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The Darkest Witch

The Darkest Witch

Rite World: Vampire Wars 2

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The only thing more dangerous than a deadly vampire is an angry witch.

Main Tropes

  • Enemies-to-lovers
  • Forced Proximity
  • Fated Mates
  • Secret Society
  • Curses


The only thing more dangerous than a deadly vampire is an angry witch.

Killian and I are connected, but the cursed magical box he came from is getting in the way of us being together. A cross-country trip around the United States is the only way to locate the people who might have an idea on how to help us.

But we’re being followed. Warlocks and demons are after us, particularly me, and each day that passes is another night we might not survive. With nowhere left to turn, we end up stumbling into the one group Killian wants nothing to do with… my mother’s coven.

Killian insists these witches can’t be trusted, but at this point, they’re our only chance. The coven is welcoming me with open arms. For the first time, I feel like I’m home… but the closer I get to the coven, the farther it pushes Killian away.

Someone is lying to me. There’s deception within the coven that longs to be brought to light.

I only hope I discover the truth before I lose Killian forever.

The Darkest Witch is a sensual enemies-to-lovers paranormal romance, and the second book in Juliana Haygert’s Rite World: Vampire Wars series. This stunning addition to the Rite World universe will entice and intoxicate readers in a dark love story of vampires and magic.

Intro into Chapter One

Chapter One

“Relax your shoulders.”

I grunted. “Easier said than done.”

Killian feinted to the right and I almost fell for it. We circled each other, our hands raised, our knees bent, and our boots crunching the grass underneath.

Not long ago, Killian had offered to teach me how to use my dagger and defend myself. So, for the last two evenings, after a long day of driving, we walked to the nearest park or wooded area, usually located behind the inn we had stopped at, and he demonstrated fighting moves and then asked me to show him what I learned.

“Just roll them. Like this.” He rolled his shoulders.

I fought the urge to avert my eyes. If I took my eyes off him, he would attack and I wouldn’t have time to react. But it was increasingly hard to look at him.

Killian wore a T-shirt that clung to his powerful torso, and the fact that he had folded up the short sleeves, showing off the muscles in his arms and shoulders, didn’t help a bit. The dark pants weren’t any better, hugging his strong thighs and round ass. The dying sun shone down on us and gave his light-brown hair a golden gleam. I knew he was a vampire, more similar to a demon than anything else, but there were plenty of moments when I thought he had to be related to a god. 

Were there gods and goddesses in the supernatural world? There were vampires, werewolves, fae, witches … why not gods?

Shaking my head, I rolled my shoulders. “I’m trying.”

But it was hard. Because he was handsome, hot, and I was nervous I would mess things up; I really sucked at this. Despite this being only our second training session, I was absolutely sure I hadn’t been born for combat fighting. With a sigh, I stopped and put my hands on my waist.

“We should give up.”

It didn’t matter I was half demon hunter and was supposed to have slightly increased strength, agility, and stamina—more than a human, a lot less than a vampire. It was like the demon hunter genes didn’t want anything to do with me.

“Lavinia,” Killian whispered. His shoulders straightened, bringing him to his full height. He was almost an entire head taller than me. “I know you don’t like this, but it’s important. You know what happened with the demon hunters. They—”

“They had something that neutralized my powers, I remember.” Not that my magic was of much help. Although, when the demon hunters had Killian, Delia, and me cornered, the blood promise would have let me do something.

He stepped closer. “If you can’t use your powers, you need to be able to at least break free from whoever is holding you and run.”

And that was another reason this was hard. How could I learn how to fight under such pressure? A group of demons knew about the box and they wanted it … and me.

Paranoia nagged at me, and the urge to look over my shoulder hit me again.

If I was any good at fighting, then maybe I had a chance. But an invisible clock ticked over my head, counting down to when they would come for me. I didn't have time to get good at fighting. What I needed was to break the blood promise—but that was also impossible.

Damn, my life was complicated.

“Hopefully, that won’t happen again,” I muttered.

“I hope so too.” Killian inched closer. “I hope we get to DuMoir Castle before anyone else finds us … finds you and the box, but we need to be prepared.”

Another step.

