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Crystal Magic – Chapter One

Crystal Magic - Starfall Grove Book 1

Copyright © Sheri Dwyer 2023

Chapter One:

(Please keep in mind this is not the final version, so is subject to change and may contain small errors.)

Seventy-five years ago…

It waited under the light of the full moon, its unearthly glow calling to her, tugging at her, pressing on her will as it urged her to come closer.

But Clarissa Belmont, her heart pounding hard enough to burst from her chest, stayed where she was. Leaning against the iron fence surrounding it, she gripped the metallic bars tightly as she stared at the glowing rock, trying to decide if she was going to walk through the gate that had opened when she’d arrived or do the smart thing, the expected thing, and return home to her bed before her parents realized she was missing.

For a girl, almost a woman, who tried to follow the rules, the decision was more difficult than she’d expected. But the call of the meteorite had been almost impossible to resist.

And Goddess knows she’d tried.

For the last few weeks, the stone had been pulling at her, urging her to come to it. Clarissa, wary of the changes it would bring to her peaceful life, had ignored it. But as stubborn as she could be, obstinance running strong in her line, Clarissa was no match for the might of the meteorite, its powerful draw weakening her resistance with each day that passed until she found herself standing before it, not quite sure how she’d come to be there.

But even now that she was here, with only a fence standing between her and the meteorite, Clarissa hesitated to go nearer. Chewing on her top lip, a nervous habit her mother had been unable to break her of, Clarissa’s mind raced as she tried to think of reasons for why the stone wanted her and what possible consequences would result from her acceding to its wishes. And if she was willing to bear the cost.

Struck with indecision, she continued to hold her position.

Then everything stilled.

Clarissa tore her eyes off the stone and looked around when the sounds of the night went quiet, the low hum of insects silenced, the chittering of the squirrels breaking off. Even the slight breeze that had been rustling the leaves in the trees stopped. Holding her breath, she waited to see what would happen next. A moment later, a pulse of energy washed over her, bringing with it a sense of assurance that all would be well. That she was safe. That she was needed. Along with the knowledge that she was but the First.

Clarissa made her decision.

Hesitation gone, she stepped through the opening and slowly approached the meteorite until she was within touching distance, the ever-present energy that surrounded it prickling her skin and making her hair fly. At a silent prod from it, she took a deep breath then placed her hand upon its rough surface, letting out a soft gasp when a small fragment broke free, practically pushing itself into her hand. Closing her fingers around the shard that pulsed gently in her grip, Clarissa immediately understood she’d been given a powerful and wondrous gift. And a great responsibility to go along with it.

Resting her forehead against the stone, Clarissa whispered her thanks and promised not to betray the trust that had been given to her. Heat flooded her, almost painful in its intensity, before it faded, leaving behind a feeling of approval and pride. Head spinning, Clarissa pushed herself off the rock and turned to leave, then froze, struck by the certainty that she was no longer alone. Squinting into the darkness, she strained to see who, or what, was out there. After a few moments, when nothing moved and the sounds of the night started up again, Clarissa shrugged it off as nervousness at being out by herself in the middle of the night.

Clutching the shard to her chest, she whispered goodnight to the stone, then took off, sprinting through the darkened orchard as fast as she could run, trying to get home before her family began stirring for the day.

From that day forward, Clarissa devoted all of her time and energy to the study of crystals and their inherent properties in hopes of learning everything she could about the powers locked in the fragment of silvery-black rock that had been entrusted to her.

When the time for the Great Task arrived, she and her heirs would be ready.


Present Day…

Jasper choked, the slice of pizza falling from his hand when his orgasm face flashed onto the television screen.

“What the fuck?” He stared at the TV in horror. This couldn’t be real. Squeezing his eyes shut, he cracked one open, hoping what he’d just seen had been some kind of hallucination, but no, his orgasm face was still on the evening news. The same evening news that sixty-eight percent of Starfall Grove watched nightly, according to the latest poll results. When his phone rang, Jasper pulled it from his pocket and answered it, not taking his eyes from the screen to see who was calling. Something he immediately regretted.



“Why are you making that horrible face?”

“Uh…” He looked around the room for inspiration. “It’s, uhm…”

“Were you in an accident? Which hospital are you at?”

“I wasn’t—”

His front door slammed open.

“Jasper! Turn on the news,” his best friend and next-door neighbor Spencer shouted from the hallway.

“Spence, I’m on the—”

His friend rushed into his living room, sliding to a stop on his hardwood floors. “Oh my god. Your orgasm face is on TV.”


“Is that Spencer?” his mother asked.

