The Midnight Hunt
The Midnight Hunt
Rite World: Lightgrove Witches 5
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- Forbidden Lovers
- Reluctant Protagonist
- New Magic
- Magic and adventure
- Dark Secrets
- Urban Fantasy
- Slight Academy Setting
- Cameos from Rite World Characters
A witch on a mission, a dark warrior, and a hunt that will put both of them in danger …
Even thought, the darkness is taking everything from Hazel—her freedom, her future, and now even the man that she loves—she is determined to fight back.
But before she can save Sean from the dark side, Hazel needs to rely on her newfound powers and memories and become even stronger … and for that, Hazel embarks on a quest with her three friends, looking for lost, powerful items that will give her all of her magic and memories back.
The quest isn’t as smooth as she hoped, and it only gets worse when an evil Sean tries to stop her.Even with the endgame in her mind, will Hazel be able to fight him?
The Midnight Hunt is the fifth book in the Rite World: Lightgrove Witches series—full of magic, romance, mystery, and excitement! Grab your copy today and start this new adventure!
Intro into Chapter One
Intro into Chapter One
My mind was in a daze. I barely registered as the sisters created a heavy mist around us, and rushed me and Shade, who was still inside the cage, out of the parking lot. We ran for a few minutes, my heart pounding against my breastbone. Anna shoved me in the backseat of a car, while Britta freed the black cat from the metal crate.
I stared at Shade’s limp form in Britta’s hands.
That was my familiar.
Shouldn’t I feel him?
Did that mean he was dead? Or was it because our connection hadn’t been restored yet?
I shook my head, my thoughts confused, my head hurting.
Anna slipped into the driver’s seat, while Britta sat in the passenger’s, still cradling Shade like a porcelain doll. Anna didn’t waste a second—the moment Britta’s feet were inside, she peeled away.
“Watch it,” Britta grumbled as she had to pull the door hard to close it with the car moving.
For a moment, the car was so quiet, I didn’t have any choice but to drown in my own thoughts. Holy shit, what had happened? Grace and Starla were dark witches, but they weren’t evil. The queen of the Darkmist coven had killed them. The Darkmist queen had done something to Sean, and now Sean wasn’t himself.
And Shade lay immobile in Britta’s lap.
I opened my mouth to ask if he was okay, but before I could, Britta hovered her hands over his body and faint while light shone from her palms. She closed her eyes and whispered something I couldn’t hear.
A few seconds later, Shade inhaled deeply and his chest started moving. He let out a soft meow.
A sob lodged in my throat.
As if the sound had snapped her barely controlled rage, Anna glared at me over her shoulder. “What the hell were you thinking?” She faced the front again, but she kept staring at me through the rearview mirror, her eyes cold. She gripped the wheel until her knuckles turned white. “You could have gotten yourself killed!”
“Anna,” Britta called. “Stop it. Focus on the road. We need to get out of here.” She looked at me, disappointment written all over her face. “We can talk about this later.”
Another sob rose, but this time, I didn’t try to hide it. I settled back in the seat and glanced out the window as the night rushed past us, my eyes unseeing. Tears rolled down my cheeks and sadness filled my chest.
This wasn’t how things were supposed to be.
* * *
I didn’t pay attention to the direction Anna was driving. At some point, I fell asleep from pure exhaustion and woke when Britta touched my shoulder. It took me a second to remember everything, and then I wanted to close my eyes and go to sleep again, pretend nothing was happening.
“Come on,” Britta said, her voice an inch gentler than before. “You need proper rest.”
I scooted out of the car and stared at the rundown roadside inn in front of us as Anna marched inside the reception. Movement to my right caught my attention and I turned. I stared, stunned, at Shade, now in his human form. He leaned on the side of the car, his clothes rumpled, his hair messy, and his face full of tiny cuts and purpling wounds.
“Shade,” I whispered, taking a step toward him.
He straightened, as if he didn’t like being seen in this state. “I’m fine.” His voice was rough and shallow. “I’ll be fine.”
I didn’t know what to do. Should I apologize for not following the sisters’ plan, or simply for being unlucky?
Saving me from my misery, Anna emerged from inside the inn, irritation noticeable in every one of her movements. She showed us two cards. “Let’s get inside.”
“Wait,” Britta said. She touched the car, and it changed from a dark red to a light blue and the plate to another state. “We can’t be sure the mist confused them all and no one saw us.”
She and Anna took the lead, and Shade and I followed. I frowned as we climbed the outside stairs, thinking about the mist. So, it wasn’t just the other witches couldn’t see it. It made them confused so they couldn’t follow us.
The mist, healing Shade, changing the car—the sisters were more powerful than I realized.
Anna turned a corner and stopped in front of the two side-by-side doors. “I made sure to pick adjoining rooms with no guests right beside or under us.”
I wanted to ask her how, but I knew she had spelled the receptionist. The poor person probably wouldn’t even remember renting these two rooms.
She slid the card into the card reader and pushed the door open. We entered the room—a short hallway with a door to the bathroom and a small closet and counter with the coffee machine, and two queen beds. Tacky carpets, heavy curtains, and bedding that looked straight out of the last century. I bet it smelled like it too.
