Quentin Black Mystery #11
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Miriam isn’t the powerful seer. She isn’t the one with strange abilities.
…that’s her husband, Quentin Black.
Heck, Miri isn’t even a full-blood.
So what are these hyper-realistic dreams she keeps having? And why does she keep disappearing, pretty much every time she falls asleep – and increasingly, even when she isn’t asleep?
Where does she go that Black can’t feel or find her, when he can ALWAYS feel and find her?
Standalone novel. No cliffhanger.
BLACK DREAMS is book #11 in the QUENTIN BLACK MYSTERY series, a paranormal mystery series starring brilliant but dangerous psychic detective, Quentin Black, and his partner, forensic psychologist Miri Fox. It’s also a spinoff of the BRIDGE & SWORD SERIES, and part of the same universe.
Ch1: What's the Last Thing You Remember?
I FELT MYSELF in that place again, in the world where the trees grew strangely, where the sea didn’t look right, where the air tasted different, where it filled my lungs differently, hit my brain differently, infused my body differently––almost like it had an extra kick of oxygen.
I was inside their house.
I heard voices.
Adult voices, a child maybe, or perhaps more than one.
They were talking, playing with someone––or perhaps something, maybe an animal, some kind of pet. I felt small fingers tug on mine, wanting me to go outdoors, wanting me to play with them. I heard a child laugh, right before the voices receded, growing quieter.
Their home was so quiet. I didn’t even hear a clock tick.
No electricity hummed in the walls, no compressors clicked on or off, no air conditioning kicked in when it got too warm, no coffeepot gurgled.
It was like a church.
Like the quietness itself, everything about it was off in large and small ways.
The wooden floors that may not have been wood.
The woven rugs with the odd, strangely aquatic patterns. The wall unit made of colorful round rocks, smooth to the touch. The long window that wrapped around the whole of the front room. The opening in the ceiling with a firepit in the center, like it was a Navajo hogan or some other traditional Native American home. The strange, clear water-piping that came from the ceiling and somehow defied gravity as it held water over an enormous, stone basin of a sink. The liquid, shape-changing monitor that clung silent and nearly invisible on one wall.
Looking away from all of that, I blinked, fighting to clear my mind.
A second later, I also cleared my throat.
“My uncle,” I explained, exhaling as I thought about my words. “He’s starting some kind of war. He’s using the humans to do it, mainly in the United States. He’s got them rioting at the borders. He’s got them afraid of vampires––”
The woman sitting across from me, a shockingly beautiful woman with long dark hair, high cheekbones, stunning eyes, lean arms and legs, sprawled on a long, sky-blue piece of furniture that was halfway between a bench and a couch. Blinking, she glanced at the male at her side, then looked back at me, her eyebrow arched.
“Did you say vampires, sister?”
The male said nothing.
He just sat there, watching me silently.
I nodded, returning my gaze to her.
“Yes,” I said with a sigh. “I know how insane that sounds. But yes, we have vampires on my world. Real ones.”
Again, the two of them exchanged looks.
Again, I felt far more than that pass between them.
“How close are they to the myths?” the woman said, her voice openly curious.
I looked at her, at those stunning, light-colored eyes.
“Pretty close,” I admitted. “I mean, we’re still figuring out a lot about them, biology-wise. Like how they reproduce. Their exact physical abilities. The effects their venom has on humans and seers. Especially seers,” I added grimly. “They seem to affect us a lot more than humans, unfortunately… our people have a tendency to turn into junkies on their venom. My own husband…”
I trailed, not wanting to finish that sentence.
Really, I had no right to accuse him of susceptibility to the venom anyway, not after what happened to me, the last time a vampire bit me.
I saw the woman on the blue couch about to speak, that curiosity in her eyes growing.
The male next to her touched her thigh, waving off the questions I saw forming in her eyes. She glanced at him, then seemed to agree with whatever she saw there.
“He’s right,” I said, exhaling and nodding towards the male. “That’s a longer conversation, and probably for another time. My point is, my uncle wants to annihilate them. Vampires, that is. He’s obsessed with wiping out their entire species. He feels it’s them or us, quite literally. That seers won’t survive as long as vampires exist on our world. My uncle was one of the early seer settlers on our version of Earth, you see. I don’t know when they first encountered vampires, but my uncle claims they attacked first…”
I shrugged, holding up my hands.
“…Who knows what the vampires would say. In any case, in that first skirmish, both of my parents were killed.”
The woman’s eyes flinched.
Sympathy bled from her living light, or aleimi, as seers called it.
Pressing my lips together briefly, I went on.
“My sister and I were on our own after that,” I said, exhaling. “I was over eighteen, so I petitioned to get custody of her. My mother’s family… the human part of our family… pretty much disappeared from our lives. I found out later that my uncle was behind that. He claims he did that to protect us… and them.”
I already told them about my unusual parentage.
I told them I was that thing most seers believed to be impossible, an actual human-seer hybrid. Therefore, they only nodded to my words.
Even so, I still felt reactions in their light.
In their minds, I was impossible.
As a biological fact, I shouldn’t exist.
(End sample pages)
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