Coven, p.1
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       Coven, p.1
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           Lacey Weatherford


  Lacey Weatherford

  Other Books by Lacey Weatherford

  Of Witches and Warlocks

  The Trouble With Spells

  The Demon Kiss

  Blood of the White Witch

  The Dark Rising

  Possession of Souls

  Book of Shadows

  Fire & Ice

  Chasing Nikki Series

  Chasing Nikki

  Finding Chase

  Chased Dreams

  Crush Series





  Fringe Series

  Tell Me Why

  Leather’s Novels


  The Story of Us Series



  Faery Kissed

  Over The River and Through The Woods


  A Midsummer Night’s Fling


  Of Witches and Demons, Book One

  Copyright © 2014 Moonstruck Media

  and Lacey Weatherford

  Edited by Kim Swain, Red Line Editing


  Published by

  Moonstruck Media


  Smashwords Edition

  Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.

  This book is available in both ebook and print formats.

  For my best #ManFan, Kyle Peck. If everyone had your heart of gold and zest for life the world would be nearly perfect! Keep surviving! The happiness and friendship you bring to so many is a gift!


  Vance Mangum-

  Staring at my wife, Portia, compassionately, my heart twisted with every moan that escaped her lips. Sweat beaded on her forehead, plastering stray strands of thick black hair against it.

  “I can’t do it anymore,” she said, panting, her eyes staring at me, mournfully.

  “Yes, you can,” I encouraged her. “You’re doing great. It won’t be long, now.”

  Portia’s mother, Stacey, continued to wipe Portia’s face with a damp cloth in an attempt to help cool her down. “You’re so close now, sweetheart. Just a few more pushes and you get to meet your new baby.”

  “Let us know when you feel the next contraction,” Krista, my mom, whispered with a smile. “We’ll help you.”

  Gratitude infused me. I was so grateful to have both of them here. Yes, my medical training included childbirth; but it was one thing to practice on a dummy and another to actually deliver your own baby. Adrenaline coursed through me.

  “The next one’s starting.” Portia grimaced.

  Stacey and my mom each grabbed one of her legs, lifting.

  “Okay. Pull your knees to your chest and push,” I instructed, watching carefully. I couldn’t help the wide smile that creased my face. “I can see the head, baby. She’s got lots of dark hair.”

  Anticipation built inside me. I knew my daughter was about to be delivered at any second.

  “Ahhhh!” Portia cried out. “It burns.”

  “That’s normal, honey,” Stacey said. “Just keep pushing through it.”

  With a pop and a gush, the head came out.

  “That’s good!” I said, swiftly rotating the small infant and helping to guide her shoulders out. In one whoosh, she suddenly slipped into my waiting hands. Tears filled my eyes as I quickly suctioned her mouth and nose and began cutting and clamping the cord, making sure to note the time. It was 9:42 PM on April 2nd . . . my birthday.

  Rubbing the baby briskly with a towel, I did my best to stimulate her into crying and opening up those lungs. I couldn’t help smiling as a loud wail filled the room. Lifting her for Portia to see, I smiled. “Mommy, meet Kenna.” Tears continued to leak from my eyes.

  “Oh my gosh! She’s so beautiful!” Portia replied with a sob. “I can’t believe she’s finally here.”

  Stacey and my mom were both grinning from ear to ear, with tears streaming down their faces.

  “You want to hold her?” I asked Portia and she nodded, reaching out.

  Suddenly, an old, almost foreign, sensation hit me hard and I gasped.

  “What is it?” Mom asked, staring at me quizzically; but I was already lost.

  The scent of a fresh-blooded witch wafted up into my nostrils—a scent that smelled surprisingly like Portia’s. Immediately, my teeth lengthened in anticipation of a drink long denied. Unable to help myself, I felt the demon warlock take over and all I could think of was having a drink of my baby’s blood.

  “No!” My mom screamed, lunging for me; but I was too swift for her, yanking the infant away.

  Breathing heavily, I fought to control the raging desire to feed the long dormant monster inside me; yet, I continued lifting the small child nearer, unable to deny the heady scent. My whole body was shaking uncontrollably.

  Giving in, I leaned closer, shielding the baby from the grandmothers who were beating on my back. I was so close, just a hairsbreadth away from something so delicious.

  I opened my mouth.

  Suddenly, the baby burst into flames.

  Shocked, I yanked back, the surprise knocking me from my bloodlust as I stared at her in wonder.

  “Oh my gosh!” My mom gasped, taking a step back from the roaring inferno in my arms. “She’s manifesting!”

  “I thought children weren’t born with unleashed powers,” Stacey said, eyes wide.

  “They aren’t,” my mom replied. “I’ve never heard of this happening.”

  “Vance?” Portia’s questioning voice caused me to turn and look at her.

