Summary – Hunter arrives in Widows Vale with his mentor Ciaran MacEwan. There he meets his half brother Cal and his girlfriend Morgan, whom he feels strangely drawn to, and is sucked into a cat and mouse game that has played between Ciaran and Selene Belltower for years and on top of it all he is reunited with his cousin Sky who is a Seeker for the International Council of Witches and has been hunting him down for years.
Disclaimer: These are all Cate Tiernans toys. They're just in my playground.
A/N: Hi everyone. I know it has been a very, very long time since my last Sweep fic. Hopefully in that time my writing skills have improved (I think they have. Re-reading old stories of mine make me cringe a little) I have to ask that you be very patient with me while I work on this story. I promise to try posting as often as I can, however I don't have as much spare time to write as often as I'd like to. I'm posting this first chapter early to give you a little taster of what's to come. I'd like to hear your thoughts about it and I'll get typing up more chapters and then try to post as frequently as possible. Please don't lose faith in me, I've had some awesome reviews from you guys in the past and I hope you enjoy reading this new one. So thanks for reading my stupidly long authors note, here's the first chapter of Cat and Mouse. Enjoy xx.
I know it's wrong, completely against all the laws of magick. But I like it. Conjuring the taibhs has never made me feel more powerful. This isn't how I was raised but I have never felt so free.
I'm still no closer to finding my parents, but I will, I just need more time. I can control the darkness, it won't control me, when I've found them I'll stop this, no matter how much the dark spirits call to me now. They think I'm worthy, they think I'm meant for something great.
In many ways Widows Vale resembles England, more than any other places we've been whilst in America. It was small, picturesque and doesn't have a lot of big named American joints around to taint the town with consumerism. It was quite a beautiful town, I'd be quite happy to settle down somewhere like here one day.
The reason for our visit was to meet with an old friend of Ciaran's, and by the way of which he spoke of her, I believed her to be an old flame too. He didn't appear to like her a great deal, but I could tell he respected her, and he should. She's an incredibly powerful witch, notoriously feared worldwide by many witches. I had never yet met her myself and I wasn't all that sure I wanted to. I just hoped she'd take a liking to me, I'd hate to be on the wrong side of this woman.
This woman is Ciaran's female counterpart, she is just as powerful, just as dark and just as intelligent. Her name is Selene Belltower.
She called Ciaran up out of the blue wanting him to visit, claiming she had made an important discovery and he would be very interested to see it, and Ciaran was never one to resist a mystery. It was the first time in nearly 10 years she'd bothered to get in touch with him so that added to his intrigue.
I glanced at the satellite navigation system and it told us that we were almost at her home. "What do you think she wants to show you?" I asked him finally. All the possibilities had been whirring through my mind and I had to admit that I was also pretty intrigued. What could this woman possibly have that will drag Ciaran all the way out to see her?
Ciaran glanced at me with a grin, "Selene is as manipulative as she is malicious, it's probably nothing and this is just a ploy to get me to meet with her," he told me, "If she truly had something worthwhile, the last thing she'll do is share it with me,"
"So why play into it?" I asked
"She wouldn't have called me if she didn't want me for something, Selene will always have something useful to share, so I'll get something out of this one way or another. But there's something in this for her, she needs me for something. And that intrigues me, Selene doesn't need anyone for anything," he chuckled to himself, "The woman is as vindictive as they come," he pulled into a driveway, "Besides its time you meet her, and her son."
I frowned "Who's her son?"
"Cal Blaire, he's your half brother,"
My what? I stared at him incredulously, "Ciaran? I don't understand,"
"Selene's son, is also Daniel Niall's son. He was your father, yes?"
"My Da had another son? He cheated on my Mum?"
"No actually, he cheated on Selene with your mum, Cal's older than you." Ciaran sure knew how to drop a bombshell. He gave me no chance to ask further questions, he climbed out the car and I followed suit. Selene was already waiting for us on her door step.
"Welcome to my home," she greeted us, "Ciaran," she purred pulling him in and they kissed cheeks, "It's been too long," then she eyed me, "I see you brought your little apprentice," I could tell she immediately didn't like me. But I would not let that deter me, I would continue to be polite as they come, I will not allow her to intimidate me.
"Hunter Niall, so pleased to finally make your acquaintance ma'am," I nodded respectfully her way, it didn't stop her from looking at me like I was something on the bottom of her shoe but I hoped that we wouldn't be sticking around for too long.
"I thought you'd be coming alone," she sneered at Ciaran, he didn't answer her but the look on his face told me that he was amused. She led us into the kitchen and started brewing some tea.
"So, Selene where is your son?" Ciaran asked, "I thought it would be nice to introduce him to Hunter,"
It was then Selene's turn to look amused, "He's not home at the moment," she said, "he's with his girlfriend, you'll like her Ciaran, powerful little thing." She said implying everything I needed to hear to figure out why Cal was really going out with her and also why we were here.
"How powerful are we talking about?" he asked
"How does this generations Sguirs Dan sound to you?"
Ciaran's eyes gleamed, I recognized that look. He was hungry for her power. "Goddess," he murmured, "Are you sure, Selene?"
"Of course I'm sure," she snapped, "I'm not an incompetent child!" she then chuckled to herself, "she, however, is. The girl is young and uninitiated. She's only just learned that she's a witch. Cal has taken her under his wing, showing her the basics, gaining her trust,"
"So this girl, is she why we're here?" Ciaran asked. Selene nodded, she was looking like the cat who got the cream, I didn't like it. There was more to this than she was telling him, I could feel it. "This will be like taking candy from a baby," he grinned
"It would be if it wasn't for a meddlesome seeker who's just arrived in town, poking her nose into our business." Selene looked irked, "She arrived a few days ago," her face brightened then, "although, I suppose, Hunter Niall," she said, spitting my name, "you would be of some use for us after all,"
"Would you like me to throw the seeker off trail for you ma'am?" I asked
"It would be of great help to us, besides I hear she's your cousin."
"My cousin?" it had been many years since I was last in contact with my family, I wasn't aware any of them had joined the council.
"Yes, young blonde witch, an Evantide." That didn't narrow it down for me, I had five blonde cousins with the surname of Evantide. "Sky, I believe her name is." Selene continued.
"Athar?" I whispered to myself. Athar was a seeker now? Could I do it, could I face my cousin after all this time? Of all my cousins I was closest with Sky when we were children. She'd never approve of the path I'd chosen so I shouldn't expect any kind of acceptance or expect her to be happy to see me, especially after how I left my family. It shouldn't bother me to know that I'd be a big disappointment to her, but for some reason, it did. I've never let myself think about what my leaving did to my family because even after everything, after all I had done. I was not angry with them, I didn't hate them. There was no reason to, they were very good to me. I loved them, still did even now, I just chose a different path.
"Well? Hunter?" Ciaran asked bringing me out my reverie, "Will you do it?"
I nodded immediately. "Of course, Ciaran." I wouldn't disappoint him, nor would I do anything else that could make Selene disapprove of me any further. I wasn't stupid. But I wouldn't harm my cousin, nor would I allow any harm to come to her. But I will stop her by using Magick against her if she interferes anymore or brings the council down around us. Selene placed a cup of Earl Grey in front of me, I thanked her, then cooled it with my magick and took a sip.
We sat in silence for a while drinking out tea and felt the other presence at the same time. A young witch, male. This must be Cal, Selene's son. My half brother.
I noticed Ciaran and Selene both looking at me, Selene with disgust and Ciaran looked pretty smug with himself.
Here we go, I thought.