thank Morgana The Red for helping her survive long enough to retire her wand, Jezibaba uncovers one major snafu in the cauldron’s prediction… the Chosen Ones are still children. 

One way or the other, she’s going to protect the girls, kill their would-be killers, and then she’s going to torture each member of the Council until she discovers the traitor funding the attempts on their lives. What she is not going to do is sleep with a sexy dragon just because he wants to help. She and Professor Hottie have way more in common than the magical world is ready to know. 

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Since killing Nathaniel was out of the question, Jezibaba genuinely glared at the messenger instead. “The Fates have a burr up their butts because I refuse to die on their command. If they don’t like me surviving their many predictions, they can take it up with Morgana. She’s the one who made me Jezibaba. I didn’t have any choice in that either. It was decided generations before I was born.”

“Regardless of your tragic history, I must unfortunately report that the two chosen ones are merely ten years old. I sought the counsel of the Fates in order to confirm their ages. The Fates laughed when I asked for more information. They said we’d have no trouble finding them if we went looking. Both descend from proper lineages. There’s no other reason to question this, unless you can think of some reason the other warlocks and I haven’t.”

Jezibaba sighed in frustration. “No. I guess I can’t think of any reason the chosen ones can’t be ten if they’re freaking ten. Very well, Nathaniel. What are their names?”

“Hildy and Carol.”

“Rather ordinary names for the chosen ones,” Jezibaba said, making a face.

“Indeed, M’lady. I thought the same. Your birth given name is much nicer,” Nathaniel stated.

“Oh, you’re sucking up now? Good show, Nathaniel. That’s why you’re still my favorite.”

With a long suffering sigh, Jezibaba started towards the “right” building, her fashionable red dress billowing in the breeze. The first thing she’d done when she’d inherited the position was change the damn dress code. She was the Jezibaba—the most powerful witch ever born—not some drab mythological hag from a children’s story.

She refused to wear her ceremonial black robe for anything but Council proceedings. She wanted to garner attention, not pity, from those who saw her. The red dress was far more striking and commanded a lot more attention when she needed to get people focused on doing her will. Nathaniel carried both her emergency witch hat and her ceremonial robe within his own grim looking clothes. That was as traditional as she was freaking willing to be.

Before she could put out a hand, the youngest of the warlock posse scrambled around her to open the door. She had barely nodded at his deference when Professor Hottie zoomed through the opening ahead of her, cutting her entry off on his mad dash inside. Her indignant huff over his rudeness caught his attention. Instead of apologizing though, he turned to her and smiled.

“Sorry, beautiful. You have very nice legs, but I’m extremely late for class,” he explained, his admiring gaze dropping to them as he spoke.

Jezibaba stepped through the door enough to allow Nathaniel to enter behind her. “How would you like to teach class as a giant dragon toad today?” she asked faux politely.

Even knowing the fire-breather was on her forbidden list, Professor Hottie’s husky chuckle over her threat still made her woo-hoo vibrate. She raised a hand to make good on her threat—and to show her woo-hoo who was boss—but lowered it when two children rushed out of a nearby classroom and grabbed one long, incredible fit man’s leg each.

The Council of Witches would fine her and reduce her salary if she reduced innocent kids to tadpoles for no good reason. Goddess knew, she couldn’t afford any garnishments. Retirement was on the horizon for her and she was hording every cent she made. Her daily ritual of checking her investments allowed her to sleep more peacefully at night.

“Professor Smoke, did you see them run out here?” Hildy demanded.

“See who, Hildy?” he asked gently, running a hand over her hair.

“The kittens. They were three of the tiniest, cutest kittens ever. They danced and let me pet them before they disappeared.”

“Because I scared them away,” Carol bragged, laughing as she looked up in her favorite teacher’s face. “But I swear I didn’t hurt them, Professor Smoke. I just let them blink out the way they wanted. I even waved goodbye and they said they’d see me again.”

Us again—they said they would see us again,” Hildy corrected.

“No. Me,” Carol insisted. “They said me. You just can’t believe animals might like me better than you for once. Admit it, Hildy.”

“How would you like to look like the big lying toad you are, Carol?” Hildy demanded. She turned loose and raised her hands.