To the side, another door connected to the second room.
Groaning, Shade plopped down on one of the beds, and the sisters and I stood there, staring at each other.
“Now you can yell at her,” Britta said.
Anna turned her burning gaze at me. She hadn’t stopped glaring since they arrived in the school’s parking lot and saved Shade and me, but now her frown deepened.
“I don’t even know what to say,” Anna said through gritted teeth. “I thought you were smarter than this.”
I stilled. “Did you really think I would stay behind and leave Sean and Shade in Grace’s clutches?”
“Grace isn’t as bad as you thought,” Anna barked. Then she sobered up. “Wasn’t.”
“I didn’t know that, and I think you didn’t either.”
“That’s not the point!” Anna yelled.
“Then what is the point?” I barked, my voice rising.
Anna clasped my shoulders and fixed her eyes on mine. “You’re too important, Hazel. The most important witch alive right now. We can’t lose you, no matter the consequences.”
I stepped back and out of her reach. “I won’t let other people, especially people I love, get hurt for my own sake.” I sucked in a sharp inhale as something else came to mind. “My mother, my sister. Catarina and her witches might go after them, use them to get to me.”
“Shit.” Britta pulled out her phone from her pocket. “I’ll ask someone to check on them, make sure they are okay. If they are, we’ll get them into hiding.”
I frowned. “Someone?”
“We have a few allies here and there,” Anna explained.
“My mother and my sister won’t go with strangers,” I said.
“You can talk to them on the phone,” Britta said, the phone already pressed against her ear. “But do not tell them who you are. Not yet. It’ll put them at risk. Hello?” She turned her back to us and started talking in another language. Was that Greek?
Anna pointed her finger at my face. “You’re not off the hook.”
I seethed. “You’re supposed to be one of my best friends, but you’re acting like my freaking mother.”
“Well, you’re acting like a child!”
“What?” I squealed.
“For the light’s sake,” Shade groaned. He sat up in bed and stared at the both of us. “Can you two shut up? I’m tired and dizzy, and your nonsense is making my head hurt.”
I shrank into myself. “Sorry.”
Anna crossed her arms and huffed. Who was the child now?
“Besides, no one is right or wrong here,” he said. “The past is the past; we can’t change what happened. We can only try to do better in the future.”
I raised my eyebrows at him. I didn’t remember much about him and I hadn’t known him long in this life, but I knew Shade wasn’t the philosophical type.
I sat beside him. “Can you tell us what happened, or do you want to rest first and we can talk tomorrow morning?”
“It’s already tomorrow.” He gestured to the clock on the nightstand—it read three twenty-six in the morning. “And I can tell you now, I’m tired and hurting, but too worked up to sleep yet.”
Britta finished her call, her eyes finding me immediately. “Our friend is packing to go see your mother and sister. She’ll arrive mid-morning, then she’ll call you so you can talk to them. Hopefully, they will listen to you.”
“Hopefully.” I had to think what I was going to say. My mother idolized the Lightgrove witches. She wouldn't back down from any threat related to the coven.
“If they don’t go willingly, my friend can enchant them. I promise it won’t hurt them.”
I didn’t like that, but what other choice did I have?
“Thanks,” I muttered, then turned to Shade. “Tell us.”
He let out a long sigh. “It all went well at the beginning. Fast and easy. Sean and I went to your dorm, used your key, grabbed most of your things, then we went to his apartment, got his things. I mean, he was getting his things, I was browsing Netflix.”
“Of course,” Anna said.
“On the way back, a force slammed into the car and pushed us off the road, just outside of town,” he continued. “I was driving, and I hit my head on the steering wheel.” He pressed a hand to a small cut above his eyebrow. “I was dizzy and barely registered what was happening. The witches surrounded us and used their magic before we could do anything.” His brows curled down. “I didn’t see anything—their vehicles, where they took us. All I remember was that every hour or so they withdrew their magic. We were in a dark room with gray walls, our wrists and ankles chained to hooks on the floor.” He showed us his wrists, where the cuffs had left red marks. He looked at me. “They wanted to know where you were hiding, what you knew, and what your plans were. Sean and I remained quiet, even through their torture.”
Britta sat on the bed behind Shade and hovered her hands over his back. He glanced at her. “Just relax. I’m going to check if anything is too damaged and try to heal you as much as I can.” Faint white light shone from her palms and Shade let out a soft sigh.
“Anyway.” He cleared his throat. “We just endured it.”
My brows slammed down. “I’m sorry this happened to you.”
He shrugged. “Part of the job, I guess.”
My familiar—Arianna’s familiar—shouldn’t have to come with a warning label.
“Better?” Britta asked Shade. He nodded and she got up from the bed. “That’s enough for one night. We need to rest. Let’s sleep for a handful of hours and then continue moving.”
“Where are we going?” I asked. I knew we had to hide in a better place.
“I don’t know,” she said, worrying her lower lip with her teeth. “But we’ll figure it out.”
Anna opened the connecting door and the sisters walked into the second room.
I stood from beside Shade and moved to the other bed. I took off my shoes, my jacket, and lay down in bed. I was tired, hungry, and hurt, but I doubted I could fall sleep right now, either.
But I had to at least try.