Young Adult Fantasy
Bonus Short-Stories of Daughters of the Circle
Copyrighted © July 1, 2015 by Lenore Wolfe
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
First Printing July 01, 2015
Copyrighted © July 01, 2015 by Lenore Wolfe
All rights reserved.
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Shakespir.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This series was inspired by my granddaughters Elisa and Isabelle
DAUGHTERS OF THE CIRLCE
Shadows in Ravenwood
Daughters of the Circle Series Book One
Released March 08 2015
WITCHES OF RAVENWOOD
Daughters of the Circle Book Two
To be released June 04 2015
THE FALLEN ONE
Sons of the Dark Mother Series Book One
To be Re-released January 2015
A Tribute Novel
EMBRACED BY SHADOW
Sons of the Dark Mother Book Two
To be released July 2016
DOORWAY OF THE TRIQUETRA
Children of Atlantis Series Book One
Released June 2011
Dark Paranormal Fantasy
Children of Atlantis Series Book Two
To be released June 2016
Dark Paranormal Fantasy
Daughters of the Dark Moon Series Book One
To be released June 2016
Dark Paranormal Fantasy
Present Red Bluff, Colorado
Morgan had never imagined she’d be drawn to a wand. She’d couldn’t remember giving it much thought. So when it arrived at the front door of the manor in a long, beautiful, ornate box, she stared at it, thinking how beautiful the box looked—and the wand, too—nestled in the impression where it sat.
The box intrigued her in itself, made up, as it was, of intricate molded metal, in deep reds and gunmetal gray, the interior made of deep, rich black velvet.
But really, other than that, she thought nothing more of it. Yet over the next several hours, something surprising happened.
First, she kept being pulled back to the room where she’d set it over the fireplace mantel. Several times, she found herself standing in front of it, having had no conscious thoughts of going there. When she did, she’d become aware that she just stood there, staring at the impressions in the metal of the box. And then, she’d find herself taking it down and opening the box, just to stare at the wand. She felt something from it. She sensed this connection with it that caused her to keep being tugged toward it. And, each time the connection grew stronger—and stronger still.
Looking down at it, cool against her fingers, now, she didn’t know where the wand had come from—or why. But she felt as though she’d held it before.
Frowning, she stared at it. She certainly hoped that this wand had not come into her life, now, just when she’d become more determined than ever to have a normal, magick free life, at least for a while. She’d hate to think that it showing up on her doorstep meant that something was amiss—again.
She at least needed a short break from magick.
There were four of them who did magick. She and her sister, Claire, Tara, who’d always known she was a witch—and Sophia. Then, there was Alex and the twins. They’d grown up together in the small town of Red Bluff, before being separated one fateful day, playing around with magick.
They’d just gotten their aunt back—for heaven’s sake—after losing her to their very first enemy, Dante—and now, Sophia, who was half faery, half witch and a lifelong friend who had also moved into Ravenwood Manor, was still with the Prince of Fire and his group—because the Fae Prince couldn’t take no for an answer when he’d up and decided to make him one of the members of his little harem.
They needed a break—a big one—from magick.
The more she stared at it—the more she had the growing sensation that this did not bode well for them—that this meant something more was in store—already.
Morgan set the wand in its velvet nest. Shaking her head, she closed the lid with a snap.
Oh, no, she thought. She wouldn’t be drawn into yet another battle—no matter what the wand thought it had in store for her.
She placed the box back on top the mantel, squaring her shoulders. And with some determination, she left the room.
She found Alex in their bedroom, putting his clean clothes away. Sitting on the bed, she frowned, staring out the window. She sensed that her troubled thoughts had gotten his attention, because he hesitated, half way to the dresser with another pile.
Setting the pile on top the dresser instead, he turned to look at her instead. “That wand still bothering you?” he said.
Glancing at him, she nodded, swallowing then glancing away. “I have a feeling it means we’re in for something more,” she said, irritated. “And we haven’t even finished with the last bit of trouble we’ve uncovered.”
He nodded, setting down on the bed and pulling her into his arms. Alex bent and gave her a tender kiss, running his thumb along her jaw. “Whatever it is, we’ll get through it together,” he said, looking down into her eyes.
