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Never Trust a Demon: A Daughter of Eve, #2

Never Trust a Demon: A Daughter of Eve, #2

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Never Trust a Demon: A Daughter of Eve, #2

Length:
309 pages
5 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Feb 7, 2019
ISBN:
9781386348306
Format:
Book

Description

The rules for demon slaying are simple.
Rule #2: Never trust a demon.
...Unless Heaven tries to kill you.


It's been four weeks since the birthday from Hell, and Lyn's life is finally getting back to normal. Or as normal as it can be for a P.I. with the ability to see demons.

Then Sam comes back.

It seems the wicked, sexy, demon who shares her soul isn't done using her. Good thing she's determined to end him. But when Heaven sends an angel to assassinate her, Lyn's determination goes up in smoke.

Sam offers protection, but for how long and at what cost? And why the heck does The Big Man Upstairs want her dead?

Never Trust a Demon is the second book in the Daughter of Eve series. If you like young, fresh urban fantasy with a kickass heroine, lots of goofy comedy, and a complicated paranormal romance, then you'll love this new page-turner by award-winning author J.D. Brown.

Perfect for fans of Darynda Jones, Illona Andrews, and Izzy Shows.

Grab your copy and start slaying today!

Publisher:
Released:
Feb 7, 2019
ISBN:
9781386348306
Format:
Book

About the author

Find Dark Heirloom on Smashwords at: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/160667 Author Bio: J.D. Brown graduated from the International Academy of Design and Technology with a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her two Pomeranians. Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, her writing is influenced by the multicultural urban society of her youth which she continues to visit each summer. J.D. loves paranormal characters; from vampires and werewolves, demons and angels, to witches and ghost. Her writings are often a combination of suspense and romance. J.D.’s books are available in e-book formats from Muse It Up Publishing Inc. and major e-book retailers. She loves to hear from readers. You can reach her via email to DarkHeirloom@gmail.com or visit her website at http://authorjdbrown.com


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Special thanks to Bobbi Lee Linter for all the late-night chats, squeals of excitement, and immense knowledge of the metaphysical. I am honored to call you my friend.

And to Charlene Wilson for your unconditional love & support. You are my real-life Angie.

1

DARK CLOTHED DEMON

Lyn Conway sat in the dark inside her red Honda Civic hatchback named Notre Dame. The only source of illumination came from the brightly colored candy pieces shimmering across the screen of her cell phone. She tapped the rainbow pieces in a fervent attempt to beat her high score.

From the periphery of her vision, a silver Volvo cruised down the sleepy street, coming toward her. The vehicle paused with half a block between them and then parallel parked in front of a brownstone house. Lyn shook her head.

Tsk-tsk, Mr. Anderson.

The owner of the Volvo, a thirty-five-year-old Caucasian man named Clint Anderson, stepped out of the car and smoothed a hand over his blue tie. Lyn closed the candy game on her phone and then opened the camera application. She tilted the screen horizontally and snapped a few pictures of Clint with his car in the background.

Poor Mrs. Anderson.

Clint’s wife, Martha, had hired Lyn to follow him. The missus, who was ten years his junior, suspected her newly-wedded husband of an affair. Lyn knew Mrs. Anderson’s suspicions were correct the moment she laid eyes on Clint. She’d met the real estate agent at his office, faking interest in buying a house. When he shook her hand, Lyn had gasped out loud at the color of his veins. They were black.

After their initial meeting, she tailed him to a gym where he met with some friends to shoot hoops. She’d waited, binoculars in hand, for him to work up a sweat. Halfway into the chorus of a Missy Elliot song, Clint finally took off his top and Lyn confirmed the Liderc demon snuggled tightly in his chest. The poor bastard didn’t stand a chance.

Demons fed on human souls, and the more the human sinned, the better. Sin was like A-1 Steak Sauce to demons. Liderc demons, however, also had a taste for sexual energy. While sex wasn’t a sin, adultery was, and Lidercs had a reputation for causing scandal.

Lyn snapped another picture while Clint climbed the stoop to the brownstone and pressed a small button on a side panel near the door. A gorgeous young black woman not much older than Lyn answered.

Trina Mathews.

