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Excerpt Day: Objects in the Mirror by Reno MacLeod & Jaye Valentine

StarCrossed 3: Objects in the Mirror by Reno MacLeod & Jaye Valentine
Release Date: Mar 11, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-60370-651-3
ISBN (10): 1-60370-651-8
Publisher: Torquere Press
Publisher Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1841

Blurb: StarCrossed 3: Objects in the Mirror takes us back to the town of Salem, Massachusetts, where the populace is busy making up for its witch-burning reputation by letting all manner of unusual folks live there. Jace and Konnor are demon twins grabbing a second chance at life, but trouble starts when local clergy are brutally murdered, and the Salem Special Council is asked to investigate. Twenty years should be enough to leave their past behind, but it comes charging after the brothers with an unholy vengeance. When one falls under suspicion for the murders, it shatters the heart of the other. Only an unlikely alliance of angels, vampires, were-creatures, and humans can help the brothers and keep the secret of supernatural beings living in Salem safe from the outside world. The clock is ticking.

Excerpt:

Jace took the lead as they entered the study, his gaze turning immediately to the detective. A crackle of tension streaked down his spine. Sam didn't look like she was there on a social call. He shifted his attention from her to his adoptive father.

"You wanted to see us?"

"Just you, actually," Gennady said from behind his desk. "You don't need Konnor here, do you, Samantha?"

Sam shook her head. "No, only Jace."

Konnor's brow wrinkled. "What the--"

"Why don't you go see if you can entertain Fallon for a while, Konnor." Gennady looked up briefly at the beautiful portrait of Fallon that Jace had painted recently. He smiled at Jace then addressed Konnor. "Fallon seems bored, and I've got a busy day lined up. I'm sure he'll appreciate your company."

Konnor persisted. "Jace, what the hell is--"

"That wasn't a request, Konnor." Gennady jerked his head toward the door. "Go. Find Fallon. Now."

Konnor shot a concerned glance in Jace's direction, and then slipped out the door without further protest.

"Have a seat, Jace," Gennady said.

Jace didn’t move. Instincts died hard and, for him, some of those primal urges had never fully diminished. He sensed the low level of hostility in the room growing, and without Konnor at his side he felt vulnerable.

"Jace," Gennady said in a soft, hushed tone. "Please, sit down. It'll be all right."

Sam moved from her spot against the wall to sit on one corner of Gennady's large desk, facing the two guest chairs positioned a few feet away. She nodded her head subtly toward the seats.

Jace ticked his eyes from Sam to Gennady and back again. He wrinkled his upper lip slightly, sitting gingerly as if expecting the chair to be electrified, and he kept his gaze glued on Sam. "Why the inquisition?"

"Nice to see you again, too, Jace," said Sam with a smirk. "I won't waste your time. Corny as it sounds, where were you last night between the hours of midnight and four a.m.?"

Jace felt his jaw clench. "Out. Why?" The tight feeling in his chest spread outward. "It was Konnor's turn to run Tailz last night. I left him at the bar then I took a drive over to Cambridge for some dancing and drinks. Found some twenty-year-old man-pussy and went home with him. Last I checked, that's not a crime in Massachusetts."

Sam's eyes rolled. "Charming. Does your friend have a name? Maybe a phone number?"

Jace smirked. "He's not interested in women, sweetheart, but if you're in need I might be able to give you what--" A sharp look from Gennady cut the insult short, and Jace turned his remaining words into a sharp snort. He dropped his head back against the chair and found a place on the ceiling to stare at as he spoke. "I don’t get their phone numbers, Detective. It's usually never more than a one-night fuck. I think this one's name was Mark, but I'm not really sure."

Sam plucked the manila folder from the edge of Gennady's desk. She tossed it onto Jace's lap. "Take a look. According to the forensics report, it happened last night sometime between the hours of midnight and four. Tell me what you see."

Jace opened the folder and pulled out the photos. A natural-born hunter himself, gruesome scenes weren't something that upset him. He looked through the five glossies with a careful and critical eye. "Someone doesn’t like priests. Might be one of those little boys from thirty years ago come to bring justice to his abuser."

"Nah, this man was spotless." Sam yawned and scrubbed a hand down her face. "Sorry, I've been up all night, and I'm about half a pot low in the caffeine department. Anyway, it looks to me like the killer is someone who hates religion in general, not simply this individual priest. Putting the body on display like that, pinned up crucifixion-style to his own church door? That's definitely sending a message. And the way the guy's head is twisted around one-eighty tells me that our perp is incredibly strong. As in possibly-not-human strong."

Gennady picked up the phone on his desk. He pressed a single button, said, "Coffee, please, and maybe some snacks," and then hung up again. "Caffeine is on its way. I apologize for the interruption."

Sam nodded, her eyes fixed on Jace.

"You think I did this?" Jace shuffled through the photos again, this time paying more attention to the gory details. The broken neck had almost certainly been how death had finally come to the priest, but it certainly wasn’t the only injury. Something had torn the man's belly open, and even to the untrained eye it looked as if something had feasted on the man's innards. "I'll give you that it looks like something supernatural did this, but I swear it wasn't me." Jace shrugged, a whisper of a smile on his lips. "I wouldn’t have left the body. Waste of good meat. Besides, I have no need to leave some cryptic bullshit symbolism behind regarding my distaste for religious assholes. That's no big secret, and everyone knows that if I have something to say about it, I'll just fucking say it."

Gennady visibly winced.

"I'm going to do you a favor, Jace, and pretend like I didn't hear any of that." Sam pushed away from the desk. She glanced over her shoulder at Gennady and gave him a shrugging oh well look before turning back to Jace. "I need you to come down to the station for questioning. You can ride with me, or I can meet you there." She shot Gennady a glance on her way out. "I suggest you get on the phone, my friend. I'm afraid your boy is in need of a lawyer."
Tags: author: jaye valentine, author: reno macleod, excerpt
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