Banish by Nicola Marsh - Chapter Sampler

download Banish by Nicola Marsh - Chapter Sampler

of 15

Embed Size (px)

Transcript of Banish by Nicola Marsh - Chapter Sampler

  • 7/22/2019 Banish by Nicola Marsh - Chapter Sampler


  • 7/22/2019 Banish by Nicola Marsh - Chapter Sampler


    DID YOU PURCHASE THIS BOOK WITHOUT A COVER?If you did, you should be aware it is stolen propertyas it was

    reported unsold and destroyed by a retailer.Neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment

    for this book.

    First Published 2013First Australian Paperback Edition 2013ISBN 978 174356276 5

    BANISH 2013 by Nicola MarshPhilippine Copyright 2013Australian Copyright 2013

    New Zealand Copyright 2013

    Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilisation of this work in wholeor in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now knownor hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying and recording, or inany information storage or retrieval system, is forbidden without the permission ofthe publisher, Harlequin Enterprises, Locked Bag 7002, Chatswood D.C. N.S.W.,

    Australia 2067.

    This book is sold subject to the condition that shall not, by way of trade orotherwise, be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the priorconsent of the publisher in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it

    is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposedon the subsequent purchaser.

    All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in anyform. This edition is published in arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A..

    This is a work of ction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either theproduct of the authors imagination or are used ctitiously, and any resemblanceto actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales isentirely coincidental.

    Published byHarlequin TEEN

    An imprint of Harlequin Enterprises

    Level 515 Help StreetCHATSWOOD NSW 2067


    and are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its corporateafliates and used by others under licence. Trademarks marked with an areregistered in Australia and in other countries. Contact [email protected] details.

    Cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.. All rights reserved.

    Printed and bound in Australia by Grifn Press

  • 7/22/2019 Banish by Nicola Marsh - Chapter Sampler


  • 7/22/2019 Banish by Nicola Marsh - Chapter Sampler



    Time to put h as rs.

    I dgd wards h dr ladng rd and clasd

    h kn, s wgh rassrng n y hand. Ignrng han n y al whr had accdnally slcd as Id

    bld sca, I csd n h kchn drway and

    wad. Wad r h c ar .

    A shadw ll acrss h drway and sng bh hands

    I rasd h kn, hldng hgh and xndd, lk a

    Sara. H sd a h kchn dr, alvlnc

    radang f h. H rasd a ngr and drw acrss hs

    hra n a slw, dlbra sl. Yr dad.

    H sd n h kchn, h absnc n n

    hs cy glar als as rryng as h slw crlng and

    nrlng hs ngrs. I had n db hs ngrs wldnd wrad arnd y hra.

    Gv h kn, bch.

    Th nsl ddn rak as ch as h ncanny

    br hs vc; hw ch h sndd lk y dad x

  • 7/22/2019 Banish by Nicola Marsh - Chapter Sampler


    10 BANISH

    I was sure o: Id managed to endure this god-awul week so

    ar, no way would I go down without a fght.

    My trembling fngers convulsed around the knie, grip-

    ping the handle tighter as I lowered it to chest level. Makeme.

    The eyes o the guy Id once trusted glowed with hatred.

    A second beore he lunged at me.

    I einted to the right, slammed my hip against the sink

    and cried out in pain.

    He laughed, a chilling sound that had me scrabbling

    aster as he came straight or me.

    I swept the glass on the draining board to the oor and

    dodged to the let.

    He kept coming.

    Panic clogged my throat as I rebounded against thewall, hard enough to rattle the crockery in the dresser. I

    should have baulked, should have screamed, should have

    run. Instead, an inner strength I hadnt known I possessed

    snapped its leash. Clawed its way to the surace, howling or


    He must have seen something in my expression becausehe hesitated.

    I didnt.

    I screamed my ury, desperate to lash out.

    Unable to rein in my rage, I slashed.