She tried for a smile, pulling away. “But that’s just it,” she said. “We’re not together—not anymore. And who knows if we’ll ever get Sophia back.” She got up from the bed, turning to look at him in her agitation. “That prince may never give up on his obsession with her.”
He got up from the bed, pulling her into his arms. Looking down at her, he pulled her flush with his body. “We’ll figure it out,” he promised, leaning down to give her a tender kiss.
She gazed up into his dark eyes. “What did I ever do to deserve you?” she asked.
He grinned at this, but then he sobered. “What did I ever do to deserve you?” he repeated back to her.
She leaned up on her tiptoes, kissing him. She felt the blessing of his love wrap itself around her. She felt the answering call within her body. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she kissed him back with everything she had.
She knew he was right. As long as they stuck together—they could get through anything.
But she sure wished that someone out there would give them a break.
An hour later, they left the bedroom, hand-in-hand. Down in the kitchen, they found Claire busy preparing dinner. She glanced up at them as they came through the door.
“I heard that someone has given you a wand,” Claire said to her.
Morgan nodded, not liking the reminder. She’d just managed to get her mind off of that thing. “Have you seen it?” she asked her sister.
Claire nodded. “Jake told me where it was,” she said, some excitement evident in her tone. “I had to go and peek,” she said.
Morgan shook her head, going to take the plates out of the cupboard. “How can you be so happy about this?” Morgan asked, glancing at her as she worked.
Alex took the plates from her and went to set them on the dining room table in the other room. As always, she felt a surge of love for him, realizing that he was giving them some room to talk.
Claire glanced at her, from where she now stood in front of the countertop stove that sat on the island in the kitchen. She stirred the spaghetti sauce, then sniffed at the aroma curling up from the pot. “How can you not?” she said back to Morgan. “It’s so beautiful—and old—and it feels amazing,” she said.
Morgan stopped halfway through pulling the flatware out of the drawer. “And we don’t even know where it came from….” She finished for her sister.
Claire wrinkled her nose. “Well there is that,” she said. “But you have to be intrigued, none-the-less,” she said, looking at her sister expectantly.
Morgan frowned and shook her head. Finally, she shrugged. “Okay,” she admitted. “Yes—I am,” she glowered at her sister now. “But only because I remember that wand,” she pointed toward the living room.
Claire looked up sharply at her sister. “You do?”
Morgan nodded emphatically.
“From where?” Claire asked, suspicious now.
Morgan looked away, then looked back at her sister. “From a past life….”
Wand of Power
Morgan stood back in front of the fireplace, staring at the wand. After dinner, she and Claire had gone back into the living area, to take another look. Morgan sensed the anticipation rolling off her sister, as she lifted the lid and brought out the wand. She’d swear that Claire almost hoped that something would happen—or maybe she sensed that it would.
Morgan had to admit, though, the power from the beautiful old wand really did feel amazing, as she picked it up out of the box, feeling this strong bond that seemed to wrap itself around her arm, traveling through her, drawing her deeper to it with every beat of her heart.
She’d been right. This had been her wand—she could feel it. This had been her wand for the space of all of her lifetimes.
Blue mist surrounded it as she stared. The air shimmered, then a woman stepped out of the mist. Morgan’s mouth fell open as she gaped at her, unable to believe what she was seeing. She felt Claire move forward, and she wanted to protest—but she stood rooted to floor instead.
The beautiful, queen-like woman who stood before them in a black jeweled gown turned to stare into Morgan’s eyes—and right away, from somewhere deep inside, Morgan knew that she was a Dark Faery—and the keeper of the wand.
“At last,” the Dark Faery said.
Morgan shook her head. What could she have possibly meant by that?
“Who are you?” she asked.
The woman laughed. “Why I am the Dark Faery, Chantel, who protects the wand,” she answered, confirming her suspicions, tugging further at the edges of Morgan’s memories. “And I have been waiting for you to awaken the power within, once more.” She looked around, her gaze falling on Claire. “Oh, this is wonderful,” she said. “The sisters are back together again. I couldn’t be more pleased.”
“You knew we were separated?” Claire asked.