  “She’s a fire witch—like me,” I said in awe. “She’s protecting herself. I can hear what she’s thinking.” Laughing, I stared at the flaming bundle, drawing her to my chest and holding her close. “She felt the bloodlust in me and knew she was in danger.”

  Portia stared at us both, her eyes showing a mixture of wonder and worry. It was at that moment I realized I could no longer hear Portia’s thoughts. Apparently the baby was the one who’d formed the connection between us. Now that she was delivered, the mental connection with my human wife had been severed and I immediately, mourned the loss. I loved being linked with Portia in that way.

  Holding the baby out in front of me, I stared down at her still flaming body. “I won’t hurt you.” I promised. “Daddy loves you. You just took me by surprise.”

  Instantly, the flames went out and I laughed, realizing she believed me—trusted me. It made my heart soar.

  Slowly, I extended her toward Portia.

  “Wait! What if she bursts into flames?” Stacey asked in alarm. “Portia isn’t magical anymore. She could be greatly harmed.”

  Smiling, I shook my head. “No. Portia is her mommy. She won’t hurt her.” Confidently, I placed the baby in my wife’s arms.

  More tears fell from her eyes as she happily held her child for the first time. “Hello, sweet Kenna. Momma loves you.”

  And overwhelming abundance of love suddenly burst through me and I realized it was coming from the baby.<
br />
  “She loves you, too,” I said. “So much that I’m not even sure how to describe it.”

  My mom and Stacey kept glancing back and forth between my wife and me, looking as completely bewildered, as I felt.

  “I think we’re going to need to raise this baby somewhere else,” I said with a slight laugh. “Somewhere away from society.”

  My mom nodded. “I agree. It’d be awfully hard to explain away her spontaneously combusting in the middle of an outing or something.”

  “Very hard.” I didn’t care what I needed to do to protect my family. As long as we were together, that was all that mattered.

  Leaning over, I brushed my lips against Portia’s head. “You’re a beautiful mother,” I whispered.

  She eyed me with concern. “Are you sure you’re going to be okay?”

  I nodded. “I will be. It just caught me unaware. I wasn’t prepared for it. From now on, I will be. I give you both my word.”

  Sighing, she visibly relaxed. “I simply want us all to be happy.”

  “We will be, baby,” I replied, kissing her head, again, and reaching out to pat the small infant in her arms. “We will be.”

  Chapter One

  Kenna Mangum-

  “Are you sure you want to do this, Kenna?” My dad stared at me from the driver’s seat, worry and concern clearly etched on his face. “It’s not too late to change your mind, you know. I can turn the car around and we can drive home right now.”

  Laughing, I shook my head. “You just moved our entire family across the United States to give me this opportunity and now you’re trying to talk me out of it?”

  He smiled slightly; but it didn’t erase the worry from his eyes. “I’m just nervous. You’ve never been out in public on your own before. If there were a problem, it would take time to reach you. That makes me uncomfortable.”

  I snorted, rolling my eyes. “Dad, I can easily kick the ass of every person in that building and you know it. You trained me well.”

  Eyes softening, he smiled a bit wider. “Watch your language, young lady. I know you can, but you can never be too careful.” Reaching out, he stroked my dark hair. “You’re the most important person in the world to your mother and me. I promised her I’d protect you from all the evil out there and I intend to keep my word.”

  Leaning over, I briefly kissed him on the cheek. “And you’ve done a fantastic job, so far. Now it’s time to trust me and let me grow up a little. I want to live this—experience this—for myself. It’s the only senior year I’ll have; and it’s my last chance to experience public high school. I’m tired of homeschooling and I want to meet people my own age.”

  “I know. And I don’t mean to push my own insecurities off on you, but I’m of the opinion ‘better safe than sorry’.”

  “Daaad.” I dragged the word out. “How many times have we had this conversation? I’m not going to change my mind. You know that or you wouldn’t have moved here. And honestly, how much more can we blend in? We live in frickin’ Salem, Massachusetts. I could stand on the corner and scream at the top of my lungs that I’m a witch and no one would even blink twice. The school mascot is the Salem Witches for crying out loud—I’m fairly sure you picked the absolute best location on the planet for a family of witches to blend in.”

  Chuckling, he shook his head. “When did you become so logical?”

  “The day I was born,” I teased. “And I’m pretty sure I got it from you.”

  “No, I think your mom is the more logical one in our relationship.”

  “Which is why I think I got it from you . . . she still has hers.” I couldn’t help my grin and he laughed even more.

  “Get out of the car, smart ass.”

  Rolling my eyes, I shook my head. “Watch your language,” I mimicked, reaching for the door handle. “I love you, Dad.”

  “Love you, too, Firecracker. Have a good day and be safe. I’ll be here to pick you up afterward. Maybe we can work on your motorcycle later, if you don’t have too much homework.”

