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Malice


  Malice

  ~ A Barrington County Novel ~

  Stacy Charasidis

  Malice

  Copyright © 2016 by Stacy Charasidis

  First Edition – November 2016

  ISBN

  978-0-9950426-3-6 (eBook)

  All rights reserved.

  No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information browsing, storage, or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.

  This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places, or events either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  Cover design by Cora Graphics

  Map by Samuel Lampron

  Definitions by Merriam Webster Online

  Montreal, Quebec, Canada

  www.stacycharasidis.com

  Also by Stacy Charasidis

  Barrington County Novels

  (in reading order)

  HEX – The Haunting of Barrington County

  MALICE – A Barrington County Novel

  Silly Little Love Stories

  Love Schemes

  Portals

  Dedication

  This book is dedicated to my family,

  specifically, the ones that deal with me every day.

  Hampton, Nikos, Shanna,

  here you go! (Yes, yes, finally.)

  I know you think I love my dogs more,

  but notice I didn’t mention Abbey or Chewie…

  but now that I have, I dedicate this book to them as well.

  (Perhaps you do deserve medals,

  but only when I’m writing.)

  Love you brats.

  A Note from the Author

  Greetings reader!

  While this book is theoretically a continuation of my first book, “Hex – The Haunting of Barrington County,” you don’t have to read Hex to get what’s happening in this one. However, it certainly would help with understanding some of the references the characters make, as well as learning their stories and the town of Barrington. I only put in a little bit of detail of what happened three years ago so as not to bore readers.

  That being said, I will list the characters with powers so you know what their abilities are.

  But I do recommend reading Hex. It is a very good book! (Well, I liked it.)

  Enjoy,

  Stacy

  Main Characters With Gifts

  Elanah Von Vixen: Witch, 2nd degree (green), death seer, can detect imminent death

  Ella Croft: Witch, 3rd degree

  Hagar Oaks: Witch, 2nd degree (blue), caller of the dead

  Hester LeRoux: Witch, 2nd degree (orange), time twister

  Luke Barrington: The Seer (can’t lie to him, can see magic and through illusions), Voice (can command others)

  Nathalie Parker: The Chronicler, observer

  Sadie Kellar: Witch, 1st degree (purple)

  Family Lines

  Bakers: Cindy & Noah (parents), Reginald (20), Austin (18)

  Barringtons: John & Claire (parents), Raphael (30), Gabriel (27), Michael (25), Tristan & Jack (23), Luke (20), Max (18)

  Browns (extinct): Jedidiah (17) d. 1860

  Crofts: Josephine & David (parents), Dean (20), Ella (18), Bessie & Fanny (10), Eddie & Zach (8)

  Farmers: Barbara & Bill (parents), Hannah (20), Savannah (18)

  Kellars: Boris (father), Sadie (20)

  Parkers: Mary & Steve (parents), Rain (23), Nathalie (20), Nick (9)

  Smiths: Sarah & Daniel (parents), Tess (20), Harry (18)

  Sweets: Anna & Eric (parents), James (20), Bella (18)

  Table of Contents

  A Note from the Author

  Main Characters With Gifts

  Family Lines

  Table of Contents

  Part 1: An Unraveling

  Prologue

  Chapter 1 – The Banishing

  Chapter 2 – Valentine’s Day

  The Barrington Bugle

  Chapter 3 – The Wedding

  Chapter 4 – The Witch’s Arrival

  Chapter 5 – Introduction

  Chapter 6 – Competition

  Chapter 7 – The Plan

  The Barrington Bugle

  Chapter 8 – The Fallen

  Chapter 9 – Familiar Territory

  Chapter 10 – Curve Ball

  Chapter 11 – When Elanah Met Sean

  Chapter 12 – Sadie and Luke Come Home

  Chapter 13 – Developing Relationships

  Chapter 14 – Finding Crazy

  Chapter 15 – A Plea

  Chapter 16 – The Grand Opening of the Barrington Hotel

  Chapter 17 – Birth of a Mayor & a Witch

  Chapter 18 – Alliance with the Enemy

  Chapter 19 – A New Friend

  Chapter 20 – The Limerick Spring Ball

  Chapter 21 – Judas

  Chapter 22 – Terrifying Visitors

  Chapter 23 – The Cabin in the Woods

  Chapter 24 – A Disturbing Visit

  Chapter 25 – Things Spiral Out of Control

  Chapter 26 – The Devil in the Demon

  Chapter 27 – Revelation

  Chapter 28 – Book Hunting

  Chapter 29 – Séance

  Chapter 30 – It All Falls Down

  Chapter 31 – Tangling With a Librarian

  Chapter 32 – Katie

  Chapter 33 – Philippe

  Chapter 34 – The Cure

  Part 2: A Reweaving

  Chapter 35 – The Truth Unfolds

  Chapter 36 – The Next Generation

  Chapter 37 – An Apology

  Epilogue

  Acknowledgements

  Part 1:

  An Unraveling

  Unravel (verb)

  1

  a: to disengage or separate the threads of : disentangle

  b: to cause to come apart by or as if by separating the threads of

  2

  : to resolve the intricacy, complexity, or obscurity of : clear up

  -Merriam Webster

  ~

  Jealousy is an incredibly powerful emotion.

