Excerpt Monday time! 😀 The following is an excerpt from Severed Spirits Rising, a prequel to my urban fantasy / paranormal romance Shadowguard series with LSB. 🙂
I made my way to the bar, squeezing my way through the throng of people. “I hate crowds,” I muttered under my breath, strengthening my shields so I didn’t enter the TMI zone. Sometimes being an empath sucks.
Eventually, I got to the bar and let out a sigh of relief. The bartender came up to me, a cheery grin on his face. He almost had to yell to be heard. “What’s your poison?”
“None, thanks,” I yelled back. I fumbled in my pocket for the picture of Nancy and held it up to him. “But I was wondering if you recognized this woman?”
He took a closer look. “Oh, Nan! Yeah, she’s a regular here. Doesn’t dress like that, though.”
I glanced at the frilly white pinafore she wore in the picture and laughed. “No, I would suppose not. When’s the last time you saw her here?”
He held up his hand and walked over to the other bartender and said something to her. She nodded, and he came back to me. “Let’s step outside, where it’s quieter.”
“Great idea,” I said, and followed him outside and down the street a bit. I shivered; it wasn’t that cold outside, but compared to the heat of the club, it might ‘s well have been the Arctic.
“By the way, I’m Jared,” he said with a smile.
“Arielle,” I offered in return, then decided to get the discussion back on track. “So when’s the last time you saw Nancy?”
Jared rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “Last Saturday. She didn’t show on Wednesday, which had some of us concerned. She almost never misses a day unless something’s really wrong.” His eyes snapped to me. “Is that why you’re here? Did something happen?”
I bit my lip. Great. Time to drop the bomb. “Nancy died Wednesday night.Â The cops ruled it a suicide, but her boyfriend and I don’t think that’s true. We think something else happened.”
His face went pale as a china teacup. “Oh my god. I had no idea.”
Oh, great. Jared looked like he was about to cry. I felt awkward as an anorexic hippo performing Swan Lake. I don’t do comfort well. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I wish there was something I could say.”
His eyes snapped to mine. “There isn’t. But there is something you can do.”
“Find out who did this and bring them to justice.” Jared set his jaw, eyes blazing with fury. “It’s too late to save Nan, but maybe you can save someone else from ending up like her.”
“That’s the plan.”
Check out a few of the other Excerpt Monday pieces here: