“Don’t you have an inn to be running this morning, Sarah?”
“Harry is at the front desk, should any of my patrons need assistance this morning. Plus, I hired a very qualified manager to run my day to day operations – Warren Beeley.”
Sarah watched as surprise colored Mat’s face. Warren Beeley, former caretaker of the inn and whom she’d purchased it from, was a former grump-turned-gentleman. That was mostly due to Sarah lifting a family curse that Betty Parris had once, long ago, mistakenly graced his bloodline with – but that wasn’t exactly common knowledge.
“Well, there’s certainly no one who knows the inn better than he, is there? Let’s get out of the cold, Sarah,” he stated, gesturing for her to move aside so he could unlock the coffee shop door, skeleton keys jingling in his hands. “So, what brings you to The Broom & Cup so early on All Soul’s Day?”
Sarah studied Mat’s face and body movements. As far as she knew, Mat had no magical talents. He certainly wasn’t a witch or a gypsy, neither was Ally, as she would’ve known immediately if otherwise. Her empath skills never picked up more than his natural good humor and easy-going vibes. This was one of the reasons it was so nice to be around her friend. But, the vision she’d had two nights ago gave her new enlightenment on her good pal. How was it that his daughter was born a witch without having it be genetically disposed from her parental bloodline? How was she going to bring it up to her friend? Wouldn’t he think her crazy? Even if they did live in a town full of witchy tales, history and folklore?
As they stepped through the entrance, Sarah lifted a small wrapped package. “I’ve brought a gift for baby Bridget.”
A smile widened across her good friend’s face as he took the package and quickly ripped off its wrappings. It reminded Sarah of an exuberant toddler on Christmas morning, the way Mat’s boyish features were highlighted in his face just then.
“Yup.” Sarah let the word pop from her mouth. “For her room. Ally said she liked sparkly things, and a starry portrait seemed like a fitting piece.”
Mat held the painting out in front of him and traced the outlines of the stars with his fingers. There, in front of him, was a painting of a crescent moon with glittering stars orbiting around it – not too unlike a magical mobile his magical baby girl was often fond of creating.
“The stars will glow in the dark. Do you like it?”
The little minx,Mat thought. She wanted him to open up to her. Not likely.
“It’s fantastic, thank you.”
A hug engulfed Sarah and she thought, just for a moment, maybe she’d get a vision off of him. But the hug came and went, and no tell-tell image entered her mind’s eye. Come to think of it, she’d never had a vision about Mat. At the night of her masquerade ball, the vision of the baby witchling had come after touching Ally, not Mat. Maybe she was the connection?
“How about I help you open up this morning and in return, I get a coffee to go?” Sarah plastered a cheeseball of a smirk on her face. It was the smile her friend never turned down.
A chuckle escaped his lips. “You bet.”
The lace-up black ankle boots tapped with each step as Sarah climbed up the front porch of Spellbound, the inn she had just opened a short two nights before. It was early enough on that fall morning that the reed moon was still visible in the pink sky. As the wind blew on that morning of All Soul’s Day, Sarah whispered a small prayer in her mind for the souls of The Trials, hoping they were all in peace – even Tituba. As she did so – orange, yellow and brown leaves swirled through the air around her, singing a song in the breeze.
Pushing the heavy wooden door open with a creek, she calmly walked into the foyer and quietly shut the door. After all, it was still rather early in the morning and she did not want to be responsible for her guests suddenly waking up. As she turned, a small smile crossed her lips as she moved through the foyer – her foyer. This was her home, and Sarah knew it the moment she found it two years ago. My, how things had changed in those two years. From losing her family, to finding a new one, as well as the discovery her magickal bloodline… it was more than one lifetime of memories should ever know – and yet, it was her truth.
“Hey hun, how’d it go?”
A deep whisper broke her entranced thoughts and a small magenta blush colored her cheeks. The most handsome man she’d ever seen, a strapping ginger-haired sailor with eyes the hue of an ocean, sat behind the large mahoganydesk with a book in his hands. Her sapphire eyes narrowed on the title and she groaned. “You are seriously not reading that!”
The popular pop culture phenomenon of the occult meant that a new book written of fantasy or a dystopian universe, or both, was always hitting the bookshelves. The black book in Harry’s hands – that conveniently snapped shut – was about vampires and werewolves. And, it was cheesy.
“It’s really kind of catchy, like a pop song.”
Sarah rolled her sapphire eyes as Harry swept her into a hug. Oh Lordy, she really did love this man, she thought as she breathed in his musk. Was it only a few days ago that he’d been lost at sea and she hadn’t known when she’d see him again?
“So, how did it go? You’re back so soon, so I’m guessing not… well?” Harry knew all about Mat’s daughter the moment they’d been alone after the masquerade ball and was still getting used to the idea. And he knew, that even with Tituba gone, something else was coming. Tituba’s warning still haunted his dreams after Sarah shared the vision with her husband:
My child, your battle for your ancestor is not over. It has just begun and it will not be with me. Someone is watching you.
Tituba whispered those words to her telepathically as her soul left to rest on All Hallow’s Eve. Sarah was glad that Tituba’s curses had, seemingly, come to an end. But the thought of something, or someone, worse than her once arch-nemesis from 1692 tended to leave her less than thrilled at her possible future.
“Mat gave no hints as to anything being less than normal.”
A quizzical brow furrowed on her handsome husband’s face, “Pretending that all is normal – in Salem – is the very definition of something being unusual.”
“Maybe Kirsten will have better luck?”
To find out what happens next, Magick: Secrets, Spells and Tales is available now on Amazon, Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, iBooks and more!