Chantel nodded. “As you have had to overcome this in several of your lifetimes—you’ve had to overcome such a separation in this lifetime too. It is part of the curse,” she said and then stared at them both through striking blue eyes, fringed in long, midnight lashes. She looked at them expectantly as if what she’d just said made everything clear.
“Oh, dear,” she said, looking from Morgan to Claire. “You don’t have any idea what I’m telling you, do you?”
Both sisters shook their heads.
“Hmmm,” Chantel said. “Let’s see,” she looked around. “Well, we may as well begin at the beginning,” she said, then grinned. “You might want to take a seat.”
Morgan looked at Claire, and Claire shrugged, then they both sat down on the couch.
The Dark Faery took a seat across from them. She seemed to glide into her chair. “Now, let’s see,” she said, again. “Oh, yes,” she laughed, and her laughter took on the tinkle of wind chimes, mesmerizing the sisters.
“A long time ago in a beautiful kingdom, these two powerful sisters lived in the castle. The king had brought them there to do his bidding,” she said in a breathy voice, like she was telling little girls a fairy tale. “Oh, he held such amazing power because of these sisters.” She stared at one sister, then the other. “You see, he was not a good king, and he only stayed on his throne because of these sisters.” Her gaze narrowed on Claire, then Morgan. “Because of the two of you….”
Morgan stared at her. “Why did they—we—do as he asked?” she said. “Especially if he was not good a good king?”
“Why? Because he held you aunt captive,” she said as if that explained everything. “You see, their,” her eyes twinkled, “your—mother had died when they were very young, and she was all they—er—you both had. The king knew this, so he had her locked up. And when you girls tried to go against him, as you grew older, he separated the two of you, too.”
She got up, agitated and walked around them. “You sisters fought back, and you were both very strong, so eventually, to control you, he had a witch brought in to place a curse on you—that you would always be apart—in lifetime after lifetime.”
She stopped and looked at the sisters. “But in each lifetime, you both have always found your way back to each other.” She smiled. “And this time you have done so at such a young age. That is good.”
She looked at the wand in Morgan’s hands.
“Now, the wand has found its way to you, once more,” she said. “And you will need to use it to defeat the witch.”
Morgan’s mouth fell open. “This isn’t a fairy tale….” she began.
“What witch?” Claire asked.
Morgan turned to stare at her sister. “Surely, you don’t believe that story she just told you?”
Turning, Claire stared at her sister. “Every word….”
Morgan gazed at her, then she turned to look at Chantel expectantly.
Chantel’s hair seemed to move as with an unseen wind as Alex stepped into the room, the twins right behind him. They stared at her, as Morgan turned to glance at them, then back at Chantel.
The power she wielded could be felt by all.
“The Witch of the Everwood of the Everwood Tree of the Fates, which grows within these mountains.”
“Oh—rubbish,” Morgan spat.
She felt her sister turn to stare at her, but Morgan didn’t take her eyes of the Dark Faery. She got up, too, now, walking toward her.
“You show up with this wand and tell us this magnificent story,” she said, advancing on her. “And, now, you want us to believe that we’re to fight some Witch of some Everwood, in the forest,” she pointed toward the woods—and stopped….
She turned to stare at the Dark Faery.
Chantel nodded. “But not ‘we’ dear,” she said. She reached up and touched the area over Morgan’s heart. “You….”
Reckoning of the Heart
Morgan ran her fingers over the uneven texture of the wand, caressing the wood like a lover. She stared out the window, not thinking about magick at all—but of Alex.
What if she didn’t come back from this one?
In the short time they had been battling enemies, since they’d all returned to Ravenwood Manor, they’d fought some powerful enemies. But she’d never once thought she stood alone in this. She didn’t even want to be doing this—living a life of magick—at all.
Well, she thought, she did—and she didn’t.
She didn’t really think she could stop now—even if someone stepped down, now, and said that she could. But that didn’t mean she had to like it.
Well—she sort of did that too—like it—that is.
She huffed. But when would they get a break from it—so she could even sort out how she felt? They hadn’t had time to think. They’d just been thrust into the thick of it—pretty much head first.
She glanced up at Alex, who stood, now, watching her.
“I don’t like the idea of you going up against this witch—alone,” he said.
