Wicked Ways – Witches of Hollow Cove Book 6 by Kim Richardson

Wicked Ways
Witches of Hollow Cove Book 6
USA Today Bestselling Author
Kim Richardson


We killed someone…

Okay, not exactly the news I wanted to hear from my aunts. But here it was. Now, what the hell was I supposed to do with it?

Just when I thought I could finally get a well-deserved break from the shitshow I’d been living for the past months, I get hit with this.

To make matters worse, an investigator starts snooping around Hollow Cove, asking questions about my aunts. If they’re found guilty of this murder, it’s a one-way ticket to Grimway Citadel—the witch prison.

Adding to my problems, something in the dark is hunting me. And unfortunately, it’s not a naked Marcus.

If that isn’t bad enough, things between me and the chief are falling apart, literally, and I don’t think they can be fixed.

At the end of the last book, Tessa’s aunts confess they killed someone. Apparently, the deceased Nathaniel Vandenberg, a wealthy and attractive witch was dating Beverly. She ignored the warning signs and found herself in a life-threatening situation. Dolores and Ruth found her and were able to overpower Nathaniel but, in the process, they killed him. The spell he used on Beverly was an illegal one and they were able to reverse it because his body was in close proximity. That said and done, the body was buried in their backyard.

The letter they received is from the Merlin equivalent of internal affairs. The MIAD is investigating Nathaniel’s disappearance and would be coming the next day to question the Davenport witches.

Of course, the logical and best thing to do would be to tell Marcus, the chief, but that’s not what happens. Instead, they dig up the body with the intent of reburying it in the cemetery.

The MIAD investigator turns out to be Silas. He hates the Davenport witches especially Tessa. He believes Tessa cheated on the Merlin testing by maneuvering ley lines to best him. Thankfully House is on their side and Silas finds nothing even though he’s within feet of the body.

Tessa’s sure her aunts are going to do something to Silas, but she doesn’t know when or where. Unfortunately, as she’s looking for them, she runs into some trouble of her own. A demon determined to kill her, simply for existing a half-breed demon, an abomination.

This is a favorite scene.

Something soft brushed the side of my cheek, and I turned my head to stare at a black cat.

“How you feeling, kid?” asked Hildo. The worry in his voice had my eyes burning. “Do you remember who did this to you?”

“Was it Allison or that witch you said was working for her?” asked Beverly.

Ruth bumped her hip on my other side. “Was it a curse? Do you remember what she said? The words she used?”

I shook my head and forced what little energy I had to form one single word. “Demon.” Damn, my voice was harsh and sounded just like it did when I was eighty.

“Demon?” my three aunts said together.

I nodded, feeling another wave of fever lash through me. Taking a shaky breath I said, “Stabbed.”

“Yes.” Dolores exhaled. “We saw the blood. Why did the demon attack you?”

Because I’m an abomination, I wanted to say but only managed to utter, “Kill. Me.” Every word took an enormous amount of energy, and I felt myself slipping into the darkness again. I was tired. So tired. My eyelids fluttered, the weight of them too much to keep open like they were coated with lead.

“Don’t close your eyes, Tessa,” urged Ruth. “You can’t fall asleep. Sleep would be really, really bad. Do you understand? If you do, you might never wake up.”

My eyes snapped open as I stared at her. I gave her a nod of my head. I was going to try not to sleep, for now. But if they didn’t do something quickly, I didn’t think I could keep them open much longer.

I felt a tug on my left hand as Beverly took it in hers. “You’re all clammy and hot.”

Hot? I felt like I was sitting in a freezer.

I blinked up at Beverly, leaning against the table next to me and looking spectacular in the dim light. The shadows accentuated the perfect angles on her flawless face. Ruth was propped up on my other side, biting her fingernails while Dolores had her head down in thought, worrying me.

“Why isn’t Ruth’s tonic working?” commented Beverly, her voice high and very unlike herself. “She should be up on her feet by now. Or at least the fever should be gone.”

Ruth shrugged, looking defeated. “I don’t know. I can try doubling the dose. I’ll add more garlic extract and more honey this time. Oh. I’ve got some of my basil brew left over from when Karen Root had pneumonia. I can give that a try too.”

“Wait.” Dolores bumped her hip on the kitchen table as she moved closer to me. “Show me her wound again,” she commanded. “Let’s roll her on her left side.”

Together, the three witches gently rolled me over. I felt warm fingers graze my skin and the tug of my sweater being hauled over my back.

“Cauldron save us,” shrieked Beverly.

I heard the distinctive slap of someone covering their mouth to keep from screaming. Probably Ruth. And then I heard Dolores’s sharp intake of breath. That was never good.

“What?” I managed to wheeze, though trying to stay awake was proving to be taxing. I gave myself another five minutes before I passed out. The fact that I was staring at a chair and not at whatever had them freaking out was bad. I should be panicking, but there wasn’t much room in my mind for anything except sleep. Sleep to end the fever and the pain.

“Let me see.” Hildo leaped over me, and I felt his light tread as he padded over to my back.

“Now we know why Ruth’s healing potions aren’t working,” said Dolores. “This is why.”

“What is that?” I heard Beverly ask, followed by the sound of her heels scratching the wood floors like she’d scurried back a step from whatever they were staring at. Oh yeah, me.

