Diary of the White Witch- Cruz Melissa de La

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New series connected to the Blue Bloods and Wolf Pact.....

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Diary of the White Witch A Witches of East End Prequel

Melissa de la Cruz

Praise for the Witches of East End Series “What could be more fun than a summer on Long Island? A summer on Long Island with witches, of course. Smart, stylish, and just a bit wicked, the witches in Melissa de la Cruz’s Witches of East End series manage to be both thoroughly modern and delightfully mythic.” —Deborah Harkness, New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night “Move over, zombies, vampires, and werewolves, and make way for witches. Melissa de la Cruz, author of the bestselling Blue Bloods series, ably sets the stage for a juicy new franchise with Witches of East End…De la Cruz balances the supernatural high-jinksery with unpredictable twists and a conclusion that nicely sets up book 2. B+” —Entertainment Weekly

“Centuries after the practice of magic was forbidden, Freya, Ingrid and their mom struggle to restrain their witchy ways as chaos builds in their Long Island town. A bubbling cauldron of mystery and romance, the novel shares the fanciful plotting of Blue Bloods, the author’s teen vampire series…breezy fun.” —People “A magical and romantic page-turner…. Witches of East End is certain to attract new adult readers…The pacing is masterful, and while the witchcraft is entertaining, it’s ultimately a love triangle that makes the story compelling. De la Cruz has created a family of empathetic women who are both magically gifted and humanly flawed.” —Washington Post “For anyone who was frustrated watching Samantha suppress her magic on ‘Bewitched,’ Ms. de la Cruz brings some satisfaction. In her first novel for adults, the author…lets her repressed sorceresses rip.” —New York Times “What happens when a family of Long Island witches is

forbidden to practice magic? This tale of powerful women, from the author of the addictive Blue Bloods series, mixes mystery, a battle of good versus evil and a dash of Norse mythology into a page-turning parable of inner strength.” —Self “Witches of East End has all the ingredients you’d expect from one of Melissa’s bestselling YA novels— intrigue, mystery and plenty of romance. But with the novel falling under the ‘adult’ categorization, Melissa’s able to make her love scenes even more…magical.” —MTV.com “De la Cruz has, with Witches, once again managed to enliven and embellish upon history and mythology with a clever interweaving of past and present, both real and imagined…[it] casts a spell.” —Los Angeles Times “De la Cruz is a formidable storyteller with a narrative voice strong enough to handle the fruits of her imagination. Even readers who generally avoid witches and whatnot stand to be won over by the time the

cliffhanger-with-a-twist-ending hits.” —Publishers Weekly “Fantasy for well-read adults.” —Kirkus “A sexy, magical romp, sure to bring de la Cruz a legion of new fans.” —Kelley Armstong, New York Times bestselling author of The Otherworld series

Contents Title page Praise for the Witches of East End Series Diary of the White Witch About the Author Also by Melissa de la Cruz Copyright More about the world of Melissa de la Cruz Coming in Summer 2012

Diary of the White Witch Wednesday, April 20 Dryden Road, Ithaca, New York I can’t help but think of Dad, the indomitable seafarer, as I write my first entry in this journal, a parting gift from my coworkers at Cornell. Of course, it’s no ordinary journal. One would expect no less from a team of toprate paper conservators and archivists. It’s an ancient, unused leather-bound captain’s logbook; the left-hand pages display an ever-so-faint ghost of a grid for the captain of the ship to log the day of the week, speed, wind, and compass directions, while the right-hand pages are left blank for sundry thoughts and observations. There is a gold-leaf compass on the worn leather cover, and each of the hand-cut pages have received some form of treatment in the lab from my fellow staff members, so that I, Ingrid Beauchamp, may write here without worry that this centuries-old coarsegrained paper might crumble beneath my pen. It has been ages since I have kept a diary. What a perfect and

timely gift! It did cross my mind that some of these pages could have been doused with poison, and before setting pen to paper, I brought the book up to my nose for a sniff of possible malfeasance. Hmm. It appears my coworkers have forgiven me after all. There was no scent of bitter almonds, only leather with faint traces of lanolin and neat’s-foot oil, and aging paper. Perhaps now that I’m leaving and no longer pose a threat to my coworkers’ tenuous jobs, the vipers have withdrawn their fangs. Ever since rumors of massive layoffs began circulating last semester, there’s been quite a bit of backstabbing in the old library. But if anything, everyone grew quite fond of me since I announced my departure. Who can blame them? One more job has been secured. The farewell party was all smiles, ladyfingers, chocolate, champagne, a tiny jar of caviar nestled in a silver dish with ice, and some of my lab students dropping by, promising to keep in touch. I will miss them the most, as well as my daily bike rides to and fro the university past apple orchards.

