Home > Witch (The Devil's Roses #4)

Witch (The Devil's Roses #4)
Author: Tara Brown

Prologue

New York 1994

Her eyes adjusted to the dark as she waited for the footsteps that grew louder, as they drew closer. Pain ripped through her as she pushed, desperate not to make a sound. The sweat dripping from her brow and landing on the soft cot sounded like a hammer falling upon a nail. The loudest sound in the room was her rapidly beating heart. It sounded like a drum.

She gasped as the contraction took over. It forced her to push harder against the waves of pain.

Lost in it all she didn’t notice the door opening. She didn’t notice the finely manicured hand that propped it open. She didn’t notice the startling green eyes that watched her. Had she noticed them she would have seen the fear inside of them.

She let a small noise escape her lips, as exhaustion blended with her pushing.

“Lillith.”

Fully engaged in pushing, as her body was thrown into spasms, she ignored the voice. Somewhere in the back of her mind she recognized the voice, relief filled her. It was better than pain medication.

“Lil can you hear me?” The green-eyed woman walked into the room closing and locking the door.

She nodded, gasping for air.

The sound of running water filled the room, she ignored it. She focused. Her belly tightened with the next contraction, making a scream slip from her lips.

Warm fingers gripped her ankles, “It’s okay Lil. Deep breathes.”

Hopelessness washed over her as the fingers rubbed her ankles. She felt the pressure, as the head was freed from her canal.

“The head is out Lil. Stop pushing for a minute.”

She breathed against the stinging sensation and waited for the words allowing her to push again.

“Okay, one more big push and he’s out.”

Lillith clenched every muscle, letting another scream slip from her tight lips, as she pushed the baby out. Instant relief filled her as the screams of the child echoed throughout the sterile room.

She kept her eyes closed. She was terrified it would be the same as the others.

The silence of the other woman told her more than any words ever could.

Tears streamed down her flushed cheeks, “Just do it quickly sister.”

“Lil, I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.”

She shook her head, “Get rid of her quickly Anna. I cannot bear for it to be drawn out.” She heaved slightly as her stomached tightened again.

She had never felt such a strong contraction for the placenta before. She knew instantly that something was wrong. Her stomach tightened as if it were ripping. Screams tore their way ripped from her lips. She watched as her midwife placed the baby girl in the carrier and turned back to her.

“It’s another head Lil.”

She smiled through the pain, he would get his son. She would be free. At long last she would be free.

Chapter One

Alaska

She shivered, watching the night move around her. Nothing made sense anymore. She thought about Aimee, and had to fight the tears that threatened her every moment. She hoped, no matter where Aimee was, she was safe. She couldn’t believe the things Blake said about her, Aimee was no monster.

Blake had become the monster. She knew it wasn’t his fault. He never changed on the outside, he was still the nerdy boy she had fallen in love with, but inside he was dead. Something had changed inside of his eyes, they were lifeless.

A noise outside of her room stilled her mind. She felt her breath stop as she scuttled to the corner silently. She moved with stealth she never knew she possessed.

The darkness of the room was still as she listened to the noise in the hallway. She waited for it to pass by her room, but instead it remained outside her door.

She felt her stomach lurch forward, as she imagined the horror outside of the room, waiting for her.

She wrapped her arms around her legs and pulled them into her chest. She took shallow breaths, hoping no one could hear. She knew better though, she knew they could hear her. They could hear her fear, as if it were a symphony playing for them.

She closed her eyes and imagined Aimee bursting through the door. She would look the way the panther dude had said she would. Leather pants and huge boots. Her long hair would look like a cape behind her. She would be strong and kick ass on all the freaks that held Alise there.

She maintained her vision of her sister, as the key turned in the lock. The door creaked open, filling the room with thunderous noises. Footsteps crossed the room.

Teeth shot out like a switchblade.

A horrid laugh filled her face, as huge hands grabbed her skinny arms and pulled her into its embrace. She ignored it all, filled with the joy the vision of her sister provided. She felt herself get lost in the sunlight the long blond cape brought with it.

Wolfville, Maine Present Day

Ophelia

“Did you see her eyes last night? That was freaky. They went all black.”

“I think she’s on drugs. She moved the pointer with her hands. I saw her. My brother’s eyes looked like that when he did X. I don’t know how she's related to Abbey.”

"I know right."

She tried to ignore the whispers. She couldn’t believe they would say such mean things. She hadn’t moved the stupid marker. The board had been jinxed. Something came through.

