Pure Souls Book Three: Want a peek?
I released the first book in the Pure Souls series in the fall of 2012, and book two in the spring of 2013. Here it is, the white cap wave of summer 2014, and book three is WAY, WAY overdue. I have been working on it, lovelies, but real life, work, multiple obligations, yada yada yada. It WILL be out this summer, though as yet I can’t give a more definite date. I will, however, be revealing the cover later this month.
Book Three, With God Intentions, will continue right were book two left off. In this installment, Dee’s going to have to deal with his daddy issues, the pain of his past, and figure out where he’s heading in the future. Riona and Jerry are also going to be dealing with the fallout of their ruse-turned-true-romance, all while Ramiel struggles with his feelings for Persephone, and Persephone’s for her own husband, Hades.
Hades… Let’s talk about him for just a second, shall we? What a dripping piece of “meow” he is. I always knew the underworld’s original overseer would be hot, but I didn’t know he’d also be so sophisticated with a hidden layer of sensitivity. He’s a treat, ladies, and I can’t wait for you to meet him
To help tide you over, I thought you might enjoy reading this chapter, which was to have been the first chapter of WGI, but which I decided to replace with something from Dee’s perspective. Still, I love getting in Molly Dade’s airspace and doing loops. She’s such a kick. This scene takes place smack after the wedding that concluded book two. Enjoy!
Few things gave the old woman a thrill like the crackle of the match head as it exploded into flame. Ogling the three hot-as-hell hunks dressed to the nines and chasing their own confused tails around the bar came pretty damned close, however.
Fishing a single cigarette from the pack of Virginia Slims, Molly Dade pushed the lit match to the tip of her smoke and took a seat at the far end of the club where she could have the best view. The last of the opportunistic strangers who’d shown up to her daughter’s wedding, freeloaders there just for food and booze, made his way out of the door. Now, only the Body-by-Jake devotees remained, barking in confusion to each other in Ancient Greek.
She cleared the phlegm in one hoarse cough before calling out, “Take a breather, boys!”
Each of the three men took note of her shrunken figure across the dance floor and stopped, blinking in confusion to find someone left behind.
The first spike of nicotine tinged her tongue as she sucked in a carcinogenic cloud of candy. “You act like there’s some sort of emergency. This isn’t the Apocalypse. Not yet. Settle down and take in the coming attractions.”
The only one of them whose name she could remember, Chipper, took a few steps in her direction. “Lady, you shouldn’t be here. There’s some serious shit … shit, I’m sorry, stuff going on and I don’t think you’re safe. Why don’t you shuffle on out of here and grab a cab before you get hurt?”
The bittersweet ache of chemicals saturated what was left of her lungs, along with the sting of what poignant memories and knowledge her brain still afforded her these days. The pieces didn’t join, but they floated on the water’s surface of her consciousness closely enough for her to figure out the shape of the boat that’d sunk beneath the waves.
“You’re weredogs, aren’t you? I haven’t ever seen any of your kind, but I can tell by the way you’re all howling and yipping that’s what you are.”
“Name’s Molly Dade,” Molly said. “Mother of the bride. Used to be a time when a title like that meant you got a little respect at the wedding. Now I guess it means everyone runs for cover and leaves an old woman behind to wash the dishes and sweep the floor.”
The head hound swiveled a chair and straddled it, taking a seat across the table from her. “This wasn’t a real wedding, Mrs. Dade. And it’s over now.”
“Didn’t start off as one, but unless my eyes deceived me, that was an angel conducting the ceremony. Hard to get a marriage bound more concrete than that. By the way, I prefer Miss Dade, if you’d please, lover. Riona’s dad got the milk for free, along with everything else.”
“Miss Dade,” Chipper amended. “I don’t know what’s going on, but I know Dee wouldn’t tell everyone to evacuate for shit and giggles. We can’t get into the office upstairs; the door’s locked, but our keys and our security codes aren’t working. The bride and groom are missing, and my master’s going to have my head in the hellfire if something happens to this club.”
Chipper nodded. “Persephone.”
“Ah, I see.” With a flick, a smattering of ash tipped off her cigarette and landed on the floor. “You’re cerebi.”
His back straightened, and Chipper’s head turned up at an angle that made him look like a confused puppy. “How do you know about cerebi?”
With her cigarette wedged in her fingers, Molly twirled her hand. “Sonny, I’ve been around the block a time or two, and I’ve worked every corner. Now, let’s focus on the present. That’s pretty much all I got left these days. If there’s nothing to be done, then the only thing to be done is nothing.”
Cerebi: loyal, generous, tough as titanium tits on a totem pole, but not that bright.
“Cool your jets, Fido. Sometimes the best action is inaction.”
At his heed, the other two men—who may or may not have been his brothers but oh, wasn’t that one family reunion she wouldn’t mind showing up to and pretending to be the crazy, kiss-you-on-the-lips aunt—heeled. They took stools at the bar, motionless and waiting for their commands. Molly measured time in languid, billowy puffs, two to a minute. Most of the time, she sat about, waiting for death, and hopefully, for an absolution she knew damned well she didn’t deserve. Therefore, she knew how to play this game. When one waited around as much as she did—i.e. for visits from your daughter, for your past to catch up to you, for the last of your memories to disappear either because of demons or disease—you developed an advanced ability to just be.
On the inhale of the sixth puff, the office door at the top of the stairs was thrown open, slamming against the wall. The cerebi stirred, running about and barking questions like the well-trained guard dogs they were. Molly wasn’t aware of any flames nipping at her ass, so she continued watching from her spot, snubbing out the butt of the cigarette on the bottom side of the table.