  It makes people do things they wouldn’t normally do.

  Mean things.

  Spiteful things.

  Deadly things.

  How far would you go?

  ~

  Prologue

  Barrington County, Present Day: May 1, Beltane

  A slight girl stood in the clearing, listening. Her bobbed brown hair fluttered in the soft wind. She had appeared moments earlier, surrounded by a glowing blue nimbus that was now fading. She was disoriented at having been pulled suddenly from her resting place. She looked down at her clothing and stretched out her hands. She was young.

  Who had called her, and why?

  At first she looked around curiously, but then she grew still.

  Memories stored in the clearing besieged her. The place was pulsing with magic. With her sight she could see glowing purple power infused in the earth, trees and leaves, flowers, everything. It shimmered and swirled about her, and she could feel her hair begin to float around her face as the magical charge brought out her own bright orange power in response.

  Damn Kellars, Hester thought to herself. She recognized where she was even though hundreds of years had passed. The pyre and the gallows built to send the Kellar Witch to Hell were long gone, and the burnt land had healed. Willow, the evilest witch to exist in her time, had been back to Barrington County to fulfill the hex she had placed on her murderers and their descendants. She had always wondered what would happen with
the hex, and now she knew. Willow had been destroyed and was now but a fading echo, Hester noted with satisfaction. She looked around again. The giant rock Jacob Barrington had placed in the clearing and inscribed with a warning against consorting with the devil was also gone. As Hester sifted through the memories, she saw that it had been obliterated by a very powerful witch.

  Ah…Hester touched the purple power again. The source of it was a Kellar, but not an evil one. This one’s power felt sweet against her own. Willow’s descendant then, a girl who was good. Willow had been defeated by her own blood. It should have ended there, Hester thought curiously. Then she noticed something off. Her smile began to fade and her expression turned grave.

  The power infusing the area was changing. It had begun slowly, mutating over years. Now corrupt, putrid magic infected the area with its dark, oily taint. Its tendrils reached into Barrington and beyond. It only took her a moment to recognize its origins and the witch responsible.

  Damn her to the nine circles of Hell, Hester cursed softly, her fury igniting her power until she was glowing orange-red like steel in a forge’s fire. How she hated that woman. Would she never be free of her? She rubbed her forehead and sighed, dampening her pointless rage.

  She had no choice, had never had a choice when it came to Elanah.

  Now she understood why she had been called. As she looked around she knew she would have to twist time and bring the witch through.

  “She’ll fix her mistake or this time I will kill her,” she muttered before she disappeared.

  Chapter 1 – The Banishing

  The New Town of Superstition: March 1597

  Elanah Von Vixen cursed as she bounced around in the carriage that was traveling at breakneck speed through the woods. The dirt road was pitted with holes after the spring thaw, making travel treacherous and extremely uncomfortable. Her constant feelings of anxiety and fear, along with the bumping and lurching of her conveyance, didn’t help matters either. She just wanted this affair done with. Finished. But they were just getting started.

  She thumped her fist on the side of the carriage. “Are you mad?” she yelled at the driver, disgruntled at the fact that her buttocks, and probably her whole body, were now bruised black and blue. An answering thump and a wild laugh were her only response. She sighed. She knew Ernest didn’t give a damn what was getting rattled and crushed in the carriage.

  It took the whole morning, but they finally arrived at their destination. The carriage broke out of the woods into a large area that had been cleared of trees. When Elanah stepped out and took in the construction site, she halted in shocked wonder. The site was huge.

  “Incredible, isn’t it?” she heard a familiar voice say. She glanced briefly at the tall young man as he reached her and tucked his arm possessively around her elbow. Butterflies fluttered in her stomach at his touch. Her lover, Sean Kirkman, the Mayor of Limerick, was very handsome with his fair features and lithe body.

  She turned back to the sight before her. “It’s quite unbelievable,” she said with awe, trying to catch her breath around the pounding of her heart.

  The scene before them was organized pandemonium. Dozens of men worked inside a colossal crater that had been blasted out of the earth by the power of the Fae, ancient powerful beings with a vested interest in seeing this deed done.

  The men were anchoring the shell of a cage triple the size of a governor’s manor. It was round, soaring at least five stories, and constructed of four enormous, thick iron beams curved to meet together at the top and bottom, and etched with powerful sigils of containment. They represented her freedom, and as the beams glinted in the sunlight, she found them beautiful. Wound around the iron beams would be wide bands of silver, spelled to absorb and deflect all types of energy, particularly magical, to neutralize it. What they planned on caging was never going to get out.

  Elanah watched as the men shouted instructions while the Fae on site, Valentine, directed the work and used magic to help with the heavy lifting.