Lyn learned the name of Clint’s mistress by going through her mail the day before. She tapped the zoom-in option on the camera and took a few close-up pictures as Trina pushed onto the toes of her cute pink pumps and buried her tongue in Clint’s mouth. Lyn cringed. She hated having to deliver bad news to her client, but a job was a job, and she had bills to pay.

Clint and Trina disappeared into her house.

Lyn closed the camera app and then dialed her best friend’s phone number. The line trilled as she started Notre Dame’s engine.

Hey, Angie answered. How’s the stakeout going?

It went. Lyn balanced the phone between her chin and shoulder while pulling onto the road. She needed to get a headset or a Bluetooth speaker system—right after she finished paying for Notre Dame’s back-passenger window. A certain blind demon had broken the glass to steal her beloved sword, Channing. The nerve of him.

And? Angie prodded.

And I need you to print out a few photographs for me.

Are they graphic?

No, but I feel like I should get Mrs. Anderson a fruit basket or a bottle of tequila.

I’m not sure that will help. ‘Here’s proof your husband of three months is a lying, cheating, bastard and a bottle of liquor to drown yourself in, now pay up.’ Doesn’t sound very nice, does it?

Well, when you say it like that. Lyn rolled her eyes.

Sorry. Picture printing. I’m on it.

Thanks, Ang. I’ll text them to you now.

Just don’t text and drive.

Of course not, she said as she cruised past a stop sign. See you tomorrow. Lyn hung up and then proceeded to scroll through the pictures on her phone, selecting the best ones for Angie to print.

She glanced up as she merged onto another street and her heart jumped into her throat. A man in dark clothing with silver tipped hair stood directly in her path.

Sam!

Lyn cranked the steering wheel to the left and turned into oncoming traffic. Headlights pierced her vision and a horn blared. She squeezed her eyes shut and stomped on the brake, but instead of stopping, the car lurched ahead at full acceleration.

That’s not the brake!

The crash of metal wracked her nerves and a head-splitting pain punched her nose. Then everything stilled. She didn’t know how long she sat there, her pulse hammering in her ears. Her face throbbed, but she opened her eyes.

Thick gray smoke surrounded Notre Dame. Lyn couldn’t see more than an inch past the windshield. A deflated airbag lay over the steering wheel like a powdered baby blanket.

Jesus ...

She opened the door and stepped out of the car. Her boots crunched gravel and her ankles wobbled, not expecting the uneven terrain. Traffic zoomed past, close enough to send the ends of her blonde hair whipping across her face. She pushed the locks away and surveyed the damage to her car.

Her heart wilted.

Notre Dame’s front-end crinkled like an accordion, the bumper completely buried in the sloping ditch. No way she could drive it after that.

Why? How? What on earth had compelled her to turn into oncoming traffic? There was a man. She would have killed him if she hadn’t swerved.

Only, Sam couldn’t die. Not like that.

Wait, was it even him?

She’d thought so, with his silver-tipped hair, hard set jaw, and all-consuming eyes, but it happened so fast. Lyn faced the road, but it was empty.

Why would he appear in the middle of the street anyway? Sam knew where she lived. He could have waited at her apartment. Assuming it was even him. And she had absolutely no reason to believe it was.

Lyn hadn’t seen the Greater demon in over a month. She even convinced herself the last sighting had been a fluke; a hallucination brought on by P.T.S.D. and the odd behavior of a few Kimaris demons. The little goat-like creatures must have played a trick on her. Kimaris demons were poisonous. Maybe one had nicked her ankle with its stinger without her noticing. After all, Sam swore she’d never see him again.

But how long could a little Kimaris venom last? She would’ve thought it was out of her system by now. Could this have been a hallucination too? Was she portraying Sam’s image onto a random homeless bum crossing the street?

Yes. That has to be it.

Drawing a deep breath to calm her nerves, Lyn slid back into the car and found her cell phone. The screen was cracked—damn it—but it still worked. She called Angie. The line trilled once, and Lyn hung up in a panic.

Angie’s going to kill me. Wait ... she doesn’t need to know I was scrolling and driving. I’ll say it was a deer. Yeah. That’s it.

She tapped the number listed under ‘Mamacita’ again and waited for Angie to answer.

