Cat Scratch Fever is the first chapter (not counting the prologue) of Witches of East End, the first novel in Melissa de la Cruz' Beauchamp Family series. This chapter is centered on Freya.


Freya Beauchamp had always been the wild child of the family, and even though today should have been one of the happiest days in her life, she felt more troubled than happy. And her agitation even affected her magic in ways which caused some troubles at her engagement party... Even her older sister, Ingrid, could feel that Freya was troubled. For a brief moment, Freya had thought about telling her sister what she felt was wrong, but she decided against it and instead tried to convince herself everything was all right.
Freya felt annoyed by the presence of all these women who once sought to be in her shoes... the shoes of Mrs. Gardiner, that is. Because there she was, getting engaged to the wealthiest newcomer in North Hampton, Bran Gardiner, whom she had met in the funniest of circumstances at the Museum Benefit. Bran Gardiner - the young and beautiful rich man to marry, and North Hampton's favourite topic of gossips ever since he arrived in town. Jealousy aside, these women had always despised Freya anyway - the young and gorgeous Freya had always got men's attention. But what was really troubling her was this boy, standing on the other side of the hall, staring at her. Killian Gardiner. Bran's charming younger brother. 

Freya's passion sets fire to the cabbage roses.

His gaze kept giving her this itching feeling she could not reach. For all that it meant, she was on fire. She could feel it, even though she was not looking at him. He wanted her. And deep down, she wanted him as well. When she looked at him, she saw him nod his head, motioning to a door. She knew what that meant, and even though she hated it, she could not resist him. So inside she went, and grabbed him into a kiss. Passionate and... hot. 


Note : a character appearing in bold means he appears for the first time in the current novel.


She loved Bran. She truly did. It wasn't a lie, not at all like the ones she told herself all the time, like This is the last drink of the evening or I'm not going to set this bitch's house on fire.
— Freya trying to reassure herself.

[...] but there was something else. An intelligence. A knowingness in his eyes. It was as if, when he looked at her, he knew exactly who she was and what she was like. A witch. A goddess. Someone not of this earth but not apart from it either. A woman to be loved and feared and adored.
— Freya reflecting on Killian's difference.


  • This attraction Freya has for Killian will be later revealed as the result of them being soulmates.

Previous chapter
The Town at the Edge of Nowhere
Next chapter
Country Mouse
Witches of East End chapters