I’ve felt the pressure of being part of the local coven, but sometimes they ask for too much. Like informing me I’ve been engaged to Carter since we were kids! Who even does that? I can’t do it. I won’t. And maybe I don’t have to… There’s only one person I’ve ever loved. Finn Davenport. When he claims to have a solution to my problem, I put my trust in him completely. I never thought it would lead me to the life I was meant to have.
*NOTE: Bespelled was originally titled Litha Celebration and released under Jessie Colter in 2013. It’s been revised and expanded from that version with new scenes and chapters.
Available in Kindle Unlimited
Copyright 2022, Jessica Coulter Smith
My jaw dropped, and I stared at my mother in horror. Surely I’d heard her wrong.
“I’m what?” I asked after I found my voice.
“Engaged. It’s what’s best for the coven. No arguments. Carter is a good match.”
My mouth snapped shut. I couldn’t believe it. Had she really just said that? I mean, Carter was nice and all, but handfasted? And why had she waited until now to tell me? This was something major, not something you sprung on your only daughter as if you were merely discussing the weather!
“Mom, I don’t think of Carter like that. We’re only friends.” Not that he wouldn’t make some nice girl a fine husband one day, but it wouldn’t be me. It wasn’t that he wasn’t attractive, because he was. At six feet tall with black hair and deep chocolate eyes, he caught the attention of females young and old everywhere we went. He just didn’t catch my attention–at least not in that way.
“You and Carter were matched the day you were born. I didn’t tell you before now, in the hopes the two of you would grow close on your own. Since that doesn’t seem to be happening, I decided it was time to tell you. Now that you know your future lies with him, maybe you can focus on seeing him as something more than a friend.”
“No, I won’t do it, Mom. You can’t arrange my life this way.”
Mom’s eyes narrowed. Shit. It was never a good idea to piss off one of the most powerful witches in the coven. It didn’t matter if I was her daughter or not. She’d still put a hex on me if I stepped out of line. “You’ll do as your told, young lady. You will not embarrass this family.”
“Mom, I know we’re witches and we have traditions, but don’t you think this is a bit much? Who’s heard of an arranged marriage in this day and age? Besides, I’m only eighteen!”
My mom folded her arms and glowered at me. I knew I was pushing my luck. If I didn’t stop now, she might silence me with a spell. Or do something far worse.
“You’ll be nineteen in a month. If you’re old enough to go to college, you’re old enough to be handfasted.”
I wanted to argue. To throw a tantrum. This wasn’t the sixteen hundreds! I knew she wanted to align our family with Carter’s. It was the only thing that made sense. But still… Why didn’t get we a say in the matter? And how did he feel about it?
“Things have changed since you were young. No one gets married at my age, not unless they’re pregnant.” I tried not to whine, but this was too much!
“You and Carter will be handfasted at the Litha celebration, and that’s final. The coven has already been notified.”
With a final glare at my mother, I grabbed my purse and stormed out of the house. Normally, I would call Carter to tell him about my mom’s latest mad scheme, but this time was different. I did need to talk to him though. Surely if Mom had dropped the bomb on me today, his parents had told him, too. I wondered what he thought about the whole thing. Personally, I thought it was nuts.
I got in the car and slammed my door shut, taking my frustrations out on my poor Fiesta. My car was used to being pampered, not abused.
I backed down the driveway and headed to Main Street. Retail therapy was definitely in order. I could always use more clothes and books, and maybe I’d stop by a shoe store or two along the way–anything to take my mind off the upcoming celebration and ceremony.