She shot a glare at the stupid plastics.

“You never gave me my paper back.” The words left her mouth only slightly louder than a whisper. She still glared at the girls watching her.

She turned back to see Mr. Paulson glance up from the stack of quiz papers he was about to hand out, “Sorry kid. Let me see if I can find it.”

He picked up his briefcase and flipped through it, “Ah here it is. Jeeze sorry I never marked it. Let me do it quickly now okay?”

“Okay.”

The whispers got louder. She felt her skin start to crawl as a shiver crossed her.

She turned her gaze to the girls in the corner shooting glances at her.

Mr. Paulson ran through the paper quickly, his eyebrows rose several times. He never underlined a single thing. He never found a single mistake. He whistled and passed it back with an A+.

“Nice work kid.”

She took the paper and looked over at the popular girls still whispering. She should never have gone to the stupid party. She didn’t belong with them.

She didn’t even like them. They talked about whichever girl couldn’t make it to whatever function they were at. Backstabbing beotches was what Noams called them.

She couldn’t believe Abbey had wanted her to go to the stupid sleep over. She never should have gone. She should have stayed home with Mackenzie and Naomi to watch the Scream movies back to back like she had planned.

She took her seat as Mr. Paulson handed out the new quiz. As the paper landed in her fingers she felt her head grow heavy. She struggled to remain upright.

She looked up from her desk to watch Jake for the smallest of moments. His smile and confidence oozed across the classroom. His eyes caught hers, bringing a smile across his lips. Her heart jumped at him taking notice of her. Then as quickly as it was there it was gone. He looked away as if confused. It took him a second to bounce back into the quiz paper sitting in front of him.

“No talking. You have fifteen minutes to complete this. When you’re done keep it turned over on your desk.”

She looked down at the questions but the page fuzzed out. She wiped a trembling hand across her face. Her forehead was covered in sweat.

“She’s sweating like a coke head freak. We should phone and report her.”

“Shhhh. Eyes on the test people.”

“Look at her now. Her freaking eyes are all black. She’s doing drugs I’m telling you.”

The whispers were driving her nuts.

She felt herself sway.

“Oh shit Ophelia has got some side boob. Thank you Jesus for the side boob.”

She looked down at her tank top and readjusted it. She looked at the boy next to her and scowled. He raised an eyebrow and smirked.

“Oh my god she looks like she’s gonna puke. God if she does I hope she turns away from me. Sweet god, don’t barf near me. Please turn the other way.”

She frowned at him again. His voice rang in her head but his lips didn’t move.

“She is gonna puke. I think she took too much. Typical emo slut. They always eff up and take too much.”

She looked up at the girls in the far corner. Their hands covered their mouths as they whispered. They were twelve desks away from her. How was she hearing them? Or the boy next to her? How were the people next to the mean girls not hearing them? Everyone had their eyes on their tests except the mean girls and the boy next to her.

“Shhhh. Eyes on your tests.” Mr. Paulson spoke from his desk but still never lifted his eyes. He tended to repeat himself whether they spoke or not.

"She is such an emo dork. I heard Abbey had to stop her from cutting herself the other day. She was all trying to commit suicide with those other emo sluts. I heard she likes Jake. What a loser."

"Abbey must be so ashamed."

It was a lie. She never cut herself.

Anger filled her in a sudden fit of rage. She stood up screaming at the girls in the corner, “STOP!”

The anger and energy rushed from her.

Sound burst into the classroom like a shot from a gun. Papers and debris filled the classroom as huge gusts of wind blew in the suddenly open windows.

Her desk sat perfectly neat, just as it had when she stood. Everything else in the classroom was spread across the room. Mr. Paulson’s glasses sat askew on his face. His hair was blown back. The kid in front of her had no shirt on except around his wrists.

Everyone looked at her like she was a freak. Cruel words began to fill her head in hushed tones, “Freak, druggie, possessed, psycho.”

She put her burning fingers up to her face and clawed at her head, “Shut up. Shut up. Just shut up.” She chanted. She looked at the jagged glass of the windows. There was no glass except around the edges. It looked as if the windows had been smashed.

Light filtered into the room from the windows. She saw something move in her peripheral.

The frightened faces of the other kids were nothing compared to the black shadows she suddenly noticed. They whispered seductively as they crept along the floor. They slithered snakelike, trying to reach out for her.

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