Silver Wood Coven Book 4
She was born for a purpose, and it will not be denied.
As Summer slowly recovers from being savagely attacked and left for dead, it’s not the assault that confounds her. As she, Templar Michael Charbon, and Wiccan Troy Atwater bond ever more tightly, their shared passion creates inexplicable changes in her.
Though her two lovers vow to never again leave her unprotected, her unique power draws enemies to the Silver Wood Coven that none of them could have foreseen. Besieged from within and without, fractured relationships explode while damaged ones finally heal.
As the winter solstice gathering draws closer, and the other covens converge, the stakes couldn’t be higher. But when Summer’s memories begin to return, she glimpses her terrible purpose. Not only will she need to summon her power and her courage, she must ask the ultimate of her two men.
What Readers Are Saying
This series just keeps getting better and better with each book. It is so fast paced and leaves you wanting more. I can’t wait to read the next installment. I give this book 5 stars!
Wow this is exciting and action packed. So much drama and steamy spicy hotness it is impossible to put down! I can't wait to see what happens next in the series. It's fantastic.
Addictive series. Once started the reader has to finish the book and continue the next. Cliffhangers are amazing incentive towards the next story. Love, betrayal by unknown person or persons who are very close to the Coven and a really nasty villain can all be found in this story. Enjoyable read with great characters and beautifully described scenes.
Thrilling! Everything is finally coming together nicely, and yet there are still questions to be answered, and secrets to discover. As always, Hazel Hunter knows how to spin a tale. I love this series, and can't wait to continue it!
WOW. Left wanting more !!! I have not been able to put these books down either and could barely contain myself to start the next, just a note I have finished all books to date in this series in like 2-3 day's as I could not put them down once I started reading, I am sure you will too this series is a must read for all Magical !!! thank you Hazel Hunter you are treasured and appreciated for your ability to hold and captivate your readers and the great story-line here.
Surrounded by angry Wiccans outraged over his presence, Michael Charbon again considered leaving Silver Wood. Although he had repeatedly risked his life over the centuries to protect the innocent among them from the vicious wrath of his Templar brotherhood, to the pagans he would forever be an enemy witch-hunter.
“You take that Templar, scum lover of yours,” Abel Atwater bellowed at his oldest son Troy, “and you get the hell off my mountain.”
“He’s not my lover,” Troy shouted back, “and it’s not your mountain.”
The coven had been in an uproar ever since Troy had brought him to their hidden stronghold in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, so that Michael could recover from a near-lethal wound. He’d almost died shielding Troy, son of the coven’s master, from a Templar assassin—not that it mattered to them. They certainly didn’t care that he’d also wanted to protect Summer, the mysterious witch he’d discovered living homeless and without her memory in Central Park. Despising and fearing him was all he could ever expect from the pagans, especially now that they knew that he and Troy had become Summer’s lovers.
Michael saw that hatred in Abel’s eyes now, and knew there would never be peace between Troy and his father unless he left Silver Wood. He put a hand on the warlock’s shoulder to draw him back, and then nearly doubled over as a sharp, fierce jolt stabbed into his side. He clutched at the newly-healed wound, expecting to feel a dagger buried to the hilt, but found nothing there.
At the same time Troy grunted, his hand pressed to the same spot on his abdomen, and staggered away from him. When the contact between them was broken the pain vanished.
“Paladin,” Troy said. The man’s brilliant blue eyes darkened with fury and pain as he looked over his shoulder. “It’s Summer.”
Michael looked at where their lover had been standing only a moment before, and saw only a splatter of something wet on the ground. He swore as he ran with Troy over to the patch of blood-stained dirt.
Abel strode up behind them. “I’m not done with you, boy.”
“You are now.” Michael stepped in his path before he could reach Troy. “Walk away.”
The Coven Master lowered his head, and his breath came out of his nostrils as white as steam in the cold air, making him look like a bull ready to charge.
“You dare tell me what to do on my land, you bastard?”
“Walk away,” Michael said again, dropping his voice low so no one else heard, “or I will show you what Templar scum like me can do.”
Abel gave him an ugly smile. “This isn’t finished.”
He turned on his heel and stalked back into the main house.
Troy knelt down and touched the dark stain before he peered at the ground beyond it.
“Fresh marks,” he said, pointing to where the soil was disturbed.
Michael followed them to the tree line, where he found another smear of blood and several long, golden brown hairs caught on bark at the base of a pine tree. He carefully pulled the hairs out of the bark and showed them to the warlock.
