The Council: The Witch’s Ambitions Trilogy Book One
**Winner of the 2019 Fiction – Fantasy Pencraft Award of Literary Excellence**
The Council is the governing Coven over the Land of Five, a region entirely inhabited–and split apart–by witches with varying powers.
At her Arcane Ceremony, the truth comes out.
I stretch, feeling uncomfortable under her glare. It doesn’t seem to matter if I notice her or not; she’s not backing down—just as Crowe had predicted. I consider blasting her with my powers to see how she’d react. I blink, and when I open my eyes again, she’s gone.
“Hey there, beautiful, you look a little down,” a voice says suddenly, and all thoughts of the girl leave my mind.
I jump at the sound of his voice, holding a hand over my heart as I whip around to see the person responsible. A male with an elliptical face, small brown eyes, and a hardened jawline looks back at me. He looks to be easily thirty-five and that thought sends chills down my spine—being twenty years old, I could almost be his daughter.
“I-I uh…I’m okay,” I stutter, looking away to the door Quinn had disappeared through, waiting eagerly for him to emerge.
“Well, it’s a shame to see you all alone,” he says, stalking around the stone to grip my hand. He plants his lips to the skin much the way Kieran had done in Aquais, and I rip my hand away from his as I stagger backward a few steps, my hand lifted as I prepare to strike him with whatever power comes to me first whether it’s telekinetic or pyrokinetic.
“Look, you’re coming on really strong, and I’m about ready to hex your ass into oblivion if you don’t back off,” I snarl, not caring that I’m openly threatening a civilian.
He grins as he takes a step backward, palms raised defensively, and I notice the limp as he says, “Fiery, huh? Just like Ivy. Look like her too.”
I’m uncertain how to act in that moment. All I know is that I want him to go far, far away…even if I have to blast him there myself. “Look, I don’t—”
“Is everybody okay?” Dawn’s voice calls out from behind me.
I look up at her as she grasps my elbow gently, pulling me from the battle stance I had unconsciously taken as she looks between me and the man with her shoulders steeled.
I swallow roughly and stand from my crouched position as I look into her eyes and reply, “No…th-that guy.” I glance at him.
“What happened?” Dawn urges.
“What’s going on?” Quinn’s voice echoes as he finally emerges from the house. He begins to pull me away from the scene, helping me back up the slope of dirt with Dawn at his side.
“Him! That guy,” I growl, gazing over my shoulder to see the man as he leans against the rock. He catches my gaze and winks, not the least bit ashamed of himself. I shudder as I turn back to Quinn. “He’s a pig, and I was about to cook him.”
“Ugh, I know,” Dawn scoffs. By the haunted look in her eyes, I assume she’s had similar experiences.
“That’s Larc Dupree,” Quinn says with a grimace. “Coven drunk, huge creep.”
“No, I got that part,” I shiver again as his words run through my mind. I wonder if I can have him executed for regarding me in that manner.
You can’t execute someone for being disgusting, Hyacinth reminds me. Unfortunately.
“It’s a good thing he’s UnEquipped. I’d hate to see the kind of havoc he’d wreak if he weren’t,” Quinn mutters darkly.
The thought makes me sick. I’m suddenly glad for the fact that not everyone has powers. “If he’s that much of a problem, why doesn’t The Council exile him?”
Quinn shrugs. “You tell me.”
Well, Hyacinth? I prompt, but once again, she’s silent inside my mind.