An invisible force punched the breath from Sam’s lungs and he staggered forward, falling to his knees against the musty office carpet. The bridge of his nose split open and a hot ache spread over his cheekbones. Panic seized his spine and manifested as a tremor rolling through him. What the hell did they do? I said to bruise her, not beat her bloody!

Coughing, Sam grimaced at the pain as he pushed to his feet. Squeezing his fists at his sides, he squared his shoulders and faced the Commander. Sam schooled his features, refusing to squint even as The Morningstar narrowed his liquid gold gaze.

Lucifer sat behind some sort of desk. The details of the Commander’s makeshift office, just like the factory grounds below it, were a blur to Sam’s limited vision. Too bad he couldn’t say the same for the demon who occupied it. The Commander steepled his gloved hands over his bright lips and rested his elbows against the flat surface. He looked unimpressed, but Sam knew the man well. The Commander was contemplating.

Sam clenched his jaw and stayed stock-still. On the inside, his rage boiled with a force to rival the seven seas. After everything he’d been through, the Commander still forced him to prove the physical ramifications of his bond with Lyn. Dantalion had sent a Nāga demon—an unnecessarily formidable foe—to deliver what was supposed to be a mild blow. They could have killed her.

The Commander released a sigh and lowered his hands. "You’re certain we need both of them?"

Dantalion’s emaciated frame lounged on a narrow couch that was pushed against the far wall. Sam couldn’t bring himself to look at the Duke directly without putting him six-feet into the ground—so he didn’t. He also didn’t think he imagined the smirk in the demon’s tone. An unfortunate truth.

The Commander arched a brow. Well, at least he’s motivated.

Sam slid his gaze to the side but failed to temper the curl of his lip. His face hurt, but he refused to touch it. Refused to show weakness.

Very well. The Commander stood and looked at both of them. You have one week to bring me the key and my great-granddaughter.

I still think you should go to the emergency room and get yourself checked out. Angie turned her shiny silver Lincoln onto Lyn’s street. Lyn wanted to name the car Abe, but it sounded too old-fashioned for such a sleek machine, and she couldn’t imagine Angie riding an Abe anyway. Her bestie needed a Dyson or an Anthony. The jury was still out on that one.

Lyn road shotgun while holding her B.F.F.’s latest splurge in her lap; a lavender Juicy Couture handbag with velvet trim that she was ‘absolutely positively not allowed to throw in the back!’ Angie’s words. Lyn had the urge to wipe her hands on the bag. She didn’t, because her hands were dirty and Angie would have a cow, but that was exactly why she wanted to.

I’m not paying a thousand dollars for some nut in a lab coat to tell me what I already know, said Lyn.

Angie wrinkled her nose. By ‘nut in a lab coat,’ you mean a doctor?

I got punched in the face by an airbag. They’re just going to tell me to put ice on my nose and take an Advil. Not really E.R. worthy stuff. Lyn resisted the urge to touch her nose. The bridge between her eyes burned and the skin felt tight. She probably should have listened to Angie but paying for a tow truck to pick up Notre Dame tanked the last of her finances. Besides, Lyn loathed hospitals. Doctors were too opinionated and had too much authority. She couldn’t risk telling the wrong person about her demon-seeing capabilities. Too many of Lyn’s female ancestors spent their retirement in the looney bin—including her late great-grandmother, Lolly—because of the Daughter of Eve curse.

According to family legend, Eve didn’t just get kicked out of Eden. She apparently did something so terrible, her descendants were still paying the price. While Lyn had always wanted to follow in Gran’s demon-hunting footsteps, she hoped to avoid the psychiatric ward ending. Which meant avoiding anyone in a white lab coat.

Angie pouted. The brunette Latina looked like she wanted to press the issue but thought better of it. She parked the Lincoln in front of Lyn’s apartment. Fine. Call if you need anything.

A million bucks? An all-inclusive vacation to Honolulu?

How ’bout a ride to work tomorrow? Angie side-eyed her.

Lin grinned. Deal. Don’t forget to print the photos.

Yeah, yeah. Love you too.

Love you more. Lyn grabbed her katana from the back seat—she brought it everywhere she went, so it was in Notre Dame when she crashed—got out of the nameless Lincoln and waved goodbye before climbing the stoop to her apartment building.