And so, on this first day of spring, when the air is laced with hyacinth and day and night momentarily match with equal length, I set off, much wind in my sails and many propitious portents for the journey ahead. I’m going home, finally, and maybe this time, to stay. Mother will be so pleased. I have wanted to leave the school for a long time now, as I have become weary of academia; it appears the smaller the piece of the pie, the more bitter the feuds for the crumbs. Last week, I received a letter from one Hudson Rafferty of the North Hampton Library. Months ago, enough to have forgotten, I sent an inquiry about a possible position as an archivist there, but never heard back. Apparently there is a sudden need, and Mr. Rafferty is requesting I come in for an interview as soon as time will permit, as the ranking archivist has up and left out of the blue. I sent him a formal reply, expressing great interest, along with my résumé, and notified Mr. Rafferty that I will be in North Hampton in a week’s time and am looking forward to scheduling an interview. The idea of being my own boss in a small-town

library—with “a decent collection of local architectural blueprints and rare maps that will need maintenance,” as he put it, “and running things, since we are all junior librarians at the moment and in a tizzy”—is much more appealing to me than slipping back into the sludge of pernicious academic politics. North Hampton. I can feel it calling me. I need to be near Mother, near the seam, the epicenter. A few months ago I began having dreams—nightmares, really —from which I would awake gasping. In my mind’s eye I saw the seam fraying, loosening, harm seeping in like quicksilver, the sea bubbling and drowning the small, sleepy town of North Hampton. Mother will need my help, I can feel it. At the very least, I long to see my family back together. We have been apart too long. Salem 1692 were the last days we were together. Ugly, violent, confusing days. And now if something evil is upon us again as I fear, we Beauchamps need to stick together. Enough time has passed for old wounds to heal. Mother and Dad must get over themselves and stop being so pigheaded. On my way out to Long Island, I’ve

planned a stopover in New York City, where I will attempt to persuade my sweet, wild sister to sell the bar, that albatross of hers, and come home, too. Perhaps between the three of us we can even work on getting our Fryr back from Limbo. Outside the opened window by my desk, the sun sinks beneath the horizon, leaving tinges of pink in its wake, signaling fair weather ahead. Though dusk sets in and fills the corners of the cottage with shadows after a long day, I no longer feel weary. Oscar has curled up at my feet. A warm fragrant breeze flows in, filling me with that light, heady feeling of spring. I am eager for the journey ahead. Thursday, April 21 Amtrak Train, Empire Route, Syracuse–New York City Margaret, a bright, promising library science major with one too many tattoos, drove me to the Amtrak station this morning. The poor girl’s eyes turned as pink as the shock running through her raven hair, then brimmed with tears when we said good-bye. I gave her a hug,

then the gentlest little push away from me, as if to say, Go forward, be brave—you can do this, kiddo! “Don’t forget to retrieve my bike at the cottage,” I reminded her. “It’s yours.” She smiled and quickly turned away, and no sooner had she done so, a lump formed in my throat, and tears sprang in my eyes as well. I should be used to this—they all graduate, after all. With a heavy heart, I walked down the platform, my heels clicking with a hollow sound, my suitcase swerving behind me, just as I homed in on a distress signal. Something wasn’t right, and I could feel darkness lurking. Then I saw the hubbub further down the platform. I stopped and watched, wiping my tears, pushing a loose strand of hair into my bun. A woman had collapsed on the platform. She lay still as blood dripped from her nose. I lunged forward. My heart leapt. I wanted to help. I knew I could—I wasn’t Joanna, but like all witches I had some talents in this arena. My body tingled, a surge of magic building inside me, wanting to burst forth, but I couldn’t allow it. Paramedics pushed past me. A crowd had gathered.