Jezibaba fought back a grin when Professor Hottie’s larger ones closed around the little witch’s hands while he shook his head in warning.

“Hildy, do you want to lose your recess privileges and your best friend?”

Jezibaba covered her mouth as Carol turned loose of his leg, crossed her arms, and smirked when Hildy narrowed her eyes.

“They said me, Hildy. Live with it.”

To keep from openly laughing—and from being pissed at the Fates for being right about these two miscreants—Jezibaba decided she needed to intervene. She let loose a shrill whistle which split the air, effectively ending the debate. All eyes turned to her with proper respect at last as she slowly removed her fingers from her teeth.

Professor Hottie had the audacity to wink at her attention-getting ploy. She gave him a warning finger wag for his grin which she took as flirting because his gaze kept returning to her legs. The girls were both still frozen in place, staring at her in outright fear now, which suited her just fine. But she ignored them to glance over her shoulder and smirk at the cloaked warlock staring at them in equal shock.

“The future’s so damn bright, I need to wear shades… or maybe have ten tankards of troll ale so I can deal with this,” Jezibaba declared merrily, sweeping her hand at the frightened girls as she looked back at them. She snorted at their continued stares. “I swear if you two were older, I’d throw you both in the magic pokey and hire smelly tutors for you. I bet you’d learn to appreciate each other then.”

Both girls drew in sharp breaths over the cursing… and the threat.

Jezibaba smiled brilliantly at their quaking knees, her power swelling to fill the area with a fine golden mist. Stressful situations caused the occasional power leak, but it was not enough to worry her. No one seemed to mind walking around in gold glitter when it happened and she’d always liked sparkly things anyway.

“M’lady—it’s impossible not to notice that the one named Hildy apparently shares your fondness for turning people into amphibians,” Nathaniel pointed out, leaning in close enough to her to whisper. “However, Carol’s superior attitude is oddly reminiscent of your demeanor when we first met. They are both tiny mirrors of your greatness.”

“They’re children, Nathaniel. Just children,” Jezibaba declared, but she could also feel their power tugging on hers as they stared. “Neither can be called yet and I won’t allow it to happen anyway. The Council is probably just worried because I’ve served longer than any Jezibaba before me. I realize three hundred and sixty-six seems old to some of them, but I don’t look a day over a human fifty. And these children are not—I repeat not—to be called until they are of a proper age to choose the path for themselves.”

Professor Hottie held her gaze as he leaned down to talk to his charges. “Girls, head to class now. Tell Ms Turner to start reading the spells, but no casting until I get there.”

When they didn’t move, Jezibaba met his inquisitive gaze and shrugged to show him she was not holding them with any kind of restraining spell.

Grinning at her reaction, he lifted the girls by the backs of their shirts and turned them away from her. Once released from his hold, they shot off into the room like bolts of lightning flying off his fingertips.

Jezibaba watched Professor Hottie turn and walk slowly toward her. His guard was up now, wondering who and what she really was. But she could tell his worry was mostly for the children and rightly so. They would need a champion or two… or seventy… before they were old enough and strong enough to take over her work.

When Professor Hottie stopped, her heart fluttered in response to the dragon’s protective stance. Goddess, it would have been nice to have had someone like him guarding her while she was growing up.

Her attention left her thoughts and returned to him when she realized he was scanning her face and not her legs anymore.

“You’re the Jezibaba. I’m sorry I didn’t recognize you. I’m Professor Damien Smoke.”

A sharp retort about his oversight was on her tongue. It hovered there letting her taste the pleasure it would give her to say it and see his eyes flash in anger. But the nastiness just wouldn’t come out. Damn her weakness for sexy men.

“Quite understandable given the circumstances, Professor. Your primary focus wasn’t on me,” she answered calmly.

“No, but we both know my attention could be on you if you wanted it to be,” Damien replied smoothly, grinning when her eyebrows shot up again. “Sorry. I can’t seem to behave any better than the girls today. It’s just that you’re every bit as mesmerizing in person as I imagined you being. Of course you were alluring even before when I thought you were just… never mind that. Perhaps I better shut up now.”

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