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Water Witch (Witches of Westwood Academy Book 1) by Gina Kincade, C.D. Gorri

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Water Witch (Witches of Westwood Academy Book 1) by Gina Kincade, C.D. Gorri Read Book Online And Download

Overview: Curses suck, but it's just another day at Westwood Academy.


Rio has known her whole life that she was different. The women in her family have been plagued by a deadly curse, and she's next. There is only one place she can go to learn to control the magic that just might save her.


Will she be able to make a place for herself in this strange world where witches and wizards, and other supernaturals, live under the rule of the omnipotent Council of Covens?


Water Witch (Witches of Westwood Academy Book 1) by Gina Kincade, C.D. Gorri Read Online And Download Epub Digital Ebooks Buy Store Website Provide You.
Water Witch (Witches of Westwood Academy Book 1) by Gina Kincade, C.D. Gorri





Water Witch (Witches of Westwood Academy Book 1) by Gina Kincade, C.D. Gorri Book Read Online Chapter One


I received my letter on a Tuesday evening. I knew it was special from the envelope alone. The stock was thick and sturdy. Way too fancy for a credit card application, some scammy phishing letter, or a voter registration packet. Definitely too fine for some late bill.

The color of the card stock was silver. Not gray. There were flecks of ultrafine glitter embedded in it, almost giving it a metallic effect. I lifted it to my nose and took a sniff.

Just something I did, I don’t really know why. It smelled faintly of lavender oil and ozone.

Odd.

I turned it over and weighed it in my hands. Not too heavy. What really impressed me, though, was the dark red wax seal holding it closed. It had a large, ornate W pressed into it.

Is the stamp gold or silver?

Was it done by hand or some sort of automated thing?

My curiosity was a bit over the top, but like with most things I encountered, I found myself filled with questions about it.

The seconds ticked by, seemingly slower than usual. I ran my thumb over the seal once more before flicking it open. I paused before pulling the paper out as the front door to the shop opened.

“Rio, make sure you triple the cod order. Saint Rosa’s is having their fried fish dinner this week!” My grandfather called out to me as he walked in. His tanned face was wrinkled, but his hair was only just beginning to show the signs of his age, graying at the temples. He smiled kindly and patted my arm as he walked past.

“Yes, Lelo,” I replied affectionately, using the nickname I’d always called him.

Who knows why these things stick, right?

When I was a little girl, I couldn’t pronounce the Spanish word for grandfather, which is abuelo. Lelo was all I could manage, and it stuck.

I loved my grandfather immensely. After all, he’d raised me when no one else was around to do it. A widower for over forty years, Lelo’s life had been fraught with one hardship after another. Losing his only daughter had not been easy, but he remained strong for me, and I owed him my life.

I looked down at the scars on my wrist and forearm and shivered at the memories that haunted me. I was only two years old when my mother had given in to her grief, like her mother before her. Sometimes, I felt like my fate was sealed.

“Hey, did you do as I asked?”

“Right now, Lelo,” I replied, putting the silver envelope into my backpack and grabbing the old wall phone.

The line rang while I scribbled a note on the back of my hand to remind myself what to say. Sometimes I zoned out and forgot what I was doing.

More cod. St. Rosa’s. Check.

Someone answered, and I was put on hold for a few minutes. Good thing I wrote the note, I thought to myself as my mind wandered.

“Can I help you?”

“Yeah, this is Rio,” I began, and gave the other person on the line my information, then proceeded to increase the order as Lelo instructed.

After I jotted down the confirmation number, I looked for my grandfather. He was chatting with an old customer over a cup of coffee. Good. That meant I had a moment to myself.

Grabbing my backpack from the hook, I retrieved the lavender scented, silver missive that I’d received. Goosebumps broke out across my arms and stomach. I didn’t know whether to be scared or excited.

Maybe a bit of both.

When I held the envelope in my hand, it was like all my breath left me. This was the doorway to a new world. One where I belonged, but never really quite believed in.

My mother and grandmother didn’t get their letters until it was too late. Neither of them would ever have abandoned their children to learn to control the magic that later damned them.

The cross I wore around my neck was both my connection to them and a reminder of what could happen. My mother’s soul was damned, as her mother’s was before her.

The only question now was, would I be damned too?

