The Initiation and The Captive (Part 1) (Secret Circle Series #1-2)by L. J. Smith
The circle's power has lured her home
Forced to move from sunny California to gloomy New England, Cassie longs for her old life. Even so, she feels a strange kinship to a terrifying group of teens who seem to rule her school. Initiated into the coven of witches that's controlled New Salem for hundreds of years, she's drawn into the Secret Circle, a thrill that's… See more details below
The circle's power has lured her home
Forced to move from sunny California to gloomy New England, Cassie longs for her old life. Even so, she feels a strange kinship to a terrifying group of teens who seem to rule her school. Initiated into the coven of witches that's controlled New Salem for hundreds of years, she's drawn into the Secret Circle, a thrill that's both intoxicating and deadly. But when she falls for the mysterious and intriguing Adam, Cassie must choose whether to resist temptation or risk dark forces to get what she wants—even if it means that one wrong move could ultimately destroy her.
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The Secret Circle: The Initiation and The Captive Part I
It wasn't supposed to be this hot and humid on Cape Cod. Cassie had seen it in the guidebook; everything was supposed to be perfect here, like Camelot.
Except, the guidebook added absently, for the poison ivy, and ticks, and green flies, and toxic shellfish, and undercurrents in seemingly peaceful water.
The book had also warned against hiking out on narrow peninsulas because high tide could come along and strand you. But just at this moment Cassie would have given anything to be stranded on some peninsula jutting far out into the Atlantic Ocean—as long as Portia Bainbridge was on the other side.
Cassie had never been so miserable in her life.
". . . and my other brother, the one on the MIT debate team, the one who went to the World Debate Tournament in Scotland two years ago . . ." Portia was saying. Cassie felt her eyes glaze over again and slipped back into her wretched trance. Both of Portia's brothers went to MIT and were frighteningly accomplished, not only at intellectual pursuits but also at athletics. Portia was frighteningly accomplished herself, even though she was only going to be a junior in high school this year, like Cassie. And since Portia's favorite subject was Portia, she'd spent most of the last month telling Cassie all about it.
". . . and then after I placed fifth in extemporaneous speaking at the National Forensic League Championship last year, my boyfriend said, 'Well, of course you'll go All-American . . .'"
Just one more week, Cassie told herself. Just one more week and I can go home. The verythought filled her with a longing so sharp that tears came to her eyes. Home, where her friends were. Where she didn't feel like a stranger, and unaccomplished, and boring, and stupid just because she didn't know what a quahog was. Where she could laugh about all this: her wonderful vacation on the eastern seaboard.
". . . so my father said, 'Why don't I just buy it for you?' But I said, 'No—well, maybe . . .'"
Cassie stared out at the sea.
It wasn't that the Cape wasn't beautiful. The little cedar-shingled cottages, with white picket fences covered with roses and wicker rocking chairs on the porch and geraniums hanging from the rafters, were pretty as picture postcards. And the village greens and tall-steepled churches and old-fashioned schoolhouses made Cassie feel as if she'd stepped into a different time. But every day there was Portia to deal with. And even though every night Cassie thought of some devastatingly witty remark to make to Portia, somehow she never got around to actually making any of them. And far worse than anything Portia could do was the plain raw feeling of not belonging. Of being a stranger here, stranded on the wrong coast, completely out of her own element. The tiny duplex back in California had started to seem like heaven to Cassie.
One more week, she thought. You've just got to stand it for one more week.
And then there was Mom, so pale lately and so quiet . . . A worried twinge went through Cassie, and she quickly pushed it away. Mom is fine, she told herself fiercely. She's probably just miserable here, the same way you are, even though this is her native state. She's probably counting the days until we can go home, just like you are.
Of course that was it, and that was why her mother looked so unhappy when Cassie talked about being homesick. Her mother felt guilty for bringing Cassie here, for making this place sound like a vacation paradise. Everything would be all right when they got back home, for both of them.
"Cassie! Are you listening to me? Or are you daydreaming again?"
"Oh, listening," Cassie said quickly.
"What did I just say?"
Cassie floundered. Boyfriends, she thought desperately, the debate team, college, the National Forensic League . . . People had sometimes called her a dreamer, but never as much as around here.
"I was saying they shouldn't let people like that on the beach," Portia said. "Especially not with dogs. I mean, I know this isn't Oyster Harbors, but at least it's clean. And now look." Cassie looked, following the direction of Portia's gaze. All she could see was some guy walking down the beach. She looked back at Portia uncertainly.
"He works on a fishing boat," Portia said, her nostrils flared as if she smelled something bad. "I saw him this morning on the fish pier, unloading. I don't think he's even changed his clothes. How unutterably scuzzy and vomitous."
He didn't look all that scuzzy to Cassie. He had dark red hair, and he was tall, and even at this distance she could see that he was smiling. There was a dog at his heels.
"We never talk to guys from the fishing boats. We don't even look at them," Portia said. And Cassie could see it was true. There were maybe a dozen other girls on the beach, in groups of two or three, a few with guys, most not. As the tall boy passed, the girls would look away, turning their heads to stare in the opposite direction. It wasn't a flirtatious sort of looking-away-and-then-back-and-giggling. It was disdainful rejection. As the guy got closer to her, Cassie could see that his smile was turning grim.
The two girls closest to Cassie and Portia were looking away now, almost sniffing. Cassie saw the boy shrug slightly, as if it were no more than he expected. She still didn't see anything so disgusting about him. He was wearing ragged cutoff shorts and a T-shirt that had seen better days, but lots of guys looked like that. And his dog trotted right behind him, tail waving, friendly and alert. It wasn't bothering anybody. Cassie glanced up at the boy's face, curious to see his eyes.The Secret Circle: The Initiation and The Captive Part I. Copyright © by L. J. Smith. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Meet the Author
L. J. Smith has written over two dozen books for young adults, including The Vampire Diaries, now a hit TV show. She has also written the bestselling Night World series and The Forbidden Game, as well as the #1 New York Times bestselling Dark Visions. She loves to walk the trails and beaches in Point Reyes, California, daydreaming about her latest book.
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