What is Dark Dealings about?
Micaela O’Brien, a 28 year old , successful Wall Street Banker has run from her heritage and gifts since she was a teenager. When a childhood friend is lost she must open the door to the past she has hidden. But she hasn’t been able to hide from everyone with deadly consequences. In this new world, she will find that some of the bloodsuckers on Wall Street prefer O+ and not everyone is what they appear to be. To protect what she loves she must embrace her power and accept the help of creatures that aren’t supposed to exist.
Her hopes for a nice, normal weekend away from the office died on a dark bend of Massachusetts Route 7. Micaela flicked on the high beams wary of the deer that often darted into the unlit road. She downshifted the Porsche Cayman around a sharp curve. The crisp October air that flowed through the open window smelled of an early snow in the Berkshires. As much fun as it might be to floor it, she wasn’t in any great hurry to get to her grandmother’s farm. A mile later, a shadow at the edge of the road made her slow down even more. On the shoulder, a man dressed in bloody shreds of clothes sat hunched over his knees and stared into her eyes. His mouth formed words she couldn’t hear. Reece.
Micaela pulled over and grabbed a halogen flashlight from the glove box. She jumped from the car and dashed back to the place she’d seen her friend to find no one there. A dark stain gleamed in the ray of her flashlight. She touched her fingers to it then lifted them to her nose. Motor oil. Micaela paced up and down the stretch of road scanning the brush and road for clues.
“Reece, where are you? If this is some sick Halloween joke, come out now!” She shouted into the darkness. No sign of him or anyone on the road or in the woods beside the two lane highway, no footprints and, thankfully, no blood.
Reece wasn’t the type to pull this kind of stunt. His brother Adam, maybe. But Adam would have already stumbled into the road doubled over in laughter. She walked slowly back to her car, ears straining for any noise she might have missed. Back behind the wheel of the Porsche, Micaela stared into the night sky. Until five minutes ago, she’d looked forward to time away, even if it meant being in Bridewell for Samhain.
She looked around one more time. No sign of Reece. Her stomach was a basketball sized knot. If this wasn’t a trick… Damn. She slammed her hand against the steering wheel. It was just a delusion, she thought, spawned by exhaustion. She must have been micro-sleeping behind the wheel. Too many late nights hunched over the prospectus of a recent deal. The alternative was unacceptable. It meant the visions had returned. Why now, why had his spirit, ghost…No, she refused the idea that he had passed over. Then again, Samhain was the time of the year when people and spirits moved between this world and the Otherworld. Shit.
She should call Reece from her cell phone, but she’d never programmed any of the Bridewell numbers into her contacts. Dread gnawed at Micaela’s mind for the remains of the drive to Bridewell.
An hour later, she turned off Cerwiden Street and onto the narrow country lane that led to the Rourke-O’Brien Farm. Flashing red lights slashed through the darkness between the gnarled apple trees of the Rourke orchard. She swerved left as she rounded the last turn to avoid the police cruiser stationed near the foot of the drive. The wooden gate, meant to keep sheep in, was pushed open. A patrolman in an orange vest flagged her down. Her dread turned to fear.
“Miss, you’ll have to park on the road.” The strobe from the light bar illuminated his name tag.
“Sean, Sean Murphy…it’s me…Micaela O’Brien. Is my grandmother alright?”
“Jeez, Micaela, I didn’t recognize you. Nice car. Is it new? I haven’t seen you since …”
“Sean! Is she alright?” He had always been easily distracted, especially by high powered toys.
“Una’s okay. I think. Some kind of accident in the hills behind the farm.”
“Is Reece at the house?” Please say yes, she whispered to herself.
Sean shrugged, “Don’t know.” He waved her through the gate.
Gravel sprayed behind the car as it sped up the driveway. Micaela left the car in the first open space amid the Jeeps and vans. EMTs sipped from Styrofoam coffee cups beside an ambulance.
In three steps, her four-inch heels were kicked off and she finished her sprint in stocking clad feet stabbed by the brittle late season grass. A jack o’lantern leered from the wood porch while a scarecrow twisted in the wind. She slammed open the screen door and crossed the dark parlor toward the light of the kitchen. The aroma of coffee and baking soda bread filled the kitchen, familiar scents, so different from the sight that greeted her. The crisp linens, flowers and canned fruits and vegetables that usually adorned the counters and shelves were crammed into a cupboard. A kettle screeched on the stove. Dirty dishes overflowed the sink. On the oversized black farm stove, bangers sizzled while the oil danced in the cast iron skillet.
Una Rourke leaned over a massive blue pottery bowl beating the daylights out of the potatoes. Her grandmother was fine, but things must be bad; Una always turned worry into action usually involving food. Micaela wrapped her arms around Una from behind and planted a kiss on her cheek.
“Ah, Micaela, you’re here. Good. Would you get the large platter from the pantry. Then slice the soda bread and set it out. The butter is in the fridge.” Una brushed a lock of her still black curls from her face.
“What happened? Sean said there was an accident?” Micaela opened the wood and glass-paned cabinet door and pulled out the pewter bread platter. The knot in her stomach tightened.
“A group of the boys were up on the mountain. Reece got separated from them just after dusk. There are teams of searchers looking for him now.” Una spooned the ivory mounds of potato onto a large ceramic platter. “Can you turn down the flame on the bangers, dear.”
“Reece? He’s hunted these hills since middle school. He doesn’t get lost.” He knew this part of the Berkshires better than anyone. If he was missing, Grandma had cause to worry. Micaela’s heart sank.
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