Now I could see the faint marks of the scars lining his arms. His entire body was covered in those scars, most faint, but a handful were really red and angry. He had gotten them when he was inside the box, but he shut down my other questions about it. Those memories were too painful.

I wanted to tell him to put on his jacket, or at least wear long sleeves like me. It was the middle of October, but we had been sticking to the upper part of the United States for our road trip, where the temperatures were getting chillier by the day. But he was a freaking vampire and the cold didn’t bother him at all.

Me, on the other hand. I smoothed my hands over my arms, clad in a thick thermal tee. “Maybe we should change plans, then. Instead of training in the evenings, we should stop around noon, train first, have lunch, and then hit the road again. At least it won’t be this cold.”

Yes, it was cold, but I was stalling. I didn’t want to practice, period.

“We can do that, but since we are here, give me thirty more minutes,” he said, his naturally rough voice filling the space between us. “Then we can call it a night.”

I stared into his eyes. Those brilliant, deep green eyes. Why did he have to be so handsome? And why had he kissed me and then acted as if nothing had happened? When he invited me to DuMoir Castle with him, I thought things had changed. I thought he was finally surrendering to whatever was going on between us, but now I was his partner. Before, our goal had been to find the killers who were ravaging the supernatural community. Now our goal was to get to DuMoir Castle, located in the Northeast, safely.

What happened after?

“All right,” I said, unhappy but eager to get this over with.

Killian retreated. Hands up hovered at chest level, his legs angled shoulder-width apart, and his knees bent slightly—loose for movement, but a strong foundation. With an exhale, I rolled my shoulders and mirrored his stance.

Relax, I told myself. I had to relax.

Once more, Killian feinted to the right. I didn’t fall for it. But then he feinted left, and I did. I prepared for his attack, but it didn’t come as I expected. Killian turned to the right again and practically barreled into my side. With a grunt, I raised my arms, blocking his fists. I hissed as the pain of the impact reverberated through my arms. He threw his leg out in a beautiful sequence of kicks, and I blocked all of them but the last one, which hit me right in my side. But he didn’t apologize or slow down. Groaning, I ducked below a punch and twirled out of the way.

Or tried to.

My foot got caught on a rock protruding from the earth. I tripped, bracing myself against the impact my back and shoulders were about to sustain, but an arm snaked around my waist, stopping my momentum and smoothing my landing. I lay on the cold grass, with Killian’s arm securely around me and his body hovering a few inches over mine.

I stopped breathing as my eyes locked with his. His gaze darkened, his jaw tightened, and his entire body radiated power and tension. Suddenly, I wasn’t cold anymore. I held still, afraid that if I moved or breathed, Killian would break the spell. That he would pull away, like he had done before.

But he stayed above me, immobile and rigid, his eyes searching mine. My fingers itched to reach to him, to touch him, to graze the five o’clock shadow on his chin and jaw, to sink into his silky hair. I wanted to arch my back, to raise my head, to bring my lips to his. I desired to feel his lips on mine again, to taste him, to explore every inch of his body.

His gaze slid down to my lips and I inhaled deeply. This was it. He would kiss me again.

Then his eyes moved down, to my throat.

Of course, my blood was more alluring than my kisses.

Coldness fell over me as Killian disappeared.

One second, he was on top of me. The next, I was staring at the darkening sky.

I sat up and found him several feet away.

He ran a hand over his hair. “Are … are you okay?”

I frowned. He couldn’t have helped me up? I pushed up to my feet and patted the grass from my pants. “I’m fine,” I snapped.

“Then … we can stop for today.” His eyes hardened. “I’m going …” He pointed to the woods at my back.

He was going feeding. That had been clear when he stared at my neck. He did that often, which should worry me more than it did.

“Sure,” I said, hoping my voice didn’t betray how disappointed I was. Disappointed at being only a meal he couldn’t have. Nothing more.

He gestured to the building peeking from above a line of trees to our left. “You should go back to our room. Make sure you bolt the door. I’ll bring you some takeout when I get back.”

I opened my mouth to tell him I could find food myself, but then he was gone. I barely saw as he zipped into the woods and disappeared again.

Letting out a breath, I dragged my feet back to the inn.

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