Frost rapidly spread out on the ground around Troy’s feet as his power spiked.
“The bastard dragged her.”
Knowing their gentle lover had been stabbed and treated like a carcass made Michael shift into the calm, cold focus he employed in battle. He studied the ground until he found more marks.
“He took her this way. Come.”
They followed the trail into the woods, where it led them straight to the edge of a cliff overlooking the river. Troy stared over the edge while Michael crouched down and placed his hand on the soil where four faint furrows scored the surface.
“She was still alive when he threw her over.” He gestured at the marks. “She tried to dig her fingers in here.”
“We have to get down there. Too far to jump, and it’ll take half an hour to climb down.” Troy pointed down at a large flat rock in the center of the river. “Can you keep that level?”
Michael stared at it. It was one thing to channel the strange power he derived from the three of them, as when he’d created the amethyst cave. It was another thing by himself. But Beauty’s life depended on it.
Michael nodded. “I can try.”
Troy spread his hands, creating an arc of silvery-blue power. He sent it hurtling down at the river. It sank into the rushing waters and drew them up in a spout along with the stone. He raised the twisting column to the edge of the cliff.
“Now,” he shouted over the sound of the roaring currents.
Michael leapt onto the stone, crouching to press his hands to the wet, cold surface. Whether it was sheer will or the connection he still felt to Troy, the giant stone stayed level. He nodded to the warlock, who jumped onto it with him.
“Easy,” Michael warned him as the column of water began to descend back to the river. “If you knock me off, you will take a very cold bath.”
“Water is my friend, remember, not yours,” Troy said. He shifted the column to curl over and drop the stone on the bank, where he leapt off and looked downstream. “Gods. Even as cold as it is, she may have drowned by now.”
“No,” Michael muttered. There was a flutter of red in the water a hundred yards away. He pointed to it. “There. She is there.”
He started running toward her, but before he could reach her body Troy used his power to pull her from the water. He deposited her limp form on the bank.
“Beauty,” Michael whispered.
He dropped to his knees next to her. He caught his breath as he saw the gashes on her face and neck, and the strange angle of her left arm and leg. From a tear in her dress he could see the knife wound in her side. But the next thing he realized was far worse.
“She’s not breathing.”
Troy knelt on the other side, his mouth tight. He gently touched her throat.
“She has a pulse,” he breathed, his face a mix of relief and confusion. “It’s strong and normal.”
“Why isn’t she breathing?” Michael demanded. He lifted her chin to begin resuscitation, but as soon as he touched her he felt the strange power she possessed flooding into him. Then it drew energy from him back into Summer. “Pagan.”
“I feel it,” Troy said. “Don’t resist.” Troy’s eyes narrowed as Summer’s body began to glow with a misty green light. “Gods. It’s happening again.”
Michael flinched as her broken arm made a cracking sound and then slowly straightened. Her leg did the same as the lacerations marring her face and throat began to shrink and then disappeared. Only when her body was whole again did she gasp, and then choke out a mouthful of river water.
“Turn her on her side,” Michael said, “and keep your hands on her.”
Once she had coughed out all the water in her lungs, Summer went limp again. But the light enveloping her body continued to grow brighter, until it was almost blinding.
“What is this?” Michael asked as he watched the red fabric of her dress darken and shrink. It crisped and then fell away from her skin like so much ash. “Why is it doing this to her?”
“I don’t know!” Troy said.
He squinted and turned his head away.
Michael managed to keep watching. Through the light he saw dark green marks appear on her naked body. They stretched into scrolling lines down the length of her torso. Once they had covered every inch of her skin from her collar bones to her hips the light faded, leaving only the marks on her flesh.
Troy checked her pulse, and they could both easily see the movement of her diaphragm. Despite the strange markings, they both exhaled in relief. But as they stared down at her, Michael recognized what they were seeing—writing. He exchanged a worried look with Troy.
“You know what that is?” Troy asked.
“Capetian, one of the oldest forms of French Wiccan writing,” Michael said, scowling. “I have not seen it in centuries. I do not believe it has been used since the Templars drove the covens out of southern France.”
“Can you translate it?”
Michael cocked his head to read one line that ran along her forearm.
“True, without falsehood,” he read. “Certain when uncertain, by will I invoke–”
“Stop,” Troy ordered, and spread his hand over the words. “That’s a truth spell. If you read the rest you’ll have me telling you what I really think of you.”
Michael grunted as he examined more of the lines.