She nodded. “Neither do I,” she admitted. “But apparently that’s what I have to do.” She gazed at him. “If I defeat her this time—I break the curse.” She set the wand into its velvet bed and closed the lid of the box, setting it back on the mantel. She turned, walking into Alex’s arms. “This is apparently who I am,” she said, and sighed. “I’ve been fighting it all this time, but I don’t think I can go on—if I keep trying to reject myself.” She wrapped her arms around his waist and looked up into his dark eyes. “This isn’t just what I do,” she finally admitted. “This is what makes up all the pieces of who I am.” She closed her eyes, setting her head against his chest.
He cradled her head to him, and she stood there, listening to the beating of his heart. She didn’t know what she’d do if she lost him.
And apparently, every single time she’d been unable to defeat this witch—she’d been thrust into the darkness of her life—losing everyone she loved.
She wouldn’t lose this time—she couldn’t. She couldn’t bear her life alone. Maybe she’d had no choice but to bear it in every other lifetime before this one—but she could not go on if she lost this time. She would not live without the people she loved—ever again.
She couldn’t lose—not this time.
“When will you know?’ he asked her.
She let out a long breath. Finally, she opened her eyes. “Now,” she said.
He shook his head.
“At least, I have to go and see this Everwood Tree of the Fates,” she said. “I don’t know if I have to fight the witch yet, but I have to see this tree.”
He stood there, looking down at her for the longest time. She thought he would protest. She thought he would fight to keep her from going, but finally, he stepped back from her.
“I will walk you to the edge of the forest then,” he said.
Claire stepped into the room then. Hearing that, she glanced at her sister, as Thorick came up behind her. “And Thorick will take you the rest of the way,” she said.
She came forward, hugging Morgan tight. And when she pulled back, there were tears shimmering in her eyes.
“Come back to us this time,” she said.
And all Morgan could do was nod.
Thorick left Morgan at the Everwood Tree of the Fates, deep within the forest. She stood there, wand in hand, waiting. But she didn’t have any idea what she waited for.
She’d stood there for more than an hour when the Dark Faery came to her from within the purple mist as before.
“You are untrained,” Chantel said to her, “and very brave to come here.”
Morgan frowned, her gaze narrowing. “You better not have lured me here,” she said.
Chantel shook her head. “I have not,” she said. “But this is just the beginning. You will not fight the witch—at least not quite yet. You will need to come with me first.”
Morgan shook her head. “No,” she said. “You wanted me to come here to fight the Witch of the Everwood, and I have come.” Her gaze narrowed on the Dark Faery. “But I will not be lured anywhere else.”
Chantel smiled at her. “You have come this far because of how brave you are,” she said. “But you will not defeat her on bravery alone.” She stepped forward, placing her hand over Morgan’s heart, as she had before. “Bravery will take you far,” she said. “But you need training, as well.” She turned, then glanced back at Morgan from over her shoulder. “Come,” she said. “You will need to go to the one who will teach you what you must know to use the wand. Only then can you defeat the Witch of the Everwood.”
Morgan glanced around. Apprehension filled her. But the Dark Faery was right. She would have to take the chance—or she was dead either way. Realizing this, she also knew she had nothing more to lose. So she followed the Dark Faery across the veil.
As soon as she stepped across, she found Mira, the Jaguar Witch, and one of the Sisters of Three, waiting for her on the other side. She rushed forward, hugging her.
“Boy am I glad to see you,” she told her.
Mira glanced at the Dark Faery. “She appears more than a bit spooked,” she admonished. “Did you scare her into coming here?”
Chantel smiled. “She’s brave—and worthy of what she will learn here,” she said simply, and with the purple mist—she was gone.
Mira turned, smiling at Morgan. “She’s right you know,” she said. “You were brave to follow her here,” she grinned. “That one would not have made it easy on you.”
Morgan shook her head in her relief. She smiled, but her smile trembled. “No,” she said. “She didn’t.”
Grinning, Mira took her hand. “Come,” she said. “You have much to learn—and little time to learn it.”
As they walked, a dozen questions filled Morgan’s mind. She glanced down the trail, then turned, looking at Mira.
