Authors: Karice Bolton
Tags: #Juvenile Fiction, #Love & Romance
The Witch Avenue Series
Copyright © 2013 Karice Bolton
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any printed or electronic form without permission from the author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, places, and events either are the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Cover design: PhatpuppyArt.com
To the wonderful readers of the Witch Avenue Series! I hope you enjoy the final installment. Thank you for reading about the witchy world of Logan and Triss.
to my wonderful husband and mom.
BOOKS BY KARICE BOLTON
THE WITCH AVENUE SERIES
THE WATCHERS TRILOGY
TAKEN NOVELLA (Watchers Prequel)
COMING SUMMER 2013
Contemporary Romance TBA
Book 1 in a TBA Paranormal Romance series
I slid my body underneath the chain link fence, careful not to leave a shred of fabric behind as evidence. The sharpness of the metal pushed into my flesh as I pulled myself under, reminding me just how complicated it was going to be to leave this place, especially in a hurry. Best not to think too far ahead…
We may have
destroyed the top members of the Praedivinus Order, but all too many were willing to become quick replacements for my father and grandfather. So far to prove their worth to the organization, they’ve done nothing but create more darkness in our community. Greed did wonders to the human spirit.
Logan would kill me if he knew what
my plans were — that I was here. Pushing him out of my mind, I gave my body one last heave, grinding my back against the mud as I made my way into the compound. I hopped onto my feet and quickly gave up on the idea of scraping the mud off me.
It was close to dusk, but the towering trees spread throughout the p
roperty shadowed everything, giving the appearance that it was deep into the night. The boughs of the firs swung slightly with the gentle breeze, making me jumpy as I scanned my surroundings. The only movement I wanted to feel was my own.
According to Google maps, a mini-mansion sat toward the back of the property. There were also two tennis courts
behind the house. Why one wasn’t enough, I had no idea. A large greenhouse was situated along the side of the property, but I couldn’t see any of those structures from my current vantage point with all of the thick conifers dotting the property.
Two of our Witch Avenue Coven members had
disappeared, and that was completely out of character for them. Unfortunately, there was so much unrest within our coven that a number of the other members believed the missing members should be considered possible traitors. I didn’t subscribe to that belief.
As I scanned the property, I hoped with all my heart that the other members weren’t right. I didn’t want to think that the
Praedivinus Order would be able to recruit within our group so easily after everything we’d been through. I had trusted my heart this long and was going to continue that way until it started biting me. A dream had led me here. And I didn’t know if it was wishful thinking or a premonition, but I needed to find out.
actually tried hard to push the dream out of my mind until I happened to come across two of the people from my dream while I was at the grocery store. Stunned and curious, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to follow them and see if they really did kidnap the missing members. That’s what landed me here. Once my iPhone confirmed the property details from my dream, it seemed too eerie to ignore.
wove quickly through the trees until the land became sparse, allowing me to see exactly what I was hoping to see. The large home sprawled in several directions, making it far too easy to stow people away. There were a few rooms, mostly on the main floor, with lights on. In my dream, our coven members were being kept upstairs in a bedroom. I wasn’t sure if I should follow what I did in my dream to gain access or follow my gut. In my dream, I entered through the front door because it was unlocked. In the real world I doubted it would be that easy, and I didn’t really want to do something that bold and risk being caught immediately.
nt porch lights were already on so I hoped I wouldn’t be triggering any motion controlled sensors. Things were looking up. I spotted a window that was cracked open and darted toward it, keeping my profile low as I ran to the opening.
There was no one in the room, and th
e only piece of furniture was an oak desk, so I wiggled the screen off the window and slid through to gain entry. My heart began beating quickly as I slowly moved through the mostly empty space. It was hard to hear anything that was happening in the rest of the house as my heart continued to hammer. Making it to the door, I carefully scanned the dark hallway and tiptoed to the staircase.
I heard a male and female
laugh down the hall. I guessed it was the same two who I’d seen at the grocery store. Or at least I hoped it was only those two. With the background noise I was hearing, they sounded stationary, as if they were watching the television or listening to music or something. I continued moving up the stairs quietly, constantly checking behind me and in front of me. A Praedivinus plaque hung on the wall, but it wasn’t enough to make me confident about my decision to come inside this house. Just because they were members of the Praedivinus Order didn’t mean they were kidnappers. With each step closer to the top of the staircase, the doubts started flooding in about the sanity of my choices. What if it really was a dream? What if there were more members in the house?
Logan must have started sensing my distress. I knew Logan was probably already worrying about me being gone so long. Going to the store to grab ingredients for dinner shouldn’t take a couple hours, even in Triss time. Hopefully when I got back, I’d have a good story to tell. I reached the landing and situated myself in the hall. The room I’d seen in my dream, where I thought they were being held, would have to be to my right, toward the back of the house. All of the doors appeared to be closed, but there was one at the end that had a faint glow trickling from underneath it. Here went nothing.
I reached the door
, and my fingers traced around the doorknob, turning it slightly to see if it was unlocked. It was. My hand twisted the knob, and I mentally prepared for a fight.
I swung the door open
, and shock registered on the faces of the two missing members of the Witch Avenue Coven, Tracy and Lin. They were huddled in the corner of the barren room and began shaking and hugging each other tighter, but the ropes that had been tied around their ankles and wrists limited their motion. I quickly closed the door and noticed their eyes scanning behind me, probably hoping I’d brought more help.
“How did you know?” Lin asked, her voice trembling.
“Just a hunch,” I whispered, crouching in front of them.
