Chapter One, Book Three: Daughters of the Circle, Faeries in Ravenwood
 
  Hi, Patrons!

I released this book and immediately pulled it when I realized there was so much missing from the story. I realized this based on a fan:) This book is currently on pre-order, and I have reset the release date, so that I may offer it to you, first. It is now set to be re-released on May 17th, 2017. I am offering you these chapters, and you will get to read new content as part of chapters no one else has read yet:) By my opening up all the books I am set to release, you will be helping to make sure this series, plus the others, reach their audience with the best possible content and covers.

I will post chapters on the Deep, Dark Glass, the first book in my new Cozy Mystery series, A Ghost Whisperer of the Shadowlands, as I finish them. And I am toying with the idea of posting chapters of a clean Historical Mystical Romance, depending on the feedback I get from you:)

This book can be read as a stand alone, but if you would like to read the others first, the Prelude, Morgan's Wand and first one, Shadows in Ravenwood, are free and at all your favorite online stores. The second one is currently $.99 cents, so that Patrons here might have access to it until the release of this one. After that, I will move it back to $4.99. Since this book is nearly finished, I will post a chapter of this book for you every three or four days until it's finished. And if you'd like, I can even add this series and a finished digital copy for you in the 2nd tier, and a signed copy of this particular book in the 5th tier. Let me know:)

Enjoy!

Lenore Wolfe

  

PROLOGUE

                   

Ravenwood Manor, Red Bluff Colorado, Present Day

Sophia glanced out the window of one of the four dark sedans, driving down the streets of Chicago. She rode in the third of these vehicles with Mira, one of the Sisters of Three. She’d been pretty much thrust into tagging along with them because of the Prince of the Unseelie Court, who’d recently taken a liking to her, and decided he wanted her for himself—along with every other female he liked.

So far, no one ever tried to turn down the Prince, and Sophia might not know her mother’s people as well as she should, but she knew enough to know why no one dared to try.

Frowning, Sophia guessed she’d only managed to escape him, thus far, because of Mira’s quick thinking, and even faster ability in putting this plan together, to have her join their little unit, by helping them to assemble these peace talks with a bunch of Fae and Vampire nations. The rogue factions of Vamps were running loose in various cities, out of the reach of the Queen, and the Prince knew his mother, the Queen of Darkness, had put together these peace talks, herself, to try and bring them in. He also knew his mother would never stand for her son’s interference in this, even for one of his many flirtations for a woman. Fortunately, for Sophia, Mira held a special place with the queen, and she outmaneuvered him by adding her to their troop. Of course, Sophia’s Fae blood helped her case, as well. She made the perfect addition to their little party, with what they needed to accomplish in these peace talks, just by her being half-Fae, herself.

So far, this all worked in her favor. She glanced out the window of the dark sedan toward the bright blue sky. Apparently, someone up there was looking out for her. As luck would have it, for her anyway, not all Fae thought well of the humans, and her presence was quickly becoming somewhat mollifying to these Fae tribes, as Mira had hoped, even though Sophia, herself, was also half-human.

Or maybe it was because she was half-human.

Once upon a time, she’d been considered more of a half-breed. This had quickly changed more recently, as some of these Fae tribes distrusted the humans, and knew they were in enough trouble to consider her their chance for hope. The only other option was in letting the people fend for themselves against these rogue Vamps, but that option was short-sighted, and they all knew it. Letting these factions of rogue Vamps run wild, doing whatever they fancied, didn’t just hurt the humans—it hurt every race sharing their gracious Mother Earth.

Sophia sighed. Her friends, in their little group, knew that taking her with them would only be a temporary band-aid to her problem with the dark prince, at best. Even the Queen of Darkness knew what they were trying to pull with her son—taking her with them right now when he’d only just been about to order her to his court. The Queen just didn’t have a good enough reason for withholding her consent. Not when Mira so powerfully argued Sophia could potentially prove to be the calming influence they needed just now, with these Fae tribes who didn’t trust the humans—not when Mira, herself, made the request, in asking Sophia aid them in settling these various groups.

No. This was a temporary fix, and they knew it. They may have thwarted the prince for now, but who knew how long their little ruse would last, or worse, what he’d do to each of them for attempting to outfox him.

Sophia shook her head, glancing out the window to watch the streets of the windy city, sliding by. She didn’t like thinking about this. Not at all. In fact, every time she let her mind wander in this particular direction, she wound up feeling a rare sense of panic, and that might not be so bad, but she never panicked. Not that she didn’t feel fear. She did. She always managed to put a good amount of perspective on any given situation. 

But not this time. Not with her entire life at stake.

This was her future. This was her daughter’s future. This was also her, as one of the Daughters of the Circle, also at stake. The Prince of Darkness wanted her for his little harem—and no one turned him down. In fact, she couldn’t remember a time, in recorded history, where anyone ever tried

Under the circumstances, she had every right to panic. She glanced down at her purse, pulling out her flowered wallet and taking out a picture of a darling young girl, with bouncy, red curls. No. This wasn’t just her future on the line. She had to save the future for her little, four-year-old daughter.  She needed to save the future for them both.

Spotting Mira glancing at the picture, she gave her a wan smile, and Mira reached over and squeezed her hand. Sophia quickly glanced out the window, as emotion swamped her. Her darling daughter was forced to remain behind with her mother, in the Land of the Fae. Kira was one-quarter Faerie, but she loved her mother’s people. Sophia had only recently told her friends about their Faery blood. She’d remained glamorized all the years of her childhood, while she’d lived with her father. During that time, he’d tried his best to convince her that the Fae were her enemy. And she’d believed him—until recently.