  “Yes, well, without the help of the little folk we could never have done this,” Sean said with a smirk.

  Valentine coolly lifted an eyebrow at Sean’s “little folk” comment. Despite the commotion, Valentine could hear Sean perfectly. That wasn’t his real name of course. His name was unpronounceable by humans. He was stunning though, being tall and slender with long, silvery blond hair, high cheekbones, and the bluest eyes imaginable. Her heart did a small flip when he turned and smiled at her with his perfectly chiseled lips.

  Sean growled in displeasure and it was Valentine’s turn to smirk. They seemed to have a friendly rivalry going; at least she hoped it was friendly.

  “When will it be finished?” Elanah asked with quiet desperation. It had taken months to build the iron beams and etch the sigils while the site was being chosen and the ground excavated. Danner would be back from his journey soon according to his thrall, Klaus Deitriche. He was never gone for very long, no more than a month or two at a time. The prison had to be finished and the containment spells cast before they could banish him, and before he found out what they were doing. Even though the Fae regularly erased the memories of all the men involved, Danner was extremely smart and had many ways of eliciting information from humans, none of them pleasant. If they didn’t capture and imprison him before he figured out their plan, they were all dead. She could see it as plain as day on everyone’s forehead. That was her gift, or really, her curse. She could see impending death. The mark of death was on all of them. Thankfully, it was still faint, which was a good sign, but it was there nonetheless. They were all in potential peril. She shivered.

  Thinking she was cold, Sean gallantly draped his jacket over her shoulders. “Don’t fret, Elanah,” Sean said confidently, “that thing doesn’t stand a chance against us.”

  “How long?” she asked again, insistently. “It has to be ready by the spring equinox at the latest. That’s in four days, Sean. I need that power for the banishment spell.”

  He sighed. “Once the silver bands are affixed to the cage you can cast the spells of containment and deflection.”

  He watched her as she studied the men’s progress. “You may even be able to cast those ones tonight. Then we bury the cage. We’ll make it in plenty of time.”

  Elanah was relieved. She had planned to stay until the equinox, but no later. Her husband thought she was at a friend’s helping with a newborn babe. Thank God Hiram was a simple man.

  He would never suspect that his wife wasn’t where she said she was going to be.

  He would never suspect that his wife wasn’t a simple girl, but a witch, and a powerful one.

  He would never suspect that the most powerful man in Limerick was her lover.

  “You’ll stay in my quarters of course,” Sean said softly in her ear.

  Elanah smiled as she checked to make sure they weren’t being observed. All eyes were on the work being done in the huge scar of earth being prepared to bury a demon. She turned to face him and kissed him thoroughly enough to make him groan. How she’d missed him. “I wouldn’t sleep anywhere else,” she whispered before turning back to continue watching the activity.

  Freedom. Safety. Soon.

  Elanah watched the men work until it began to get dark. She was fascinated by the speed of their progress with Valentine helping. At this rate, they’d definitely be ready to cast the banishment spell by the spring equinox. The sooner the better.

  The workers slept in makeshift cabins built along the edge of the dense woods, and ate under a hastily constructed mess hall that was simply long tables under a wooden roof. Sean Kirkman was the only man with his own cabin, which served as an office during the day and his sleeping quarters at night. It only had one door and no windows. Elanah took off her boots and put her bag on a low bench by the entrance and looked around. It was one room with a double bed in the back left corner, a hastily-bricked fireplace in the middle of the back wall, and a desk, table, and chairs on the right side used to look at
plans, have meetings, and eat. Benches ran along the walls on either side of the door. In the middle of the room was a large round rug with a small settee to allow people to sit in front of the fire. It was a bit cramped, but clean. There was a fire blazing merrily in the fireplace. She moved to sit on the bed to rub her cold feet and sent a tendril of power around the room to light the candles. The room took on a cozy glow with the candlelight. She used her magic to warm up her hands as she rubbed them and made the fire hotter to warm up the room. It was going to be a chilly spring night.

  Sean opened the door and sailed in, taking off his black leather gloves and rubbing his hands together to get rid of the damp chill. He sighed contentedly at the warmth in the cabin and smiled cheerfully at Elanah, who just stared at him until he took off his muddy boots and put them next to hers under the bench by the door. There would be no mud, and Lord knows what else, tracked into the cabin while she inhabited it.

  “Please tell me the bed sheets are clean,” Elanah said pleadingly to the handsome man at the door.

  Sean grinned, his charming smile flashing white amidst his brown beard. “I had fresh linen put on this very morning, in anticipation of your arrival, my love,” he said gallantly, executing a small bow in her direction.

  Elanah flushed as she stared at him, her heart pounding. It had been weeks since they had been together. Her eyes wandered from his face and traveled down his tall, lean body. Besides being handsome and smart, Sean was determined and ambitious. He should have been her husband, she thought longingly for the millionth time before squashing the pointless feeling.

  Her tongue flicked out to lick her lips and she enjoyed Sean’s reaction as he stared intently at her mouth.

 
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