The magic fizzled out and died inside me; I’d locked it back up in its cage. Even to help someone in distress is forbidden by the Restriction. The medics appeared to have it under control anyway. I kept walking, just another mortal like the rest, just another quiet, ordinary girl—“mousy,” one might even say—with my hair in a bun, wearing a tan trench and plain navy suit, looking for a car with an empty window seat. An Amtrak worker appeared from nowhere, blocking my way, telling me to get in the last car. There was an odd glint in his eye, as if he were deriving pleasure from being bossy. “Well, okay, then,” I said, making a face as I passed him. By the time I plopped into my seat, I felt drained and achy. I kicked off my shoes, wriggled my toes, feeling the suppressed magic like a physical ache. Magic. I miss it with every bone. I miss it like a hunger. I’ve often wondered if what I used to feel when I was able to practice magic freely is tantamount to what people experience when they fall in love. I wouldn’t know. But when I read about love in poems and novels, it sounds very similar. Except with magic there is only happiness,

euphoria—never pain. The train has left the station. The seats beside and across from me are empty. There is scarcely a passenger in this car. Maybe that Amtrak guy was being nice, and I’m the one in a nasty mood. A few rows ahead, I spy the back of a man’s head. He stared at me and smiled when I boarded the train—jet-black hair, piercing blue eyes, square jaw, clean-shaven, cleft chin, and an air that says I know I’m so very handsome. Freya told me all about men like this. Ick. Why did he stare? Why did he smile like that? I found it disturbing. Across the aisle is a teenager listening to his iPod from beneath his wool cap, staring out the window as he bobs his head. I can hear the repetitive beat from the earbuds. Behind me, a mother tells her child to shush, but the boy continues to ask her every few minutes how long it will take to get to NYC. “And how long now, Mommy?” I call Freya and leave a message that I’m en route and will call as soon as I’m in a taxi on the way to her place. Before I slip the phone back into my pocket, I make sure the ringer is on in case she calls back. Then I

watch the scenery unfold—verdant rolling hills, pink and white blossoms, a mare and her foal taking its first tremulous steps in a field by a barn. Oscar has flown ahead. My familiar doesn’t like trains and prefers his independence. When I spoke with Mother last night, she was so excited about my arrival she couldn’t stop talking about all the pies she has planned to bake for me. She’ll make me fat if I don’t watch out. I must have fallen asleep. The diary is still in my lap. Some sort of disturbance jolted me awake. Is it me or has the train begun to wobble? It is suddenly very dark outside—dense storm clouds have swept in all around us. Whatever woke me has stopped. When I stand to look around, everyone else is looking around as well. “Something weird is going on,” the teen across from me says. “Don’t worry. It’s over,” I reply, trying to sound reassuring but not believing my words. Why is it suddenly so dark? The good-looking man is no longer in front of me but gone from the car altogether. We are speeding along through a gunmetal gloom. The car begins to vibrate alarmingly. The child lets out a

frightened wail. I better go see what is going on, find a ticket person or conductor. Something— Sunday, April 24 Beth Israel Hospital Room, New York City The doctors told me I slept for forty-eight hours, and when I woke up, my head was bandaged in gauze, hooked up to all sorts of unnecessary devices. My long slumber had been mistaken for a coma, though the Xrays revealed no concussion or major harm. I had probably done most of my healing while I was transported to the hospital. The theory is that I got pinned in place, possibly lodged beneath a seat, as the train rolled over, thus no broken bones. My journal and iPhone were on the hospital bedside table when I came to. “You’re a miracle!” the nurse said when she came into my room. “Some train wreck! They’re still talking about it on the news.” She told me that my sister had visited and would return; Freya had seen the wreckage and carnage on the news, the glimpses of bodies being pulled out; then she tracked me down at the hospital.