“Yes, Mom,” Jasper said, staring pointedly at his friend who winced when he saw the phone in Jasper’s hand.

“Put me on speaker so I can talk to him.”

“I don’t think—”

“Now, please.”

Sighing, Jasper pulled the phone away from his ear and pressed the button. “You’re on speaker, Mom.”

“Wonderful. Hello Spencer.”

Mouthing sorry to Jasper, Spencer hesitatingly said, “Uh, hi Mrs. Belmont. How are you?”

“I’m fine, dear. Thank you for asking. Did you just say that was Jasper’s orgasm face on the news?”

“Uhm…” Spencer sent Jasper a panicked look.

Jasper shook his head and closed his eyes, knowing this wasn’t going to end well.

“You know, Jasper’s father used to make a face like that during sex,” she said conversationally.

Jasper’s eyes snapped open. No. Surely she wasn’t going to—

“Then we made our first sex video—”

Oh, god, she really was.

“—and Shaw saw what he looked like when he climaxed.”

Jasper flinched when his mother said the C word.

“To say he was appalled would be an understatement. At first, Shaw thought he was just being in character because of the mercenary and captured princess scenario we were roleplaying.”

Spencer looked at Jasper, his eyes begging for help, but there was no help for either of them. Not now.

“But when he realized that was how he looked every time he climaxed—”

Jasper and Spencer both cringed when she said climaxed again.

“—he apologized and said he would work on changing his expression before he scared me off.”

Spencer cleared his throat. “Mrs. Belmont, I don’t think—”

“As if there was any chance of me going anywhere. I loved that man to death.”

And still did. Which Jasper thought was wonderful. But he really didn’t need to know the details. “Mom, maybe don’t—”

“It took practice, Spencer. So much practice. But Shaw was determined to get it right,” she said with a laugh, then sighed. “That was such a fun couple of weeks.”

Jasper dropped his head, knowing they hadn’t heard the worst.

“With some hard work and a lot of repetition, Shaw was finally able to refine his orgasm face.”

 “Th-that’s great, Mrs. Belmont,” Spencer said, kicking Jasper in the shins and making big eyes at him. “But perhaps you shouldn’t—”

“Now when Shaw orgasms, there’s only a slight scrunching around his eyes, a little nose flare, and a small whistle like a balloon deflating.”

Spencer made a croaking sound.

“Which was a relief, Spencer. I can’t tell you how difficult it is to find your own pleasure when your partner looks like they’re in agony.”

“I, uh, can only imagine,” Spencer said, his gaze darting around the room as if looking for somewhere to hide.

Jasper could have told him there wasn’t.

“Or that they’re possessed and possibly about to kill you.”

Jasper glanced at the television screen, seeing exactly what she was talking about.

“It’s unfortunate I didn’t realize Jasper had inherited that trait from his father. There’s no telling how many men he’s scared off by this point.”

Which was a bit insulting. “Mom, I didn’t scare off anyone. And could you please stop talking about my sex life. And yours. Spencer and I don’t need to hear this.”

“Jasper Edison Belmont. We do not sex shame in this family.”

“I wasn’t—”

“There is nothing wrong with having a healthy conversation about sex.”

“No, I know. It’s just—”

“Did I not teach you that sex between consenting adults is a natural and beautiful way to express attraction and affection.”

“You did.”

“And that even when it’s only for physical release, as long as there’s full understanding between partners so no one is hurt from having expectations they shouldn’t, it’s an amazing and beautiful way to find pleasure together.”


“So there’s no reason why we can’t talk about it, is there?”

Jasper sighed. “No, Mom.”

“How can we ever learn anything if we’re not open to discussing it?”

“We can’t.”

“That’s right we can’t. And right now we need to talk about your face because it just won’t do. You have to consider the effect it’s having on your partners.”

“It’s never been a problem before.” Which might not actually be true since he’d never thought to ask.

“As far as you know,” his mother said, proving she hadn’t lost her ability to read his mind. “I think you need to take a lesson from your father and work on it. Change can happen, Jasper. All it takes is time and a bit of practice.”

“I really don’t think it’s necessary.”

“Not necessary? Look at the television right now and tell me you’re fine with how you look when you climax.”

Jasper shuddered at hearing it again. Please, god, someone make her stop saying that word.

“I swear, it looks like you’re in pain.”

“Mom, please,” Jasper said weakly.

“A lover might think you’re having a heart attack.”

Jasper let his head fall back with a groan, squinting when he noticed a purple mark on the ceiling. How had that gotten up there?

“What if they call an ambulance for you?”

He closed his eyes in defeat.

