Read a sample from OTHERWORLD NIGHTS by Kelley Armstrong
A collection of stories based around the bestselling Women of the Otherworld series including a brand-new novella!
If the world was a fair place, everyone who ever summoned a demon would explode the moment he said the first words. Preferably before he had the chance to pass on his dumbass DNA to anyone else. When does the summoning of the demonic ever end well? Well, not unless I’m the one doing it, but I’m a pro. Also, part demon. Which helps.
I peered into a half-finished apartment splattered with what remained of the guy who’d summoned this particular demon. There wasn’t a piece left bigger than my fist. While I was tempted to snap photos as a warning to other potential summoners, I had a job to do—namely, find the damned demon before he took a more innocent victim.
My business card says, Savannah Levine, private investigator. I’m still working on fulfilling the job title. At twenty-two, there’s a learning curve. I’ve been with the agency since I was sixteen, but until last year I was the receptionist. My guardians—Paige and Lucas—run it. My boyfriend—Adam—is the only other employee. It’s a family business, if your definition of family is flexible. Mine is.
My backup was taking a while to arrive. Not surprising, given that Adam was in Chicago, and Paige and Lucas were clear across Portland handling another case. I’d gotten the call about a potential demon-summoning and arrived here to discover that “potential” meant “happening right this moment.” That’s when I’d called Paige.
So I was slinking through a half-finished apartment complex by myself, trying to capture this demon before it found the exit. Fortunately, it wasn’t very smart. Unfortunately, it knew I was tailing its ass . . . and it liked to talk.
“I just have one thing left to say to you, witch,” it yelled, its voice echoing down the hall.
“If only,” I muttered.
“Can you guess what it is?”
“‘Stop me before I kill again’? Happy to oblige.”
It snorted. “I’m going to kill again. And again, and again. And do you know why?”
I stopped to zero in on its voice. “Because you’re a demon.”
“Because you don’t want me to. Because for all your tough talk, you’re as big a bleeding heart as Lucas Cortez. He ruined you, and now you’re just as weak as he is, because all I need to do is threaten to kill a few humans and you’ll . . .”
“Does it ever shut up?” a voice whispered in my ear.
A hand clamped over my mouth before I could cast a spell. I recognized the voice. I still clocked him in the chest.
Adam let out a soft oomph as I followed the blow with a kiss.
“You’re back early,” I said.
“Surprise.” He pulled back, then whispered, “You okay?”
“Because I just snuck up on you and didn’t catch an energy bolt in the gut.”
“Sorry. Yeah.” I made a face. “Distracted. Bad day to be on call alone.” Before he could ask what was distracting me, I said, “But I’m not alone anymore, so let’s put this bastard down and get home, where you can help me clear my head. It’s been a long—and lonely—two weeks.” I motioned toward the demon’s voice, still babbling. “Is there a subtype that kills by boring its victims to death?”
“Nope, I think it’s just this one. But at least we always know where it is.”
“And it’s too busy yapping to know I’ve got a friend. Let’s take advantage.”