  • 7/22/2019 Banish by Nicola Marsh - Chapter Sampler




    All the times Id aboagd Mo p a an advnuroukd, ddn Aun Ang aa or ud run o p

    noy bra nx door ad co back o aun . Mayb

    r wa ong o y ay Wcca Trod Law

    ar a: whatever you dished out would come back three times


    My ory agnn on pagan dny no


    I ddn wan o rarc pagan. Id vd growng up

    and wccra wan or . No ar Id n ru on

    y o.

    Sarng a a papr n gong o g don.My ad nappd up and I rd no o gawk a Ronan.

    Id don noug o a w rang ar , ng

    ar-our uorng w g coo kd or anor

    agnn Hd nocd Aud y nr wa or

  • 7/22/2019 Banish by Nicola Marsh - Chapter Sampler


    12 BANISH

    I hed been the music teacher at school I would have

    signed up or extra tuition in a ash. Instead, I made do with

    admiring him rom aar twice a week when he came in to

    tutor kids ater school. Then again, i he was a teacher here,we probably wouldnt be corresponding via cyberspace and

    striking up what Id like to think o as a riendship.

    Hed been so patient answering my assignment questions

    and, like me, was a bit o a geek or acts. Kinda inevitable

    Id developed a monster crush. Not that I remotely thought

    or one moment it was reciprocated. Why would a guy like

    him be interested in a beanpole strawberry blonde with

    blah-blue eyes, no curves and a nasty habit o picking at her


    I pushed the paper away with the tip o my pen. The

    subjects pretty boring.Especially ater Id had frsthand experience with dancing

    around a maypole on Beltane, constructing a broom with

    aromatic herbs, bright oliage and fnishing with a spritz o

    glycerol to make it last, and sneaking a copy o Moms The

    Spiral Danceby Starhawk, a witchs must-read.

    I braced at Ronans nearness as he tilted his head to oneside. Pagans: Witches Or Whackos by Alyssa Wood, he read

    aloud. Witches sound cool to me.

    Not i you grew up with them, I muttered, mortifed

    hed heard. He laughed and slid onto the seat next to mine.

    The school library, a cosy cavernous haven I loved or the

    quiet, shrunk with him sitting so close.

    He stared at me, assessing. Youd be the least likely per-

    son Id pick to be a witch.

    Thats because Im not. Heat ushed my cheeks as he

  • 7/22/2019 Banish by Nicola Marsh - Chapter Sampler



    Not a bad idea, i I got to kiss him to turn him back. Like

    that thought helped my blush.

    Im not into magick. I made a mockery o the state-

    ment by knowing the correct spelling added a K on theend, as I twirled a pen between my ngers. It slipped and

    landed in the centre o my blank page. O an assignment

    comprising the bulk o my grade this semester. Due tomor-

    row. That Id deliberately ignored the past two weeks in the

    hope it would vanish. Pity I didnt believe in wands.

    Why dont you write it rom a sceptics viewpoint? That

    would be interesting.

    Because paganism exists. Worse luck. Its a part o his-

    tory and Jackass Jackman wants acts, not a debate. Trust

    me to land the only history teacher on the planet who was

    into Wicca stuf as much as my amily.He held up his hands in surrender. Hey, just an idea.

    I winced. Sorry. Ill be pulling an all-nighter to get this

    done and Im a little tense.

    What can I do to help?

    I struggled not to gape at this cool, twenty-one year old,

    part-time music tutor ofering to pitch in on a high schoolpaper.

    Thanks, but youve probably got band stuf on

    Ill research, you write. He ipped open the nearest

    text in my pile o books and I slumped into my chair, con-

    tent to watch him, wondering what hed do i I hugged him

    in gratitude.

    When I continued staring, he glanced up, a smile crin-

    kling the corners o his warm hazel eyes. Youre not writ-


  • 7/22/2019 Banish by Nicola Marsh - Chapter Sampler


    14 BANISH

    If he only knew.

    Thinking about Wicca raised other issues Id rather not

    ace; issues Id run rom when Id let Broadwater or New

    York City six months ago.This assignment didnt scare me. The repercussions o

    acknowledging my past did.

