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He’s coming, Ravenmyst thought as she hurried her way through the sprawling mansion that her father had built nearly twenty-five years ago. I can feel him coming.

She made her way to the wing of the house that had been her domain since the day she had come home from the hospital twenty years prior. The rooms had changed a great deal over the years as she grew from infant to teenager, and now adulthood. Her father had a great deal of money and had always allowed her to do whatever she had wanted with the interior. Whether it be imported silk wall treatments from China when she was sixteen or the Louis XIV chair that she had seen on a trip to France that she just had to have for her eleventh birthday. She decided a week later that she hated it and had it put in storage.

That was how she had originally found her mother’s book. Her father had mentioned the chair at dinner the evening before and thinking that it would look perfect in his office. She had gone upstairs to one of the storage rooms in the attic to find the chair so that she could determine whether it needed repair when she noticed a footlocker in the one corner of the room. She didn’t recall ever seeing it before and when she found that it was unlocked she quickly opened the lid to see what was inside.

Because her mother had died when Ravenmyst was very young, she had never known that she was a witch or that she could practice magick. Inside the footlocker were a great assortment of ritual items and the leather bound book that had opened so many doors for her. There was also a group of letters written by her mother to her young child. It was in those letters that her mother called her by the name Ravenmyst because of her ebony hair and the misty blue of her eyes.

It hadn’t taken her long to hatch the plan to use what her mother had left her in order to gain what she had wanted for many years. She had been a fan of the Middlemen long before anyone in America had heard of them and she especially loved Scott Marsters.

Now that he was close to becoming hers she was elated. She had done all the rituals required as outlined in her book. She had given all the proper sacrifices and chanted all the right spells and she could feel that everything was falling into place perfectly. And now Scott was in the city and she could feel her presence. It was like a rush she had never known before.

Soon. Very soon…


What Ravenmyst didn’t realize was that the presence she felt wasn’t Scott Marsters. The entity that was now winding its way towards her was dark and evil in nature and it was looking for the one who had summoned it. It wouldn’t take long…


The show in Los Angeles promised to be huge. Everyone was hyped up more than ever and it showed in the energy they put into the rehearsals. Latoya, the tour’s choreographer, and the guys wanted to make a few changes to the show for the LA audience and the whole crew was giving a hundred and fifty percent. The bond between the guys was at an all time high that spilled over into the dancers and crew so that any of them could anticipate what was going to happen. Everyone knew that something was waiting for them, but only Elayne and the five members of Middlemen knew exactly what it was.

Connie and the others arrived from Michigan two days before the tour did and they were already successfully settled in Scott’s home and making preparations for the ritual Elayne still hoped they didn’t need. She had talked to Amy the night before the tour pulled into town from the hotel they were staying at in Nevada and the first thing she said was how nice Scott’s house was.

“You wouldn’t believe this place,” Amy told her. “I swear that two of my houses could fit in here.” Which was saying something. Amy and her husband, Val, owned a wonderful home on the outskirts of the city that they had worked really hard to remodel after all their children had moved out. All their work had really paid off and now they had a home that not only reflected their incredible personalities, but also was a very welcoming place for their friends and family to congregate in.

“Really?” Elayne replied, trying to suppress the giggle that threatened to escape the back of her throat. Scott was taking a quick shower before they turned in for the night so she was able to speak to her friend freely. “Did you check out all the nooks and crannies already?”

“Of course not,” Amy admonished her, then continued in a lower tone. “But I am here to tell you that I think the fixtures in our bathroom are gold and I’m afraid to touch them.” She wasn’t gushing. Amy wasn’t like that. She was a very honest person who was impressed with someone’s ability to not flaunt his or her wealth.

Elayne couldn’t hold her laughter back anymore. Amy had always had the ability to make her laugh and this was no exception. They chatted for a while about how the ritual was being set up and where in the house. Scott’s housekeeper had been told to allow the women to do whatever they needed in the basement of the large structure and Elayne was informed that the woman had even been really great about giving them the space and privacy they needed to accomplish their task. Elayne felt certain that everything was well in hand and the only thing she had to worry about was participating when the time came.

All to soon Amy said she had to go. There were a few last minute items they needed to acquire because they didn’t want to bring them from Michigan. The two women said their goodbyes, saying they would see each other the next day and hung up.