“Or the police.”

Sighing, Jasper opened his eyes. “If I promise to work on it will you stop?”

“Of course.” A small pause. “You know I only want what’s best for you?”

“I do, Mom.” And he did. His mother loved with her whole heart and was passionate about showing it. Even if it was sometimes in ways he wished she wouldn’t.

“Good. And Spencer…”

Giving Jasper a scared look, Spencer said, “Yes, Mrs. Belmont.”

“You should find out what your orgasm face looks like as well. Heaven forbid it’s anything like Jasper’s, Nobody should be subjected to that horror when they make love.”

“Mom!” Jasper objected, flipping his friend off when Spencer snorted. “It’s not that bad.”

“It truly is. Spencer will never find himself a nice young man if his face looks anything like yours. Spencer, you need to check that out right away.”

“Yes, ma’am. I’ll do that as soon as I get home.”

“Wonderful. And if you experience any chafing, the apothecary on Elm Street carries a wonderful lotion. Just let Jasmine know and she’ll hook you up.”

Spencer made a strangled sound.

Jasper had to look away from him or he’d start laughing. He really needed to get them out of this tortuous conversation before his mother said something worse. If that was even possible. “I’m going to have to let you go, Mom. I’ve still got a few things to do tonight.”

“All right, dear. We can discuss this further when you come over for dinner tomorrow.”

“Sure,” Jasper said, willing to agree to anything to get her off the phone.

“You come too, Spencer.”

“I, uh, wish I could, Mrs. Belmont, but I told Forrest I’d meet him after work.”

Which was a lie. Coward, Jasper mouthed at his friend.

Spencer nodded, looking completely unrepentant.

“Next time then,” Jasper’s mom said. “I’ll make that cobb salad you enjoy so much.”

“That’d be great, Mrs. Belmont,” Spencer said, giving Jasper a relieved look. “I look forward to that.”

“As I look forward to seeing you. And Jasper…”

“Yes, Mom.”

“When you’re here, I’ll have your father show you some facial exercises he knows. You and he can practice them after dinner.”

“I don’t really want—”

“Bring lip balm so you don’t crack your lips.”

Spencer burst into laughter, then clapped his hands over his mouth when Jasper glared at him.

“Sorry, Mom. I’ve really got to go. See you tomorrow.” Jasper ended the call before she could say anything else, and scowled at Spencer. “Do you have any idea of the trouble you just caused me?”

Spencer dropped his hands, his words hard to understand through his laughter. “I’m so sorry. I had no idea your mom was on the phone when I came in.”

“Sorry isn’t good enough, jerk. Because of you, I have to practice making sex faces with my father.”

“I know,” Spencer howled as he fell to the carpet. “It’s like…like…the gay birds and bees talk. But…so much worse.”

“God, don’t remind me.” Jasper scrubbed his hands over his face, then pointed a finger at him. “Let this be a lesson. You never talk about anyone else’s orgasm face unless you’re actually having an orgasm with them. And maybe not even then.”

“But then how will I find out what my orgasm face looks like?” Spencer asked, blinking up at him innocently.

Jasper brandished his phone. “One more word and I’m going to tell Mom you lied about meeting Forrest. Then you’ll have to practice making sex faces with my father too.”

“Okay, okay, I’ll stop.” Spencer lay there, giggling a bit more before pushing off the floor and climbing onto the couch next to Jasper. “No more. I promise.”

Jasper didn’t believe that for a minute.

After a few seconds of staring at the television, Spencer cleared his throat and turned to him. “So, that was crazy, huh? Did you know your mom and dad made sex videos?”

Jasper punched him in the leg, then shoved him off the couch. Ignoring his idiot friend who was laughing between groans as he rubbed out his charley horse, Jasper turned back to the TV where his orgasm face was still showing. Then his name flashed up on the screen. He stared at it in horror.

“Oh, God,” Spencer gasped, as he leaned against the couch. “They just told everyone who you are.”

Jasper nodded, unable to tear his eyes off the screen as the news anchors gave up any semblance of decorum and scrambled around the set, holding sheets of paper in front of the monitors—which didn’t do a damn thing to help—while a skinny guy in a bad-fitting suit ran around screaming for someone to shut off the cameras. But every time the screen went dark, it lit up again seconds later to show his name and face. His scary, make-lovers-think-he-was-having-a-heart-attack-or-going-to-kill-them orgasm face his mother wanted him to work on changing. With his father.

Groaning, Jasper fell sideways, burying his face in the couch cushion. No amount of crystal magic was going to be able to fix this.

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The Beginning

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