All it takes is one broken stitch for everything to come apart at the seams.
Sierra Fox, Book 2
Spook catcher Sierra Fox has paid her debt to the Spook Catcher Council. Life should be easier. Except everything is going to the dogs—or demons, as the case may be. Her boyfriend Jonathan is acting like a possessive jerk. She can’t stop drooling over Jason, her hunky, injured houseguest, who turns out to be a werewolf. To top it off, something seriously freaky is happening to spooks all over Sydney.
Prime example: a ghost who wants to hire her fades while inside her office, and soon they’re disappearing all over Sydney— sucked out of existence. When Sierra finds out who’s behind it, it’s more than just her own life at stake.
As the problems continue to mount, keeping her head above water is a daily battle. Add a stalking, feral animal who is determined to take a piece out of her hide—literally—and life is anything but a bunch of buttercups. Especially when those around her start dropping their façades.
Eventually, she knows, the dust will settle. Only this time, life as she knew it may never be the same.
Warning: Spook catching: Do not try this at home, if you’re under eighteen, or under the influence. Must be prepared to fight off ghosts, demons, weird black dogs and sexy werewolves… Okay, maybe not the werewolf.
SPLIT AT THE SEAMS EXCERPT:
“Something strange is definitely going on in this room. I can’t feel the dead like you, but I can certainly feel the unnatural nature of whatever is haunting her.” Oren actually looked uneasy. I’d never seen him this way. He was usually cool, calm and collected—in control of everything, and full of cryptic answers.
I took another step and my skin crawled. I struggled to suck in a shallow breath and exhaled, trying to focus on my surroundings. The room was painted off-white, the same color as the curtains separating each bed. The dividing curtains were all pulled open, displaying the neatly made beds with no charts hanging from the ends. Mara seemed to be the only patient and her bed was situated near the sole window. Her chart looked thick, the pages curling because they’d been handled so much.
The blinds over the window were slightly open and I could see day was already blending into night, which in summer meant it had to be past eight. So much for my day off! I hadn’t had a chance to do anything remotely relaxing.
We were high up, so the only things I could see in the distance were the winking lights of the city below and the clear indigo sky. No moon to look at yet.
When there was nowhere else for my gaze to stray, because I was standing at the end of Mara’s bed, I glanced down at her motionless body. I had so many questions but doubted she could answer any.
She was connected to a bunch of machines I couldn’t even begin to name. One made a continuous beeping sound, the rise and fall of a vertical line marking her steady heartbeat. There were other things connected to her arms, including an IV unit. A thick tube was pressed into her mouth and her eyes were closed, both arms at her sides as if she were already dead.
“It’s not pretty, is it?”
For the second time while inside this hospital, I jumped. I turned enough to find Mara standing beside me. Her long, straight, black hair hung down to her waist, shiny and silky, not limp and dirty like it really looked. She was also wearing low-ride jeans and a clingy T-shirt that stopped high enough to expose her trim abdomen.
“You’re not dead, though,” I said.
She shook her head and the curtain of dark hair swayed around her. “Not yet, anyway.”
“Then why can I see you?” To be honest, I’d never gone near a person in a coma before, so I didn’t know how close someone in this condition was to death. This was a first for me. The implications of a spook catcher being able to communicate with coma patients made my body chill. Which also begged the question—could we all do it? Or was this a result of my other magical side?
Mara shrugged. “I guess I’m in limbo or something. You know, not quite dead yet barely living. Those machines are keeping me alive.”
“It sounds cruel.”
“Trust me, it is. I’ve begged for release so many times. I’m not even sure how long I’ve been stuck in limbo. I’d rather move on than linger in this state. If only the doctors would listen to me.”
I didn’t want to ponder what she was saying. The fact her family hadn’t given the okay to shut down the machines after all these weeks made me wonder if they even knew about her condition. The Council did its best to minimize contact.
Some parents and guardians didn’t like to deal with their spooky offspring and gladly sent their girls off to the Council, while others were proud and kept in contact. I didn’t know if Mara still kept in touch with hers.
I sighed, turning to face her. I stared into her lovely, light brown eyes. She looked sad, but seemed to be trying to hide it behind her usual cheerful façade. I’d known her for a while. She started with the Council about six months before I left. I trained her in a few things and we’d stayed in touch—an email here, a phone call there, but nothing overly social. Still, I liked her. She was powerful and a very genuine person. Mara was the epitome of what you see is what you get. I hated to see her in such a helpless position.
“What happened to you?” I asked.
“I’m not sure, but it’s still happening…”
“What do you mean?”
“I can’t remember everything, just snippets. Things that don’t make any sense to me, but might mean something to you…”
Before I could respond, she wrapped both of her cold hands around mine and a jolt of pain rushed into my head. I couldn’t look away, glaring into her eyes as I tumbled into a scene that made my skin crawl.