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Witching Whispers - Ebook

Witching Whispers - Ebook

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I was hoping for a few days off from dealing with murder charges, bad guys, and the everyday paranormal bizarre. All I wanted was a nice break from all the crazy. And did I get it? No. Of course not.

Instead, a new coven comes to town. A coven of female witches who call themselves the Sisters of the Circle, a small elite group for the upper crust of witch society—according to Dolores.

But something is off about this coven, and I just can’t put my finger on it. All the while my aunts and other witches in town worship the ground they walk on, like giddy fangirls.

Forget my time off. What I get is a whole new set of problems as my life spirals down the crapper once again.

If that isn’t bad enough, a curse settles on Hollow Cove. Something dark and ominous threatens the lives of the townspeople. If I don’t find the counter-curse in time, I could lose everything.

And the clock is ticking… 

Look Inside Chapter 1

I ran my hand over the pillow next to me, my fingers tracing the impression where Marcus’s head had been all night. He’d left early this morning to drive his mother to the airport but not before waking me up for another round of panty-melting horizontal boogie. Who am I to say no?

A smile curled my lips as I let out a long sigh. I couldn’t be happier. And I wasn’t talking about just the sex—though still mind blowing and probably illegal in some parts of the world—I was talking about my life in general.

Beverly was safe and had been cleared from Nathaniel Vandenberg’s murder charge. Ruth and Hildo, her true magical aide, had bonded as witch and familiar companions. Dolores? Well, Dolores was happy to have her life back to normal so that she could be herself—sergeant major of the Davenport household. And last, but not least, Marcus and I had made up, and Vorkan—aka infamous demon hit man—didn’t want to kill me anymore.

Life was good.

My father had snuck away two nights ago, though, and I still had a list of questions for him. Specifically, why exactly had Vorkan just up and left me after he’d sliced my arm with his death blade and then told me the contract on my life was voided? I had my suspicions. But I was afraid the possibility was still open for other demons in favor of my death. I had no idea how things worked in the Netherworld, which was another question for my daddy dearest.

A string of excited shrills and half-hysterical laughter came from downstairs followed by the sound of some enthusiastic clapping. The walls and floors shook and quivered under the weight of bodies jumping.

They couldn’t be throwing another party this early in the morning. Could they? Of course they could. They were Davenport witches. It was never too early to throw a party.

A smile quirked my lips. “Ahh… ladies. Looks like you skipped on the coffee in your Baileys again this morning.” I laughed. Whatever had my aunts in such a state was worth me getting my ass out of bed to find out. I wouldn’t lie. The thought of a little Baileys in my coffee sounded pretty good.

Hauling myself out of bed, I checked my phone on my nightstand. The clock read eleven forty-three.

Crap. I’d slept the morning away. I’d planned to work on a website for a client this morning, but it wasn’t too late. I could still manage a few hours of work.

After a quick shower, I got dressed and went downstairs in search of all the commotion. And found it.

“I’ll need a new wardrobe, of course,” Beverly was saying, staring at her reflection in her compact mirror. She tucked a strand of perfectly styled, blonde hair behind her ear and checked her makeup. “And a complete makeover.” She snapped her compact shut, her face blossoming into a radiant smile. “What am I saying? I don’t need a makeover. Only plain women need makeovers.” She looked down at herself. “With breasts like these, no one will be looking at my face.” With a hand on her hip, she asked, “Girls, be honest. Do I look like a slut or a respectable woman in this outfit?”

Dolores looked up from her newspaper. “Like a ten-dollar hooker.”

Beverly’s green eyes flashed and she cocked her hip. “I always knew I was a ten.”

“Oh! I’m so excited I could burst!” exclaimed Ruth. Flour spotted her face and was smeared over her apron down to her black ankle-length skirt. The white bun piled on top of her head bounced as she began to jump on the spot and clap, sending clouds of flour in the air while Hildo circled her legs like a dog chasing his tail. If he started barking, then, yeah, I’d be worried.

Nothing wrong with a little crazy from time to time. Especially when the crazy was the fun kind.

I laughed as I reached the coffee machine, grabbed an empty mug, and poured myself a cup. Deliciously bitter and wonderful-smelling steam rose to my nose as I took a sip. “Hey, where’s the Baileys? I’m in for a little crazy this morning too. You can’t be the only ones having fun.”

Dolores looked up at me from the table. Her long gray hair was tied into a braid down the middle of her back. Her usual scowl was replaced by an expression of humble gratitude like someone had just complimented her. She put her reading glasses down and said, “We haven’t put any Baileys in our coffee.”

Beverly scoffed. “Speak for yourself.”

I leaned my back against the counter so I could see them all at once. “So, why all this excitement?” I cocked a brow. “Are you guys still drunk from last night? You naughty witches,” I teased. The fact was, I had no idea how long the celebrations continued last night since I went to bed early with a certain sexy wereape.

Dolores stared at me, her dark eyes gleaming with contented fervor. “The Sisters of the Circle are here in Hollow Cove.”