“Why all the mystery?” she said. “Why didn’t they just bring me to you?”
Mira shrugged. “She’s the keeper of the wand,” she said simply.
“Hmmm,” Morgan said. “Remind me to get a different keeper—if I lose this time.”
Mira frowned at her. “You must not even think of losing,” she said.
Frowning now, too, Morgan slowed, then stopped staring after her. “Is that my first lesson?”
Laughing now, Mira turned back to look at her—then nodded. “Yeah,” she said. “Maybe it is.”
In the days that were to come, Morgan would find that she had much to learn about the wand—and the witch she would face. By the end of the fifth day, Mira took Morgan to the cottage that Shantra always provided them in the village when they came to stay in the Land of the Fae. Morgan didn’t know why she’d brought her here, but she went inside to wait.
When she opened the door, there stood Alex, near the window, and as he turned to look at her—she couldn’t remember a more welcomed sight….
His Loving Arms
As Morgan raced into Alex’s arms, she couldn’t have been more aware that this could be the very last time she’d ever see him. Mira had provided this unexpected gift for her, and she couldn’t have be more grateful for this small slip of a moment in time. She would take this with her when she finally faced the Witch of the Everwood—who had held a curse over her head for more than a millennium.
Alex pulled her up off the ground, holding her to him for a long moment, and she could feel his relief at finding her unharmed. She hadn’t appreciated just how hard this had to be for him—until that moment.
How difficult it must be for him, she thought, for a man who wanted to protect his woman—to have to let her go and fight a battle that he couldn’t begin to protect her from….
How he had to respect her destiny, not to fight her on such a thing.
Wrapping her arms around his neck, she met his kiss. He deepened it, then picked her up, setting her on the bed, running his hands down her body, where they remained for much of the evening.
The next morning, they walked one of the paths leading out of the village, while they talked. She told him about how Mira had worked with her to become one with the wand. At one point, he squeezed her hand while he listened.
“Does she have anything to say about the battle itself?” he asked her.
Shaking her head, she turned, looking up at him. The sun reflected off the glint in his dark eyes. She knew he worried. She reach up and gently touched his face, running a finger along his strong jaw. “Anything she had to say to me, besides how to battle itself, could cause me to overthink it—and that could be a really bad thing.” Touching his arm, she took her hand down and looked away. “She says only to trust my instincts.”
He nodded, pulling her back to him. Lifting her hand in his, he kissed her fingers. “You have great instincts,” he told her. “Look at who you picked to walk beside you in this life.”
She grinned, then stood up on her tippy-toes to plant a sweet kiss on his full lips. “I love you, Alex Parker,” she said.
His head jerked up as his eyes searched hers. She had never said that to him before. She could see how much her words had moved him, reflected there in the deep, liquid pool of his gaze as he pulled her close.
“I love you, too,” he said to her.
They finished walking the path around the village, hand-in-hand, and eventually returned to the little cottage. But no matter how each of them would have liked to delay it, the time had come for them to part—and Morgan felt the weight of that fact, deep within her chest. She didn’t want to say goodbye to him—not even for a little while—not ever.
Tears shimmered in her eyes as he gave her one last, poignant kiss. Then, he turned, and slowly released her hand as he moved from her side. She sucked in her breath. The hardest thing she had to do was watch him walk away.
Land of the Fae
Morgan glanced around at all those who had become like family here in the Land of the Fae. She missed Sophia. And, not for the first time, she felt a pang, hoping the time would soon come when Sophia could return home.
She winced at this. Now, she had to hope that she, too, would get to return home. Surprised, she stopped walking.
When had Ravenwood Manor become so important to her as to actually call it home? she thought. She couldn’t remember the last time she had considered any place to be her home.
She smiled, inwardly. She’d probably began to see it as home when she’d come to see all who lived there—and all who lived, here, in the Land of the Fae—as family—and not just her friends. They worked together to reach a common goal. They shared a common destiny. And they were as much a part of their family as Claire.
She stepped forward into the sunshine.
She didn’t know what would happen when she went to face the Witch of the Everwood, but soon she would find out. Mira had told her that the time had come for her to be taken back to the tree. She felt both apprehension at this—and relief. For, at last, she would know what was to be her fate.
