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Authors: Nancy Holder

Resurrection

BOOK: Resurrection
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Resurrection

Read the entire
Wicked
series:

Wicked

Witch & Curse

Wicked 2

Legacy & Spellbound

This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the authors' imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

SIMON PULSE
An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
Copyright © 2009 by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié
All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.
SIMON PULSE and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Holder, Nancy.
Resurrection / Nancy Holder, Debbie Viguié.—1st Simon Pulse ed.
p. cm.—(Wicked)
Summary: A threat more powerful and frightening than anything they have faced before looms over the Cahors witches as both the Deveraux and Cahors family lines face extinction, and Cahors family secrets are revealed.
ISBN-13: 978-1-4169-9578-4
ISBN-10: 1-4169-9578-1
[1. Witches—Fiction. 2. Warlocks—Fiction. 3. Magic—Fiction. 4. Good and evil—Fiction.] I. Viguié, Debbie. II. Title.
PZ7.H70326Res 2009
[Fic]—dc22          2008050194
Visit us on the Web:
http://www.SimonandSchuster.com

To all the fans who wanted this book so badly. Thank you so much, from the bottom of our hearts. Blessed be.

—Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié

Acknowledgments

Thank you, Debbie, for being my friend, my creative partner, and my rock. And thank you, Michael del Rosario. You are our champion. This book is for you both, and for my daughter, Belle, who is living proof that magic and miracles are what we're made of.

—N. H.

Thank you to Nancy, the best cowriter/friend that anyone could ever ask for. A special thanks to a great editor, Michael del Rosario, for his belief in this book. Finally, thank you to those people in my life who have always encouraged me: my husband; my parents; my sisters; and Schrodinger, the little black cat who sat on my lap and “helped” me type.

—D. V.

prologue

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,

Remember me to one who lives there,

For she once was a true love of mine.

 

Tell her to make me a cambric shirt,

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,

Without any seam nor needlework,

And then she'll be a true love of mine.

 

Tell her to wash it in yonder dry well,

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,

Which never sprung water nor rain ever fell,

And then she'll be a true love of mine.

 

Tell her to dry it on yonder thorn,

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,

Which never bore blossom since Adam was born,

And then she'll be a true love of mine.

 

Ask her to do me this courtesy,

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,

And ask for a like favour from me,

And then she'll be a true love of mine.

 

Have you been to Scarborough Fair?

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,

Remember me to one who lives there,

For he once was a true love of mine.

 

Ask him to find me an acre of land,

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,

Between the salt water and the seastrand,

For then he'll be a true love of mine.

 

Ask him to plough it with a lamb's horn,

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,

And sow it all over with one peppercorn,

For then he'll be a true love of mine.

 

Ask him to reap it with a sickle of leather,

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,

And gather it up with a rope made of heather,

For then he'll be a true love of mine.

 

When he has done and finished his work,

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,

Ask him to come for his cambric shirt,

For then he'll be a true love of mine.

 

If you say that you can't, then I shall reply,

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,

Oh, let me know that at least you will try,

Or you'll never be a true love of mine.

 

Love imposes impossible tasks,

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,

But none more than any heart would ask,

I must know you're a true love of mine.

Part One
Melchior

In the time of the end, kings and lords shall be laid low and their treasures given to those who will never understand their power nor know until it is too late the terrible things that they behold and the curse that is upon them.

—ancient Celtic prophecy

one
GOLD

Dancing, spinning all around

Wounded now we've gone to ground

But Deveraux power still remains

And where we are, darkness reigns

An uneasy peace on Cahors lies

We dare not dance 'neath moonlit skies

We fear the dark that creeps outside

Not half as much as the one we hide

Medieval France: Fantasme, Pandion, Jean, and Isabeau

Thrum, thrum, thrum.

