If cats have nine lives, then I’m down to eight.

Barely surviving the loss of my witch, I awake to find Charlie, Zaide and I are captured, caged and filthy. We don’t know what the witches want with us but at least we are together as we plan our escape.

Charlie is my new witch and our bond grows stronger by the hour but Zaide is distant, lost in his thoughts, and I worry that something went wrong when he saved me.

When my dreams are invaded by the beautiful son of the gods, Baelen, he offers to help us escape. His red eyes enchant me, and his bite is intoxicating but he swears me to secrecy about his visit.

As a last resort, I use my newfound power to save us, but cause calamitous consequences that work in the favor of our captors. A new evil rises. The supernatural community is under threat. And as secrets unfold, my past comes back to bite me… literally.


Blinking away the gloss of tears, familiar brown eyes peered back at me. I croaked, “Charlie, where are we?” Panic rolled in my gut at the worry in his gaze. We weren’t safe yet.

Not safe from what? I couldn’t quite remember the details, although my body told a story of trauma.

He leaned away from me with a sigh of relief allowing my vision to widen, scanning him and the place we found ourselves. Though dimly lit, I could still make out the purple bruises under his eyes, stubble growing into a short beard, hair that looked usually a dirty blond color was now more dirty than blond. His t-shirt, trousers, and shoes looked as though they were covered in a layer of dirt.

He sat cross-legged on the stone floor next to me.

Stone. Not tile. Not marble. But cold, wet, gravelly stone.

Are we outside? My thoughts felt distant, calm, and unattached. As though I were watching this scene on the television and guessing the location with the protagonist.

Confused, I rolled my head toward the tiny light which seemed to be coming from behind me. I couldn’t see the ceiling or the walls due to the dimness, but it felt dark, and claustrophobic.

Was the roof slanted?

My cheek scraped across the rough flooring, but I couldn’t feel it. Shock had frozen the blood in my veins, the breath in my body, the nerves that should be telling me more about my current existence. Expecting to see a window or entrance, the sight of a tiny lantern on the floor made my heart drop as it cast shadows around bars which sealed us into our prison—our cage.


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