Silver Wood Coven Book 5
For the sake of love, one woman will defy legions.
In a breathtaking vision shared by the three of them, Summer, Michael, and Troy finally learn the truth. But not only is Summer’s birth name revealed, so is her heritage and the real purpose of their passionate union.
As deadly forces close in on the winter gathering, Silver Wood coven has never been more vulnerable. Templars intent on finding the Emerald Tablet will stop at nothing to get to Summer, aided by a traitor in their midst. When the traitor finally reveals themselves, the depth of their vicious intent becomes clear.
But even as the coven readies for battle, Summer and her two lovers prepare in their own way. Though they come together in a heated and ultimate bonding, it creates another change in her. Power and memory combine, enabling her to confront her fate alone.
What Readers Are Saying
Beautifully written by the author, the story of a witch and her soon to be lovers mated for life…This story has a mix of suspense, mystery, romance and some humor along the way. Thank you Hazel Hunter for writing such an amazing book. I hope everyone will enjoy this book as much as I did.
I would recommend this series, this author, to anyone who enjoys magic, romance, and mystery.
Loved it!!!! When I read the first book I needed to get the rest of the books. I can't wait for the next book!!!!
Fantastic book, fantastic series…It feels like you're there, in the story, and I love the way that feels. As an author, Hazel can definitely put you there. I love this series, and I seriously recommend reading it!
Okay, it's official: Hazel Hunter is one of my new addictions and I'm probably going to tear through her other series like a fiend. One of the most entertaining erotic series that I've read in a long time. There is a plot here, there are mysteries, intrigue, really nasty villains and interesting characters along with the well-written sexual scenes. The sexual interludes don't get in the way of the advancement of the story. Then again, the story doesn't get in the way of the sexual interludes, either!
“I’m afraid I have some bad news,” the driver told Eve after he’d finished talking on his mobile phone. He turned off the tinny, country music playing on the radio. “That was my contact in Quebec. He said someone set fire to your house.”
Eve had felt the wrenching psychic pain last night, while Wiccan friends had been smuggling her across the border into North Dakota. But she had told herself that Marie could survive anything. She stared blindly through the windshield at the rapidly darkening sky. Lightning streaked through the dark clouds on the horizon.
“Is my mother still alive?”
“They don’t know. They said she’s missing.” The driver, a reed-thin man with a name Eve couldn’t remember, cleared his throat gruffly. “The two of you are pretty close, huh?”
The four of us, she wanted to correct him, and then her stomach clenched as she realized what Marie Lautner’s passing would mean. Her mother’s lovers, Jean-Paul and Christien, shared more than her affections.
If she was captured, mes pères will go after her. They will fight to the death to bring her back…but if she dies…
Eve choked back a sudden surge of acidic bile. “Please stop the car. I have to be sick.”
“Oh, shit, hold on,” the driver said and quickly pulled off the road.
Genevieve flung open the door and stumbled out, doubling over as she emptied her belly into the thick, brown weeds.
“You okay?” the driver called to her anxiously. “Uh, you need a napkin or something?”
She needed to go back to Quebec. She needed her maman and her pères alive. She needed to be a child again, little Genevieve Lautner, playing in the garden while Marie planted her herbs, Christien pruned the trees, and Jean-Paul raked the leaves. She wanted the cozy evenings of laughter and love. She didn’t want to be left behind with the responsibility. She was too young. She hadn’t even completed her training. The only spells Marie had taught her were for healing.
All around her the weeds that had withered and been baked brown by the long, hot summer began to turn green and lush, as if to taunt her.
No. I cannot do this, Eve thought as she straightened, and her nausea receded into full-blown panic. I cannot be this.
Yet even as those frantic thoughts shrieked in the silence behind her eyes, she felt three bolts of pain through her heart. She staggered back to the car, holding onto the door as the psychic ties between her and her parents were abruptly severed. Heat and needling pain sank into her skin, stabbing into her from her hips to her throat. An icy dread crept down her spine as she realized it meant the last spells Marie had cast had been triggered by her death. They were spells cast in order to protect Eve, as well as the burden she had passed along.
It’s mine now. Gods help me.
She managed to get back inside the car and clipped on her seatbelt to keep from falling over.
“How far away are we from the meeting place?” she whispered.
“It’s only twenty miles or so from here,” the driver said, giving her several quick glances. “You’re as white as snow, honey. Do you want to, you know, rest for a minute?”
“I feel better now,” Eve lied, closing her eyes to focus on the spell she had to cast now to contain what was happening to her. Once her body ward was safely in place she added, “Please hurry. I need to see my people right away.”