Fate loosed Fantasme, ancient falcon, powerful familiar of House Deveraux, upon the wind. The bells around his talons jingled like a temple dancer's anklets as he soared high above the wooded lands of France. He smelled the heat of Pandion, the hawk familiar of the Cahors; if one could say that a falcon smiles, Fantasme grinned in lustful anticipation. The son of his master, Duc Laurent, would soon bed the daughter
of House Cahors. Perhaps Fantasme would take their familiar in the same way. Or
peut-être
he would simply rip her to shreds.

Thrum, thrum, thrum…

Below, the beaters threshed out the serfs, smashing the branches of the oak trees with poles in order to flush the unwilling sacrifices from their wretched hidey-holes. Other, lesser game would serve as for the great feast before the marriage of Jean de Deveraux and Isabeau of the Cahors—venison, pork, poultry. Ancient enemies, joined in matrimony—the result of decades of plotting, planning, and assassination.

The Deveraux asserted that a century before, Nicolette of the Cahors had poisoned Elijah, son of the most powerful warlock family in all of France, and buried his body in a ditch.

It was claimed in turn by House Cahors that Elijah had lured their witch princess to the festivities at Scarborough, and there had hacked her to pieces.

Neither claim was ever proven, but Fantasme knew that one hundred years later, history was about to repeat itself. A Deveraux and a Cahors bound together? More likely they would bleed each other in their sleep.

Below, fine young Jean raised his arm, his signal for Fantasme to return. Farther back in the hunting
party, Jean's mistress, Karienne, rode alone, knowing she would soon be sent away.

Thrum, thrum, thrum: teardrops on leather; heartbeats; and the sly chuckle of unseen forces, who were, once again, about to set the families at each other's throats.

 

In a castle some leagues beyond, the hawk Pandion jingled her bells in protest, hobbled to her perch when she would rather be searching for game. She smelled Fantasme in the wind, and she would sooner slice his eyes open with her talons than see him at the marriage.

Dressed in yards of black veils chased with silver, Catherine, witch queen of the Cahors, prepared her daughter, Isabeau, for marriage to Jean de Deveraux—steadied her with sacrifices, raising bloody hands to their Goddess, while Isabeau wept with fear and hatred. She would marry Jean, but she would not keep him long.

Unless the Deveraux revealed the secret of the Black Fire to the Cahors, the proud warlock dynasty would be murdered in their beds before the year was dead. Catherine had sworn it; and Isabeau was her mother's child, raised to obey no husband and lord, only her liege lady, author of her birth. Despite the presence of Isabeau's father, Robert, women ruled in
House Cahors. Men were for getting children, and not much else. Dispensable, and pitiful.

The Present: Jer, Without Her

“Holly,” Jer Deveraux whispered as he drifted in darkness. And loneliness. And in dreams….

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?

If we could turn back time; if we could go back; if there was something I could have done differently…The path not taken…

His life was nothing but regret. There was no joy in it, only pain.

If I could see her again before I die…but if I can't, I would rather die…

Holly Cathers. Holly of the Cahors. You have bewitched me. Ruined me.

By the Horned God, damn you, love me still. I beg this of you.

Thrum, thrum, thrum,
the beating of his heart, the fluttering of his soul.

Seattle: Dr. Nigel Temar and Hecate

It was hard to believe that it had all started with a cat. Not just any cat either, but the resurrected familiar of a witch. The zombie cat that he had found in the ruins of a house, hissing and spitting and trapped under debris, had been the greatest gift he had ever received.
He had taken the feline, and studied it. He knew little about magic but much about science, and with the cat he was sure that he could bring his greatest dream to fruition. A lifetime of searching, and the answers he needed were trapped inside the tiny feline body.

Perhaps most amazing of all, he had discovered that the creature could not be rekilled. No matter what happened, it revived, just as angry, just as miraculous.
Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought him back
. He had no idea what had actually killed it, although from the violent reaction to water dishes, he guessed it had something to do with drowning. However, the doctor knew it wasn't satisfaction that had brought the hellcat back. Months of study had finally paid off: Two days before, he had finally replicated the resurrection—but with science, not magic. Now he had two angry revivified cats in his lab, and he couldn't be happier.