The time had come and Mira led her to the edge of the Land of the Fae and lifted the veil, giving her instructions as to how to return to the Everwood Tree of the Fates, where she would meet her nemesis at long last.
Morgan walked with her head up and her shoulders back. She had the beautiful wand, held firmly within her grasp, holding it with firm determination in her right hand. Before Mira closed the veil between their worlds, Morgan turned and gave her a warm hug.
“Thank you so much,” she whispered near her ear.
There were tears in Mira’s eyes as she squeezed her hand and let her go. Morgan turned away before she broke down in tears, as well, and she stepped through the veil.
Turning, she saw Mira wave before the mist enshrouded her.
Morgan turned to face the forest. She let her head fall back, tilting her face to the sun before looking around. Her gaze sharpened, as she took in the wooded area around her. The sun dappled the ground, peeking through the lush green leaves above.
Suddenly, she didn’t feel so alone—and she realized that she’d never been. There were Faery friends all around her, watching over the forest. They were the living souls of every living thing.
Morgan smiled and headed down the trail she would need to take back to the Everwood Tree of the Fates.
Out of the Past
Morgan stepped forward to face her fate. The time had come to break the curse—to stop the witch who had ended her happiness in every other lifetime before this one. Defeat could not be allowed to be part of her thinking. She would not lose, could not lose. To do so meant that she would lose everyone she loved—again.
She could not bear that if she did. She would not think of defeat.
The Dark Faery awaited her when she reached the Everwood of Tree of the Fates. She shimmered forward to her in her purple mist, as Morgan approached.
“So you think you are ready,” she said in a harsh voice. “You go and train a little, with the Jaguar Witch—and suddenly you can take on the Witch of the Everwood.”
Morgan hesitated, coming to a halt. Whatever she had expected from the Dark Faery, this hadn’t been it.
“This is my destiny,” she said boldly. “I will meet it with all my heart and soul.”
The Dark Faery’s gaze narrowed on her face, as she surveyed her face. “You will meet your death, at best,” she hissed. “Or you will live your life in torment, yet again, at the worst,” she said.
Morgan felt a pang of fear at her words, but she squared her shoulders in renewed determination. “Either way,” she said, “I won’t go down easily—and I won’t go down without a fight.” She stepped forward with a steely resolve. “If I must live alone again, so be it,” she said. “But she will not do this to me easily. I will make her work for it.”
The Dark Faery shimmered, her long, black hair with large white streaks billowed around her with an unseen wind. Odd, that, Morgan thought, since she felt no wind upon her skin.
Finally, the Dark Faery nodded. “Upon this day, two shall meet, but only one will know her fate.”
Morgan frowned. “What does that mean?” she asked.
But the Dark Faery shimmered out in the purple mist.
Morgan looked around, raising her wand in anticipation. The time had come. She could feel it pulsing through her.
The air shimmered around her. The landscape itself seemed to bow and spread out before her, then a vicious looking woman in a long, red velvet cloak, and slick, black, satin pants stood before her, holding a large staff, crowned with a magnificent crystal.
Morgan felt her mouth go slack as the woman tilted back her head, her fiery curls flaming around her as she laughed.
“You,” she said. “Why, you’re still only a child.” She sneered. “At least when you chose to meet me in your other lifetimes, you came ready for this fight.” Her lip curled as she walked around Morgan. “You’re no more than a babe to magick now.” She tilted her staff. “Hardly worth the effort.”
Morgan flinched, but she still had the presence of mind to focus inwardly, feeling the heat of her wand as she called down the power. The force of it slammed though her body—but the witch was ready for her. Her retaliation was swift as she shot forth a beam that picked Morgan up and slammed her against the tree behind her.
She felt, rather than saw, Thorick come from somewhere to her right. He picked her up—and then she knew no more.
Witch of the Everwood
When Morgan tried to open her eyes, pain shot through her temples. She heard Shantra, Sophia’s Faery mother, whisper near her ear, warning her to take it slow. She had to try several more times before she managed to peer through her half closed lids. Even then, she saw only the blurry forms of people standing her around her, but she could not make out exactly who they were.
Shantra continued to whisper to her, standing somewhere close by her head.