The nurse said they had to pry the logbook from my grip when they wheeled me in. I had been muttering the word “black” in my sleep. “What do you mean, ‘black’?” the nurse asked, to which I shrugged, feigning no idea. What I remember: There was a loud clang, and the car wobbled as it detached from the train ahead. We became completely enshrouded in the gray mist, so that there was no visibility beyond the windows. Everything had gone silent. I’d stood up, gripping the diary to my chest. The passengers in the car were suddenly asleep, which was when I realized this was all directed at me. Was I being challenged? I could feel the presence of one of my own kind nearby. “Who are you? Are you from the White Council?” I asked, annoyed. I hadn’t even used my magic on that woman at the station, merely contemplated it. I had followed the rules. I’d been following those damn rules for centuries now. We were still moving along the tracks, but the car was slowing. “Show yourself!” I challenged. I laughed. I did. I really didn’t think much else would happen. I thought this was a little slap on the wrist for a very

minor infraction. “Well? Get on with—” No sooner had I uttered these last words that something rammed against the side of the car. This was surely not from the White Council. This was something else. Something malicious, evil. It hit us again but with such tremendous force that the car came off the tracks, flipping over, and we were rolling down an incline, my body smacking against seats and windows, all of us tossed like clothes in a dryer. It was a swirling blur of shock and helplessness and cracking bones and pain. I blacked out. Only the teenager and I survived. He’s in the trauma center. The others weren’t so lucky. Mother and child are dead along with about five others. I realized then that I knew something was going to happen. I’d felt it pulsing just underneath the surface: the lady collapsing on the platform; the sudden eerie feeling in the air after Margaret left me at the station; the Amtrak worker appearing out of nowhere, telling me to board the last car; the handsome man who smiled at me, then vanished—the last two, maybe one and the same person?

“Black…” Indeed. It was black magic and of the most powerful and lethal sort. There had been a surge of it at the station, which I had sensed and now only realize in retrospect. I’ve grown too rusty. It sapped the life out of that poor woman who collapsed. Some are susceptible like that, their life force used for fuel. But who would have had the audacity to practice post-Restriction? Black magic nonetheless? Strong enough to send a train flying off its tracks. Who even possesses that kind of power? I’m certainly no match for it. Now more than ever I am convinced that I must be with my family. Something is brewing. This was just a warning, and only together can we fight it. I sense her as soon as the elevator doors open onto my floor, like a waft from a field of daffodils—earthy, rich, wild goodness, and wholesome milk and honey. My sister is here. Freya! Sunday Night, April 24 Freya’s Apartment, East 7th Street, Lower East

Side, New York City Before we left the hospital, we visited the kid who’d been on the train with me. He was unconscious and on a respirator in the trauma ward, the only signs of life his rhythmic raspy breath in and out of the tube, the labored rise and fall of his chest, and the slow and steady pulse from the heart monitor. His face was swollen beyond recognition, body broken in a thousand pieces from the multiple blunt force trauma, limbs suspended, held in place with metal contraptions and pins, abrasions and lacerations covering every inch of his skin. “That was no accident,” I told my sister as we hopped into a cab. Freya had brought me something to wear, and I was entirely too uncomfortable in the tight black shirt and skintight pants. She gave the cabbie directions to her place on the Lower East Side, then turned to me, her green eyes alarmed. “I was so worried! They said the car detached at a crossing! I had a feeling—are you sure? But who and why would anyone do this?” I told her what happened: the dark mass, the

malicious spirit. “You’ve got to come home with me. Sell the bar and join me in North Hampton. We haven’t been all together in so long,” I pleaded. She stared at me, and now I saw the dark circles beneath her eyes, and her face, though youthful, looked puffy, as if she had been drinking too much. She needed a good detox —Joanna’s love and care, Joanna’s rehab center, the country life. “I can’t leave. I’m happy here. I love the Holiday Lounge. And besides, I help people,” she said. “Help?” I asked, surprised. “Help them by getting them drunk?” She scoffed. I knew what I said sounded snooty, and I immediately regretted it. I tried a different tact. “How can you help when we are not allowed to practice magic?” She laughed. “You wouldn’t understand.” “Try me!” I challenged. But she only smirked and crossed her arms, turned away from me, and stared out the window as we hurled down Second Avenue. “I help the lost, the brokenhearted, the bereaved,” she explained later at the apartment.