I frowned at the cracked red patches on my knuckles and skin. Working at my grandfather’s fish market was tough on my hands. I rubbed cream on them nightly, but they always wound up looking like this by noon.

What else did I expect?

Working with raw fish meant I was constantly washing my hands or dipping them in ice-filled trays or buckets. Sometimes, they hurt so badly I wanted to cry. But mostly, I just creamed them up at night, and hoped for the best the next day.

The few friends I had used to tease me about working in a fish market. But I never minded the smell or waking up early. Besides, it was a family run operation. I was proud of it.

We were the only fish market in the area and lived a few streets away in a small two family house. Lelo had recently rented the downstairs apartment to an older man who was on a fixed income. It was big enough for a family, but there were reasons my grandfather did not rent to couples or anyone with children.

I felt my hands shake as I read the letter. Anger, resentment, and then shame passed through me. The latter lasted the longest. I was a terrible granddaughter.

Ungrateful was the word that immediately sprang to my mind. It buzzed ominously, hanging there like a neon sign in a darkened window.

Ungrateful, Rio.

How can you be so ungrateful?

Yeah, so that was how I felt. But it was not the reason I trembled when I received my official invitation to Westwood Academy. My breathing increased, and I felt my heart thud heavily inside my chest.

“Oh shit,” I mumbled.

My chance at being normal was over. I was not normal. I was one of them.

“No, no, no,” I began to repeat, stuffing my hair behind my ears with one hand while I read the letter over and again.


Dear Rio Milagros,

We are pleased to extend this invitation for you to join us at the esteemed Westwood Academy for instruction in the magical arts and sciences. The Council of Covens has approved your joining us and we look forward to seeing you on campus immediately. Directions are attached.

Sincerely,

Headmistress Helga Armstrong

Westwood Academy

Head Witch of the Council of Covens


“Fuck!”

So, it was true then. Like the other women in my family who had come before me, I was gifted.

Or cursed.

It all depended on how you looked at it. Either way, my days in my grandfather’s fish market were over.

Shouldn’t I be glad?

Is that what you’re thinking?

I should be excited or eager to embrace my magical destiny, right?

Well, what the hell would you know about it, anyway?

Being a witch isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Especially if you’re me.

Yes. I am a witch.

Whoopdeefuckingdoo.

My bitterness about the entire thing went deeper than the daily trials of living as a young, orphaned, half-Mexican woman in an America that barely acknowledged me.

This wasn’t about racism, or sexism, or anything like that. This was far more personal.

I ran a hand over my thick hair and closed my eyes. I’d been so foolish and cowardly, wishing so damn hard that this was not happening to me.

Why couldn’t this skip a generation?

Why couldn’t I take after my father’s family? Hmm?

Then again, I knew so little about them. It might actually be worse. My father had been tall and blond. Of Scandinavian decent, or so I’d been told. There’s a picture of him and my mom in the bottom of my sock drawer. It was taken when they first met in high school.

He was an exchange student, new and exciting. They were both so young when they met, fell in love, and had me. But like most things, the reality was much worse than they’d thought.

Relationships were difficult at the best of times. But when you had no money and no job, not to mention a curse hanging over your head, things were worse. I think he left us just months after I was born.

It did not take all that long for my mother to succumb to her grief, to embrace the curse that plagued all the women of my family. It’s funny. With a name like Milagros, you’d expect us to be lucky. But there were no miracles waiting for the women of my family tree.

Only tragedy and heartache.

“Rio? Don’t you hear me, mija?”

Lelo stood in front of me, his beloved face cocked to the side. The moment he saw the letter in my hand, he stilled. For the first time since I could remember, my grandfather looked every one of his sixty-three years on this earth.

“No, Rio, oh no, not you too,” he said softly, shaking his head.

“Ah! No, mija, not you. I hoped you would be spared.”

He opened his arms, and I ran to them, allowing my grandfather to hug me tight. We both cried a bit.

“What am I saying? This is good, no? Your mother, she rejected this letter when she got it. But you, you must go. Be the first Milagros to beat this thing,” he said, rubbing my back and pretending to laugh heartily.

I leaned back and smiled through my tears. I couldn’t let him down. We might be just pretending, but maybe he was right. Maybe I could be the one to stop tragedy before it happened.

“Sure, Lelo. I got this.”


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