An Urban Fantasy Mystery
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Werewolves are immune to every illness and can heal any wound. It should be impossible for one to become possessed by a demon. But that’s exactly what Seth Wilder is facing: a werewolf gone insane from possession. He has no choice but to deliver her to the only exorcist in America, Elise Kavanagh, who also happens to be a powerful demon known as the Godslayer.
Elise is in hiding when Seth and Rylie Gresham, Alpha werewolf, arrive seeking her help. She agrees, but everything has its price. What they learn about the possessed werewolf changes everything — Hell and Earth, the pack, and the future of the entire world…
It was dark on Capitol Hill that night—much too dark. There were streetlights to burn away the night, but by the time Senator Peterson reached them, they would snuff out like candles. The fountains that should have been illuminated were dark. The streets, normally bright with traffic, were devoid of life.
Dawn, and its accompanying safety, was hours away.
Until then, the senator was alone with the night.
“Light,” he gasped, pulling at the neck of his jacket. The fog of his evaporating breath billowed around his face. “I need light.” His words fell flat on the air, as if he were speaking into an invisible wall.
Harsh winter air burned at his lungs as he raced for the next street lamp. The pool of light on the sidewalk looked like the sweet promise of safety.
It blinked out the moment his foot touched it.READ MORE
Senator Peterson gave a ragged sob, no longer worried about people seeing him melt down in public. In fact, he would have been grateful for a swarm of reporters to take photos of his tear-streaked face, especially if they brought flash bulbs. Anything for a witness. Anything for light.
But there was nobody to see him there. All of the normal joggers, lawyers, security guards, and Union officials had somehow vanished.
He was alone. So very alone.
The senator ran up the stairs to his office, slipping on the half-melted snow as he attempted to pull the Bluetooth earpiece from his pocket. His hands scrabbled at the iron railing. When he caught himself, he nearly wrenched his shoulder out of its socket.
The earpiece slipped from his fingers and landed in a puddle.
“No, oh no…”
The lights in the building across the street turned off all at once, as though a power outage had hit the block. But there was no wind, no downed power line, no electrical problems.
Misty fingers of fog slid along the street, devouring everything on the ice-slicked road he had left behind.
Senator Peterson didn’t bother trying to retrieve the earpiece from the puddle.
He badged into his office building and slammed the door behind him, chest heaving. The lights were still on there. His entire body flooded with a relief so powerful that he almost fell over.
He allowed himself a pause, leaning against a wall to catch his breath and treasuring the glow of light on his skin.
“Thank the Lord,” he said.
Maybe he was safe. Maybe it wouldn’t follow him here.
He pushed the curtains aside to look through. Clouds hung in the sky overhead, heavy and violet with the promise of snow yet to come. He couldn’t see the building on the other side of the street anymore, nor could he see the sidewalk and lawn leading up to his offices. Even the stairs were being taken by that mist.
There was a figure moving in the fog.
Heart hammering, he let the curtains fall shut.
The senator turned on every light switch he passed, burning the shadows out of the corners of the hallway, behind the receptionist’s desk, in the elevators.
Senator Peterson reached his offices on the third floor to find that everyone had gone home already. His staff had been working long hours on the preternatural regulations bill, and there should have been at least an unpaid intern or two suffering at her workstation. Yet every desk was empty. The computers were powered off. He had never seen the building so empty.
He grabbed the phone off of an intern’s desk and punched in a phone number. It rang once before someone answered. “Hello?”
“Gary?” asked the senator.
Lucky again. First lights, now he had reached Gary Zettel. Maybe Senator Peterson wasn’t about to die after all.
“I need you to come to my office right now,” the senator said, approaching the windows that should have overlooked the courtyard. He could see nothing beyond the glass but the reflection of a pale, terrified old man with tufts of white hair and a suit too baggy for his frail form. “As quickly as possible. It’s an emergency.”
“Sir, with all due respect, we have a week to work on this bill. I have other commitments that need—”
“This isn’t about the damn bill! Someone is chasing me!”
Zettel’s voice sharpened. “What?”
How could he explain that the night was chasing him without sounding insane? No—there was no time for that. “Send a team right away. I’ll explain when you get here.”
Senator Peterson dropped the phone.
The fluorescent lights flickered.
He jumped, staring at the ceiling. The lights stopped flickering immediately, but it was enough to flood his system with fear again.
There was an antique blunderbuss over the desk in his personal office. He didn’t think it had been fired since his grandfather passed away, but he suddenly wanted to hold it in his hands very desperately.
The lights continued flickering as he staggered through the rows of desks toward his door, dripping snowmelt on the carpet. He shed his loose jacket, removed his tie. It wasn’t easier to breathe with less clothing. He still felt like he was smothering. Like the fog had taken up permanent residence in his lungs.
He jumped into his office in time for all of the lights to die.
Senator Peterson slammed the door and pressed his back to it. It was pitch black inside his office, but it wasn’t the tangible darkness that had been chasing him outside. That was on the other side of the door. Moonlight streamed through the window in silvery rays of hope.
His hand fumbled for the light switch.
The ceiling lights didn’t come on, but his desk lamp did. It illuminated the blunderbuss on his wall, the mess of paperwork on his desk, and the leather executive chair facing his window.
Senator Peterson took two steps toward his desk before the chair spun around.
A woman sat at Senator Peterson’s desk, and she had brought the night with her. Her hair seemed to melt into the black void of her leather jacket, isolating the white circle of her face, the spheres of her breasts lifted by an overbust corset. She was unaffected by the bite of winter. She was the bite of winter.
“Oh God,” he said.
The woman’s expression was almost pitying, but her blood-red lips curved into a frown.
Did she fear religious relics? Could his cross protect him? He fumbled to extract the rosary from underneath his shirt. “Begone!” he cried, shaking the crucifix at her.
She lifted an eyebrow. A bone-white finger drummed on his desk impatiently.
The rosary slipped from his trembling fingers. It bounced under his desk where he couldn’t see it. The woman didn’t even flinch. She stood smoothly, getting between Senator Peterson and his blunderbuss.
“I just—you didn’t—can’t we talk about this?” he asked, ashamed at how quickly his tone became whining.
“The time for talking has passed, Senator,” she said.
He screamed. She shattered into shadow.COLLAPSE