Aidan McConnell once used his special psychic abilities to help find the missing. But after the media made him the scapegoat for a child’s death, he retreated from the world and became a recluse.
Lexie Nolan is a small-town reporter with big vision. She was the first to connect a series of disappearances among teenage girls to a serial killer…but nobody will listen to her.
Lexie is in desperate need of help from the sexy psychic who's an expert in finding people. And even though Aidan loathes the media, he can’t help being drawn in to the passionate, beautiful reporter.
Nor can he resist helping her on this particular case. Because he knows the latest missing girl.
And he knows time to save her is running out.
Excerpt from COLD SIGHT:
Thursday, 5:45 a.m.
Until last night, nobody had ever read Vonnie Jackson a bedtime story.
Though she’d lived for seventeen years, she couldn’t remember a single fairy tale, or one kiss on the cheek before being tucked in. Her mother had always been well into her first joint, her second bottle, or her third John of the evening long before Vonnie fell asleep. Bedtime meant hiding under the bed or burrowing beneath a pile of dirty clothes in the closet, praying Mama didn’t pass out, leaving one of her customers to go prowling around in their tiny apartment.
They definitely hadn’t wanted to read to her. Nobody had.
So to finally hear innocent childhood tales from a psychotic monster who intended to kill her was almost as unfair as her ending up in this nightmare to begin with.
“Are you listening to me little Yvonne?” That voice was laced with so much evil it seemed to be an almost living, breathing thing, as real as the stained, scratchy mattress on which she lay or the metal chains holding her down. Her captor’s voice grew almost mischievous as he added, “Did you fall asleep?”
The man who’d kidnapped her always spoke in a thick, falsetto whisper, his tone happily wicked. Occasionally though, he got angry and dropped the act. Once or twice, when he’d spoken in his normal, deep voice, she’d feel a hint of familiarity flit across her mind, as if she’d heard him before, recently. She could never focus in on it, though, never place the memory.
Maybe she was crazy. Maybe she just recognized the twisted, full-of-rage quality that made men like him tick. She’d seen that kind all her life.
“Sweet little girl, so weary, aren’t you? I suppose you fell asleep, hmm?”
She shook her head. Even that slight movement sent knives of pain stabbing through her skull and into her brain. He’d beaten her badly.
“You must want to go to sleep, though.”
“No,” she whispered. “Go on. Don’t stop. I like it.”
Oh, no, she didn’t want to fall asleep. It was while she slept that he came in and did things to her. She’d awakened once to find him touching her thighs. Though his face had been masked—one of those creepy, maniacally smiling “King” masks from the fast-food commercials—he’d scurried out as soon as he realized she was fully conscious.
Maybe he’s afraid you’ll escape and be able to identify him.
Yeah. And maybe a pack of wolves would rip him to pieces in his own backyard tomorrow. But she doubted it.
“I don’t know, we’ve read quite a lot. I’m worried you might have nightmares—did you, last night, after hearing about the little piggies who got turned into bacon and sausage patties?”
She suspected the story didn’t end like that. If it did, parents who called it a bedtime story had a lot to answer for.
Vonnie swallowed, her thick, dry tongue almost choking her. “I’ll be fine.”
The words echoed in the damp, musty basement room in which she’d been imprisoned for…how long had it been since the night he’d grabbed her? And when had that been? Think!
Monday. He’d attacked her while she walked the long way home from a nighttime event at her new high school, to which she’d just transferred since they offered more AP classes than her old one. Mistake number one. Her old school had been a block from her crappy home.
“Well, if you’re sure, I suppose we can read a little more about those naughty children.”
Knowing he expected it, she managed to murmur, “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome, dear. I’m glad you like this story. It’s no wonder their parents didn’t want Hansel and Gretel—awful, spoiled brats, weren’t they? Most parents hate their children anyway, but these two were especially bad.”
If it wouldn’t have caused her so much pain, she might have laughed. He hadn’t said anything she didn’t know. Her mama had made that clear every day of her life.
Most parents would be proud of their kid for doing well in school, but not hers. She’d said Vonnie had been stupid to transfer. Stupid and uppity, thinking getting into the National Honor Society mattered a damn when she lived on the corner of Whoreville and Main.
Normally she’d have been at work serving chicken wings by that time of night on a Monday. But no, she’d had to go to the meeting, had to act like she was no different from the smart, rich, white kids. She’d been cocky, insisting it was no big deal to walk home alone after dark through an area of the Boro where no smart girl ever walked alone. Not these days, not with the Ghoul on the loose and more girls missing from her neighborhood every month.
The Ghoul—the paper had at first said he was real, then that he wasn’t. Vonnie knew the truth. He was real, all right. She just wasn’t going to live long enough to tell anybody.
“Hansel and Gretel didn’t know that the starving birdies of the forest were eating up their bread-crumb trail, waiting for the children to die so they could poke out their eyes,” he read, not noticing her inattention. “It was dark and their time to find their way home was running out.”
Time. It had ceased to have any meaning at all. Minutes and hours had switched places: minutes lengthened by pain, hours shortened by terror of what would happen every time he came back from wherever it was he went when he left her alone in the damp, cold dark.
“Did you hear me?” he snapped sharply.
She swallowed. “Yeah.”
“Good. Don’t you fall asleep. I’m reading this for you, not for myself, you know.”
She suspected he wasn’t reading at all, merely Wes Craven-ing up a real bedtime story.
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