Chapter Three

Three hours later, I was standing in the closet that housed the pack’s spell supplies. They called it metaphysics, which was laughable. It was magic and had almost nothing to do with science.

Wolves. I shook my head.

I scanned the shelves again, not believing that they could be missing sage. It was the base of almost every spell I did. I always had at least four bunches on had at all times. But there wasn’t a single solitary leaf in this so-called supply room. I hadn’t noticed it was missing before because I’d been trying crazy spells full of odd ingredients.

How was I supposed to break this oath if they didn’t even have the most basic supplies?

The shelves were carefully organized. Labels marked every vial and bottle. And it was alphabetized. I went back to the r’s and stopped at the t’s. Saffron. Safflower Oil. Sago Palm. Salamander. Salicin. Salsafy. Salt. Saxifrage.

“Son of a—” I cut myself off. I didn’t like cursing. Those words were too overused. Except in this instance, I couldn’t think of anything else that suited the situation better.

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. I tried to live by the Peter Rabbit rule. But sometimes it was hard.

I stepped out of the room, and nearly walked into Cosette.

“Hi,” I said, trying not to sound suspicious. Mr. Dawson had loaned me one of the classrooms where the wolves attempted spells and the use of their supply closet. The others had been helping me, but Cosette had disappeared after breakfast without a word of explanation. Not that she owed me any, but something was going on with her. I had no idea what it was, but I’d seen her storming off, gesturing wildly as she spoke on her cell phone.

“I found this book.” She held out a leather-bound square without any other explanation.

She was helping me? I realized my mouth was hanging open in shock, and closed it. Cosette had been with the coven for three months. In that time, I’d gotten to know her as much as she let me. She wasn’t usually helpful. Sometimes she seemed frustrated by it. Almost like she knew more than she let on, but couldn’t let us in.

From what I’d pieced together, fey rules were hard to live under, and Cosette was having an especially hard time with them.

I took the book from her. “Thank you.”

She gave me a small nodded. “There’s a part that you might find interesting. Read Chapter Seven.”

I flipped through to the first page of the chapter. The subtitle read “On Breaking Blood Oaths.” Wow. When she helps, she really helps. “This is fantastic. Thank you.”

“Don’t thank me yet,” she murmured so low I almost didn’t catch it.

What did she find? I narrowed my gaze, and started scanning the page. Raphael came to stand beside me, reading over my shoulder. The second I read the part she was talking about, I slammed the book closed, placed it on the table, and stepped away. I wanted no part in any of that.

I met Cosette’s gaze. “No. No way.”

She shrugged. “I know it’s not ideal, but what you’re all going through is horrible. The best I can do right now is give you a real option.”

Yvonne came closer. “What is it?”

“Yeah,” Tiffany said, as she came over to look. “It can’t be that bad. I mean…it’s not evil, right?”

Cosette shook her head, and I closed my eyes, rubbing the bridge of my nose. “No, it’s not evil,” I said.

The rest of the group trampled over to the table, all leaning over the book. I knew from the dead silence when they reached the part that I had.

“You can’t… We can’t…” Yvonne muttered.

“It worked for your cousin,” Cosette said.

“We’re witches,” Beth said. “We don’t just mate with fey or any of these other creatures they mention here. Has anyone seen a djinn before? Do they even exist anymore? And if we agreed to mate with a wolf, wouldn’t they have to bite us? I don’t want to be a wolf. I’m a witch.”

“It doesn’t say anything about changing over.” Tiffany pointed out. “Just that the new bond would override any prior claims.”

“Is that really possible?” Raphael said, and I spun to stare at him. He held up his hands. “I’m just wondering. You could form a mate bond without being a werewolf?”

He couldn’t possibly be considering this.

“I thought to succumb to the pack, you had to be a wolf,” Shane said.

“Not necessarily.” Cosette tucked her hair behind her ear. Her aura glittered as she moved. “Packs and covens of the past intermixed enough to follow a single leader. Tessa isn’t such an anomaly if you dig deeper.”