“There are more like that which mention water and earth and time. They all invoke some form of protection.” His gaze shifted to a group of words set apart from all the others on her right shoulder, and then peered at them again. “Troy Atwater.”
“I know my name,” Troy told him.
“Yes, and it’s written on her skin, here,” he said, and pointed to it. “It says you are marked to be her sentinel mate, along with another name: Michele Charbonneau.”
As the warlock leaned closer, the writing of the second name blurred and formed a new name.
Troy glanced up at him. “Well? What does it say now?”
Michael dragged his hand over the back of his head. “It’s my name. Michael Charbon.”
“So someone incised our names on Summer in a form of Wiccan that hasn’t been used since the tenth century.” The warlock shook his head. “This night just keeps getting better and better.” He shot Michael a look. “That other name, it had to be your birth name.” He glanced back at the stone they’d used. “You have a Wiccan ability, and you’ve always been more like us than the Templars,” he said excitedly. “Michael, I think they took you as an infant from a Wiccan family. They used to do that a lot back then.”
“It does not matter now,” Michael said, shaking his head as though that would help to clear it. “It is ancient history. We have to take care of her.” Michael touched one of the words scrawled along her side. “These are tattoos, not cuts. I have touched every inch of her, and even if she had managed a concealment spell I would have felt the scars, and so would have you.”
“She’s starting to shiver,” Troy said quietly. He took off his shirt and draped it over her as Michael lifted her in his arms. “We’ll take her back to the pavilion. Aileen and Erica should have a look at her–”
“No,” Michael said flatly. “Whoever attacked her is among the coven. There was no one else on the mountain but your people.”
“And that Templar spy, Baldwin, whoever he is,” Troy countered. “I should go back and see who’s missing, or if any of them saw someone near her.”
“No. We cannot trust any of them.” He cradled Beauty’s soft but shivering body closer to his chest. “For now we will take her to your house, and tend to her ourselves. When she awakens, she can tell me who attacked her, and I will attend to him.”
The warlock smiled grimly. “You’re going to have to wait your turn, Paladin.”
“You’ll both have to wait,” Summer whispered weakly.
Troy jerked his gaze down, but Michael realized the warlock was careful not to touch her. When Michael looked down, Beauty’s dark opal eyes were open. They were tired and underlined with dark circles, but they were open. Relief flooded through him.
Slowly she looked up at him.
“You’ll have to wait,” she whispered, barely audible. “I didn’t see anyone.”
• • • • •
Some hours later Summer sighed as Michael finished combing out the last of the snarls from her long hair.
“You should have quit the Templars and become a lady’s maid.”
The big man grunted as he parted her hair in three sections.
“It would be too hard to explain why I never age. Besides that, the only lady I am interested in caring for is you.”
“Then you have your hands full.”
As he braided her hair, Summer watched the flames dance in the bedroom fireplace, and wondered why she was so calm and content. She’d been like this since the men had brought her back to Troy’s house. She didn’t understand the attack or how she had survived it. Then there were the words that now covered her upper body. They didn’t hurt or itch, but felt as if someone had wrapped her in a very thin, silky lace. Yet as shocking as her ordeal had been, it seemed utterly disconnected from her own experience, as if she’d read about it, or watched it happen to someone else.
“Why do you think my people tattooed me with these spells?” she asked Michael. “Could they have somehow known I’d lose my memory? And why hide the words until now?”
“I am not certain that anyone could have done this to you,” he said, and tied the end of her braid neatly with a string before resting his hands on her shoulders. “The lines of the marks are as thin and delicate as true hand-writing.”
She ran her fingertips over the writing on her forearm. “Someone had to do it.”
“Perhaps.” He covered her hand with his. “Or it may have been the green power within you.”
They’d already told her what had happened after they’d fished her out of the water, and now she frowned.
“Michael, if anything does happen to me–”
“Shhh.” He pulled her back against his chest, wrapping his strong arms around her as he kissed the top of her head. “Pagan and I won’t allow this killer to come near you again.”
Summer nestled against him, and sighed as the bedroom door opened. Troy came in with a tray filled with sandwiches and steaming mugs of tea.
“With you as my lady’s maid, and Troy as my cook, I may never want to leave this room.”
“I don’t cook,” the warlock told her as he parked the tray on the bed beside her and Michael. “I make sandwiches. Damned fine sandwiches, if I say so myself, but until you’re feeling better, anything more involved will have to be filched from the coven or picked up in town.” He picked up one mug and offered it to her. “Yours. I want you to drink all of it.”