    I managed a tight smile. Start reading.

    Bossy as well as witchy. I better watch out.

    I opened my mouth to protest but he laughed and I

    ducked my head so my hair draped across my ace. Besides,

    what could I say? My mom used to be devout Wicca, my

    aunt is a renowned high priestess urban witch and I was

    certifed mundane?

    I didnt believe in magick. Not any more.

    Okay, heres your beginning. His fnger trailed underthe text and I stared at his hand, ascinated by his long,

    strong fngers and clean, square nails. Wicca is a modern

    religion based on ancient pagan practices. Paganism reers

    to all nature-based religions.

    His low voice soothed, leaving me mesmerised rather

    than studious.Says here all Wiccans are witches and all witches are

    pagans, but not all witches are Wicca. He glanced up, his

    rown comical.

    My moms Wicca. Its a spiritual thing based in nature,

    where she ollows changing seasons o the year.

    He pointed at the text. Wheel o the Year?

    I nodded. Yeah, its all wrapped up in the cycle o lie,

    death and holidays.

    The holiday part doesnt sound so bad.

  • 7/22/2019 Banish by Nicola Marsh - Chapter Sampler



    that had me leaning towards him. Whats up? Apart rom

    cramming two weeks worth o homework into a ew


    What could I say? That Id ed the only home Id everknown because my boyriend Noah killed himsel the day

    ater I dumped him? That my mom had morphed rom

    eccentric witch to air-talking alcoholic when I hit puberty?

    Flattered by his interest and enjoying the attention, I set-

    tled or a sedate version.

    Im just dealing with some stuf. I picked at the cuticle

    on my thumb, a habit Id tried to ditch and ailed. I havent

    seen my mom in six months, and the aunt I live with isnt

    her greatest an. Theyve had their diferences over the years.

    Most o them centring on me. I had to give Mom credit

    in not bowing to Angies pressure. My mom respected mywish to be mundane; Angie kept pushing to educate me in

    witch ways. Thankully, as Mom deteriorated over the past

    ew years, Angie had backed of. I loved them both dearly

    but being caught between two witches? Not a good place

    to be.

    Must be tough.I shrugged, not willing to divulge more than that.

    Thankully, he didnt pry or ofer advice. Shall I keep


    I nodded and picked up my pen, content to listen to his

    voice as he read, rather than dwell on a home situation I

    couldnt change. Ater ten minutes, the inormation snip-

    pets Id jotted covered ve pages.

    There are some pretty cool pictures accompanying this

    stuf. He pointed to a chalked pentagram on rocky ground,

  • 7/22/2019 Banish by Nicola Marsh - Chapter Sampler


    16 BANISH

    He swung the book my way. You choose the pics online,

    Ill do the backing music.

    I stared at him like hed hung the moon and stars. Heck,

    the whole damn solar system. Thats genius.His bashul smile made something shit in my chest

    something bordering on painul and wonderul and hope-


    We can do it at my place, i you like?

    A perectly innocent invitation considering he gave pri-

    vate music lessons to kids there all the time, but the small

    part o me that had a major crush did a happy dance.

    Sure, that sounds great. I shoved the books into my

    satchel, wondering when I could text Angie to let her

    know where Id be without looking like a kid who had to

    check in.Here, let me carry that. Beore I could protest, hed

    slung the satchel over his shoulder, the aded, worn butter-

    cup leather accentuating his mussed unkiness rather than

    detracting rom it.

    The thing weighed a ton so I didnt mind. What I didnt

    like so much was the way I elt around him: comortable,sae, more than a little yearning.

    He hadnt made a big deal about me tagging along

    flming him or my music assignment. He hadnt treated

    me like a kid, and he hadnt hesitated to answer the many

    questions Id fred at him. Best o all, he hadnt mentioned

    my less-than-subtle crush.

    The guy played nightly gigs in a band, so he was probably

    used to girls gazing at him with blatant adoration. Not that

    Id done anything so obvious. Not much anyway.

