Authors: B.C. Morin
The White Witch
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Copyright © 2015 by B.C. Morin
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No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or the author.
Requests for permission to copy part of this work for use in an educational environment may be directed to the author.
This book is a work of fiction. References to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or persons or locales, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Cover Art © by Aedo Morin 2015
Table of Contents
First thanks go to God and his son Jesus, for blessing me with the ability to write, creativity, and the gift of salvation. Thanks also to my hubby who inspires me, loves me, and keeps the kids from tapping on my shoulder every ten minutes when I’m writing, not to mention his complete enabling of my book obsession. (Yes, I am a lucky woman!)
Thank you Tina Donnelly, Brooke Watts DelVecchio and Sylvia Heintz, for always being a part of my process. You ladies are absolutely encouraging, brutally honest readers, editors, and friends and I couldn’t do this without you!! Thank you also to Tina Týn, Erin Hoffman Dunbar, Marni Rost Jarman, Heather Lanier, Ashley Nicole Shelton, and Kelsey Darden for always being the first to volunteer to be my ARC readers.
Finally, a huge thank you to all my fans and supporters!! You are all amazing and keep me writing. I love hearing from you, and watching you fall in love with my characters as much as I do.
Two more weeks
. I sigh as I reach over and slam my hand on my alarm clock. Only two more weeks until graduation. I glance at the face down, unopened letters from the major Universities I have applied to and shut my eyes tight. Thank God I get to the mail before my parents. Dad and Elizabeth would never have let me wait to open them. It’s bad enough that I applied late and won’t be attending any until the winter semester, I also feel bad lying to them and telling them that I haven’t received any letters. But I’m not sure I’m ready for the possible disappointment just yet.
“You up, kiddo?” My dad’s rough voice follows the light knock.
“Yeah Dad, I’m up.”
“Okay, just making sure. Don’t want you to be late, your keys are on the hallway table.”
I strip the covers off and leap from the bed, running to my bedroom door and yanking it open. “You fixed it?!” I half yell, hoping my morning breath doesn’t cause him to cringe.
My dad laughs briefly, and as I catch a glimpse at myself in the mirror behind him I see why. Morning hair, crooked jammies and an overtly eager smile across my face almost makes me laugh too. “Yeah baby, my friend brought it over late last night. I went to tell you, but you had fallen asleep again while you were reading.” His hazel eyes smile from between the black rims of his glasses. His dark brown hair is becoming more littered with grays and the hair touching his glasses tells me he’s been pretty busy and hasn’t made time for a haircut.
“Daddy you’re the best.” I get on my tip toes, wrap my arms around him and take in the irish spring soap and clean linen smell that is his. I love that he is a broad shouldered man, no matter how quick the hug, I always feel like I’m enveloped into the safest spot I can think of.
He laughs, squeezing me into a bear hug and lifting my feet off the ground. “Yup, no more embarrassing drop offs at school for Katelyn by the old man.”
“It wasn’t embarrassing.” I start as he puts me down. “Well, you know, not much, anyway.”
“Hey!” He jabs at my stomach trying to tickle me.
I laugh and grab my keys off the table, my phoenix keychain dangling from the metal ring. “Freedom again. Muahahaha.”
“Freedom?” My dad leans against the wall, crossing his arms against his chest. “Honey, you say that like you are some bad teen, that needs to get out and start trouble.” He pushes off the wall and leans down, kissing my forehead. “Your idea of freedom is going to the bookstore, library or coffee shop.”
“Hey, don’t judge.” I raise my eyebrow, looking right into the eyes that so much resemble my own.
“I’m not judging.” He says as he raises his hands in mock defeat and heads toward the stairs. “Hell, I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
I run back into my room, excited to finally have my car back. It might not be the fancy brand new cars that half the kids in my school drive, but it worked, well, again anyway and it’s mine.
In my room, I grab my jeans, black v-neck and boots and head to the bathroom to get what I hope will continue to be a great Monday started. I run my hands over my long brown layered waves and turn to make sure that it doesn’t look too much like I just woke up. I’d brush it, but let’s be honest, if I did that, I’d look a bit like Diana Ross by the end of the day. Wavy hair was pretty, but with the right amount of humidity it could be pretty scary. After a bit of mascara, eye liner and lip balm, I brush some powder on my barely sunkissed skin and get rid of any shine.