Around him Seattle smoldered in ruins. The destruction caused by Michael Deveraux in his battle with Holly Cathers and her cousins had ensured that the city would be years recovering, if ever. Thousands were dead or missing, victims of unnatural storms and fiendish creatures. Yet still people wanted to carry on as usual, lying to themselves, pretending that the stuff of their nightmares wasn't a reality.

But as he walked to his office in one of the few buildings left intact at the University of Washington at
Seattle, Dr. Nigel Temar's thoughts were not on the victims. They weren't even on the two dead cats waiting for him in his lab. Nor were they on the twisted metal debris that once had been classrooms, or the gaping crater where the chemistry building had once stood, or the hundreds of impromptu memorials set up to honor students who had lost their lives there.

No, his thoughts were on one student only. Kari Hardwicke had been one of his grad students, and hers was the only presence he longed for, hers the only absence he felt.

He entered his building and made his way down three flights of stairs to his basement office. He unlocked the door, flicked on the lights, and quickly locked the door again behind himself. An unearthly yowling met his ears, and he smiled at the cat that was throwing himself against the bars of its cage. The other one glared sullenly from its enclosure, still not entirely used to its seemingly uncomfortable life-after-death.

All those months working so closely with Kari, prepping lectures, grading papers, discussing mythology. All he had wanted to do was take her in his arms and share with her the real secrets of his research. He might have given into the temptation, too, if it hadn't been for her ill-timed affair with the brooding warlock Jeraud Deveraux.

Nigel was nothing, though, if not patient. He
knew how to watch and to wait. He'd known when the warlock's passion had waned. He'd watched Kari's vain attempts to recapture her lover's interest.

Then something had happened that he couldn't have foreseen. Kari had gotten involved in an age-old feud between the warring houses of Deveraux and Cahors. He had lost track of her a couple of months back, but he felt confident that he could find her.

He swept a place clear of papers on his desk and then gently set down a laptop,
her
laptop—which he had finally managed to locate, beneath a huge pile of rubble that had once been the tiny office she'd shared with two other teaching assistants.

“Kari, dear, you won't believe what I've achieved,” he whispered as he stroked the case a moment; then he opened up the clamshell and hit the power button. He hoped he would be able to show it to her soon. If only he could find her.

An hour later he had scanned all her documents, skimmed through e-mail, and even launched her Instant Messenger. Although there was an address book, he realized he didn't know what names he should be looking for. Finally he started hitting her Web site favorites.

It took a while, but he finally found the site he was looking for. It was a Wicca site, nothing too interesting, but it had a forum that Kari had posted in. He was
able to view a string of communication between Kari and a user named Circle Lady. Recognizing that name, he opened her Instant Messenger and fired off a note to Circle Lady, who appeared to be offline. Then he returned to the Web site and sent a message to her there.

A moment later, the Instant Messenger pinged, and he turned to it with a flare of hope. He was disappointed to see that the response was not from Circle Lady, but someone calling themselves English Rose. He sent a brief response.

“Hi.”

A moment later English Rose accused:
“You're not Kari.”

“No, but I'm looking for her,”
he typed without hesitation.

“I'm looking for Circle Lady,”
came the unhelpful reply.

“Maybe they're in the same place?”
he suggested.

“Goddess forbid…Kari's dead.”

He stared for a moment at the screen as the words registered. His stomach twisted; his heart felt numb. Dead? He should have known, should have felt it. For a long time he stared at the screen.

And then the yowling of the cats penetrated his fog of grief. There were worse things than dying. There was
staying dead.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, I'm sorry.”

“How long ago?”

“A couple of days.”

“Where is the body?”

He waited for the answer to this most important question. It was slow in coming, and for a minute he wondered if English Rose had decided not to tell him.

“It hasn't been…recovered…yet.”

He caught his breath. Blinked.