  • 7/22/2019 Banish by Nicola Marsh - Chapter Sampler



    day o the week, albeit to study. Shes at a coven meeting

    tonight. Ill text her later.

    He whistled long and low. Covens really exist in New

    York City?Yeah, tonnes. And thats not counting the ones she men-

    tors online.

    His mouth curved into a smile that slam-dunked any

    residual guilt at hanging out with a cute guy I could seri-

    ously like given hal a chance. Wonder i I can buy an

    online spell or a new bass player.

    I rolled my eyes. You have no idea what some people

    ask or in those online orums.

    Try me.

    Surprised by his genuine interest in a topic I usually

    avoided, I had no option but to elaborate. The guy washelping me out; the least I could do was educate him.

    There are covens all around the country and overseas.

    Angies highly respected, so she runs orums or spell cast-

    ing, divination, invocations, rituals, ordinations. You name

    it, she does it.

    Witchcrat 101, in ten easy steps. I like it. He snappedhis ngers. Maybe Ill get me a new bass player ater all.

    Dont count on it. Spells only work i you believe,

    theyre not or mundanes like us.

    His grin widened. Are mundanes like Muggles?

    Did everyone in the known universe associate magick

    with Harry Potter?

    Yeah. Were ordinary, practical, o this world apparently.

    While pagans are more involved in otherworldly stuf.

    He made a spooky noise and wiggled his ngers at me. I

  • 7/22/2019 Banish by Nicola Marsh - Chapter Sampler


    18 BANISH

    Most guys would have made snide remarks or squirmed

    uncomortably or changed the subject. Ronan had done

    none o those things. Then again, as Id come to appreciate

    over the past ew weeks, Ronan wasnt most guys.With his shaggy brown hair tied back in a low pony-

    tail, long-lashed hazel eyes and laid-back smile that made

    me want to grin right back at him, he was cute rather

    than gorgeous. Throw in the low-slung skinny jeans, white

    T-shirt and black leather jacket he perpetually wore, and

    he channelled a lot o average guys.

    But thats where comparisons to a typical guy ended. For

    Ronan possessed that certain something that set him apart:

    sincerity. Hed genuinely wanted to help me any way he

    could with my music assignment. Hed invested time and

    efort. And hed been incredibly nice doing it.Swoon.

    Hey, ater we nish your assignment, want to grab a

    bite to eat? He didnt break step and I had a hard time not

    sprawling at his eet in shock. Was he asking me out? Ive

    got a gig at nine but that should give us plenty o time.

    Yeah, sure. My acceptance came out as a croak and Icleared my throat.

    Great. He patted the satchel bumping against his hip

    in time with every step. Added incentive to get this done


    Why, are you hungry?

    Not really. He paused and darted a loaded glance my

    way I had no hope o interpreting.

    Questions pinged around my brain. Was this more o his

    characteristic niceness? Was he being polite and asking me

  • 7/22/2019 Banish by Nicola Marsh - Chapter Sampler



    His ngertips grazed my arm, a eeting touch that made

    my nerves jump and added to my conusion. Thought it

    might be cool to hang out or a while away rom the assign-

    ment stuf, you know?I didnt know, but I nodded and grinned like an idiot,

    hoping my tumultuous nerves and bewilderment would

    give way to assuredness and poise when I sat near him or

    the next ew hours.

    Goddess, help me.

    I instantly wiped the silent plea, an unconscious invoca-

    tion rom years o hearing Mom say it. It meant nothing.

    Unlike Moms illness and the ongoing efect it had on

    my lie.

    Spending a ew hours with Ronanperplexity at his

    motivations notwithstandingwould be a welcome breakrom my constant mulling over Moms problems.

    She wouldnt talk about them and Id given up trying to

    make her.

    Easier to put Noah and Mom and Broadwater behind

    me, and move on.

    Starting now.

  • 7/22/2019 Banish by Nicola Marsh - Chapter Sampler


    Like the

    Chaptr Sample?

    Click here to fnd out more >