So Thorick had taken her to Shantra’s cottage in the Land of the Fae, Morgan thought.
Morgan had already learned first-hand, from another battle that Shantra was a great healer, and she tried to relax under her ministrations, but her heart felt heavy. She had faced the Witch of the Everwood—and she had failed. Tears filled her eyes and trickled down the sides of her face, falling to the soft pillow beneath her head.
She felt a hand on her head, and someone leaned close to her. “Rest easy,” Mira whispered near her ear. “I will not lie to you, you’ve had a major setback, that’s true,” she said. “But you have not failed,” Mira said to her. “You will get another chance.”
Morgan licked her lips, and Mira brought something cold and wet to her lips. She didn’t open her eyes, but it still hurt too much for that.
“Just give Shantra a moment,” Mira said, “and you’ll soon be right as rain.”
Morgan knew the truth in those words, as she gave herself over to Shantra’s healing. Within twenty minutes or so, she was able to open her eyes. She glanced around, feeling better already, and she saw Sophia step forward.
“You shouldn’t be here,” she whispered. “What if the prince finds out?”
Sophia took her hand and squeezed it. “I had to come,” she said. “As Mira can surely attest to,” she said with a wan smile, “when I learned you’d been hurt….”
Tears filled Morgan’s eyes. “I must have really been hurt for you to risk coming back to the Land of the Fae,” she said, sitting up slowly, testing her limbs.
Sophia hugged her. “Nothing momma couldn’t handle,” she said.
Morgan glanced at her. “I cannot beat the Witch of the Everwood,” she whispered.
Sophia frowned at her. “Nonsense,” she said. “You have the power,” she whispered back furiously. “I know—because I have felt it firsthand.”
Morgan turned to look into her eyes now, caught by the determination she saw reflected in her friend’s fierce gaze. “Do you really think so?”
Sophia stepped closer to her side, running her hand down Morgan’s long, dark hair. “I don’t just think so,” she said, her tone brooking no argument, “I know so. And you know full well that if anyone would know—it would be me.” She smiled. “Plus, I’m half faery—so you know I cannot lie.”
Morgan grinned. “Okay,” she said, with renewed enthusiasm. She turned to look at Mira. “So what do I need to do?”
Tree of Fates
Once again, Morgan stood in front of the Everwood Tree of the Fates, ready to face her destiny—determined to face her nemesis. Firm determination filled her veins. Grit and fire filled her body until there was no more room for fear—or the word defeat.
As before, the landscape bowed, but this time, Morgan was ready for who stepped through.
Calling down the power, she felt it fill her magnificent wand.
The Witch of the Everwood stepped forward, her entire being dripping with rage that Morgan would dare face her again.
“You dare challenge me!” she said. “You should have waited until you were ready. How dare you come to me, again, so soon when you cannot even begin to defeat me.” She tipped her head back, her flaming curls shimmering with her laughter. “This time I will annihilate you for you tempestuousness.”
“We shall see,” Morgan said, and aimed her wand.
The Witch lowered the head of her staff in lightning speed, meeting the bolt that shot from Morgan’s wand. Morgan could feel the surprise that glistened off her face, as she worked to force back Morgan’s attack.
Morgan felt her being expand, and with it came power unlike anything she’d ever touched before, she raised her head, focused it with all her might—and aimed it at the witch.
The beam shot through the powerful force that came through the witch’s staff, hitting her square in the middle. She screamed as she shot back against the Everwood Tree of the Fates. And just when she tried to straighten, she realized her mistake.
Too late, she tried to jump from the Everwood’s clutches—before the massive tree surrounded her—and she met her fate.
Morgan straightened as Mira stepped through the veil.
She glanced over at where the Witch of the Everwood had been taken. “How did you know the tree would take her?” she asked.
Mira smiled. “Let’s just say I had a little help from the other side,” she said.
Morgan grinned at her. “Amar?” she asked, knowing that Mira had a grandmother who frequently visited her granddaughters, the Sisters of Three, from the other side.
Grinning, Mira came forward and slipped her arm around Morgan. “Amar,” she confirmed. And together, they stepped back through the veil.
