My phone rang, jangling me, and I half-fell from the futon.
I scrambled across the attic’s rough floorboards to the phone. “Hello?”
“It’s me,” Connor said.
My shoulders collapsed in relief. “What happened? Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” he said. “So’s the book.”
“I don’t care about the book.” I clambered to my feet and stared out the attic’s octagonal window. A cloud drifted in front of the waning moon. “It’s you I—” My throat thickened, choking off the words. “What happened?”
“We’re still figuring that out. There was an explosion in the evidence room.”
“The evidence…?” I tried to swallow. “Someone was after the book.”
“Yeah – probably the guy who came to your bookstore.”
“I think his name was Tom. He worked with explosives.” I told him about his tattoo and my other visitor.
“We’ll check her out,” he said grimly. “But if one of these two killed Mason for the book, why didn’t he or she take it?”
“Good question. How did the book survive the explosion?”
“I was examining it at my desk.”
“Examining?” I asked, alarmed. “Were you wearing gloves?”
He laughed, his voice a low rumble. “Don’t worry, I’ve learned a thing or two about handling old books from you. I had gloves.”
“That’s not—” I shook my head. “If the book’s what people think it is, it could be dangerous to handle.”
“As in cursed dangerous?” Connor’s voice sharpened. He knew a thing or three about curses.
“Nothing written in blood can be good. Was anyone hurt?”
“No. We got lucky. But I’ve got to go. It’s chaos here.”
“I’m glad you’re okay,” I said in a low voice.
We murmured goodbyes and hung up.
He was okay.
But I wasn’t. I should have been able to see him. I’d sensed magic but hadn’t been able to journey to him.
I was the problem.
I walked to the small, octagonal window and bit my bottom lip. Good news: If the problem was me, I had the power to fix it. Bad news: if fixing yourself was easy, everyone would be doing it.
Outside, a masculine figure shifted in the swirling snow.
He tilted his head upward, and a prickling heat washed over my scalp.
I was being watched.
Coming next in Episode 12: watchers and omens.
Photo (top) by Jessica Fadel on Unsplash. Photo below by Daniil Kuzelev on Unsplash.
About the Author
Kirsten Weiss has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine. The latter gives her heartburn, but she drinks it anyway.
Now based in San Mateo, CA, she writes genre-blending cozy mystery, supernatural and steampunk suspense, mixing her experiences and imagination to create vivid worlds of fun and enchantment.
If you like funny cozy mysteries, check out her Pie Town, Paranormal Museum and Wits’ End books. If you’re looking for some magic with your mystery, give the Witches of Doyle, Riga Hayworth and Rocky Bridges books a try. And if you like steampunk, the Sensibility Grey series might be for you.
Kirsten sends out original short stories of mystery and magic to her mailing list. If you’d like to get them delivered straight to your inbox, make sure to sign up for her newsletter at kirstenweiss.com
Feel free to follow her on Twitter @KirstenWeiss, on Tumblr at kweiss01, on Pinterest at KirstenWeiss, or on Bookbub, get in touch on Facebook, post a picture of this book to Instagram and tag her @kirstenweissauthor, or send her an email. She’ll answer you personally…which may be a good or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.