Once inside her quaint little one-roomer on the sixth level, Lyn went straight to the bathroom mirror and took a good long look at the angry bruise blooming across the bridge of her nose. It had swelled twice its normal size and throbbed painfully. She winced.

Well, I’ve had worse. Her gaze went to the two-inch wide scar that stretched from just under her left shoulder to her elbow. She squeezed her eyes shut and shook her head. Nope, not thinking about that.

Lyn went to the kitchen and took a can of soda pop out of the fridge. She sat Channing—her beautiful sexy sword—on the dining room table, then popped the tab on the can and took a sip. Crossing to the couch in the living room, she eased onto the cushions and then pressed the cold aluminum to her nose. Shooting pains drilled her eye sockets and Lyn removed the soda can immediately. Okay, maybe we’ll try that again later when my face is less P.O.’d.

At least her bachelorette pad was quiet. After the evening she had, Lyn wanted nothing more than to binge watch some reality T.V. and fall asleep. She glanced around the room for the remote control. Old takeout boxes and crumpled receipts littered the coffee table. Used plates and half-empty coffee mugs crowded the T.V. stand. She should probably move those.

Next to the sinful waste of coffee, Gran’s journal sat haphazardly between the DVD player and the windowsill. She didn’t remember putting it there, but her stuff had a way of wandering.

Lyn stood, set the soda can down, and grabbed the journal. She flipped it open to a page she had dog-eared and read while pacing in the general direction of her bedroom. Visions of a certain dark-clothed demon with silver-tipped hair occupied her mind.

2

SUSPECT NUMERO UNO

There’s no mention of Sam anywhere, said Lyn while falling into the passenger side of Angie’s Lincoln the next morning.

Do you have an inner ear infection or something? Angie referred to Lyn’s less-than-graceful entrance, completely ignoring her very important discovery concerning a certain blind demon.

You know Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather forgot to bestow me with grace.

And you’re still holding out hope that Maleficent is your true fairy god-mother. I remember. Angie pointed to a couple of coffee cups sitting in a cardboard tray. Need a fix?

You have to ask? I woke up feeling like a steamroller ran over my face. She looked it, too, according to her bathroom mirror. The bruise had spread over her lower eyelids and cheekbones. Lyn grabbed a cup and took an appreciative sip.

So, what’s this about Paradise’s most hated demon?

Ah, so her B.F.F. was paying attention. I stayed up all night reading Gran’s journal cover to cover.

Sure. Angie twisted in her seat to face the back windshield while pulling out of the parking space.

And there’s no mention of Sam anywhere.

Should there be? Angie focused on the road as they turned onto Main Street.

Lyn scoffed. Gran filled over a hundred pages naming all the Greater demons in Hell. She even wrote detailed descriptions of what they look like, how to summon them, how they like their toast in the morning. You would think Sam would be in there somewhere.

Toast? asked Angie. Really?

You know what I mean. Why didn’t she add Sam? Don’t you think that’s odd?

Her bestie shrugged. "You’re asking the wrong person. I have no idea why Sam isn’t in Lolly’s journal. But I have a better question; why are we suddenly talking about He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named? It’s been weeks since that jerk left after nearly getting you killed."

Lyn winced. She hadn’t told Angie about her hallucinations, blaming last night’s car crash on a rabid deer. She also hadn’t told her bestie she was searching for a way to kill Sam. Angie would flip if she knew. Yeah, we’re definitely still not talking about the birthday trauma, thank you.

Exactly. So, who cares why Lolly left him out?

Lyn bit the inside of her cheek.

Uh-oh. Angie pulled into the parking lot of Master Chris's Kyuki-Do Martial Arts, where they worked. Looks like Detective Hottie is stalking you.

Lyn leaned toward the windshield and searched the parking lot. She spotted Detective Jackson’s black Silverado immediately. Jackson’s pickup truck made Lyn’s insides melt. It was so big and shiny and sleek, she’d secretly named it Tyson. The man sitting in the driver’s seat was also easy on the eyes. Lyn leaned back and released a slow breath.