When she’d been a child, she’d been fooling around with magick, with her friends, Morgan, Claire, and Tara, and some boys, who also liked to play around with such things. But for them, playing around with magick was a dangerous game, because—for them—magick was real. As it turned out, Claire, Morgan, and Tara were powerful witches. They just didn’t know that at the time. Unfortunately, they’d found out the hard way—when Morgan called out the shadow….

That day, the seven of them were separated from each other, when their parents figured out what they’d done. Some kids, who’d followed them and witnessed what happened, had run for help. That day, Morgan up and disappeared. Claire left with her aunt, to search for Morgan. Tara went home to live with her grandmother, then left altogether, and even though they’d still lived in the same town for a few years, Sophia hadn’t seen her or the twin boys, who ran with them—nor even Alex, who’d been Morgan’s boyfriend—until recently.

Then, one day the sister’s grandmother died, and when Morgan received word that she and her sister, Claire, inherited her old stone manor, just like that, her memories started to return. That trigger caused a landslide of confusing flashes of her past, and she returned. When Claire heard, she’d come racing back, and they’d all found each other.

It was like the Fates stepped in to put them all back on track. Which, of course, was exactly what happened, since fate had it in mind for them to gather the Daughters….

Sophia looked around at the tall buildings that made-up Chicago. Now, all she wanted to do was to go back to them, where they lived in Ravenwood Manor. It wasn’t fair that the prince managed to separate them, not when they’d only found each other again. She wanted to go home, with Morgan and Claire, at their grandmother’s house—a house that use to scare them, as children, but now was one place they all considered to be home.

But she couldn’t return—not now—perhaps not ever—or at least for whatever length of time it took for her to get the Prince of the Unseelie Court to stop chasing her. Worse, the Fae lived for hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of years—so Sophia had long ago realized that she might not ever be able to return, at all. After all, no one turned down the prince….

Yeah, yeah, yeah, she thought, making a face.

But, seriously, what if she could never return to her daughter? What if her mother had to raise her, for her?

She shook her head again. That type of thinking only made her upset and didn’t do any of them any good. She knew that Morgan, Claire, and Tara, were doing everything they could to figure out how to bring her home….

She peaked at Mira.

If anyone could figure a way out of this for her—she knew that Mira could. After all, the Queen was very fond of her—and it wasn’t an easy task to get on her good side.

Still, it had been months, and she’d only seen her daughter a total of three times. She didn’t know if she could go on like this for much longer. Every day, away from her, away from her friends, and now, away from the Land of the Fae, and not even able to visit there, made her more and more despondent.

Mira glanced at her now, and she gave her a weak smile and looked away. Sophia knew Mira had a knack for knowing when any of them were down, so she didn’t try to hide her feelings from her. She knew it was impossible not to feel bad, at times. They were always on the road. How could they not feel exhausted? Every one of them would do anything to get a break from the constant vigilance.

Mira smiled kindly at Sophia, as she glanced over at her again now, reaching over to squeeze Sophia’s hand, again. “You’re missing your daughter…,” she said.

It wasn’t a question, but Sophia nodded anyway. “Yes,” she said and sniffed at the emotion that simple statement evoked within her breast. “But I also miss the sisters and Tara.” She squared her shoulders. “I miss Ravenwood Manor. I miss home.”

Mira’s smile was sad. “I know how hard it must be for you.” She watched her sisters, Jes and Dara.

“We’ll find a way,” Dara said to her. “We won’t stop until we do, I promise.”

Sophia smiled at her. “I shouldn’t be feeling sorry for myself,” she said. “Look at what you’ve had to overcome. Look at what Constantine has done to you—and I never hear you complain.”

Dara grinned at her. “Well Dracon does make it a bit easier,” she said.

“True,” Sophia couldn’t help but grin at this. “You’d have never gotten that close to that Vamp as a human,” she admitted.

Nodding, Dara looked at her. “But, even so, you’re being separated from your daughter,” she said. “I can’t think of anything harder than that. Not even being turned Vampire.”

Sophia stared at her. How unbelievably brave she was. She didn’t think she could stand it if Constantine deliberately turned her to get to her friends. He’d done just that to Dara. He’d done it as a strategy, to get to her family—to get to Justice. But the enemy he’d made, in the doing, had been one of his own—Dracon.

Sophia turned to stare out the window. She wanted to go home. Not that she didn’t love working with Mira and the Sisters of Three. Not that she didn’t enjoy working with Justice, the Prince of Fire, and Dracon, the Prince of Air, and the rest. After all, the work they did now would go down in history. They were saving Mother Earth. They were protecting the humans from becoming the new cattle—for a new breed of Vampire.

Sophia shivered at the thought, glancing at Dara, then looked back out the window.

Run by an old Vamp by the name of Constantine, these rogue factions of Vampires were out of control. Justice had managed to hurt him, and bad—but he hadn’t been able to kill him. No one had ever managed to do that. As an old battle-Vamp, Constantine knew every battle strategy that ever existed, in the history of mankind—or even their own in the Land of the Fae. He’d been nearly impossible to engage—and worse to try and destroy.

And, yes, at first this has all been fascinating. She couldn’t have imagined being part of such a thing—being a part of history in the making—even though it was one that the humans wouldn’t ever know had happened. 

She couldn’t imagine such an important thing happening and not knowing about it.

But the humans would never know—because they weren’t ready to accept the reality of such things happening around them—and Sophia just wanted to return home.