Seeing as how we are now less than a month(!!) away from the release of DEMON POSSESSED (2/23), I’ve been hunting through the ms for the last few days looking for a new sneak-peeky excerpt to post. Difficult, as always, since we want to avoid spoilers.
Today’s excerpt comes from Chapter Two, and it seemed to me like a nice little view into Megan’s life as the story begins.
I hope you enjoy it!
Note: This is from the pre-copyedited manuscript. The final printed version may vary slightly.)
Her cell phone buzzed from the depths of her purse, distracting her from the narrow and pitted little alley of her thoughts. It took her a minute to dig the damned thing out, especially after she banged her forehead on the edge of the desk.
“Oh, hey, Megan. I thought I’d be leaving a message.”
Her spirits raised. A little. “Hi, Brian. No, my patient—my appointment got cancelled. What’s up?”
Silence. Hmm, that probably wasn’t good. Brian Stone was an investigative reporter for the city’s largest paper, as well as her friend. As well as someone with a habit of pausing and considering his words very carefully when he had bad news to impart.
“Yeah, sorry. Actually, I don’t really want to talk over the phone. I was thinking maybe we could meet later?”
Okay, definitely not good, then. And she had a sneaking suspicion she knew what it was about, too. Brian had plenty of informants and pals in law enforcement, not least of whom was his girlfriend of nine months. “My last appointment ends at four. If you want to be at my house around four-thirty?”
“Will Greyson be there?”
She sighed. “Does it matter?”
“Well… Not normally. But this time, yeah.”
A lie. It always mattered, and she’d given up. “He won’t be there.”
“Okay. I’ll see you around four-thirty, then.”
After they’d hung up she stared at the phone. Bad news from Brian. At least she assumed it was bad news; it was entirely possible it wasn’t, but she didn’t think he’d be so damned cagey on the phone if it was. People didn’t usually refuse to share things like “I just won the Pulitzer!” over the phone. And they especially didn’t check to make sure one would be alone when they imparted such news. Hell, if Brian ever won a Pulitzer he’d want to make sure Greyson was there, so he could rub it in a little.
That wasn’t entirely fair. The two men didn’t hate each other. They just didn’t like each other much. Silliness.
If Brian was going to tell her about the FBI agent, or that there was some sort of big investigation happening… That could be a problem.
Her previous FBI visits had been taken care of easily. She told Greyson; Greyson sent someone—she didn’t know who and she didn’t want to know—over to “discuss” the situation with the agent. Which probably involved hypnotism or some other sneaky psychological trick if it didn’t involve outright bribery, but did not, as far as she knew, involve any bloodshed.
But her previous FBI visits, and the ones she knew the other Gretnegs dealt with on a semi-regular basis, involved one or two agents acting on a tip or a hunch or whatever. Easy to tie up the loose ends when only a few people were involved. If this was getting big enough for Brian to have heard about it, it probably wouldn’t be so easy to clean up.
Not to mention that Brian was psychic, too, which meant Brian was not easily hypnotized. Brian wouldn’t forget the investigation. And Brian hated her involvement with the demon world.
Because Brian was sensible. Because Brian was able to be objective. So Brian could see how the merest hint of impropriety could destroy her career. She had a public image to protect; she had a weekly radio show. She didn’t particularly enjoy the radio show but it certainly provided her with much-needed income, or rather, the income from it enabled her to charge her patients based on their incomes rather than a flat rate. Which she enjoyed. The radio show also enabled her to provide at least some form of counseling to people who really needed it and wouldn’t have gotten it any other way.
All that could crumble, if the public discovered she was involved with a criminal.
The sensible thing to do would be to end that involvement. Well, no. The sensible thing to do would have been to end that involvement back when it started. Back when she really realized what she was getting into; back when she really realized she wasn’t just having fun, wasn’t just enjoying a casual and extremely satisfying physical relationship, but was… Emotionally involved. And that those stupid emotions could destroy everything she’d worked so hard for.
So much for sensible.