“Not too long ago there was a human boy, one who’d been abandoned by his vampire…I helped him move on.” I grabbed her by a shoulder. “I’m not judging you, Freya, but you know we aren’t supposed to intervene. Please come home, or at least consider it. You don’t look happy to me.” She harrumphed, went about making some coffee before work, her back turned to me, but I knew I had reached her. I decided to give it a break and visit her later at the bar after I had settled in. That evening, I borrowed a pair of jeans, a black Tshirt, and boots with not too steep a heel—not my usual dress—and strolled over to the Holiday on St. Mark’s. In the dim light of the neon signs and strands of Christmas lights (apparently Freya hadn’t yet changed the decor to a spring theme), I saw my sister leaning over the bar top in a white tank, locked in a kiss with a young lady with long black hair and tattoos of exotic flowers snaking up her arms. The patrons cheered them on. When they broke away, everyone clapped. Freya spotted me wedged in my little spot and smiled

broadly. “Ingrid, look how cute you look!” I waved a hand. “What was going on just then?” I asked, changing the topic. “Oh, just a harmless little game of truth or dare.” She poured me a glass of white wine, then let the other bartender take over as we huddled together at a quieter end of the bar. I needed to drive my point in somehow. I asked her to place her hands in mine, a game we played as children. “What? You’re going to peer into my lifeline, Ingrid?” I begged her to give me just the tiniest peek and not to block me. She relented. We held hands and closed our eyes. It was odd and confusing what I saw—a jumble of images mixing themselves with my most recent experience. Perhaps I still wasn’t quite right from the accident. I saw a house, or rather a mansion, on a small island in the distance, mist rising around it. I saw the handsome man from the last car. He winked at me this time, then sat down in the passenger seat and opened a newspaper. And there was Freya in a slinky dress at a

party, showing Mother the engagement ring on her finger. The teen looking out the window, bobbing his head, suddenly appeared, turning his swollen, bruised face to me. Then Freya in a cramped bathroom, sitting up on the vanity, one leg in the air, a man with his face in the crook of her neck, his body tightly pressed against hers so that I couldn’t see him. That was too much information. But the image was quickly juxtaposed by another: Freya on the deck of what appeared to be a yacht, calling out to someone in the darkness. I couldn’t hear her, but I felt her desperation. Something had gone wrong. She was full of self-hatred and longing in that moment. The images stopped and I opened my eyes. Freya was beaming at me. I smiled back happily because now I knew she would join me in North Hampton—eventually. She had a mischievous glint in her eye. “What?” I asked, perplexed. “You, my dear, are about to meet a very dashing man indeed. He’s very special, Ingrid. Oh my god, it’s all so sweet!”

Freya grinned. I laughed. That was about the silliest thing I had ever heard; she was obviously messing with me. As if I cared about such things! “I’m rather of incapable of that sort of—” Freya shushed me, placing a finger to my lips. “Trust me,” she said. I was going to tell her the truth—well, not all of it. “You are going to come to North Hampton, and you will get engaged.” Her eyes widened, and for a moment it didn’t seem she would stop laughing. Apparently my pronouncement was hysterical. When she finally stopped, she said, “Now that is a bunch of bogus, Ingrid. A flat-out lie if I’ve ever heard one, and it’s certainly not going to get me to come home.” A girl in the bar shrieked. Freya and I stared at each other, and I gathered the courage to tell her what I else I had gleaned from my vision. “If you come to North Hampton,” I said slowly, “you will find Balder, your long lost love.” She stared at me silently, then her eyes suddenly grew watery. “That is so not funny, Ingrid!”