There’s a compact and lip gloss in my purse. Use it. Angie’s tone switched to big-sister mode, all trace of demon-talk coming to an easily forgotten end.

Pretty sure it’s the wrong color, Lyn grumbled. Angie was as tan as the sun itself, while Lyn’s complexion more accurately resembled a ghost, or possibly a vampire.

Girl, the only wrong color for you right now is the death sitting on your face. Seriously, use the compact. You’ll thank me later. Angie got out of the car and strolled along the sidewalk to the main entrance of the dojo, which brought her right in front of Tyson’s gigantic chrome bumper. Her B.F.F. flashed a big smile and waved hello to Jackson before entering the building.

Note to self: Flog Angie.

Jackson glanced in Lyn’s direction then climbed out of his truck, though he didn’t really climb so much as jaunt manly onto the pavement in one long-legged step.

Lyn tried to morph into the seat cushions and disappear, but it didn’t work.

Detective Noah Jackson was the unfortunate soul tasked with investigating Gran’s death. So far, the Paradise Police Department knew Gran had been murdered in the very early hours in her room at the Paradise Psychiatric Hospital, where she’d been a resident. She was found with a hole in her chest the size of a fist, broken ribs and torn ventricles, but nothing missing. All her organs were present. The coroner declared blood loss to be the official cause of death.

They had no leads, but that didn’t stop the state from taking the hospital to court for gross negligence. Lyn didn’t know how the psych ward could be blamed for such a blatant and heinous murder, but she kept that to herself. Partially because she knew Jackson wasn’t supposed to divulge such details to the victim’s great-granddaughter—Lyn had gotten it out of him by clinging to his amazingly thick bicep and sobbing into his jacket; everything except the name of the nurse who had found Lolly—and partially because she wasn’t one-hundred percent certain she wasn’t considered a suspect. Lyn watched enough True Crime television to know the murderer was almost always a family member, and Lyn was Gran’s last living relative. She was definitely on the list, if not suspect numero uno.

And if that wasn’t reason enough to avoid the detective, there was also the fact that Lyn was hiding the truth. She knew who the killer was.

Jackson tapped on the window, drawing Lyn’s attention to the present.

She pressed the button to roll the glass pane down and then smiled up at him. Butterflies fluttered in her stomach. Or was it yesterday’s lunch?

Whoa. Jackson took one look at her and furrowed his brow. You get in a fight?

You should see the other guy. Heat bloomed across her cheeks the moment the words left her lips. He’s a cop! Don’t stick your foot in your mouth.

Jackson lifted an eyebrow and she cringed.

I’m joking. It was an airbag. I swerved to avoid hitting a deer and ended up in a ditch.

Uh-huh. Jackson’s dark-brown eyes slid in the direction of her left arm. She wore a white tank top, her scar fully visible.

Lyn cleared her throat and shifted her weight so she could nonchalantly turn her left side out of his line of sight. She had told so many different stories about how she got that scar, she no longer remembered which fib she’d told Jackson. Um, I have a class in thirty minutes and need to set up.

Right. Jackson shook his head. Sorry. I was in the neighborhood and remembered you work here, so I thought I’d tell you in person.

Tell me what? Lyn’s fingers twiddled in her lap. She had a nightmare once where she was charged for the murder of her great-grandmother. Lyn had no motive at all—not in her dream and not in real life—but it wouldn’t be the first time the justice system failed her, and with no other leads ...

The Paradise Psychiatric Hospital was found guilty of gross negligence, said Jackson.

Oh. Oh no, are they shutting down? Where would Sherly and the other patients go? Would Gracie lose her job? She had five kids, for Pete’s sake. And who was Pete, anyway? Why was everyone so concerned about his sakes?

Jackson chuckled. No, they have insurance for that kind of thing.

Oh.

I’m sorry. I know it isn’t much, considering.

No, it’s fine. Lyn looked at her lap to hide her nerves. She just wanted the investigation to be over.

We’ll find who did this, he promised.

No, you won’t. Lyn swallowed then forced a polite smile onto her face. Thanks, Detective.

Noah, he corrected. Please, call me Noah.

Lyn peeked in his direction and caught a glimpse of his smile. He had a great smile. All white teeth and dark soulful eyes. Okay, Noah.

He stepped aside

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