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    Cecily was pretty sure she'd get in some quality gloating later, but the shock of it all was too new for that. "All that smoke, the boom-Dad has to have seen it."

    "We told the guys the Jacuzzi shorted out. No more hot-tubbing on this trip, I'm afraid."

    It would b...ong time before Cecily could look a...acuzzi the same way again, so no loss there. "And Scott?"

    "Doesn't know what hit him. Or care...hink."

    They looked together toward Ocean's Heaven. Scott sat with Theo on the front steps that led to the sand. He chugged hal...an of root beer then belched Theo's name, which made Theo laugh and applaud. Cecily sighed.

    Mom said, "You tried to warn me about Kathleen last night...hould have heard you out. In futur...ill."

    "Thanks, Mom."

    "Which means you will never again have any excuse for laying hands on my Book of Shadows without my permission."

    "Understood."

    Mom tugged fondly at the end of Cecily's ponytail. "You too...ig risk, you know-and not just attempting the spell on your own. If Scott were any more-let's say inquisitive, he would have realized that he had been under an enchantment. He would have realized that magic is real. Covering our tracks at that point would've been hard work. That you couldn't have done alone."

    "Why do we have to lie to them? Don't you ever wish Dad knew the truth? Don't you think he'd love you even more when he realized what an amazing witch you are?"

    Fo...oment Mom was silent. The only sound was the roar of the ocean. At last she said, "Today of all days I'd think you would understand the importance of obeying the rules."

    That wasn't an answer, but Cecily knew it was as close as she would get. She hugged Mom before jogging down to the shoreline. The waves were cold and foamy against her toes.

    Someday, Cecily thought. Someday I'll fin...uy who can live with the truth. Just because that's not Scott doesn't mea...uy like that isn't out there.

    At least her summer vacation wasn't entirely ruined. Cecily ha...ew days left to enjoy herself, which she felt she richly deserved.

    SELF-IMPROVEMENT GOALS: REVISED

    During my remaining vacation tim...ill:

    resist gloating over Kathleen's downfall, at least while there are witnesses around

    swim for at least two hour...ay

    see if the moms now respect me enough to teach me some serious Craft mojo

    beat Theo at foosball just once for the sake of my personal dignity

    walk three miles on the beach each morning

    see about tennis lessons

    see about horseback riding lessons

    basically, stay outdoors as much as humanly possible

    Then thunder rolled in the distance, and raindrops began to spatter onto the sand.

    Cecily groaned as she ran for shelter. Well, maybe next year.

    The Law of Suspects

    MAUREEN JOHNSON

    "I hate vacation,&rdquo...aid.

    My sister, Marylou, was in the rocking chair by the window, twisting her short, rust-colored hair around her finger absently, her D**-IV open in front of her. The D**-IV, in case you've never heard of it, is The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (Fourth Edition). Marylou had just finished her first year a...sychology major, which meant that her favorite time waster was diagnosing me with every ailment in the book-literally. So it wa...istake saying this kind of thing to her.

    "Lack of interest in things normal people find enjoyable," she said. "That's depression, Charlie."

    "‘Normal people'?&rdquo...epeated.

    "Well, that's not the term we like to use, actually...." she said, even though she had just used it.

    "Who is this we?"

    "Mental health professionals."

    The last thing Marylou was wa...ental health professional. She wa...arista with two semesters of intro psych under her belt.

    "I see,&rdquo...aid. "A mental health professional. You also serve lattes. So are you also the president of Starbucks? Is that what that means?"

    "Shut up, Charlie."

    Page flip, page flip, page flip.

    "And why are you so busy trying to diagnose me?&rdquo...sked, swatting awa...ly that kept trying to land on my nose. "You were reading that on the plane when that guy next to me tried to stab me with his fork. You didn't give hi...abel."

    "That's because he didn't try to stab you," she said placidly. "You were lying."

    ...
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