I preferred it when life came in tidy packages. When it didn't — when something went awry — I was exceedingly skilled at packaging it back up. It was my job to do so, after all.
I was a reconstructionist.
I collected the puzzle pieces, then I gave those pieces to an investigative team to sort out. I didn't ask questions. I didn't offer answers. I saw, I recorded, and I moved on.
I didn't dwell or obsess. I didn't hunt down suspects. I didn't follow clues to find a killer. And I certainly didn't work side by side with anyone — least of all a vampire who I strongly suspected might turn out to be the major missing component when the case was complete.
Then I saw something I couldn't forget. It wasn't the bloodiest thing I'd ever seen — it wasn't even close — but it haunted me. I didn't like being haunted.
But I couldn't figure out how to get it out of my head.
Someone was killing teenaged boys in the Pacific Northwest. Despite my misgivings, if I could help catch a killer, I had to at least try.
Meghan Ciana Doidge deftly manages to create a world with depth and color that clearly shows the stories going on just out of sight, just like the real world. This book is easily one of the most captivating urban fantasy novels I've read in years. – Terry Mixon, SFWA
"Two of my all time favorite characters come together to solve a vampire mystery. How can you top that? Perfection!"– Amazon Review
"Lovely Kett and Wisteria's story. Leaves you wanting more. Great storyline, brilliant characters. Not disappointed more of the same needed."– Amazon Review
"Another great book by Meghan Ciana Doidge. This was a couldn't put it down until I was finished book. Don't want to spoil it. So if you like mystery and paranormal this is a must read!"– Amazon Review
Fuming and feeling useless, I stood tucked into the deep shadows beneath the front eaves of the Memorial Funeral Home on the outskirts of the upscale Capitol Hill area of Seattle. Kett was checking the perimeter while Jasmine compromised the security system.
And I was doing nothing. It served me right for being less than professional, for being flippant with the executioner of the Conclave. And for involving Jasmine. I always had to be the superior reconstructionist, always had to prove I was the best at that one thing. The one thing I could control —
"Sneaky bugger," Jasmine said from the front doors. She was fiddling with her phone and some other electronic device I couldn't see because I wasn't allowed to get close to it. "Just blending into the shadows underneath the security lights like that."
She took a long slurp of a milkshake she had ordered from some drive-through we'd stopped in at, just off the highway. I hadn't ordered anything. Neither had Kett. Obviously.
"He is a vampire," I said.
Jasmine burst into peals of laughter.
"Shush," I said. "We're supposed to be stealthy."
"He's just not your type."
"I don't have a type." And I didn't. I just had one long, large heartbreak. One person who I couldn't have in my life without hurting him — or worse, getting him killed. Thanks to my family. But Jasmine knew all that, upside down and from every angle. She'd been there. And we'd all made our choices in the moment. We'd chosen to save each other and damn our futures in the Fairchild coven.
"You should, Betty-Sue," Jasmine said sadly. "You should have a type."
The security pad that Jasmine was fiddling with beeped once, then appeared to short out. I had lots of experience with things shorting out. I probably could have just held my hand over the device and created the same reaction. Though likely not without setting off the alarm first.
Jasmine grunted with satisfaction, tucking her phone and other gizmos into her satchel, then reaching back to brush her fingers against the back of my hand. Her skin was chilled from the milkshake.
"This is more than crazy, you know." I deliberately changed the subject.
"What? Breaking into a funeral home or working for a vampire?"
"You're the one who called."
"You're the one who answered."
Jasmine laughed. "Hell, yeah, I did. You can't do this without me. And I wouldn't miss it for anything."
I brushed my fingers against her hand this time. She shivered, smiling. My magic always did that to her, but she claimed to not mind. I was the witch who was uncomfortable around any magic I couldn't control, not her. I knew that was odd, but it didn't change the reality.
Kett materialized out of the dark night.
Jasmine squeaked, dropping her milkshake.
Kett caught the to-go cup before it was anywhere near the ground, right above Jasmine's knee. He remained stooped there for a moment, smiling up at her. Charmingly.
She smiled back at him coyly.
He straightened, handing the milkshake to her.
"Thank you, sir." She was flirting shamelessly.
I laughed. So very little fazed Jasmine for any length of time. My life was always quieter, and far too serious, when she wasn't around.
She flashed me a smile.
Kett regarded me with a raised eyebrow. Perhaps I was as much of an enigma to him as he was to me. Though it seemed unlikely.
"Are we breaking in to this place or what?" I asked.
"Already broken," Kett said. He stepped away, then paused as if correcting himself. He turned to Jasmine. "Thank you for your assistance."
"Oh, yeah? Cool. It's what I do."
Kett regarded her for a moment more, his expression almost quizzical. Then he melted into the darkness without offering further instructions.
"I guess we're supposed to follow him," I said.