She took a sniff. “Well, it certainly smells pretty.”
“It is,” Troy said. “Chamomile, clove, saffron and rose petals, with a little honey to sweeten it.”
Summer recalled what Erica had told her about certain tea blends the Wiccans used.
“Herbs for calming, something else, protecting and loving.” She took a sip and sighed. “Very nice. What’s the clove for?”
“Keeps the hostiles away,” Troy said and handed Michael a mug of coffee. He sat on the edge of the bed and shared the sandwiches with them. “Eat,” he said when Summer only nibbled at hers. “You want to grow up and be a big strong witch someday, don’t you?”
“I might not be big compared to you two, but I’m strong enough.” She handed the rest of her sandwich to Michael. “Or at least, I thought I was.”
“You survived being stabbed and thrown off a cliff,” the Templar reminded her. “While you are still mortal, no less.”
“Can you remember anything more about what happened?” Troy asked.
“Only that I didn’t see who it was. The attacker came up behind me.”
Feeling restless now, Summer climbed off Michael and got up, bracing herself against his shoulder before she took a few tentative steps and then sat in the armchair in the corner.
“Still don’t have my land legs yet. What I really don’t understand is why. Why try to kill me now?”
“Since we came back from the city,” Michael said, “you have either been with me, Troy or one of the women. Perhaps today was the first opportunity he had to strike while you were alone.”
“But I wasn’t.” She turned around to face them. “You two were only twenty yards away from me, and everyone else from the main house was there, too.”
“That little thug, Lachlan, ran off,” Michael said. “Ewan and the pregnant witch were not there, either.”
“Aileen can barely stand up on her own,” Troy told him. “I saw Ewan inside the house earlier, and he wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
“Lachlan came at you with a blade,” Michael countered. “When he could not prevail, perhaps he chose to vent his spleen on our Beauty.”
“Hey,” Summer said and frowned. She touched her side. “Wait a second.”
“If it was Lachlan,” Troy said, his expression darkening, “then he’s mine.”
Michael gave him a chilling smile. “You’ll have to wait in line, Pagan.”
“Guys.” When they both stared at her, Summer stood up and pointed at the spot where she’d been stabbed. “The blade he used was still stuck in me when I went over the cliff. Did either of you see it when you fished me out of the river?”
Michael shook his head, while Troy said, “No, but if it’s still in the water, I can find it.”
Summer frowned as she touched her side again. She’d awoken covered in Troy’s shirt.
“What happened to the dress I was wearing?”
The men exchanged an odd look before Michael said, “It was destroyed.”
“What? How?” When neither of them answered her Summer got to her feet. “I liked that dress. Aileen gave it to me. So how–”
She staggered as a flood of memories poured through her.
• • • • •
“Beauty,” Michael gasped, as he caught her before she fell.
Troy was immediately on her other side, both of them keeping her upright.
As she stared at them she saw another, fainter image of her limp, broken body in the sodden red dress. Two of her limbs were badly broken, and she wasn’t breathing.
“I was dead,” she whispered.
“No,” Troy said firmly, as Michael gently cradled her. “You had a pulse, love. You just had some water in your lungs, which I got out, right away.”
“And then you said to keep touching me.” She stared at Michael through the blurry, flowing images. “You knew it would bring me back.”
“I knew only that your power comes out when both of us touch you.” He caressed her cheek, and when he took his hand away it was wet. “When the words began to appear on your skin, they burned off the dress.”
“I’m not ready,” Summer said lowly, her voice quaking. She could hear herself speaking, but the words seemed to come from someone else. “Maman said so on the day they came for me. She begged me to forgive her.” The memory fragment vanished, but this time something was different. “It doesn’t hurt to remember anymore.”
Both men guided her back to the bed, where Michael lifted her onto the mattress. A moment later they lay on either side of her, their hands stroking her and their voices soft as they murmured words of reassurance.
They wanted to make love to her, Summer could feel that, but they held back, afraid it would hurt her. Deep inside she could feel the bones that had broken knitting back together, and the stab wound now sealed, but still tender.
“I wish I could make love to you both again, but you’re right. I think I need more rest.”
Michael drew his finger down the length of her nose.
“I have waited hundreds of years for you.” He lightly brushed her lips. “I can manage a few days more.”
“I have a better idea,” Troy said, eying Michael as he untied the belt of her robe. “Why don’t you let us take care of you for a change?”