Lin’s dark hair was tangled, plastered on the side of her face
, with several strands stuck to her lashes from tears.
“I’m sure the
se have been cast,” I whispered, gesturing toward the restraints.
They both nodded in agreement.
If the ropes were cast, once they were released the captors would be notified.
“Are there only two peop
le guarding you? That you know of, anyway?” I asked.
Lin’s tears wouldn’t
stop, so I looked over at Tracy in hopes of an answer. She nodded frantically and began whispering to Lin to calm her down.
I can free you from the ropes, but I think our best shot is to make it appear like you guys freed yourselves and escaped. I’m going to summon up a little flame to shred the rope fibers. It might disrupt their spell enough where they won’t be notified immediately, but we can’t count on it.” I noticed two lights outside the window – flashlights. “Do they ever go on evening walks?”
Lin and Tracy shook their heads. I
continued watching the lights go in the direction I had come from. Soon the lights would disappear into the trees and that might be our moment to escape.
“I think they know something’s up. We’ll wait until they get into the woods a little
more. I’m sure they’re checking to see if someone breeched the fence because they’re going right where I entered. Every minute they give us while they search, the better. The second I free you guys, and we get out of the house, I want you to run like you’ve never run before and follow me to the edge of the property, and then just keep running. Once we reach the edge, I’ll stay behind to make sure they can’t reach you. You’ll get out of here. I promise.”
Lin was completely in tears now. “Thank you. Thank you,” she whimpered.
The lights disappeared. Now was the moment. I felt the heat in my palm spread to my fingertips. Leaning over them, I touched my fingertips to the fibers of the ropes around their wrists and watched as the ropes disintegrated into ash. I quickly moved to their ankles and repeated the process.
“Okay, girls. Let’s hit it,” I whispered. They both jumped up, shaking each leg.
Throwing the door open, we dashed down the hall to the stairs. We weren’t going to exit out the front door and risk running into their captors. Reaching the bottom of the stairs, I went in the opposite direction from where I’d come in earlier. As we ran down the hall, I spotted a set of French doors in the great room and beelined toward them, hoping I wouldn’t hear the front door open. We ran outside and didn’t stop running. The motion lights began spraying across the back lawn, but it didn’t matter. We kept running and running. My lungs burned, my muscles ached, but we kept going.
I heard yelling off in the distance
. They must have realized the spell was broken. Hopefully, we were far enough ahead of them. We came up to the same kind of fence that I had encountered in the front of the yard. We didn’t have time to wiggle under it. We needed to climb over it. I motioned for Lin and Tracy to go first. If we were going to get caught this would be the place, and I needed to be able to defend them.
“Come on. You
’ve got it,” I coaxed Lin. Fear was laced through her gaze. She looked behind me and then at the top of the tall chain-link fence, knowing just how vulnerable she was going to be once she got to the top.
, nothing will happen to you. But every second we stand here, makes it harder to keep that promise,” I advised.
I looked over a
t Tracy, hoping she would help, but it wasn’t necessary. Lin lifted her leg, and placed the tip of her foot into the metal fencing, and quickly scaled the side of the fence. She paused, scanning the backyard, and released herself on the other side.
“Don’t see anyone,” Lin said, watching as Tracy began the ascent.
Tracy reached up, grabbed the fence and hurled herself up foothold by foothold.
“I see them,” Lin
said, her eyes locked ahead.
I turned quickly and saw the dots of light moving toward us at a rapid pace. Tracy was almost to the top and about to swing her leg over when a crackling ray shot through the air barely missing her.
“Get over the fence,” I commanded to Tracy.
“Lin get out of here now. Tracy will find you. There’s a river out back. Make sure you don’t fall over the bank. Just follow it off the property to the road.”
I heard a
frightened mumble, and then Lin’s feet took off toward the woods.
Tracey landed on the other side of the fence with a thud. She gave a quick
thumbs up and took off after Lin. This plan had seemed like a much better idea in the safety of my car.
I turned to face
our pursuers in the dark of the night. They were coming at me hard. Sensing the waves of anger that radiated from their bodies, my fingers began tingling with anticipation. I could take them down.
I dove to the ground as
the man shot me with a ray of blue light. The current grazed my shoulder but caused no damage. I flicked my wrist at the woman, releasing a jet of flames toward her. Her look of surprise surfaced before the flames hid them both from me.
“She’s one of those,” the woman screamed.
“Just like her father,” the man snarled.
The fire only diverted them
momentarily, but it gave me enough time to hop back on my feet before they were in front of me again. The man shot a restraint at me, but I dodged the magical stream just in time. I heard it clank to the ground and rolled in the opposite direction. I didn’t want to kill them, only stall them. But that line of reasoning was quickly diminishing as the man lunged toward me. I jumped backward, pinning myself against the fence. The man’s eyes began glowing a deep red, and the woman’s followed.
“You should’ve left well enough alone,” the man said, reaching for my neck.
Before his fingers touched my flesh, I grabbed his wrist and allowed the silver to release from my fingertips, stopping him in his tracks.
should have,” I hissed.
“What are you?” the woman cried, stepping back.
I released my grip on the man, whose flesh— even in the night’s darkness— was turning a soft silver as the liquid metal spread through his veins.
Why did you kidnap Lin and Tracy?” I growled.
The man was
now frozen in place so I turned my attention to the woman.
fell over a stump as she walked backward and began whimpering. In an instant, I was towering over her. Her red eyes seemingly less threatening with every moment that went by. “Tell me,” I repeated.
“We wanted to see who
we could entice into coming,” she whispered, looking at the frozen state of her partner and then back at me.