Eloran smiled again, but this time, he followed when Anan led the way to her kitchen table. She pulled out a chair and let him sit. “Take off your clothing.”
“I will not harm you, Eloran. Trust in me.”
She smiled at him as she brought a small scale closer to Eloran. There was a wooden bowl resting on one of the brass plates, but the scale sat at zero. She used the bowl with the scale exclusively; the scale was calibrated for the weight of the bowl.
Eloran frowned, then did as told, removing his shoes first. By the time he was undressed, there was a knife and various herbs and flowers near the scale. There was also a pestle resting near the scale. Anan turned back to the Eloran and looked him up and down. He was a handsome man in good shape and all she wanted to do was take him to bed.
“I need three things from you, Eloran. I need your saliva, your blood, and your seed.”
He backed away from her. “Why?”
“To make her want you.”
It wasn’t a lie. If Anan broke the hex, Xyta would still want Eloran, but the pixie would not be able to have him.
It worked. Eloran nodded and moved toward Anan. She smiled, and took the bowl with one hand. The other hand went to his chest. “The fun part is first.”
He inhaled sharply as her hand moved to between his legs. He tried to protest, as he felt Xyta should have the pleasure, but he did not have time to think. Bliss engulfed his mind and he ceased thinking. In moments, euphoria set in as he grunted. Anan let him sit as she placed the bowl on the scale. She placed weights on the other side of the scale and nodded when she had it where she needed.
Anan turned back to Eloran with the knife in her hand. “As pleasure came first, the pain should not be as sharp.”
It was a spell to dull the pain he would feel. She took his hand and quickly cut his palm. It was a long cut, but shallow. She held his hand over the bowl and allowed the blood to drip in. Once the scale was balanced again, she moved his hand away and used a scrap of cloth to stop the blood. She tied it in place then looked into his eyes.
“One more thing, Eloran.”
His head swam with pain and pleasure. A name tried to take over his mind and confused the words Anan spoke. He shook his head and took deep breaths. “What do I need to do now?”
“Stand for a moment. I need to move you closer to the table.”
He did as asked, then sat back down when she indicated. Anan moved the scale in front of him, but made sure the balance was facing toward her. She leaned his head over the bowl and held a plant under his nose. He pulled away immediately.
“What is that?”
“Garlic blossom from Finara. It is much stronger there. Breathe in the scent and leave your mouth open to allow your saliva to drip into the bowl.”
Eloran gave her an odd look, but did as asked. He even held the blossom for her. It took a while, but finally she moved him back. As he sat back, she took the bowl and added a pinch of this and a pinch of that. Other than herbs and flowers, he did not recognize what she used. Anan used the pestle to ground some herbs into the fluids and mixed everything together.
Done, she reached to a tall earthen container on the table and pulled out a brush. She dipped the brush into the mixture and stopped. Nodding, she picked up the knife and pricked her finger. She allowed three drops to fall in and mixed that in. Eloran inhaled sharply when the mixture momentarily turned as blue as her eyes.
Anan looked to Eloran and smiled. “We start with your feet.”
“This will make her want me?” His voice held confusion.
“Yes.” She moved another chair in front of him. “Place your feet on the chair.”
He did as asked with some hesitation. Once his feet were up, she knelt down and painted runes on the soles of his feet. She stood and moved closer to his face. As she moved the brush close to his forehead, he moved back.
Anan smiled. “These are your fluids, Eloran. There is nothing to fear.”
Eloran frowned for a moment then nodded slowly. She moved the brush and wrote runes on his face and neck. Once that was done, she asked him to stand and continued to write runes all over his body, leaving the space over his heart clear.
When she was done, Anan moved the brush to his chest, to the clear spot and stopped. She recited the spell to break the hex as she stared at the spot. While still reciting the spell, she looked at her hand. She nodded and wrote a symbol on her palm. She then placed her hand on his chest. As she recited the spell, Eloran only recognized the last word she said: Anan.
As soon as she said her name, the runes on his skin glowed blue then faded. At the same time, pain stabbed him in the heart and he could no longer breathe. She caught him as he collapsed. They sat on the floor as Eloran caught his breath. Anan brushed hair out of his eyes and spoke softly to him.
“It’s all right. The hex is gone now.”
He held her closer. “What did she do?”
“Xyta placed a hex on you to make you fall for her. You would have become her slave.”
Eloran held her hard. “You broke it.”
He drew back a little to look into her eyes. “Why did you say your name at the end?”
Anan placed her hand over his heart. “It was not enough to break the spell, you have to be protected against her in the future. I assigned myself as your protector.”
Surprise blossomed on his face. His eyes grew wide for a moment, then closed halfway. He slipped his hands into her hair, brought her close and kissed her deeply. Without breaking away, he pulled her closer, stood and carried her to the bed.