Lady Sass(Witches and Werewolves Book 1)(4)By: Jen Talty
“We should cast a protection spell,” Avery said.
“I plan on it, but that won’t change how the press, or other witch covens, respond to this pairing.”
“We could use our magic to muzzle the—”
Her father interrupted Alicia. “That would be breaking more laws, besides being unethical. “
“What are you suggesting then, honey?” her mother asked.
“An official statement from me.”
“Auntie Alley isn’t going to approve,” Amanda said.
It had been nearly twenty-two years since Reed Jackson stepped into the ballroom at the Regency during a gathering of covens from across the country, honoring the Royal Family. She shivered remembering the pop, pop, pop of the gun. Then the screams filled the room as her father and mother jumped on her and her sisters, dragging them under the table. Twenty minutes later, they were shuffled out of the room. It wasn’t until the trial that Amanda had seen the images captured on film of her uncle falling to the ground, and her aunt hurling herself over his bloodied body.
And their grandmother screaming as she covered her mouth, dropping to her knees. Amanda’s beloved grandfather trying to pull both his wife and daughter off his son, only to collapse and sob next to Armand’s dead body.
“She doesn’t have to approve,” her father said, chewing on the end of his pipe, something he only did when he was anxious about something. “Amanda, sweetheart, please call your agent and set up a meeting with Jackson and his people.”
“No way. She can’t be my co-star. It will be a bigger media circus than if one of my exes took the role.” Jackson Ledger paced in the producer’s office at the lot at Media-Max. Paul Ricter had called him three weeks ago, begging him to take the job.
At first, seeing the deep, romantic element, Jackson thought it was too far outside his normal genre, but after reading the script, he knew in his gut that this was the role that could put him back on the top of the industry.
Paul had kept Jackson’s name out of the press until they cast the lead actress. Now that Lady Amanda Windsor had been cast, Jackson wanted to march himself down to the federal prison and strangle his father with his bare hands.
Jackson had hated his old man long before he’d been arrested for murder. Reed Ledger had a taste for whiskey, women, and guns. Not to mention the old man verbally and physically abused his mother. Jackson had been too young to do anything about it, but he swore the day he was big enough, and strong enough, to take on his father, he’d take him out.
But Reed decided to kill the Royal Witch family member. His father claimed they’d cast a spell on his family years ago, which was why Reed had been a failure his entire life. It was total bullshit. Reed was a womanizing drunk who blamed the Royals simply because they’d fired him from their employment after he stole from them. That had been before Jackson was born and every job his father had after that, he’d managed to get fired from. He wished he could understand why his mother had stayed and had more children with his father, but even she couldn’t explain it.
One therapist he spoke with during his adolescence said oftentimes abused women felt trapped and feared that if they left, it would just get worse, or maybe the abuser would start to take it out on the children. None of it ever made sense, but his father was in prison for life, and his mother and younger siblings, no matter the shame, were better off without that bastard.
Except, his father’s legacy followed him wherever he went. Even Jackson’s Oscar win had been tainted when a gossip entertainment show ran a piece about his father, focusing on his father’s past transgressions and not all the things Jackson had accomplished, in spite of being the offspring of an outcast wolf.
No one blamed Jackson, but people seemed to enjoy reminding him in subtle ways of the stock to which he was born, especially his own wolf pack who had all but ostracized him and his family. They received the same protection under pack law, but no alpha wolf looked at him as another alpha, much less an equal inside the pack. Even their leader shunned him in ways that made it impossible for his younger siblings to take a seat at the table.
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