I reassured her it was no attempt at humor. I had no doubt. I knew it wouldn’t exactly be smooth, but I wasn’t about to tell her that. “Balder!” she said, breathless, her mouth falling agape. “Ingrid, that’s a low trick if you are trying to manipulate me to sell this bar and move home.” From Freya’s opened windows, I heard the crowd from the sidewalk German bar nearby. Cars honk their horns; kids scream in the streets; someone shouts, “Yo, throw down the keys!” A drumbeat sounds from Tompkins Square. The city is perpetually alive. No wonder Freya loves it here. Even so, crammed as it is, I sensed loneliness in nearly every person I passed on the way home, strangers in a crowd, too afraid to reach out to one another. I’m now propped against the pillows of the big plush vintage couch by the fireplace in Freya’s trompe l’oeil apartment. I will sleep well tonight. My business here is done. Monday, April 25 Freya’s, New York City

I called Mr. Rafferty first thing this morning and set up an interview for the job at the North Hampton Library. I meet with him on Wednesday. He sounds nice, albeit a bit panicked. We talked for a while. He admitted to me that he is in his seventh year of working on a PhD in Romance languages, and that he has also been interning at the library for that same length of time, perhaps even longer. He told me to call him Hudson. And though he “knows his way around the bookshelves by now,” he is in desperate need of help from someone as experienced as me. I have a good feeling about this. I also called Joanna and let her know that I will be arriving Tuesday afternoon. She doesn’t know about the train accident. This is the good thing about Mother not having a TV. Freya and I went shopping. I bought a few new outfits and something for my interview. I’ve shipped my wardrobe ahead to Joanna’s, but could no longer continue wearing Freya’s clothes in the interim. Freya asked if I really, truly think it was Balder I saw in my vision. I told her I was pretty sure.

Tuesday, April 25 Joanna’s House, North Hampton, Long Island The train ride to Long Island was peacefully uneventful. Joanna picked me up at the station. I saw her coming a mile away in her garden clogs and a big cable-knit offwhite sweater, a red foulard around her long white hair. By the way, her garden is a stunning pandemonium of blooms and blossoms and tangles of green. She couldn’t hug or kiss me enough. I told her what had happened and about my visit with Freya during the car ride home. “Yes, you are right—we girls will need to be together if something is amiss. I’ve been sensing it myself—a disturbance of some sort. What happened was horrific, Ingrid! I am so delighted you are here.” Given the gravity of the train wreck, her reaction seemed rather flippant. Perhaps any impact was eclipsed by her happiness at my return. “It sounds like you gave Freya just the right amount of bait to lure her here,” she said with a conspiratorial snicker. I assured her that what I saw and felt during the

vision appeared true. Well, perhaps it wasn’t Balder per se, but someone charming and special enough for Freya to be willing to accept an engagement ring. Which in her book is almost as bad as a noose—no witch pun intended here, and I really shouldn’t joke about things like that. “I have a feeling she’ll come home,” I said to Mother. Joanna glimpsed at me, her eyes shining with joy, then squeezed my knee and told me I did well and how happy she was to have me home. The dozen pies she baked was testimony to that joy. I haven’t told her about my plans to eventually contact Dad. I don’t think that would go over so well. I’ll wait. Wednesday, April 26 Joanna’s House, North Hampton, Long Island So there was a bit of a mishap today at the library, and I am still quite peeved. It was a glorious, sunshiny day, and when I arrived a

quarter hour before the appointed time for my interview, I saw him: a tall, broad-shouldered man sitting on the steps of the library, a book in his lap, waiting, staring right at me with a welcoming smile. He stood. I took it that Mr. Rafferty had been impatient for me to arrive, having been left in the lurch by the previous archivist. He had come outside to greet me. I hadn’t quite pictured him this, well, athletic-looking. Something about his panicked tone on the phone had suggested someone who might, say, sport argyle vests and bow ties and perhaps even round spectacles— someone delicate-looking. This was not the case. This man wore a simple but stylish dark sports jacket and light-colored pants. He had light brown hair; an Irish face; a big, strong, square jaw; a nose sprinkled with freckles; and huge, limpid blue eyes. At the time I did note that his eyes appeared sincere and honest. I don’t know why, but I felt butterflies. I was suddenly nervous about the interview, which is not like me. I’m more than qualified for the position. I just hadn’t expected someone so handsome and manly, someone who looks more like a football player than a librarian. It

