Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Angel's Fire, Demon's Blood, Tamela Quijas
What do you get when you involve a television reporter, a paranormal investigative team, an opinionated ghost, a secretive best selling author and a demon?
Excerpt from ANGEL'S FIRE, DEMON'S BLOOD by Tamela Quijas.
“Do you truly believe in what you investigate, Mr. Angeles?” She persisted, even as a slight dizziness caused a wave of nausea to strike her. In the far distance of her hearing, she heard his softly issued response over the muttered and undecipherable complaints of her sound technicians.
“Do you, Miss Keyes?”
“I don’t believe in phantoms.” The words had been an effort for her to pronounce, the letters thick within her throat.
“Not even in the slightest sense?”
“No.” The camera had panned in her direction, revealing her discomfort. She kept her features calm, even as a wave of embarrassment washed over her and heated her chilled flesh.
Luke’s expression was placid, the slightest of smiles touching the thin line of his lips.
“I dare you, Miss Keyes, to join my team for an investigation.”
“You dare me?” She was astounded, even as his words sent another chill of cold over her flushed skin.
“Oh, yes, I dare you.” He reaffirmed sedately, his words silkily smooth. “I dare you to join me.”
The camera had not moved from her face. Eva’s stunned expression was visible to every single person who had happened to tune into tonight’s broadcast.
“I don’t believe in the existence of the spiritual world.” She whispered, the brightness of her gaze dropping as her producer signaled the beginning of a commercial break.
“You don’t even believe in that voice?” He persisted, the sound of his words a simple whisper in the air that was nearly undetectable, even to the highly sensitive lav mike.
…having trouble, Noah. Mike seems to be on the fritz…
…Eva, there’s a problem with your mike. We keep getting some sort of feedback….
“The one that is whispering in your ear.”
…Ignore it, there’s only the wrap up of the show left….
It was impossible he could have been knowledgeable of the strange and incessant buzzing that had become a throaty whispering in her inner ear. Eva shuddered, an increasing frisson of cold washing over her as she faintly heard the voices shouting across the set. She was unaware her reaction had been captured by the television camera with a chilling clarity.
“Believe in me, Evangeline.” Luke Angeles whispered throatily. She felt a quiver assail her and she raised bright eyes to him. She blinked in bewilderment at the name that had fallen easily from his lips.
How could he have known? There wasn’t anyone in society, besides a select few close associates and her immediate family, that knew of her true identity.
“How do you know my name?”
“I know a lot about you, Evangeline Keegan. I know more than you would ever be capable of understanding in this lifetime or the next.” Luke Angeles lips curved into a semblance of a cryptic smile. Her eyes flew from his face to the set hand flashing raised fingers at her, signaling the end of the commercial break.
“I don’t know how you found….” She began to sputter in outrage.
“Listen to the voice, Evangeline.” He coaxed, blatantly ignoring her, the delivery of his words nearly hypnotic. Her eyes widened and she realized that his lips had never moved. “Take heed, Evangeline. He, alone, will tell you my true identity.”
She focused blindly on the man seated before her, a shiver of cold washing over her again. The hum that had resounded repetitively in her ears had vanished during the course of the interview. The noise had been replaced with the unmistakable sound of an ever persistent and throaty series of whispers. The whisper fine softness of the voices gradually became clearer.
Eva closed her eyes wearily, her mind aching, striving to breathe deeply as she focused on the whisper soft enunciations. There was a single word that formed, one that spiraled within the confusion of her dazed mind and leapt to the tip of her tongue.
“Do you believe in the presence of disembodied spirits?” Luke Angeles was persistent in his questioning. She was close enough to realize that, although it appeared he was looking at her, his attention was riveted to a point just beyond her. The word that had settled upon the tip of her tongue tingled, longing to be released, the faintest sound of laughter invading the multitude of whispering tones filling her mind.
Dimly, Eva realized a change had overtaken the man she was interviewing. The alteration had not been detected by the camera, for he had deliberately kept his face in profile. The cold grayness of his eyes had slowly vanished and, instead, the color had become the most unsettling shade of sable that had hungrily consumed the clarity of the orbs.
“If you believe, Evangeline, he’ll provide you my name.”