I took another sip of coffee. “The who?”

“Sisters of the Circle,” snapped Dolores, her customary frown coming back to say hello. “Have you never heard of them? How is that possible? They’re famous in our paranormal circles. Every witch knows of the Sisters of the Circle.”

I hooked a thumb at myself. “Um, still coming to terms with everything witch.” I shrugged and then confirmed, “Never heard of them.”

Dolores leaned forward in her chair, her eyes sparkling. “It’s a coven of female witches,” she began importantly. “A small elite group for the upper crust of witch society. They are extremely picky about who they let in.”

It sounded like a snobby country club. Not my cup of tea. “Why are they here?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” asked Dolores, looking smug. “They want me to join.”

“You mean us,” added Ruth, the lines at the corners of her blue eyes deepening with her glower. “All of us. Not just you.”

Dolores smiled but said nothing. She just sat there with a contented grin on her face. It was creepy.

“That’s right,” agreed Beverly, her red lips pressed into a thin line. “We’re just as accomplished as you in magic, Dolores. Anyway, we’ll know soon enough. They always throw a party when visiting a new paranormal town. We should be getting our invitations shortly. They’ll want to seek out all the witches in Hollow Cove first.” She arched her back and inclined her hip. “They’ll recognize a clear winner when they see one,” she added with a smile.

Dolores gave her a skeptical look. “You mean you? The Sisters of the Circle will be looking for witches with exceptional magical abilities, not the ability to sleep with the entire town’s male population.”

Uh-oh.

To my surprise, Beverly’s smile widened. “If that’s not an exceptional ability, I don’t know what is.” She looked at me, her eyebrows high like I was supposed to congratulate her or something. “Maybe that’s exactly what they need,” she added, looking back at Dolores. “A woman with worldly experience.”

“More like mattress experience,” mumbled Ruth, staring down at Hildo who was now curled around her feet, warming her toes.

“Did any of you see Iris this morning?” I asked, hoping to change the subject. “I wanted to thank her and Ronin for helping me out with Silas.” If it hadn’t been for her and Ronin, I wouldn’t have known about what Silas had done to Marcus, how he’d beaten and tortured him, especially with that amulet that kept him from healing. A flicker of fear stirred inside me. I didn’t want to think about what could have happened if I hadn’t reached him in time.

“Ugh. Don’t ruin the day by mentioning that dreadful witch,” spat Beverly, grabbing the chair opposite Dolores and sitting. “I hope to never see that horrid man ever again.”

I frowned down at my coffee cup. “That makes two of us.” Though I wouldn’t mind seeing him just once more to have a real go at him. Maybe just to peel the skin off his body.

“Iris had breakfast and then left to meet Ronin.” Ruth moved to the sink and began to wash the flour from her hands. “She had Dana with her too. Something about fish scales or rat tails? I can’t remember which.”

I snorted. “Knowing Iris, probably both.” Was this for another one of her hexes on Allison? Just thinking about it brought a stupid smile to my face. That wereape had to go.

Beverly sighed and leaped to her feet. She started to fan herself with her hand, her legs shifting like she needed to use the bathroom.

Dolores frowned at her. “What’s the matter with you? Will you stop that? All that jerking around is giving me a headache.”

“Oh. Is it a yeast infection again?” Ruth wiped her hands on her apron. “Told you not to put all those bombs and oils in your bath. It’s important to keep your vagina healthy.”

Yeah. Maybe I should have stayed in bed.

Beverly rolled her eyes dramatically. “I don’t have a yeast infection, you white-haired hobbit. This is what happens when I haven’t had sex in days. I get these hot flashes.”

Dolores chortled. “It’s called menopause.”

“It’s not menopause,” whined Beverly. “It’s more like hives.”

“Hives?” Dolores folded her hands on the table, eyeing her sister like a professor scolding her student for cheating on a test. “You’re trying to make us believe you break into hives when you’re… abstinent?”

“I’m cursed.”

Dolores raised a brow. “You’re… cursed?”

Beverly sighed dramatically. “Cursed by the goddess herself by making me so devastatingly beautiful. I’ve known about it since I was sixteen.”

“When you discovered you were a slut,” commented Dolores.

Beverly continued to fan herself. “Being incarcerated does things to your sex life.” She eyed Dolores. “Not that you would know. You haven’t gotten laid since the eighties. Nothing but cobwebs down there.”

Dolores’s cheeks reddened, but she kept her mouth shut as she grabbed her newspaper and pretended to read it.

Ruth scoffed. “I’d hate to see what happens after a month.” She laughed. And then she and Hildo said together, “Shingles.”

Ok-a-a-a-y.

The sound of the front door opening and closing reached me. A moment later, Iris popped into the kitchen.

Her gaze swept across the room, her large brown eyes accentuating her sharp features and pretty heart-shaped face. She smiled and said, “You’ll never guess who I saw.”

Ruth clapped her hands once and blurted, “A nutcracker!”

