Series: Witch’s Circle, Book Two
Author: Mell Eight
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: 05/09/2023
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Genre: Paranormal, Paranormal, magic, witches, shifters, vampires, werewolves, hunters, cat familiars, ménage
Kana never dreamed he would be affiliated with a werewolf pack, but when Alpha Ember asks Kana for a favor, Kana agrees. However, helping Ember and his wolves means exposing Kana’s existence to the larger magical community. Breaking his safety net is something Kana doesn’t take lightly, but if it means Ember might finally notice him, Kana is willing to try.
Unfortunately, actions have consequences. A magic hunter is on the way to the city, and Kana is worried he’s the target. Laying low in the company of werewolves isn’t as easy as Kana hoped, and when the hunter turns his focus on Kana, Kana quickly realizes the pack and Ember might be the ones who suffer as a result.
Mell Eight © 2023
All Rights Reserved
The library was quiet at two in the morning. Kana didn’t understand why the librarian bothered to lock any of the doors, given most of the community could pop the locks with just a breath of magic. He certainly had never been stopped by something as measly as a physical lock. He walked past shelves of fiction and nonfiction, straight to the largest section of the library: magical studies. Illumination came from one security light in the corner and from moonlight and streetlights filtering in through the windows. Combined, Kana had more than enough light to see his path to the back of the magical studies area and into the separate room where the advanced books were kept.
These were the books the library considered too important or too rare to be checked out. Anyone could read them, but the books could not be taken outside. For most witches, this wasn’t a problem. Getting access was first-come, first-served, but an informal list had been generated so “everyone” could sign up to read the books in turn—except for Kana, the only male witch in the coven, who had repeatedly been “overlooked” when the informal list reached his name.
If he wanted the same chance as all the other witches to read the books that would allow him to develop his magic, he had to do so when no one else was around.
Kana found the book where he had left off, flipped to the correct page, and settled in one of the chairs close enough to the window so he had enough light to read by.
The coven’s circle of power and his fellow witches might not see any benefit in ensuring Kana was properly trained, but he was going to prove them all wrong. He would read every single book in the advanced section and become the strongest witch in the coven.
As the next few years went by, Kana spent most nights in the library, providing it wasn’t cloudy outside or during a new moon, of course. His knowledge of magic was growing in leaps and bounds, and he was also starting to understand that having magic and power would never be enough for his coven. He had been born male, which meant he would always be considered less than his female counterparts. Regardless of how strong his circle work was, in their opinion, he was only good for helping the coven produce the next generation of strong female witches.
The final straw had come at the start of the second half of his senior year of high school. The announcement had been posted for all interested individuals to sign up for a timeslot to attempt the spell to call their familiar. Kana knew his place so had waited for all his classmates to choose their times and then signed up for an empty slot.
“All students who are not planning to cast the spell to call your familiar, you are free to leave class today. Please go to the library for some self-study,” his magical studies teacher said to the class the day they had returned to school after winter solstice break.
About a third of the students got up and shuffled out of the room. The teacher looked over the remaining students, and her gaze froze when she reached Kana.
“Kana, you’re free to leave as well,” she said, despite the fact that the sign-up sheet was sitting on her desk with Kana’s name on it.
“I would like to try the spell as well,” Kana said, attempting to sound insistent.
The rest of the students in the class all sniggered around him. Kana heard some of them whispering gleefully about the “pathetic man.” Even the teacher had an indulgent, patronizing smile.
“You might be able to do some magic, Kana, but this is a high-level spell,” she told him, as if her mere words would dissuade him. When Kana didn’t move, she sighed. “Very well. You may sit through this lesson.”
Kana sat through that lesson and every lesson thereafter for high-level spells. He was never called on, never asked to demonstrate, and constantly got side-eyed looks and heard snide gossip about him. But he set a precedent. Even though no one thought he ought to be present, they stopped trying to dissuade him from attending. When the timeslots for attempting to call a familiar were finalized, no one bothered trying to stop Kana.
Of course, Kana knew what they were thinking. He was male, so he would fail, and they could afford to indulge him. Also, it was less work for them to let him try and fail than to fight with him about it.
However, what was important were the lessons Kana had learned. He could come out of the calling circle with the strongest, most powerful familiar the coven had ever seen, and he knew it wouldn’t matter in the least. He wouldn’t prove to them that men could be as magically strong as women. He wouldn’t suddenly become acceptable or be allowed to take a spot in the coven circle like a female witch who did the same. No, Kana had a very strong feeling the exact opposite would happen to him.
Kana didn’t want to continue living his life like this. It didn’t matter how his familiar calling went; Kana knew he couldn’t stay. He would never be happy or able to create some sort of life for himself if he remained here. Leaving would take planning, but it wasn’t as if he had anything else to do with his free time.
The library was dark and silent as it always was, but for the last month of his time in the village before he could try calling his familiar, Kana had a different goal. There were spell books in the advanced sections his classmates wouldn’t have access to for quite a few more years; only those admitted to the circle were put on the informal list to study them. Kana spent hours scanning them into the computer and emailing them to himself, using a free email service that accepted fake information to join. He was also careful to wipe the computers after he finished to prevent anyone from discovering what he had done. When he wasn’t stealing spells, Kana pored over maps, trying to decide on the best possible destination.
By the time his day arrived to cast the calling spell, Kana was as prepared as possible. No matter how the spell went, he was looking forward to finally starting his life somewhere new.
Meet the Author
When Mell Eight was in high school, she discovered dragons. Beautiful, wondrous creatures that took her on epic adventures both to faraway lands and on journeys of the heart. Mell wanted to create dragons of her own, so she put pen to paper. Mell Eight is now known for her own soaring dragons, as well as for other wonderful characters dancing across the pages of her books. While she mostly writes paranormal or fantasy stories, she has been seen exploring the real world once or twice.
One lucky winner will receive a $50.00 NineStar Press Gift Code!