“Morning Liz.” I chime as I walk into our kitchen and head straight to the coffee maker.
The smell of the freshly ground beans fill the room and I don’t hesitate to take a deep breath.
“Morning sweetie. You seem to be in a good mood today. Guess you talked to your father?”
I pull the keys from my pocket and dangle them in the air before sliding them back.
“I got your coffee started.” Liz sits down at the breakfast table waiting for our morning ritual.
I pour the coffee into my favorite mug that is already filled almost halfway with creamer, before reaching for a toaster strudel in the freezer.
Waiting for my food to pop up, I sit at the table across from my step mother. It still amazes me how my father managed to find himself a second wife that looks so much like the first.
Elizabeth Miller is five foot eight inches of extreme kindness. She is one of those women who is always so positive and full of energy, she makes you want to just hug the hell out of her, or hit her, depending on your own mood. Okay, maybe not hit her, but damned if she won’t let you wallow in grief or a bad mood for a while. Her perfect big brown curls are pulled back into a ponytail today and she is in her jeans and a t-shirt from my dad’s ice rink.
“Just two more weeks.” I sigh.
“You act like school is torture.” Her green eyes peer at me over her coffee cup.
“It is.” I say dryly, before drinking down some of the hot hazelnut flavored goodness.
“Well, you can’t hate it too bad considering you have all A’s.” She gets up as the toaster pops up my flaky morning treat.
“Just my way of ensuring they will never have a reason to hold me back.”
Liz laughs as she puts my plate down in front of me, the fruit flavor filled pastry calling me to eat it in one bite. They always think I’m joking when I talk about school, so I just let them go with it. As long as my grades are good and I’m not going through some crazy goth or piercing phase, they don’t ask too many questions.
“Oh! Ana called you last night.” Liz gives a smirk. “You know, I really like her, she’s sweet.” Ana is our next door neighbor’s kid. They moved in last year. Much to my parents delight since up until then I constantly gave them excuses as to why I wouldn’t invite friends over, or get asked to go to a friend’s house. With Ana being so close, they have successfully forced me to hang out with her twice by inviting her parents over for dinner. She really is nice and all, but I rather like keeping to myself. I try not to get too attached to anyone, not since fourth grade when my best friend decided to call me a freak in front of all our friends and never spoke to me again, well, not kindly anyway. Not my fondest memory.
“Yeah, she’s cool.” I shrug my shoulders.
I see Liz sigh to herself as she looks at me sadly. To be honest, I see her and dad doing that every once in a while, though they try not to make it obvious.
The rest of the morning consists of conversations of inviting Ana and her family over for another bar-b-cue, the universities I was waiting to hear back from, and my upcoming birthday.
I pull into the parking lot at school early enough to get a spot near the exit. Perfect, first one in, and then afterschool, first one out, just the way I like it.
The bleak and sterile halls have been practically wallpapered with flyers for all kinds of end of school events and parties. I look at my watch and see there is still half an hour ‘till homeroom, so I walk to the back of the school where we have a collection of wooden and metal picnic tables for the kids to sit at during lunch. Seems like the perfect morning to sit back and get a bit of reading done.
table, nerd.” The obnoxious voice of Samantha Cooke echoes through the empty area.
Goodbye, perfect morning
“Last week, you said
was your table.” I turn, straddling the bench and pointing at a table two rows down from me.
Samantha’s friend reaches out from around her, knocking my book to the ground. “Oops.”
I roll my eyes as I reach down to grab my book. “Very mature.”
“It was an accident, Kay-tee. I’m sure Vikki didn’t mean to do that, did you Vikki?” Samantha glances over her shoulder as Vikki and Samantha’s other goon, Taylor break into a fit of giggles. “She was just trying to help you out of
“Is there a problem here girls?” Our guidance counselor, Mr. Wentworth walks over, only taking his eyes off me when Samantha begins her explanation.
“Oh, no problem at all Mr. Wentworth.” Samantha bobs her blonde cheerleader ponytail as she talks. “We were just talking to Katelyn about the book she’s reading. I’m thinking of buying it.”
want to buy a book?” The school counselor isn’t fooled and I have to restrain a smile at the sarcasm. “Ms. Miller, is that correct? Is that what is going on?”
