Everyone around me gets hurt.
I hate the thought of leaving my friends alone, but the Winterwood Academy is no longer a safe haven for me. Everybody thinks that I’m dead and I want to keep it that way before the one who put me six feet under learns that I’m back from the dead.
But before I have time to escape, the arrival of my father and the Witch Council brings a whole new set of troubles my way.
Not only am I to discover that I have a twin sister, but someone I trusted has betrayed me. I have to get away from this cursed academy.
An inexperienced witch like me wouldn’t last long in the real world. I’m glad Merrin found me a place to stay with a nice old lady and a seriously hot grandson -- Matthew.
Stay low, resist the urge to tell someone I care that I’m alive, and don’t draw attention to myself. That’s what I should do. It shouldn’t be hard, but nothing in my life is ever easy.
A crazy attraction for Matthew and bumping into an old friend and my former nemesis at a party are the least of my problems. Add an almost deadly werewolf attack, a sexy hunter with a short temper, and you have the perfect recipe for disaster.
How am I supposed to get my life together when everything just keeps exploding in my face?
I knew the exact moment that I walked into the wardings. It was like I had been hit by a jolt of electricity. Unlike when I had first arrived at the academy, I had to face it alone, and it was definitely way more intense.
Energy crackled all around me, and I began to feel as though a million tiny needles were pricking at my skin. They probed me as if they were little bugs taking a nibble to decide whether I’d gone bad right before they devoured me entirely.
Even as I felt the overwhelming power of the wardings all around me, I could feel the energy of the elements whirling throughout my body. The lingering sensations of the circle casting stayed with me, and I clung onto them for dear life as I closed my eyes and urged my feet to carry me forward.
One minute I was bone-chillingly freezing, and the next I felt as though I had jumped out of the frying pan and into the flames.
Then as I took one final step, everything suddenly stopped.
It was as if time stood still for just a moment, and I realised that I was holding my breath.
I exhaled before sucking in the cool night air, and when I opened my eyes, I could feel rather than see the wardings crackling behind me.
Glancing over my shoulder one final time I realised that the academy and all that surrounded it was gone. It was as if all the buildings and all the people in them had vanished into thin air.
Although I could no longer see it, the sense that it was still there, and my friends with it, offered me little comfort.
Goddess, please keep them all safe. I prayed silently, even though I had never really been one for praying.
Then, feeling as though I could hear Merrin urging me forward once more, I began to make my way down the long winding road that seemed to lead to nowhere.
Even as I walked, I began to feel the energy draining out of me. It wasn’t the usual draining you felt when walking a long distance but the soul-draining sensation that told me the elements my friends had invoked were leaving me.
My gut filled with sadness with every step I took that led me away from them.
I’m doing this for them as much as I am myself. I remembered, hoping it would lead me safely to whoever was waiting for me down the road.