“Kari,” he whispered. “Don't go. Don't leave.” He realized he was talking to her soul. Or trying to. Did he believe in such things?

“I think we need to talk,”
he told English Rose.

In the end she wouldn't give him her phone number, so he gave her his university extension and waited impatiently for the phone to ring. When it finally did, he was actually a little surprised that his caller did in fact seem to be from England.

Coy as she had been in giving him her phone number, he was not surprised that she didn't seem willing to reveal anything else. He took another deep breath. He needed her to find Kari, and if she was right and Kari was dead, then time was of the essence.

“I know Kari was in over her head. She was caught up in the middle of a coven war that destroyed half of Seattle,” he said.

“It didn't do much for London, either,” she snorted.

Nigel closed his eyes. So, London it was. He tried to stay focused, make plans, behave like a scientist. “I need help transporting her body back here…for a proper burial in her hometown,” he said.

“Then I suggest you contact the local authorities. However, you might want to wait a few more days.”

“Ah, yes, the business of recovering the body.”

“Yes, quite.”

He could hear the suspicion in her tone. Of course, if he'd known about dead bodies before the police and had not contacted them, he'd be suspicious of people who asked questions too.

He decided to gamble. Tenuous as the link was, English Rose was the only connection he had to Kari. “The problem is, you see, I need the body to be preserved as best as possible. The family wants an open casket.”

“Why don't we drop the games,” the woman said.

He sensed she had made a decision about him. Or was willing to. “Gladly. You first. You could tell me who you are.”

“English Rose is as good a name as any. And you, professor?”

“Since I can only call you by your screen name, how about I give you mine. I'm generally known as Dr. Frankenstein.”

He could hear her suck in her breath. “I think I understand you, Doctor. What you want, however, will be tricky.”

“I don't care how it is done. All that I care about is retrieving the body quickly. I can pay you well for your time and your services.”

“In that case, I think we can work something out. Although I'm more interested in information than in money.”

He had gotten her attention, that was for sure. Although the cat he had found had been clearly resurrected by magic, he had been fairly sure that most witches didn't possess such knowledge of resurrection.

And now he was certain of it.

Outside Cologne, Germany:
Holly, Pablo, Armand, Alex, and the Temple of the Air

Holly thought that she must not have a heart anymore, because if she did, it would have broken long ago. She had walked away from everyone she cared about: Amanda, Nicole, Uncle Richard, Jer, and Owen, Nicole's baby. Well, Jer had walked away from all of them, leaving without a word. Nicole had been giving birth to Owen, and Holly had been forced to choose her destiny.

Her cousin Alex Carruthers had invited her to join forces with him to rout out more strongholds of the
Supreme Coven, bitter enemies of both the Mother Coven and Holly's people as well. The Mother Coven, made up of female and male witches who worshipped the Goddess, had tried to force Holly to claim allegiance. After she had reluctantly acquiesced, the Mother Coven had twice failed to protect Holly's coven against attacks from their bitterest enemies, the Deveraux.

Because of that, Holly had chosen to go with Alex. Amanda, Tommy, Richard, and Nicole all wanted peace. And they deserved it. They had done their bit for Coventry, as it were.

Philippe, the French male witch aligned with the Goddess, would have been willing to continue the fight, except that he was in thrall to Nicole, and so his first loyalty lay with her…and with the child, who might or might not be his. Nicole had been with him, Eli Deveraux, and her now-dead husband, James Moore. James had betrayed his father, Sir William Moore, leader of the Supreme Coven in London.

James had thought he'd killed his father, but at the last instant, a hideous demon had pushed out of Sir William's corpse like a huge cobra. The memory chilled Holly's blood, and made her wish that she, too, had stayed behind with Nicole and Amanda. Together, her twin cousins and she were the three Ladies of the Lily, said to be very powerful. Of the three, she possessed the most magical power…pur
chased at terrible prices. Parts of her soul were dark now, as dark as that of any Deveraux or Moore.

BOOK: Resurrection
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