The Leopard's Witchy Mate - Elle Boon Page 0,1

toward the window, thankful her captor was nowhere to be seen. “How long have you been here?” she asked.

One of the women stared back at her like she’d seen a ghost. Her mouth opened and shut, before a single tear fell from her right eye. “Are you—Noelle?”

The question made her throat close up. She wondered if Remdezevier was setting her up, bringing in these women to trick her. “That’s my name, yes. Who are you?”

She may be weak, but she hoped she could still protect herself from whatever these females might be planning.

“I’m Merry, your sister.”

The words dropped like a boulder in the quiet space.

Noelle couldn’t allow herself to believe the woman. If Remdezevier had taken her sister, then they were all doomed. “You need to get out of here. How did he get you?” Strength filled her at the thought of what he would do to her sister and the others. They were humans. She’d known that even when she’d been just twelve and Merry fifteen. If he did to any of them, the things he’d done to her, they’d die, horribly.

Merry laughed, the sound grating. “Do you think we haven’t tried?” She held their wrists up, showing they were all anchored together.

Noelle mustered her strength, crawling over to the group. “Do you know how long you’ve been here?” She hated when she lost consciousness, but when he took too much blood it happened until she was able to replenish herself.

Her sister Merry jerked away from her as she drew near. “You have dried blood all over you. What does he do to you?”

She tried not to let her revulsion hurt, but it did. For ten years she’d thought of nothing but being reunited with her family, especially her sister who had been her best friend. “He’s trying to find a way to be some sort of immortal. He thinks I’m some...other.” She didn’t want to speak of her abilities in front of the women she didn’t know.

“They know you have powers, Noelle. I don’t keep secrets from my friends. Can you get us out of here?” Merry reached for her hands.

Noelle felt the first cool touch of another that wasn’t pain in ten years. Tears pricked her eyes as her body filled with power. Noelle placed her hand over her sister’s, holding her in place.

“What’re you doing?” Merry cried, trying to pull away.

“She’s a witch,” several of the women muttered.

Noelle crashed backward, her body feeling invigorated from the influx of much-needed energy. Her sister and the others’ murmurs floated in and out of her mind. She scooted away, needed to assess what was going on. She had never experienced anything like what she was in that moment, her entire being seemed as though it could float out of the space she was in. She feared Remdezevier would come back and see she had a new power. That was enough to bring her hurtling down to the bed. “Don’t talk to him. Don’t tell him anything. He’ll kill you if he thinks you’re useless. I’ll protect you. I just need to rest.”

She wasn’t sure if they agreed or not before her vision went black. Luckily, her bed was under her this time.

She woke to screams, blood-curdling screams that would haunt her for the rest of her life. This time she didn’t sit up, not wanting to alert anyone to her being awake. She peeked through the veil of her lashes to where she’d seen the women before, nearly crying out at the vision before her. Merry was gone, while the others huddled together, their faces ashen as if they’d seen a ghost. Bruises marred what she could see of their bodies. How had he hurt them so? He wasn’t a big man, not in a muscular way. His power lay within his ability to threaten loved ones. The first few years, that was how he’d controlled Noelle, showing her pictures of her family and how easily he could get to them.

Noelle listened for her sister’s unique thread, something she’d been able to do since she was a toddler. Once she’d narrowed down the other women’s signatures, finding Merry was easy. Her sister’s heart rate was accelerated. Although she couldn’t see her, Noelle knew she didn’t have a lot of time to save them all. She’d been unconscious too long. Clearly Remdezevier had gotten desperate when she’d been knocked out, thinking he needed to replace her. Goddess, she hadn’t felt this energized in so long.

Allowing her body to become incorporeal