“Ruth, have you ever seen something like this?” asked Dolores, her voice edged with worry.

I hated that they were talking about me like I wasn’t really there. But it’s not like I could keep up a conversation. I struggled and fought against the pull of the poison. But each time it made me more susceptible to it, more vulnerable.

I felt warm fingers press around my wound, sending it ablaze again, and I cried out in pain.

Ruth was at my side in a second. “So, so sorry, Tessa.” Her face was flushed as she rubbed my shoulder. “But I had to look and see if there was any pus.”

“It’s black. I’ve never seen black pus,” came Beverly’s voice from behind me, far away, like maybe she was in the living room.

Black pus? Dear God, I was dying for sure.

“Okay, it’s black,” pressed Dolores. “Have you seen this before?”

Ruth moved away from my side. “Well, see all those dark veins around the cut? That looks like septicemia. Blood poisoning. It happens when a bacterial infection enters the bloodstream.” There was a pause. “But this is different.”

“Because of the black pus?” asked Dolores.

“Yes. And my tonics would have cured it in no time.”

“So, that demon’s blade was poisoned,” concluded Dolores. Good, they were catching on. But not fast enough. “If we know what poison was used, we can cure her. Right? Find the antidote?”

“Yes,” answered Ruth. “But which poison? I’ll have to take a sample of her pus. And then I’ll have to test it against all the known poisons. It might take a while.”

“How long?” asked Beverly.

“A few hours.”

“A few hours and Tessa will be dead!” yelled Dolores. “She’ll never make it. Look at her. She’s dying. If we don’t find something in the next few minutes, she’s going to die.”

Oh great. Even better.

“You’ve got a better idea?” howled Ruth. Man, I’d never heard her voice like that before. I didn’t want them to start fighting because of me.

I heard the sound of nails scraping the wood top. “Uh-oh,” came Hildo’s voice. “I know what that is.” I strained myself alert to hear more. “I’ve seen it before. That’s poison from a demon’s death blade.”

Death blade? I’d never heard of it. I closed my eyes as another wave of dizziness shook me.

“A death blade?” came Beverly’s voice, a little closer this time. “I don’t like the sound of that.”

Dolores let out a long breath. “Perhaps the word death gave it away.”

“Do you know how to cure her? What poison this is?” asked Ruth, her voice high with hope and with obvious strain.

“No,” answered the cat. “But her father will.”

“Obiryn?” I heard Dolores say.

“Yes,” replied the cat. “She told me her father was a demon. This is beyond your skill—no offense. Only a demon can help her now. You need to find him and bring him here. And you better do it quick,” said Hildo, his voice growing fainter. “If he doesn’t get here in the next five minutes, Tessa won’t make it.”

I wasn’t going to make it.

I felt a faint need to giggle, and a smile curled over me. For some strange reason, the idea of dying seemed hilarious. I gave in to my desire to giggle. Yeah, I was losing it.

“Look at her! She’s delirious,” cried Beverly. “We have to hurry.”

“It’s the infection,” said Ruth. “She’s losing her mind over to it.”

I took a labored breath and I let out another low chuckle. And another.

“Okay. How do we do this? Like in a summoning circle?” asked Dolores. “We know his name. That can work. Who can draw up a circle in a few minutes?”

“I’ve got a better idea.” I heard Beverly’s heels click on the hardwood floor and then the squeal of hinges as a door opened.

“Obiryn, darling,” Beverly shouted. Was she in the basement? “We need you. Tessa needs you. She’s in trouble. She’s sick. No… she’s dying. She’s been stabbed by a demon’s death blade. Please come.”

There was a long pause and then, “I don’t think that worked. Ruth, get on your knees and start drawing a circle—oh!”

“Hello, Beverly,” came my father’s voice. “Where is she?” I could hear the worry in his tone.

“Here,” said Dolores.

The sound of shoes moving over the floor hit me, and then I was staring at a pair of luminous silver eyes, set inside a handsome face with dark graying hair and a meticulously trimmed beard.

“Dad,” I managed.

“Don’t speak. Keep your strength,” he soothed.

“Can you help her?” Ruth appeared next to my father.

“Yes,” he answered with absolute conviction. “You called me just in time. But I must warn you. It’s going to be… difficult. Tessa will suffer greatly before she gets better. You need to prepare yourselves.”

“We can handle it.” Dolores’s tone was both determined and anxious. “What are you going to do?”

He straightened and said, “I need to bleed her. Bleed out the poison from her body.”

Oh goodie.
Richardson, Kim. Wicked Ways (The Witches of Hollow Cove Book 6). Kindle Locations (939-1005). Kindle Edition.

The process, while painful, is successful and Tessa is on the mend. Now with a lot more demon blood than she had before.

Notice the one thing missing here, Marcus hasn’t been told any of this. Not about the body, not about the attack on Tessa and now he wants her to go to dinner at his mother’s at night, when the demon could find her. This is going to cause problems for Marcus and Tessa’s relationship.

Between the investigation and the attempt on Tessa’s life this book is a page turning read. I couldn’t wait to see how all the pieces would come together.

5 Contented Purrs for Kim!

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Kim Richardson

Kim Richardson is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of urban fantasy, fantasy, and young adult books. She lives in the eastern part of Canada with her husband, two dogs and a very old cat. Kim’s books are available in print editions, and translations are available in over 7 languages.

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