Samantha sets her jaw and glares at me over Mr. Wentworth’s shoulder.
“Yeh, um yeah, that’s what we were talking about alright.” I wave the book in front of him before packing it back into my messenger bag and a huge gust of wind comes out of nowhere, almost knocking it out of my hand. The sudden hard breeze promps a confused look from Vikki and Taylor and gritted teeth from Samantha as she smooths down her ponytail, though Mr. Wentworth isn’t phased.
My heart beats hard against my chest as I pray silently that no other weather anomalies appear.
Please, not now
“Hm.” Mr. Wentworth scrunches his brow at me and then shifts his eerily grey eyes from me to Samantha several times before deciding to walk away.
“You did good Katelyn. Maybe I won’t have to kick your ass for being at our table.” Samantha sighs as she looks at her perfectly manicured hands.
“Whatever.” I get up and begin to walk away when Taylor, grabs my arm and spins me around.
“What did you say, fakelyn?”
“The name, is Katelyn,” I say lowly through gritted teeth.
Nikki walks up next to Taylor, her hands balled into fists.
“And… I didn’t say anything. Nothing at all.” I finish.
The first bell rings, letting us know that we only have ten minutes to get to class, and I silently thank God for it. I use the welcome distraction to yank my arm free and walk quickly away from the outdoor eating area.
So much for having a good Monday
I see Mr. Wentworth again on my way to homeroom and try to shrug off the shivers I get. He eyes me as I walk down the hallway and though I look forward, pretending not to see him, I feel his eyes burning into me. I’ve thought about telling my dad about him a few times, but never got the nerve to do it. I had seen him following me home a couple of times when I didn’t have my car, but I continued to convince myself that the three years of martial arts I took when I was thirteen would kick in if he ever attacked me.
“Hey, I saw that you got your car back when I was leaving for school this morning.” Ana whispers, as I slide into the seat beside her and take out my English book and notebook.
“Oh, yeah.” I flash a quick grin. “Good thing too, I was getting tired of asking my dad or Liz if I could borrow their car or have them drop me off.”
“So are you going to go to the end of school bash? I hear James Bancroft is hosting it this year and he has a house on the shores of Shippan.” Ana glances at the teacher to ensure that she isn’t being watched.
I tuck my hair behind my ear, “Oh, um, I’m not really into that scene. I’m not much of a partyer.” I shrug my shoulders and open my book to the page Mrs. Landsley has given us.
“Oh, well, I’m not much of one either, I mean, I might go, I’m not sure.” Ana drops her gaze to the floor as she shuffles her feet.
I think to myself and though I normally try to stay away from people, I think of the conversation I had with Liz this morning and go completely against my instinct. “I’m going to the Stamford Town Center this afternoon to stop by the book store before going to the rink. You want to come?” I have a flash of a ponytailed little girl with her hands on her hips yelling at me and calling me names, wind whipping around us and water at our feet and silently hope this friendship doesn’t end the same.
Ana’s eyes light up and suddenly, I’m feeling a bit better about possibly having a friend. “Yeah! Have you read the new series by Patterson? Oh my gosh, it’s-“
“Ms. Ortiz.” Mrs. Landsley stands at the front of the class with her arms crossed, the sound of her tapping pointed shoe reaching us clearly. “Is there something you would like to share with the class? Perhaps you would prefer to be the one to explain how the seven soliloquies reveal the character of Hamlet and his quest for identity?” A corner of her lip creeps up, pushing an overly blushed cheek out beneath her straight black hair. Her eyebrow raises above her beady brown eyes challenging Ana.
Ana glances at me quickly and grins before beginning, “Actually mam, I believe that they seem to reveal that he is virtuous, though quite indecisive. These characteristics are explored through his various ways of insulting himself for not acting on his beliefs, and his constant need to reassure himself that his deeds are in fact, correct.”
Mrs. Landsley sets her jaw and she squints her eyes at Ana and me before turning back to the board amidst all the “OOhhhhhhs” and “Buuuurrrnnn” from the rest of the class, and hissing “That’s enough!” over her shoulder at all of us.
I laugh out loud for a moment, relieving myself of the childhood memories and look at Ana mouthing, “Good one.” Before passing a note to her telling her where my car is parked so she can meet me there afterschool.