threw me for a loop. But I told myself one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, of course. “Ingrid Beauchamp,” I said reaching out my hand. We shook. “Very glad…well, extremely glad to meet you…Miss Beauchamp?” I nodded. “Yes, Miss. It was very nice of you to have come outside to greet me.” “Not a problem. It is such a beautiful day, after all, isn’t it?” He lingered, gazing at me, and I cleared my throat and said we should go inside and get started. He stared at me quizzically for a beat, then smirked and agreed. My stomach did another flip. What was wrong with me? I wondered. I could feel a bead of sweat collecting at my forehead. This Mr. Rafferty was making me very uncomfortable. There was something suddenly so unprofessional about the whole thing. “Yes,” he finally said, “let us go then, you and I…” “When the evening is spread out against the sky,” I automatically continued as we walked up the steps, then caught myself and stopped.

He held the door open for me, ever the gentleman. The library was filled with light, and out a window, I spied the sea. It was love at first sight. It was a shame that this Mr. Rafferty was so odd. I knew I was a shoo-in, but I could see it could be uncomfortable working with him. He was…flirtatious? Was that what it was? At any rate, so very unprofessional, I thought. Right then, almost as soon as we entered, I immediately knew I had been entirely mistaken. A tall reedy fellow in an argyle sweater and bow tie (no spectacles) was quickly making his way toward me, reaching out a hand. “You must be Ms. Beauchamp!” he said. “I imagined you just so. I’m Hudson. Hudson Rafferty. And I see you have already met our local hero?” I turned toward the other Mr. Rafferty, or rather, the imposter Rafferty, who was grinning at me, pleased as punch with himself. “Hero?” I said, swallowing. I was utterly mortified for having been so foolish. But why hadn’t he told me he was someone else? Why had he played me like that?

I wanted to smack him. He was six-foot-something, but I knew my hand could reach that smarty-pants rosy cheek of his. And the worst of it was he continued to smile stupidly at me. Mr. Rafferty explained, “This is North Hampton’s senior detective, Matthew Noble. Quite the dashing hero!” “Pshaw!” said the detective, whom I now despised. He reached out a hand to me. “Call me Matt.” He smiled some more, and I ignored the hand. He looked down, then held up One Hundred Years of Solitude. “Here to return this book, Hudson. I just finished the last pages on the steps outside. You always recommend a good one, Hudson.” And now I am not sure why I related this very long story. This man does not deserve to take up this much space in my precious logbook. I could have instead written a very brief entry: Today I got the job at North Hampton’s Public Library. I will be the ranking archivist; in fact, the only one. I am beside myself with joy. Plus, I already adore Hudson Rafferty. Joanna doesn’t

understand why I am going to turn down the university job for this one, but so be it. Also, today I met North Hampton’s senior detective, Matthew Noble, and I already loathe him.

About the Author

Melissa de la Cruz is the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling series Blue Bloods, which has three million copies in print. She is a former journalist who has contributed to many publications, including Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Allure, and Marie Claire. She spent many summers on Shelter Island, New York, which served as the inspiration for the fictional town of North Hampton. She lives in Los Angeles and Palm Springs with her family. www.melissa-delacruz.com

Also by Melissa de la Cruz Witches of East End Serpent’s Kiss

Copyright Copyright © 2012 Melissa de la Cruz All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher. For information address Hyperion, 114 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10011. eBook Edition ISBN 978-1-4013-0512-3 Hyperion books are available for special promotions and premiums. For details contact the HarperCollins Special Markets Department in the New York office at 212-207-7528, fax 212-207-7222, or email [email protected] First eBook Edition Cover design by Laura Klynstra

www.HyperionBooks.com

To learn more about the world of Melissa de la Cruz, read: Wolf Pact An original e-Book featuring Arthur Beauchamp and the adventures of the Wolves of Memory COMING FALL 2012 THE BLUE BLOODS SERIES

The Gates of Paradise The seventh and final book in the bestselling epic saga JANUARY 2013 The story of the Witches of East End continues with

The Winds of Salem JUNE 2013

Coming in Summer 2012

Want to find out more?

Check out Melissa’s website at: www.melissa-delacruz.com Or keep up with her on Facebook and Twitter: facebook.com/authorMelissadelaCruz twitter.com/melissadelacruz

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