The driver nodded. Jim—his name was Jim, Eve finally remembered. He turned the radio back on. For a few miles he just hummed along to Hank Williams, and then he took out a pack of cigarettes.
“You mind if I have a smoke?”
“No.” Although Eve hated the stink of tobacco, it wouldn’t penetrate her spell shield. “You know you can’t smoke around the coven.”
“Yeah, I got the lecture,” he said. He opened his window before he lit up, and then exhaled the first drag with a sigh of relief. “My girlfriend keeps nagging me to quit, but I’ve been puffing away since I was eleven. Hard to shake the habit.”
Eve thought of what she had been doing at the same age: making bird houses with Christien, having snowball fights with Jean-Paul, and studying with Marie. She’d always wondered why her mother had insisted on her learning English when they only spoke in French to each other.
Did she foresee this? Is this the real reason she sent me so far away from home?
“So, you’re a witch, too, right?” Jim asked. When she nodded, Jim gave an uneasy laugh. “Thought so. I couldn’t believe it when I first found out about you guys, you know? I always thought witches were a bunch of Halloween bullshit, and then my girlfriend tells me she’s one. Then she says a bunch of medieval priests want to torture and kill your kind. Next thing you know I’m helping move you people in and out of the country. Like I’m some magical coyote for illegals.”
Eve heard a trace of disgust behind the false heartiness, and felt some of her own at his tone.
“I would have stayed in Quebec,” she said, “if I could have.”
And now Marie was dead, and so were Eve’s two fathers, leaving her all alone with a burden she neither wanted nor entirely understood.
“Don’t worry, honey,” Jim said as he turned down a narrow road leading to an industrial complex. “I don’t expect you’ll have to stay for long. And hey, look. We’re here.”
Eve could see two large, dark cars parked in the lot between the warehouse buildings, but their headlights prevented her from seeing the faces of the figures standing around them. Her skin crawled with nerves and something else, and she felt a strong impulse to jump out of the vehicle. But that made no sense at all, unless the Templars had somehow tracked her to the states.
“You’re sure this is where we are supposed to meet them?” she asked carefully.
He shoved his hand in his jacket as he parked a short distance from the other cars. When he turned to her, he took his hand out.
“Change of plans, though, honey. These guys will be real nice to you, as long as you stay calm, okay?”
Eve glanced down to see the gun he was pointing at her chest.
“What have you done?”
“I’m going to make me a pile of money, dump my witch girlfriend, and head to Miami Beach,” Jim said with great satisfaction. “Now get out of the damn car.”
She climbed out, squinting. The blinding, white-blue headlights dazzled her tired eyes. She glanced over at Jim’s tense face, and saw beads of sweat glittering on his brow and upper lip.
He’s afraid. But of them or me?
“Who are these men?”
“Nice guys, like I told you. Real religious.” He came around the car and took her arm, hauling her forward. “Here she is. Bring me my money, and you can take her.”
“Not yet.” A large, heavyset man stepped out in front of the headlights. He leveled a shotgun at Jim. “She tells us where her mother hid the treasure, and then we’ll pay you.”
“Right,” Jim said and looked at her. “Go ahead. Tell the man.”
None of them were Templars, Eve realized dully. They’d sent their mortal minions to collect her.
“Whatever I say, you won’t get paid,” she said to the driver in a low voice. “They’re going to kill you.”
“Enough whispering,” the big man said. He chambered a round in the shotgun. “Where is it?”
She spread out her hands. “Go ahead. Shoot me and the treasure will be lost forever.”
“Hey, this wasn’t the deal,” Jim said. “I got a right to–”
The rest of what he said was obliterated by the blast of the shotgun, which blew the gun and most of the fingers off his hand.
Eve cringed away as the driver screamed and clutched his wrist. The heavyset man ejected the spent cartridge, chambered another, and aimed at her face.
“I’m not playing here, Frenchie,” the man said calmly. “The next one will be a headshot. Where did she hide it?”
She blinked back hot tears as a strange calm spread through her.
“In a place where you’ll never find it.”
“Oh, god. Tell them,” Jim said hoarsely. “Tell them now. You have to tell them where it is, you fucking bitch, or we’re both–”
The man fired the shotgun, and Jim’s face exploded. Blood and gore spattered Eve as the driver’s body slammed into hers. It slid down to lay motionless at her feet. As the metallic stink of his blood filled her nostrils she stared down in horror. Though she wanted to scream, she was gripped by enchantment as the driver’s death activated one of the spells branded on her skin.