  “I’d like that,” I said, meaning every word. My dad was one of the most sought after custom motorcycle designers around—and he’d taught me everything he knew about them. I loved bikes! Working on them together was always something I looked forward to; so when he asked if I’d like to build a custom bike for myself with him, I jumped at the chance. I couldn’t wait to finish it and start riding it to school.

  Shutting the door behind me, I waved as he drove away before turning to face the reddish orange brick school. Except for briefly meeting the principal and a secretary, who helped me register, I didn’t know a soul here. The principal, Mr. Walters, had given me special permission to try out late for the cheer squad and I was super excited about that.

  I may have been homeschooled up to this point, but my parents were . . . well, they were loaded when it came to money; so no expense had been spared in my education. Learning how to dance was a big deal to me when I was younger, so my dad found a witch qualified to give me lessons. Since this school didn’t have any dance classes, I really wanted a shot at the cheer line/dance team, so I could keep doing the thing I loved.

  Straightening, I made my way toward the front doors, not really making eye contact with anyone as I surveyed the other students going the same direction. I clutched my spiral notebooks, the paper bag holding my lunch, and my schedule as if they were life preservers that would protect me in this sea of newness.

  Reaching the door, I was surprised when a short, but cute, guy paused, holding it open for me. “Thanks,” I muttered, as I stepped through.

  “The pleasure was all mine,” he replied, continuing to eye me like I was fresh meat. Then again, I guess I was.

  Choosing to ignore Captain Way Too Obvious, I continued into the building, glancing down at the sheet of paper in my hand, which had my locker number and combination. I didn’t really need it, since I already had it memorized, but I carried it around mainly for security, in case anyone needed proof that I was in the right place. Plus, it was something to hold on to.

  There was no sense in lying to myself, I was nervous. But I wasn’t afraid. I hadn’t really had the chance to interact with anyone my own age for like—ever. Not that I regretted my childhood. I understood why my parents felt it necessary to raise me in the middle of an ancient Oregon forest, in a house so warded by magic that no one could see it. They did it because they loved me and wanted to protect me, and I loved them for it. But, in spite of everything I’d learned over the years, social interaction was something I never really got to practice. Yes, I’d been to public places with my family, once I’d grown older and understood the consequences of what showing magic to others could do. I just wanted this experience—to make friends, be part of clubs and other activities. I wanted to be social and have a reason for a cell phone and be a part of all the other great things people were into.

  Smiling slightly, I thought of the new phone in my bag. I’d even set up a Facebook account already, in the hopes of meeting new people. It was funny how I never needed a phone before. I was always with one of my parents, if not both of them. And, on the rare occasions I’d been home alone, I always had direct access to my dad through the mental connection we shared. There was never any need for a phone unless I was calling one of my grandmas, and then I just used one of my parents’ phones.

  Recalling my extrasensory mental abilities, I used them to quickly scan the crowded hall in front of me, wondering if I could read anyone’s thoughts the way my dad had been able to read my mom’s when they first met.

  However, only silence greeted me. Oh well, it was probably unrealistic to hope that I’d get to go to a real school and meet my soul mate on the very first day. Better to stick with one thing at a time. Friends first.

  With that thought in mind, I began paying attention to the auras surrounding the people I passed. Seeing auras would greatly aid me in finding nice people to hang around with. I could easily see who the bitchy people were by their dark brow
n auras, which were usually flecked with red. The friendly people stood out with their multi-colored ones, but I looked specifically for purples, whites, and pinks. Those would be people who had a lot in common with me. They would have natural intuition or psychic abilities—even if they didn’t know it. People of those colors would be more apt to believe things about my life, if there was ever a need for them to know. According to my mom, there were definitely advantages to being a witch with friends who understood you—not that she was actually encouraging me to tell anyone our secret.

  I located my locker and pretended not to notice the glances cast in my direction. It didn’t offend me at all, since I knew being the “new girl” would pique people’s interest. As long as they didn’t mind me staring back on occasion, everything should be fine. All of this was so different and fascinating to me.

  Twirling out the combination, I quickly had the locker open and was able to store some of my things inside. I was pretty sure Mom and I had gone slightly overboard on the school shopping. I had notebooks in every color, along with coordinating pens and pencils organized into multicolored containers, plus a cute, magnetic locker mirror, so I could check my makeup.

  “That’s quite a supply you’ve got in there,” a male voice said over my shoulder. “Now I know who to come to if I ever forget to bring a pen or pencil.”

  Turning, I stared at the tall, sandy blond haired guy beside me. Hot damn. He was really good looking, and he had incredible green eyes. Despite imagining a moment like this forever, I suddenly found myself completely tongue tied and scrambling for something to say. Thankfully he started talking once more, sparing me the embarrassment of not replying.

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