Home > Bewitched (Bewitched #1)

Bewitched (Bewitched #1)
Author: Laura Thalassa









I am trapped.

I have been for a very, very long time. My body and mind are bound by spells both suffocating and comforting. I cannot escape them, no matter how hard I try.

And how I have tried.

This is not as it should be. I know that. I remember that.

Someone did this to me.

Someone…but who?

The answer evades me.

My thoughts are…fragmented. Broken apart and scattered by the very wards that shroud me.

There was a life before this shadow of an existence. Sometimes I catch glimpses of it. The memory of the sun, the heavy weight of a sword in my hand, the feel of a woman—my woman—beneath me.

Even when I cannot recall much of what I look like, I can see the slope of her shoulder and the curve of her smile and the mischief shining in her sharp blue eyes.

Her image…it cuts deeper than a wound.

Need her.

My queen. My wife.


Need to leave this place. Need to find her.


What if…what if she is truly gone?

Lost to me forever?

Terror eclipses my longing and clears some of the haze from my mind. I release what magic I can, funneling it through the few holes I’ve found in these spells.

Roxilana cannot be dead. So long as I exist, she must too. I have…taken pains to make this so.

I relax.

She will find me.

One day.

One day.

So I call to her, as I always have.

And I wait.









Today will be the day Henbane Coven accepts me.

I exhale as I stare up at the sprawling Gothic buildings that make up the coven’s campus. The property sits on the coastal hills north of San Francisco, bordered on all sides by the Everwoods, a thick coastal forest composed of evergreen trees.

There’s no placard that announces I’m now standing on witch-owned land, but this place doesn’t really need one. If a person lingers for long enough, they’ll see something out of the ordinary—like, for instance, the circle of witches sitting on the lawn ahead of me.

Their hair and clothes float every which way, as though no longer bound by gravity, and plumes of their magic thicken the air around them. The color of their individual magic varies—from bright green, to bubblegum pink, to turquoise, and more—but as I watch, it all blends, creating an odd sort of rainbow in the air around them.

A wave of longing moves through me, and I have to tamp down the panicky, desperate feeling that follows in its wake.

I glance down at the open notebook in my hand.

Tuesday, August 29

10:00 a.m. meeting with Henbane Coven’s admissions office in Morgana Hall.

*Leave an extra twenty minutes early. You have a bad habit of arriving late.



I frown at the note, then glance at my phone: 9:57 a.m.

Well, shit.

I begin walking again, heading toward the weathered stone buildings, even as my eyes flick back to my notebook.

Beneath my scrawled instructions is a drawing of a crest with flowers rising from a cauldron atop two crisscrossing brooms. Next to the drawing, I taped a Polaroid picture of one of the stone structures in front of me, and I’ve scrawled the words Morgana Hall beneath it. At the bottom I’ve written in red:

Meeting will be held in the Receiving Room—second door on the right.



I head up the stone steps of Morgana Hall, growing breathless with my churning emotions. For the past century and a half, any witch worth her weight in magic has been an active member of an accredited coven.

And today I’m determined to join that list.

It didn’t happen last year or when you reapplied at the beginning of this one. Perhaps they simply don’t want you.

I take a deep breath and force the insidious thought away. This time is different. I’m on the official wait list, and they arranged for this interview only last week. They must be taking my application seriously, and that’s all I need: a foot in the door.

I open one of the massive doors into the building and head inside.

The first thing I see in the main hallway is a grand statue of the triple goddess. Her three forms stand back-to-back—the maiden, flowers woven into her unbound hair; the mother, her hands cradling her pregnant stomach; and the crone, wearing a crown of bones, her hands resting atop her cane.

Along the walls are portraits of past coven members, many of whom have wild hair and wilder eyes. Mounted in between them are wands and brooms and framed excerpts of famous grimoires.

I breathe it all in for a moment. I can feel the gentle hum of magic in the air, and it feels like home.

I will get in.

I stride down the hall, my determination renewed. When I get to the second door on the right, I knock, then wait.

A witch with soft features and a kind smile opens the door for me. “Selene Bowers?” she says.

I nod.

“Come on in.”

I follow her inside. A massive crescent-moon table takes up most of the space, and on the far side of it, half a dozen witches sit patiently. Across from them is a single seat.

The witch ahead of me gestures to it, and despite all my encouraging thoughts, my heart hammers.

I take the proffered seat, folding my hands in my lap to stop them from trembling while the woman who led me in takes her own seat on the other side of the table.

Directly across from me is a witch with raven-black hair, thin downturned lips, and shrewd eyes. I think I’ve spoken to her before, there’s something vaguely familiar about her features, but her identity lies just beyond my reach…

She looks up from her notes and squints at me. After a moment, her frown deepens. “You again?”

With that question, I swear the entire mood of the room shifts from inviting to tense.

I swallow delicately. “Yes, me,” I say hoarsely before clearing my throat. I’m frightened this interview is now doomed before it’s even begun.

The witch who spoke returns her attention to the papers in front of her. She licks her finger and flips through them. “I was under the impression we were interviewing a different applicant,” she says.

What am I supposed to say to that? Sorry I’m not someone else?

Short of shape-shifting into another person, I don’t think I can appease her.

Another witch, one with a hooked nose and wiry gray hair, says gently, “Selene Bowers, it’s lovely to meet you. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you’d like to join Henbane Coven?”

This is it. My chance.

I take a deep breath, and I dive in.

For thirty minutes, I answer various questions about my abilities, my background, and my magical interests. Most of the witches nod encouragingly. The only notable exception to this is that hawk-eyed witch who looks at me like I’m a spell gone bad. It’s all I can do to answer the questions I get without letting her intimidate me into silence.

“It’s been a dream of mine to be a part of Henbane Coven for as long as I can remember.”

“How long can you remember?” says the witch in front of me.

I squeeze my hands together, a wisp of pale orange magic slipping from between them. I’ve danced around this topic in my previous responses, not quite sure how to handle it.

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