Her maman’s voice whispered in her mind.
To save you, all be condemned, as they would do, be done to them. So may it be.
“You have to stop right now,” she said, but her voice came out in a thready whisper. “Please, if you don’t, you’ll die.”
Her warning came too late. The headlights of both cars winked out, while the air in front of Eve’s eyes glowed green with building power. The light crackled through the air as it shot out, whirling around the shooter and his men as their faces emptied of all expression.
No, please, Gods.
Eve tried desperately to pull back the magic, but the power that gripped her rendered her helpless to do anything but watch.
One by one the men began taking out the weapons they carried, flicking off the safeties, and aiming them at each other. They still had their voices, and began yelling at each other to stop. As the first shot rang out they stared in horror at her, and began begging her to spare them even as they fired upon one another. Body after body fell to the ground, some dead before they landed, others screaming and writhing in agony before they finally went limp.
The last man left standing reversed the shotgun in his hands, and pressed the end of the barrel under his chin.
“Damn you, you fucking witch,” he muttered as he reached for the trigger. “Damn you straight to–”
The shotgun fired, erasing his face in a blast of tissue, bone and blood.
With his death, her mother’s spell ended. Eve fell to her knees beside Jim’s body. She put a trembling hand to her chest until she felt a warm wetness on her breast. She looked down at her blouse, which was soaked with the driver’s blood. In disgust, she tried to pull it away from her skin. But green power whirled around her as the blood triggered the spell branded over her heart, the only spell Maman had never explained to her. Eve felt it burn into her chest and spread through her limbs as the green light grew blinding. Her eyes widened when she saw three more figures step out of the shadows.
One tall man with short-cropped golden hair and a brutally muscled form stood on the left. His eyes reflected the power suffusing the air. He surveyed their surroundings with the alert, cool detachment of an experienced warrior. On the right another, leaner man, as dark as the first was fair, studied her with eyes so blue it almost hurt to look back at them. He moved with the lethal grace of a skilled, silent predator.
Yet it was the woman who stood between them that held Eve’s gaze riveted. Tall and elegantly slim, she had gilded brunette hair that cascaded over her shoulders in thick, soft waves. As she walked toward Eve, the moon came out from behind the clouds and silvered her lovely features, which Eve had seen every day since her eighteenth birthday.
“Stay back,” she called out to them. “Please. Don’t come any closer to me.”
“She can see us,” the golden-haired man said in a deep, stern voice. “We are present in this time. We must not interfere.”
“There’s hardly anyone left alive to interfere with,” the dark man replied in a melodic tenor. When their female companion moved toward Eve, the man caught her arm. “Summer, wait.”
“It’s all right,” Summer said and smiled at her. “We won’t hurt you.”
“No one can ever hurt me again,” Eve told her.
Eve could feel her mind expanding as the power continued to alter her consciousness. She looked at the men on either side of her twin, and marveled over how one was as dark as Christien, the other as light as Jean-Paul. Some things never changed, it seemed.
“Why did you come here?” Eve asked.
“To understand this,” Summer said, making an encompassing gesture. She came forward and knelt beside Eve. “And to understand you.”
Eve almost laughed. “But you know everything about me.”
“No,” Summer said. “A few months ago I woke up in Central Park with no name or memory of who I was. Since then little pieces of my life have come back, but I still don’t know how or why any of this happened to me.” She held out her hand. “Will you help me remember?”
“Don’t touch her,” the dark man warned. “She’s warded with death spells.”
“I am Genevieve Lautner,” Eve said. Knowing she only had seconds before the transference spell triggered by Marie’s death finished altering her mind, Eve grabbed her twin’s wrist. “Take from me my memories, all that I’ve known that you must see. So may it be.”
Green light filled Eve’s eyes, and then the magic flung all four of them into the dimness between the stars.
• • • • •
Summer drifted in the darkness as her bruised mind struggled to make sense of what was happening. She tried to remember the sex magic that Troy had used in an attempt to recover her memory, but the spell eluded her. Everything was gone, and she was alone.
I don’t want to be alone anymore.
Her own eyes stared up at her from the darkness, the pupils hugely dilated. A tight voice perfectly imitated her own as it repeated something Summer had heard before. A spell, but not one that Troy had cast.
All that I’ve known.
The sound of a wail forced her to open her eyes, but the light blinded her. She was tiny and helpless, and cradled against a warm breast. She couldn’t see clearly, but she could feel the gentle, thudding rhythm of the heart beneath her cheek.
You must see.
