Abandoned by her mother at a police station, Megan Stonebridge has no idea who she is or why a demon haunts her nightmares. When the dreams become a frightening reality, she questions her sanity. Putting her faith in a locket inscribed with ancient runes left with her by her mother, Megan must unlock the meaning of the runes before the demon drags her into the underworld. In fear for her life, Megan unknowingly casts a spell that summons a handsome warlock to help her dump her demon.
14+ for adult situations
Mac smiled brilliantly and spun around in his chair to retrieve a large, cardboard box from the floor. “Today, I want you to start scanning the back issues. When we extended the print shop, we found a stack of old newspapers in the attic. This box goes back to 1890. Treat them with care, because the museum has agreed to take the originals once we’re done. Make a file for each year and input all the data in chronological order. Back up the files each day. Questions?”
Yes, why do I get the boring jobs? She suppressed a grimace, dragged the box across the desk, and hoisted it onto her hip. “No, sir.”
Unexpectedly, she found the old, musty copies of the Windy Cove Weekly interesting and giggled at the advertisements: Outrageous cartoons, promoting the benefits of bottles of life-extending elixir or rheumatism remedy. “Dr. Pierce’s Fountain, Nasal Injector, a contraption, to use with catarrh remedy sold at 60c.” She cringed overa gruesome drawing depicting a bloody tooth with the offer: “Dr. Benjamin (Painless) Brown Teeth pulled—the fourth one is free.”
Megan forced her mind to concentrate on the job at hand, but found not reading interesting glimpses of history difficult. She picked up a copy dated June 15, 1890 and scanned the first page. She blinked and the hairs on the back of her neck prickled at the bold headline across the page, “Girl Sees Demon At The Foot Of Her Bed”. What? She bent low over the desk to read the yellowing paper and a pulse pounded in her ears.
Annie’s voice broke her concentration. “Megan.”
What now? She dragged her attention away from the story and met the woman’s gaze. The receptionist pulled a face and tapped her wristwatch. Megan checked the clock on the wall and bit her bottom lip—it was almost lunchtime. Only two newspapers sat in the Outbox. She had spent far too much time browsing the advertisements. With no time to read the entire article, Megan quickly activated the scanner and hit the print command.
I’ll take a copy home.
To her dismay, Mac sauntered out of his office and strolled toward her. She flicked him a glance and continued to scan the other pages. To her left, the copy slid silently from the printer. Megan removed the newspaper from the scanner, refolded it carefully, and placed it in the Outbox. Her gaze focused on the copy lying in the printer tray. The headline spun out of focus and dripped down the page in long, inky rivulets. At once, the dripping ink reversed, moving across the paper in spidery footprints. Megan blinked twice, staring at a new headline forming in the wet ink. It read, “Megan Summons Demon Lover To Her Bedroom.”
What the...? Trembling, she moved closer to the printer to examine the copy. She had to be hallucinating or something. Shit. Her name leapt out at her from the headline. The age stains surrounding the article shimmered and merged, to form a grinning, horned beast. The inside of her head vibrated with masculine laughter, octaves below any she could recall. Without warning, her head tipped back, and her lips froze under a ghostly kiss. The sickly, sweet smell of violets hung heavy in the air. A wave of nausea hit her and she staggered, knees weak, to slump against the desk. With damp, shaky hands, she gripped the back of the chair. Her vision blurred and sharp pain shot through her temples.
“Sit down, Megan.” Mac took her arm and guided her into a chair. “Have you eaten today?”
Oh, not now, please not now. Megan pressed fingers deep into her forehead. What excuse could she give Mac? Sorry, sir, but I see demons...I promise it won’t affect my job...I’m totally cool with it. I see the things on a daily basis...yeah, right. The man would have her at the funny farm within the hour. She gazed up into Mac’s worried face. He knew everything about her—heck, she’d hidden nothing about her pitiful existence to date. True, the man had kept her confidences and given her sound advice, but could she trust him with this craziness? The room moved in and out of focus, and bile rushed up into the back of her throat. “Yes...I...I just have a headache.”