Victoria Graham, or Vinnie her mother had nicknamed her, wasn’t expecting the man her clients were suing to be her mate, and a necromancer. She would have refused the case had she known she’d be walking into a den of necromancers. She had grown up on horror stories that necromancers were the one thing that could kill her kind, and it was clear the man hated her very existence…. But when he touched her, she’d lost control of her magic…and her mind too apparently.
Mitch Riley was a haunted man, and being a necromancer didn’t have much to do with what haunted him. A troubled childhood left him withdrawn and short tempered, so when he received a summons that he was being sued by the foster parents who had abused him, he didn’t take it well at all. And their attorney? None other than a vamp. There was nothing much worse than a vamp in Mitch’s opinion.
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KOBO COMING SOON
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Kathi S Barton
Vinnie watched his face. She could see that he was pissed off. About what, she had a good idea at the moment, but the way he had come into the room like he owned it made her think it was less about the lawsuit and more about her—a vampire. She’d heard from Gilda, her secretary, that Mr. Riley did not play well with others, and not at all with vampires. Vinnie hoped that that part might have been wrong. Apparently not. “You’re very beautiful.” Both of them flushed, and he looked away from her. “But be that as it may, Miss Graham, I will not need your services now or in the future.” “They’re not going to go away. And neither will I. There are more than just you in this suit, Mr. Riley. They’ve named nineteen people in this stupidity. And if only one of you lose to them, they will go after more stupid claims.” He turned and looked at her, and Vinnie could see that he was getting madder by the second. “I can go away, leave you to whatever it is you do, but they’re going to come at you. And if they can’t get it from you, they’ll sue Mr. Bennett here.” “They’re working on that now.” Vinnie glanced at Steele when he spoke, but she watched Mitch. “They contacted my firm this morning, saying that I’m harboring you and they want their money. I’m not entirely sure what they think that means, but I’m sure that their lawyer will explain. I have a meeting with them next week.” “You can’t be serious. Why are they going after you?” Vinnie started to tell Mitch why, but he answered his own question. “I see. You’re the rich and powerful Steele Bennett, right? Will they go after Addie next? Or her grandmother?” “I’m sure that they have.” Mitch looked at her again. “This isn’t going to go away. Newspapers have picked it up. A television crew was at their home just last week, and was showing how much they’ve suffered because of the way you and the others as children have done them wrong.” “We did them wrong? Do you have any idea what we had to suffer living there? The things that we had to do for a single meal a day?” She said nothing, and Mitch started pacing. The man could say more in one step than most people said in a whole conversation. “I ran away. I was only there for less than a year. And in that time…in that time I was treated with atrocities that would…it was not a safe place for a child, much less a bunch of us.” When Gilda stood up, Vinnie shook her head at her. She knew things too. Things that had happened to this young man that should never have happened to an adult, much less a child. When Gilda sat down, Vinnie looked at Hugo. He nodded once and picked up her briefcase, as well as her coat. If Mitch wouldn’t help her, then there was nothing much more she could do to make him. As they made their way to the door, Hugo stepped in front of her when someone or something moved beside her. “She wants to know if you’re related to Mr. Horatio Graham.” Vinnie grabbed the back of the chair she was standing next to and nodded at Mitch. “She said that she’s glad that you’re no longer with him, but she wants to know if you killed him or did he get caught at something?”
“He was staked. About ten years ago.” Vinnie looked around and saw no one, but she could feel it. A presence that she’d felt before since coming into this house. “Who’s there?” “She said that it’s not important right now. And you should know that you brought her here with you.” Mitch sat in the chair across from her and stared at something to her immediate left. “The woman is older, about sixtyish, I’d say. Dark hair and wearing a dress from about the turn of the century. I’d say she’s been gone for about fifty years.” Vinnie moved around the chair then and sat down. She could feel Hugo there. He would never leave her, but Gilda was standing back. If this was who she thought it was, then Gilda would be in danger. All of them would be. “Her name…ask her if she’s Millicent. I don’t know if I ever knew her last name.” Mitch nodded. “I see. And you can speak to her? See her even?” “I can. You can’t, I take it.” Vinnie said she couldn’t see the dead. “I can. Did you know that before coming here?” Vinnie stood up. She was slightly dizzy and terrified, but she stood straight now. “I’m sorry to have bothered you, Mr. Riley. I’m sure that without your help, the Bruces will win a suit or two, and that might satisfy them for a while.” “I asked you a question, Miss Graham. Did you know that we were a house of necromancers when you came here?” She hadn’t, and she doubted that she would have come had she known. But as she made her way to the door, nearly running now, she could only think to get away, get her little family away. But Mitch stepped in front of her just as she reached for the door. Backing away from him, she didn’t even look at him as she answered. “I didn’t, as a matter of fact. I wish I had known, but I’m guessing that there really isn’t any way that you could advertise such a thing and expect people to believe you. I’d very much like to go.” “She’s not here right now. Steele sent her away. For now.” The relief was profound. And before she realized what was happening, she felt herself being lifted up. Hugo had her. But when she looked into his face, it wasn’t that of her bodyguard, but of Mitch Riley. “Let me down.” He held her still, taking her to what she thought was the kitchen. “There is nothing in here that I can use to make me feel better. I’d very much like to be left to go please.” “Hush.” Vinnie started to snap at him, but she was sat down on a table and a wet cloth was slapped in her hand. “What does she have over you? It must be big for a badassed vamp like you to get yourself all worked up about.” Vinnie laid the dishtowel on the table and stood up. She was stronger now, more than likely due to being so angry. But when she started to leave the room, Mitch grabbed her by the arm. Vinnie felt her temper snap, and she let her power go.