Her vision began to clear, and she looked up at the faces smiling at her: her mother, her golden father, her dark father. They whispered to her, and kissed her face, and fed her, and rocked her to sleep. Only then did Summer realize what was happening to her.
She gave me her memories, and now I’m reliving them, all the way back to her birth.
Day by day she experienced Genevieve Lautner’s secluded life, first as an infant, then as a toddler, crawling and then tottering along the old oak floors of Marie Lautner’s family mansion. Nearly every day she also accompanied her mother out to the beautiful back garden, which remained lush and green no matter how cold the weather turned.
“My little Eve,” Marie said as they walked along the stone pathways through the flowers. “You’re a touch of spring.”
Eve also had two handsome fathers to adore and pamper her. Her lovely mother spent years teaching her everything about Wiccans, the Templars, and an outside world she had never seen. She listened to Eve weep with joy on her fourteenth birthday, when for the first time Marie had allowed her to leave their home and go into Quebec.
Eve had entered the modern world on that day flanked by her strong, protective fathers, who guided her through the streets while introducing her to the dirty, chaotic realm of ordinary mortals.
“So many people,” Eve said as she watched a group of schoolgirls skipping along the sidewalk. “Why do we not live here, like them?”
Her fathers exchanged one of their odd looks before Jean-Paul said, “We could not have our garden here in the city, cherie.”
While Eve’s life had been quiet and idyllic, it had not been perfect. As she grew older she rebelled, arguing with her mother over her training, and the things Marie still kept from her. She knew that, like all the Lautner women, she would someday have to guard a secret. But all her mother would say was that, for now, it was her burden to carry, not Eve’s.
“When it is time, you will know,” Marie said. “Until then, enjoy your freedom, for it will not last forever.”
As an older teen Eve had begun to feel imprisoned rather than free. Her mother refused to allow her to attend school, have friends or even go anywhere by herself, and they argued bitterly each time Eve tried to show some independence. After one particularly emotional fight, Eve had run away from home to spend a miserable day on Mount Saint-Alban. She stared for hours at the water, and wished she could sail across it to some faraway place where no one cared who or what she was. By sunset Jean-Paul and Christien had found her, and persuaded her to come back. When Eve returned, Marie had wept with joy, but she had also become even more controlling and secretive.
“Why don’t you trust me?” Eve had demanded after another argument with her mother. “How can I be a guardian if I don’t know what it is I’m supposed to protect?”
Marie had given her a sad look. “I wish you never had to, my darling.”
Eventually Eve’s three parents allowed her to leave home to attend college and work part-time in the city. There she had her first love affair with a brash, handsome soccer player, who had awkwardly taken her virginity before dumping her for a gymnast. There would be two more young men after him who proved equally disappointing in bed, before Eve decided to stop dating. Her bad luck with love had made her confide in Jeal-Paul, to whom she had always gone with her secrets. After making sure she had used protection, he told her something strange.
“You do not have to look for your loves, bébé. They will find you.”
Eve laughed. “So I will have two lovers, like Maman? I could not be that lucky, mon père.”
He kissed the top of her head. “Lautner women are always so lucky.”
After Eve came home for her last summer break, Marie had seemed remote and almost cold toward her, until one night at dinner when her fathers left them alone to talk. It was then that her mother had calmly told her about the secret she had been keeping from her for all those years.
Eve had been horrified to learn that she existed only to protect the oldest grimoire in the world, and to give birth to the next Guardian. At that moment she would have fled the house, and run as far away from her mother as she could. But when she tried to stand, her legs wouldn’t work. The rest of her body grew heavy and numb.
“I never wished it to come to this, my darling,” Marie had whispered as she lifted Eve into her strong arms and carried her back to the spell chamber. “But the Templars are closing in, and we have no time to relocate or finish your training. I must send you to a safe haven until the danger has passed.”
Eve never completely lost consciousness that night. She felt every bolt of power Marie used to burn the protective spells into her skin. In the end she had been covered in blood and writhing in agony. Her mother scarred her one final time with a jar of emerald ink and a needle-tipped stylus, which she used on her scalp.
“Forgive me as I forgave my mother,” Marie said when she finished. Her eyes glittered with a terrible green light as she stared down at Eve. “Should the worst happen, we will live on in you, Daughter.”
She bent to kiss her brow, and that simple, affectionate touch sent a stream of power into Eve’s mind, transferring the last of Marie’s secrets to her memory. Only when the power faded did Eve finally understand why she had never seen the treasure that Lautner women had been protecting for millennia.
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