Ramiel emerged first, his arms filled by the figure of a godly warrior, if ever she’d seen one. As they reached the floor of the club, she realized it was that nice boy with the tight ass she’d suspected to be shacking up with her daughter, before this whole wedding came out of nowhere. Turned out, Riona was actually in love with the other guy from Thanksgiving dinner, the Jerry guy. For reasons she couldn’t figure out, he’d been wearing a glamour then, but what did she know of the ways of witches in this era? However, what Molly did know from the first time she’d seen the way that man looked at her daughter was that he loved Riona with every ounce of his being. She could also see her daughter loved that guy too, but just hadn’t gotten there in her own head. Riona would, though. Stubborn as a mule, her girl was, but she couldn’t fight fate forever. Since Molly wasn’t much longer for this life, she was glad at least that her daughter had found someone who’d both take care of her and give her hell after she was gone.
“What happened?” Chipper pulled an old timey clear-the-bar move, pushing trays half-filled with slices of lamb and potatoes on to the floor.
Ramiel and Jerry deposited Dee’s massive frame on the bar. The heartthrob’s shoulders overflowed the space, making it look like they were performing a poorly improvised scene of a play on stage filled with scale furniture.
“Michael’s a traitor. That bastard joined the Grigori.”
Grigori? Michael? Why did that sound so familiar?
The alpha cerebus’s hands threaded through his spiked hair. “What the fuck? I thought Michael was Riona’s dad.”
Molly grimaced. Riona’s dad … Michael, was that right? She’d cursed it so many times; it used to come to her lips automatically whenever she yelled at Riona as a child. But it was Matt, wasn’t it? Or Mitch? No, wait! It was Mike! Oh, which was short for Michael. And Michael was … who? Why had she been trying to remember that?
“He is her dad,” Jerry confirmed as he rounded the bar, pulling out the water hose from the server’s area and spraying it into a towel. He perched himself on the side of the bar, intermittently dabbing his friend’s face with the cloth and trying to smack some consciousness into him.
Molly stood, making use of her cane to start a drag-and-drop across the club, her oxygen tank in tow. “And just where is my daughter, then?”
Her new son-in-law didn’t seemed fazed in the slightest to see she had stuck around. “Safe, Molly. I made sure of it. Michael or the rest of those fallen bastards can’t go where she is. At least, not very easily.” He turned back to Chipper. “There’s something else. Marc showed up early, and he … Oh, damn him. I’d kill him if he wasn’t already dead.”
“But you didn’t.” Overtones of accusation colored Ramiel’s comment. “I don’t get it! You had a clear shot. I had Michael busy, and you could have vanquished Marc easily. You could have eliminated that whole threat, so why didn’t you?”
Jerry rolled his eyes. “Because when he begged her to come with him, I could see how much he loves her.”
“So?” Ramiel’s eyebrows pitched at an angle.
“Demons aren’t supposed to be able to love, but he does. There’s a reason for that, and I want to know what it is,” Jerry answered. He turned his attention back to Dee and the topic back to his wife. “I have to get to Riona ASAP. I don’t want to give Father Feely another go at seducing my wife. God damn it, Dee, wake the hell up! Ramiel, can’t you do something?”
The angel swallowed, shaking his head. “I can help you guys with skinned knees and VD, but battle wounds from encounters with demons are not covered under your policy. Sorry.”
Nobody paid Molly much heed as she approached, allowing herself to get a gander at the man using the serving bar as a gurney. With a sigh, Jerry rested his hands over his friend’s chest, observing the slow rise and fall.
“I’m going to call an ambulance, then. We can just tell them he said he was having chest pains, say he collapsed.”
As Jerry turned for the phone on the back side of the bar, Molly managed with Chipper’s help to maneuver herself atop one of the bar stools. She looked down at the man who was obviously something more than merely human, noting the stubble around the edges of his face that made him look like some gorgeous model, his black hair with just enough wave to draw the eye but not so curly that it looked permed. Her elderly eyes narrowed, relaxing her field of vision and looking at the energy dancing around him. She couldn’t read auras like a Pure Soul could, but she could see the flow of power wrapping in a languid swirl around him.
“Witches, angels, demons, werewolves … It’s all like some fairy tale,” she muttered, running her wrinkled index finger over Dee’s jawbone.
“We’re actually weredogs.” One of the other cerebi, she didn’t bother to figure out which, cleared his throat. “Werewolves are wild, we’re very domesticated.”
“And better lovers,” Chipper chipped in. “And a hell of a lot more handsome.”
Molly ignored their prattle and bit down on her lip, testing the resolve of her denture bonding powder. “Seems to me when you have fairy tale problems, you don’t need an ER. You need fairy tale solutions.”
“Molly, what are you … Molly!”
As if any one of the male types around her had half the balls she did to do what needed to be done. Or the motivation. To hell with the age difference, she was not going to let an opportunity like this go to waste. Molly used the edge of the bar to lift her chest high before leaning her small frame down and pressing her lips to Dee’s. Somewhat cognizant of the gasps around her, she gave all the fuck of a fraggle what they thought. Kissing Dee Zitka may not actually help anything, but to hell with that and a rubber duck if it made matters worse.
When she did pull away, it had nothing to do with any sort of feeling of inappropriateness. Hell, if this was a demigod, as she suspected, he might actually be older than her. What did break the kiss, and stole her Hercules from under her, was the own man’s muttered plea that she stop. Dee rolled off the server side of the bar, landing in a heap on the floor, crashing into the tray of lamb.
“What the hell?” He pressed his fingertips against his lips, like he was checking for a bite mark.
A rush of adrenaline unlike anything she’d felt in twenty years charged through her system. Molly Dade pivoted and hopped off the stool with the spring of a sixty year old. “You’re welcome. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I need another smoke.”