Elayne was relieved that she was feeling better. She knew that if her friends had seen her a few days ago they would have been appalled not only by her appearance, but by how she had allowed herself to be manipulated by Ravenmyst. Scott was happy about it as well. In the days since the afternoon that she finally slept he was much more attentive while they were spending time together.

Little gifts started arriving at both the hotels they stayed at as well as the venues where the group was playing. Things like flowers, cards with short poems written on scrap pieces of paper tucked inside, which made her insides tingle with the knowledge of his love.


The buses pulled into town around noon and headed directly for the Staples Center, the location where the concert was to take place. Evan was staying at Scott’s house as well while he was in town, so the three of them rode together to the house in one of the cars that was waiting for the band at the arena. When they entered the gate that kept outsiders at bay and drove up to the front of the house, Elayne found that she was looking expectantly for a glimpse of the dwelling Amy had told her about and when she saw it she wasn’t disappointed.

Scott had already told her that his home was a large, two-floor white brick structure, but he hadn’t said much about the grounds. There were four huge trees in the front yard that helped to keep it cool during the hot California summers and meticulously tended flowerbeds along the front and sides of the house. As Scott parked the car, Elayne found herself daydreaming about the things she would change as they walked up the front walk, then stopped herself as she realized what she was doing. This wasn’t her house and never would be. She silently chided herself, saying that she had no right to think that it was or conceive changes she might make.

Scott took her hand in his after he had opened the front door and as they walked in they found themselves faced with two, bright faced little girls who hadn’t seen their ‘auntie’ in over a month.

“Aunt Elayne,” Helen called, her blue eyes dancing with laughter. “You’re finally here.”

“There’s a pool,” Anne shouted a half a second later in her typical four-year-old fashion. Both the girls were adorable even though they were exact opposites. Helen was the oldest of the O’Brien children at nearly ten years old and a quiet, brunette with a beautiful, olive tinted complexion. Anne on the other hand was a curly haired blonde who had her father’s wild personality as well as his looks. The only thing the two had in common were these incredible blue eyes that reminded anyone who saw them of a perfect summer sky.

“A pool, huh?” Elayne commented as she glanced at Scott and found that he was watching the scene with as much interest as his cousin was on his other side. “Have you gone for a swim yet?”

“No,” Anne replied, her bottom lip protruding slightly. “Mommy said we had to wait until the man who owns the house got home to see if it was okay.”

Helen was eyeing the two men with interest. She knew who they were even though her sister was too young to understand and she remembered what her parents had said when they told her why they were coming to California. Helen had been exhibiting signs that she had inherited at least a part of her mother’s magical abilities for the past six months and between the four adult women she had gained a great education on the responsibilities someone with the talent had to live by. She had listened to the adult conversations about the trip so she knew what was being done to Scott. She shared her mother’s concern that things be made right again for him and she couldn’t miss the way her auntie looked at him.

“Have you eaten lunch yet?” Elayne asked.

“Yes,” they answered in unison.

Scott squatted down on his haunches and addressed the two girls. “Then if you hurry, we will have just enough time for a quick swim before we have to head to the show,” he told them as his eyebrows danced with good humor and a huge grin spread across his face.

Both girls squealed with delight and stormed off to find their bathing suits. Scott and Evan hung out downstairs long enough to say hi to Connie and meet Amy, Serena and Richard before heading off themselves to change. Before he left, however, Scott stopped next to Elayne and gave her a lingering kiss that had all the others in the room looking at each other in surprise and left Elayne’s cheeks pink with embarrassment.

“Looks like everything is going well with you two,” Richard commented dryly after the other men had left the room.

“Very well,” Elayne replied quietly with a slight smile. Not knowing what else to say she decided to quickly change the subject. “How’s everything going here? Do you need me to do anything?”

Everything had been prepared for the ritual and they took Elayne to where they had everything set up so that she could look it over. When the time came, a large pentacle would be drawn on the floor with white sand around a table had been erected to serve as an altar that would be in its center. Amy said that they had picked this room because even though it was in the basement, it had been constructed so that it was enclosed in glass on two walls, thus connecting the group with the outdoors while still giving them the protection of being inside. There was an extensive garden off the back of the house and the view from the room was breathtaking day or night.

Candles had been set up around the space in both floor holders as well as on tables and other surfaces. There were so many candles scattered about that if need be, the ritual could be done by their light on a dark night. Elayne looked everything over, confidant that her friends had missed nothing, but needing to check herself just to be sure.





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