Magick of Her Dreams
Morgan looked around the room at her family and friends. She’d only just returned, coming through the veil to find Alex and Claire waiting for her on the other side. The love she felt from them, as she walked straight into both of their arms, was nothing short of amazing.
Tears filled her eyes, and she wasn’t surprised to see tears shimmering in Claire’s but a little taken back when she saw the glean of unshed tears in Alex’s warm gaze, as he pulled her into his embrace, hugging her fiercely.
“I will admit it now,” he said. “I was scared to death I’d never see you again.”
Morgan nodded. “Me too.” She put one arm around him, and pulled her sister into a tight embrace with the other, the three of them laughing with relief.
“So my sister is a badass after all,” Claire said with a giggle.
Morgan flushed, but then laughed. Looking at them, as they took her hands to lead her back to Ravenwood manor, she realized that this was what she’d fought for—this amazing love. This is what she’d fought to keep—and not just for her—but for everyone. Love was the only thing that mattered. How well she had loved was the only thing she could take with her—when it was her turn to cross over to the other side.
This was why she did what she did—and it was who she was.
Morgan knew she would still struggle with magick, but she didn’t think she could go on denying her destiny. What they did was too important.
She looked up and saw Claire glance at her, and she smiled. Alex snuggled her close to his side now, but she could understand that. They had all almost lost each other—again. Hopefully, they wouldn’t live with that fear, at least quite so much, anymore.
Of course, Sophia still couldn’t come home. But, hopefully, someday soon she would be able to. In the meantime, they would watch out for each other—love one another—and maybe even enjoy some rare moments of peace.
Look for more Bonus Short-Stories from Lenore Wolfe
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lenore writes under Romance and Fantasy under Lenore Wolfe, and Women’s Lit under Lenore Donnally. She grew up in Montana and Alaska, and currently lives in the central US. She holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Northern Colorado, with a minor in writing, and is a student of the Shaman path. She lives her dream, daily, as a writer. She is also the mother of four grown children, inherited four more when they each took mates and has several beautiful grandchildren.
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ALSO BY LENORE WOLFE
SONS OF THE DARK MOTHER SERIES
The Fallen One
Coming out this spring
Coming out this summer
Coming out this fall
Daughters of the Circle
Shadows in Ravenwood
Released March 2015
Daughters of the Circle
Witches of Ravenwood
Released June 2015
REALM OF THE ELEMENTAL WITCH
Released March 2015
Coming out this summer
Coming out this fall
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I am thankful for my soft place to land, even though he had absolutely no reason to do so, and even though his fears would make it difficult, it was still a roof over my head, and for that I am truly thankful. I am thankful for my family. I had some of the most difficult years of my life. I’ve lived through things I shouldn’t have survived.
I’m thankful to my children. I know I’ve worried you. I’m especially thankful to my youngest son, you’re pretty fearless and stayed right by my side. To my oldest son, you are always so kind to me. To my daughter, you were willing to do a difficult thing for me. And to my middle son, I will always love you. I love you all. I always feel our Great Mother watching over us. And I always come out stronger.
I’m thankful for all my angels and guides for brining me through my dark night of my soul. I see the light of day, and I’m thankful I’ve survived. I’m thankful to myself for having the strength to reach for life, even when I wanted to quit and cease to exist. I’m thankful for the wisdom to know I would be glad I made it through, even when I was screaming in my car so no one else would know. I’m especially thankful for my friends for reaching out when I most needed it and trying to help me through. I will never forget it.
I love you all so much. I’m thankful to my fans. My friends and family. It saved my sanity. I threw myself into my writing, and it took up all my time and provided a chance to heal. It also gave me a place to express myself in creative and healing ways. Her Dark Mirror may be fiction, but it allowed me to write without censor. Thank you for putting up with me, even when I hit a wall and didn’t update my blogs:) You all are the greatest.
Most of all I’m thankful for the divine—how could anyone question all the help we get. It is the reason we make it through. It’s in the soft petal of a flower, the sun’s rays upon the damp earth, the ocean’s waves upon the sandy beach, and the crest of the mountain top. We are loved. May we always have some place inside that knows it, even when we’re in our darkest hour. I am grateful mother. I am your daughter, and I am grateful. And I love you so.