Coffee flew out of Beverly’s mouth.

Okay. It was going to be that kind of day.

“Uh… no,” answered Iris with a quizzical brow. She brushed back a strand of her silky, straight black hair that fell just past her jawline. “The Sisters of the Circle.”

The kitchen erupted in a chorus of oohs and aahs as Ruth let out a little peal of laughter and clapped her hands again. Dolores pushed back her chair and stood. Then the three sisters all began to hug one another, like they hadn’t seen each other in years, totally out of character.

Now I really wanted to meet this coven of witches.

I looked over at Iris. “You knew about these Ring Sisters?”

Sisters of the Circle,” growled Dolores, her sergeant-major persona snapping back into place.

I was never really good with names.

Iris gave me a strange look. “Of course. Every witch knows about them. You didn’t?”

“No.” I felt a tinge of regret that I had missed out on so much of the paranormal world, growing up. Still, this coven of witches wasn’t something I’d want to be a part of.

Beverly broke away from the awkward hug Dolores was giving her and focused on Iris. “Tell me. Did you meet them? What did they look like? Were they stylish? Chic? Oh, I bet they were… just dripping with jewels and sophistication.”

Iris looked a little embarrassed. “Uh… they looked normal, I guess? Ordinary?”

Apparently, that was not the thing to say, if my aunts’ frowns were any indication.

Iris looked over at me and I shrugged. Like hell if I knew why they were acting like fangirls.

The Dark witch cleared her throat. “They asked me to give you this.” She pulled out a shimmering gold card with Sisters of the Circle written in elegant red letters, which Dolores snatched up before I had a chance to blink.

Dolores’s lips curved into a smile as she turned the card over. “It’s an invitation.”

“What does it say?” Beverly asked, stepping forward to get a better look at the card.

Dolores cleared her throat. “With great pleasure, the Sisters of the Circle cordially invite all the witches residing at Davenport House to Cocks and Broomsticks—"

I choked on my coffee.

“Please join us at 1240 Mystic Road at 7 p.m.”

I coughed, trying not to laugh. “Wait a minute…” I coughed some more. “Did you just say… cocks?”

Iris put a hand to her mouth, her face taking on a darker shade of red.

Dolores dismissed me with a brush of her hand. “You’re overreacting.”

“Cocks?” I repeated.

“Just a minor spelling mistake. Cocktails and Broomsticks,” said Dolores, though she looked a little rattled.

I didn’t buy that. I found it strange that this so-called classy coven would make that kind of mistake. Mind you, it had my imagination running wild.

“We’re all invited,” said Iris, looking excited at the prospect, too, for the first time. “You too, Tessa.”

I wanted to tell them I wasn’t interested, that these kinds of social gatherings weren’t my forte. But since it seemed so important to my aunts, I knew they’d be upset if I refused to go. Keeping up with appearances and all that.

A dreamy look came over Dolores as she clasped the card to her chest. “We’re in.”

I let out a small snort, causing Dolores to shoot a glare in my direction. “Coffee up my nose.”

Iris grabbed my arm and pulled me around to face her, saving me from Dolores’s wrath. “Forgot to tell you something. I saw Allison on my way to Ronin’s this morning.”

“Yeah, did she join the petting zoo?”

Ruth burst out laughing, though Hildo gave me a strange look.

“No.” Iris took a breath and said, “I saw her get in the back of Marcus’s Jeep with his mother.”

Hot anger swept through me, born of outrage—some primal instinct of wanting to hold on to what was mine with a bit of insecurity.

And then something odd happened.

A string of black energy blasted out of my fingers, shot past Ruth within an inch of her ear, and hit the kitchen window. The window shattered with a jarring boom.

I jerked back, surprised, as my coffee cup slipped from my fingers and crashed onto the hard floor. The sound mixed with the echoing of shattered glass.

Damn. Did I do that?

I was numb for a few seconds. Cold January air seeped in from the broken window as I tried to make sense of what just happened. My heart hammering, I stared at my hand as I turned it over, not sure what I was looking for.

What the hell just happened?

“House, if you please,” called Dolores.

A sudden ripple of energy washed through me, causing my skin to tingle. The shards of glass from the floor rose in the air, coalesced into a perfect sheet of square glass, and snapped back into place as though it had never been broken.

“Tessa?” questioned Dolores, her tone hard. “Is there something you need to tell us?”

I looked up from my hand to find everyone staring at me, mirroring my shocked expression with a touch of fear. Ruth reached up slowly and touched her ear like she was making sure it was still there.

Iris’s mouth hung slightly open, a haunted look on her face, and the anxiety in her eyes verged on panic.

A gut-twisting thought spun through my mind, one I’d stuffed away, hoping I was wrong.

I knew what it was. I just didn’t want to say it. I’d seen it before, just yesterday, only it was aimed at me, not the other way around. Fear grabbed my throat and squeezed until it was choking me, making me light headed.

I swallowed, pushing down the panic, and said, “That… was demonic magic.”

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