Being sandwiched between her lovers made Summer feel more than safe, especially as their scents enveloped her. Troy smelled clean and cool, like the air after a light snowfall. Michael exuded a darker, earthier scent, like a grove of dark trees. Together they made her think of walking through the woods in the winter sun, with all the promise of spring waiting just beneath the snow.
Am I the promise of spring?
She felt an ache and glanced down to see that her nipples had grown so engorged they looked like two little, ripe strawberries.
“What are you two planning to take care of?”
“Watch,” was all Michael said.
Her eyelids fluttered as both men shifted down and put their mouths to her breasts. Troy cradled her right mound in his long, beautiful fingers as he licked his tongue back and forth over her peak. Michael stroked her belly as he fastened his mouth over her left nipple to tug on it gently. The sensations of having both breasts attended to at once made Summer forget about everything but her men, and how sexy they made her feel.
“When you’re feeling better,” Troy murmured as he slowly fondled her. “We’d like to try something new.”
“If you would like it, Beauty,” Michael said and gently rolled her over to face Troy. He moved up behind her to rub his big hand over her bottom. “We know we would.”
They seemed to be entirely in sync now, and Summer felt their hunger for her like hot water flowing over her skin. Her own desires seemed to be blooming inside her like a secret garden of dark flowers.
“Why are we waiting?” she murmured, her head spinning.
“You need to rest,” Troy said lowly as he rubbed her thigh. He slipped his hand between her legs to slowly stroke one finger against her delicate folds. “Just relax, and listen, and feel.”
Though at first Summer thought Michael was rolling her back to him, he easily brought her on top of his big body. With her back resting on his broad chest, he cupped her breasts as he kissed the side of her neck. Troy bent over her to kiss her lips as he parted her and began working his thumb over the aching nub of her clit.
“When we take you next,” Michael said, his soft voice thrumming against her back, “we want to be in you together.”
Troy lifted his mouth as he pressed his finger into her clenching opening.
“I’ll stuff this tight little pussy with my cock,” he whispered against her lips. “I’ll pump it deep and slow, the way you like it.”
Summer shivered as she felt Michael caress her buttocks, and then trail a finger over the pucker of her rosebud.
“And while he does I will take you here,” Michael told her. “You will like having my cock deep inside your lovely ass while Troy fills your pussy. You will feel both of our rods stroking inside you, and it will make you come harder than you have ever done, Beauty.”
Summer gasped as their sensual threats added to the pleasure their hands were giving her. She imagined being between their big, muscular bodies as they both worked their shafts in and out of her.
“Now come for us,” Troy said, and lowered his mouth to her breasts.
“Yes, Beauty,” Michael added, pressing gently against her pucker. “Show us how it will be for you.”
Summer’s climax radiated inside her with the intensity of an inner sun. It burned through the fear and doubt and worry to consume her with the heat of their shared passion. She shuddered violently and uncontrollably, and felt both of her men stiffen as the pleasure spread from her to them. Their stiff, swollen shafts pulsed and jetted inside their trousers.
When it all drifted to a warm, loving glow, Troy glanced down and chuckled.
“I don’t think I’ve come in my pants since I was a teenager.”
Michael leaned close to whisper in Summer’s ear, “I did it once while I was watching you in the park, but I admit, my hand may have helped a little.”
Troy grinned at him. “This is why Wiccans don’t have confession.”
Michael nodded thoughtfully. “My mentors always claimed it is why all pagans are going to burn in Hell. Do you think there will be room for me, too?”
As Troy chuckled under his breath, Summer reveled in the small laugh that moved Michael’s chest. She drifted in the moment, languorous and warm.
“I think I will take a shower now,” Michael said after they had finished laughing. He gave her a quick kiss before climbing off the bed and heading into the bath.
“Do you want some more tea?” Troy asked as he stroked her hair. “I can go and brew a fresh pot.”
“No, I’m good,” Summer said, and sighed. “But there’s something else I have to tell you about last night.”
- Book 1: Rescued
- Book 2: Stolen
- Book 3: United
- Book 4: Betrayed
- Book 5: Revealed
- Book 6: Lost
- Book 7: Divided
- Book 8: Gone
- Book 9: Burned
- Book 10: Reclaimed
- Book 11: Call of Fate
- Book 12: Sea of Love
- Book 13: Palace of Pleasure
- Book 14: House of Desire
- Book 15: Ship of Dreams
- Book 16: Lens of Time
- Silver Wood Coven Box Set