Medium and paranormal investigator Arabella Pierce is sent with her crew to Kingston Cottage, a haunted Maine seafarer’s cottage on an isolated island, but for this investigation, her boss has stuck them with skeptical reporter Lucas Brown. Though he’s hot as they come, Arabella can’t trust a man whose sole job is to discredit her and the work she does. Not after what happened with the last few skeptics…
All Lucas may want is the truth, but that doesn’t change her feelings towards him. When the ghosts appear, she and Lucas must work together—in tight quarters—to convince the resident ghosts to move on before a storm strands the entire crew on the island. Can Arabella put aside her prejudices long enough to see what the ghosts are trying to tell her? And if she does, will she and Lucas have a shot at a lifetime?
Hands on her hips, Arabella Pierce stood scowling at her boss. “I cannot believe you’re making me do this.”
Folger Dade expressed nothing but patience as he leaned forward in his chair and rested his forearms on his small mahogany desk––his normal position when the two of them were headed into an argument. “It’s a business decision that had to be made. I regret doing this to you on short notice, but this is how it is.”
She sat down in the comfy blue wingback chair facing the desk. “I am a paranormal investigator. I see dead people, for goodness sake! And you want me to deal with this, this—”
“Reporter. He’s a reporter for Debunker Media, and he wants to follow you on an investigation, as part of his series of web articles on psychics and ghosts.”
“And you thought it was a good idea to hinder me like that? Don’t you remember what happened with the last two skeptics you had hunt with us?” The memory made her blood boil. Skeptics weren’t meant to go on serious investigations—she’d learned that at an early age.
Sure, organizations like Debunker Media were necessary, to help arm the public against frauds and cheats. Unfortunately, there were plenty of people who were not gifted but wanted to be, as well as quite a few fraudsters out to steal people’s money. Not to mention many individuals who enjoyed making fun of people like her.
She pursed her lips and sat silent as Folger sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. Arabella knew she was the only investigator to give him so much grief in all his long years in the business—she was certain she was responsible for the majority of gray hair on his head. But he put up with it from her for a reason, and that was because she was one of his two best mediums.
He dropped his hand and met her eyes. “It’s good press, and it’s one week with a reporter. One week that could boost our caseload and bring in more money so we can continue to do those cases for free. Please, don’t fight me on this one.”
She looked away from his light gray eyes. Revenant Investigations—based in Noble, Maine—did all of their cases for free, getting their money instead from fundraising and private donations. Folger worked very hard to keep it that way. He had always been like a father to her, and she didn’t want to fight with him. Yet she didn’t want a so-called “reporter” hampering her investigation, either.
“Does he know the rules?” she asked, resignation in her tone.
“Yes,” he said with a sigh, and a healthy dose of relief. “And I also informed him of the other skeptics I’ve allowed on hunts, and what I’ll do if he gives you that kind of grief.”
Yeah, doesn’t make up for sending this one along. “And what investigation are we doing? You didn’t say.”
Arabella stared at him, shocked. “Are you serious?”
He nodded. “The owners contacted me last week, and informed me they need to sell the house as soon as possible. They want to put it on the market this month, due to personal reasons. In order to do that they need to know what’s inside and how to get rid of it.”
“No one has ever been allowed to investigate it…” she trailed off in awe.
Folger smiled. “Until now.”
She couldn’t help but return his smile. The feeling of a fresh, no-one-else-has-done-it hunt was too much of a thrill to pass up. Historic Kingston Cottage was located on a small island, all by itself, and had been rumored to be haunted since before Arabella was born. She had seen pictures and taken boat rides past the island, but she’d never set foot on the private property.
“When do we have to be at the docks?” she inquired as she stood, grabbing her coat off the back of the chair.
“Seven o’clock tomorrow morning. Don’t be late. Dustin is taking you over. But, Arabella—” She looked at him, knowing that tone. “It’s just going to be you, the reporter, Nick, and Lena. I need the rest of the crew on a different hunt.”
She paused at the door. Nick was one of their tech guys, and Lena was a lead investigator, like Arabella. Five more investigators rounded off the team. But the more she thought about Folger’s decision to use a small crew, the more it made sense, especially within the limited space of the cottage. “Nick and Lena,” she began, “do they know about the … ‘reporter’?”
Folger rolled his eyes, clearly hearing the quotation marks in her tone.
“Yes. I asked them not to speak of it until I talked to you myself. I think that was best, don’t you?”
Arabella chose to ignore the rolling eyes. “And the reporter?”
“He’ll be there at seven sharp as well. His name’s Lucas Brown, and he’s a serious reporter.”
She nodded slowly, not really believing him. “I’ll check in when we get there.”
“Please do, and be sure to pack extra clothes. You know how storms brew up suddenly here. I don’t want you all stranded without necessities. The owners left you some food. Expect to be on the island at least three days, maybe four. Oh, and there’s also a generator in the basement if you lose power.”
“Good to know, and it was nice of them to leave some food.”
“Yes. They’re good people.”
She found it a bit strange that the crew wasn’t going to meet the owners before the investigation, and stranger still that she had never met them. Noble was a small town along the central Maine coast—it was pretty rare not to put a name to a face.
“Arabella,” Folger called as she left his office. “Try not to push him into the bay.”
Libby Bishop is a paranormal romance/erotic author. She also writes dark fantasy/horror under the name October Weeks.
She loves reading, movies, Lindt dark chocolate, autumn, the SyFy Channel (Haven and Bitten!), and spending time with friends and family. She has one fat, fluffy, cat who thinks she’s queen of the house…and really, she is :)
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00G8NZGIO
Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/libby-bishop/