Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3)
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Synopsis: Talk about terrible timing . . .
Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. With her powers locked inside her, Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies --tje Brannicks, a family of warrior women who, hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that's what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn't so sure.
The only known spell that can help Sophie regain her magic is at Hex Hall--the place where it all began, and now the headquarters of the evil Casnoffs. Together with her best friend, the vampie Jenna; her boyfriend, Archer; her fiance, Cal (yeah, her love life is complicated); and a ghost for a sidekick, Sophie must battle an army of demons. But even with her friends at her side, the fate of all Prodigium rests on her shoulders alone.
Sophie's bound for one hell of a ride . . .
Can she get her powers back before it's too late?
Cal glanced up, and I met his eyes. "Cal, you . . . you saved my dad's life. You tried to save Archer's." My chest ached, saying that out loud, but I made myself go on. "That's so huge, I don't even know where to start. 'Thank you' doesn't really cut it, you know? And I'm not sure there's a fruit basket big enough to--"
He rose to his feet, and suddenly his arms were around me and my face was pressed against his chest. He smelled good, and familiar, and tears sprang to my eyes as I put my hands on his back and pressed him closer. He stroked my hair. "He might be okay, Sophie," Cal murmured. "The Eye could've gotten him out."
I squeezed my eyes closed. "I know," I whispered. "It's not that. I mean it is that, but not just that. It's . . . Everything is so screwed up, Cal."
His arms tightened. "I know. With Graymalkin being gone . . ." He blew out a long breath but didn't say anything else.
I hadn't even thought about it. How much Cal had loved the island. I remembered what he'd told me at Thorne, that Graymalkin had always felt like home to him. I was used to feeling vaguely homeless, but Cal had lived at Hex Hall since he was thirteen.
I pulled back to look in his eyes. "I'm so sorry," I told him. "For all of it."
On his face, I saw everything I was feeling. The confusion, the helplessness, the loneliness. And I guess it was the last emotion that made me rise up on tiptoes and softly brush my lips over his. I hadn't meant for it to be a real kiss; it was more a gesture of thanks and comfort than anything else. But when I went to pull back, Cal cupped my cheek, and his mouth slanted over mine, and just like that, it was definitely a real kiss.
I kissed him back, my hands clutching his T-shirt. For a minute, it felt nice. Well, better than nice, really. I felt safe and comfortable, and his arms were so warm around me.
And then, suddenly, I was pulling away, my face hot. "Oh, God, and now I'm sorry for that." I said, turning my back to him and wiping my cheeks with trembling hands.
I'd only thought the atmosphere in the tent was tense before. Not I was practically choking on it. From behind me, I heard Cal sigh. "No, I'm sorry," he said. "We're both . . . We're in a weird place."
I turned back around then and gave him a shaky smile. "Both metaphorically and literary," I said, gesturing around the tent.
Cal gave a tiny smile back. "You should probably go. Check on your dad. We can talk more tomorrow when things aren't so . . . " His words trailed off, and finally he just shurgged.
I nodded. "Right. Tomorrow."
I could feel his gaze on my back as I left the tent, and it was like it stayed there, a hot spot between my shoulder blades, as I jogged back to the house.
I kissed Cal. Again. For real.
The words pounded inside my brain in time to my footsteps, and I wasn't sure whether it was guilt or giddiness jumping around in my stomach. My hands were still trembling when I opened the back door. The house was strangely silent, and I crept toward the living room. Dad was still in the couch, his eyes closed, his breathing shallow. Mom sat on the floor next to him, a steaming mug beside her. She was looking at Dad with such a strange expression: sad, and scared, and . . . something else. Her finger barely touched his skin as she traced the purple whorls on his hand.
I backed out before she could see me.
As I made my way upstairs, I felt shaky and hollow. Sometimes I think we have a limit to how many emotions we can feel at once, and I had clearly reached mine. Between Dad and Cal reappearing, and kissing Cal . . .
I pressed the heels of my hands against my eyes and took a shuddery breath. Yup. Definitely had all I could handle for tonight.
When I opened my bedroom and saw a soft, ghostly glow, I groaned. "Not tonight, Elodie," I sniffled. I'm not in the mood."
The words died in my throat.
It wasn't Elodie's ghost standing in the middle of my room.
It was Archer's. (Chapter 10, pgs. 94-97)