Here we go again! It feels like just yesterday I was writing the prequel to this book! Well, in a way anyways! So much has changed since my last adventure that me at thirty-three seems so different from the version of me I know today! Before, I got a new job and a new home, and now, I have a new job and a new home… It’s complicated…
I’d say let’s start at the beginning, but really, to fully understand the craziness that became my life, we need to start at the end of the first installment, so if you haven’t read that yet… Why are you checking out this one? To those who have perused through the first novel, here’s a refresher: Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to work in law enforcement because they fought the Fay Folks and I wanted to be, like, a superhero by combating them! Thwarting this band of undead fiends causing all kinds of mayhem sounded like a dream! And it was since it didn’t work out like that in reality! To begin with, the Fays are just like regular humans! Well, not in looks! But their neon-colored skin, sharp claws, and pointy teeth aside, they behave in the manner most people do- except they can’t do magic like us and they have the memory of how they died! They got sent back to Earth so that Fate could decide whether they belong in Heaven or Hell, and at the end of the day, aren’t we all wrestling with that conundrum? Anyhow, being a detective wasn’t as glamorous as I pictured it. It rarely involves foiling the schemes of brilliant supervillains- mainly, it involves cleaning up the figurative messes that folks with faulty judgment set in motion! Rape, kidnapping, murder- those are rarities! Thank goodness! On an average day, I solve crimes like the mystery of why that dude was breaking into individuals’ homes to lounge in his French maid costume or the enigma of why a woman kept leaving pumpkins on people’s porches while singing a spooky song in April! There’s a lot of outlandish criminals out there, but we deal don’t deal with them on a normal basis, which is a blessing! I couldn’t handle my world getting turned upside down from constantly dealing with dastardly evildoers like Wade Toonella…
Yes, it’s a goofy sounding name, but that hillbilly was one of the most notorious lawbreakers the town of Anaknock has ever seen! … As well as my mother’s most rotten ex and the most ghastly roommate I ever had the misfortune to habituate with! About that… My former husband, Ben, apparently had an addiction to hookers, and I actually caught him red-handed while I was on the clock! To add insult to injury, he drained our financial accounts, and the bank was mere days away from foreclosing on our place! I was so involved with work that I had nowhere else to go but my mom and Wade’s mobile home in Brigid’s Garden, an establishment not known for its safety or serenity! It was a rookie working on a bicycle theft case, and it turned out it was used to make an ominous sign at a murder site! Wade apparently committed a string of murders so he could “liberate” them into Fay form! He really believed he was doing them a favor since he was going into the gateway between the living world and the beyond in order to destroy this dimension and evoke the apocalypse! It was a challenging experience, and a bit reckless due to the Ploutonion being out of Slygow county’s jurisdiction, but I was at least able to prove my worth to my boss, Chief Mazarine! And I made some friends from the experience too! Oh, additionally, it lead me to my truest love, Aidan…
Aidan Maddox is the most striking man I’ve ever met! He has gorgeous, slicked-back, blond hair, sparkling, light blue eyes, a broad, toothy grin, and a finely sculpted body! I still can’t believe a woman like me could land such a hunk! When I attained a plus-size figure, I never imagined that I could ever get dubbed as a trophy girlfriend to someone as swoon-worthy as him! But he says he loves my curves along with my golden-brown eyes, chestnut hair, and light-beige skin! I hadn’t considered those features as unique prior to him, but he says they are! How did Wade’s wickedness lead me to him? Um… so… he was my number one suspect in that spree I mentioned a minute ago! In fact, initially, I only agreed to go out with him so I could shell out more clues for my case! I guess you could say it was a meet-cute! Aidan eventually got proven innocent, and he helped me take Wade down! The only reason Aidan got involved with that fiasco was because he was trying to recruit Wade’s Fay sidekick into his “business” where he tricked bad guys out of their riches! But after this incident, he went from a modern Robin Hood to an undercover cop! He recently graduated from the police academy, and he adores his new and legal method of screwing over reprobates! We trade stories about our workday every night in our cozy little apartment, and everything is perfect! Well, it was until Aidan’s fortieth birthday…
“BUUUURRRRP!” Aidan let out a large belch as we walked up the staircase to our abode.
“Oh, that’s attractive!” I sarcastically responded to his eructation.
We reached the stoop, and Aidan kidded me, “You know you still have the hots for me!”
I admitted, “Somehow, regardless of how disgusting you act, you ARE still irresistible to me!”
“I don’t know why! You realize you can do so much better, right?” Aidan probed.
“I disagree!” I smiled warmly at him hoping to convey the sheer honesty of that statement.
Aidan grinned and then wrapped his arms around my waist. “Thank you for a fantastic celebration!”
With a wry expression, I informed him, “The evening’s not over yet! Just wait ‘til you see what I have in store for you in the bedroom!”
He lustfully told me, “What if I don’t wanna wait?”
I simpered, and we began kissing each other passionately! I took off his leather jacket, and he unzipped my dress, but before we went too far in public, Aidan reached into his pocket and used his exquisite, red alder wand to open the entryway. I joked with him, “Okay, but I get to dig into your pants next!” He chuckled as he shut the door, and I unzipped his jeans, but before I could pull them down…
“SURPRISE!” a cacophony of voices blurted out as several figures emerged from behind our furniture! Aidan and I screamed and instinctively brandished our wands at the direction of the noise! Once the initial shock wore off, I recognized the perpetrators were family members! A lady with short, poofy blond hair, thin limbs, and my golden-brown eyes instantly grew even paler than usual, and a young woman with features much like Aidan’s dropped her jaw at this sight! Five young children (two boys and three girls) were clearly frightened and appeared as though they wanted to cry. For a heavy moment, everyone froze in an awkward silence.
“Why was she taking off his pants?” the nine year old boy asked.
The five year old girl answered, “She was probably gonna give him a bath!”
Aidan and I rolled with that explanation and spouted, “Yes! Exactly what we were gonna do! Uh-huh!”
The eight year old seemed to know we had fibbed, but she couldn’t quite ascertain what we were covering up. I could tell the eleven year old boy and the fourteen year old girl weren’t fooled for a second, and suddenly, I felt incredibly embarrassed! I mean, if I had any idea they were there, I wouldn’t have attempted to romp with Aidan, but still, I felt bad for creating the discomfort of seeing their uncle in such a compromising position! My mom cleared her throat and strove to smooth things over, “Bathtime will have to come later- it’s party time now!” She chuckled, but only the youngest two laughed. Mom then directed the fourteen year old, “Kinsey, can you turn on the radio?” Kinsey seemed glad to have an excuse not to gaze at us any longer and bolted over to the stereo.
“Do you wanna give him your present first, Jackson?” Aidan’s sister queried the eleven year old.
“Uh…” Jackson averted his eyes and blushed.
The five year old girl volunteered, “I’ll go! I think I left it in here…”
She reached for the doorknob of my bedroom, and I shouted, “No, Willow! Don’t!” Willow got taken aback by my abruptness and halted her footsteps. It’s not as though my “present” to Aidan was that salacious, I just didn’t want to hear her question it out loud and have to cook up another whopper to account for it!
“We’ll do presents later!” Aidan’s sister asserted. She raised an eyebrow at us and then instructed the eight year old girl and the nine year old boy, “Harper, Mason, go ahead and bring out that cake!”
“Thanks for the visit, Laraleigh!” Aidan regarded his sister in a slightly bashful fashion.
Laraleigh shrugged. “I thought it’d be fun since the hubby is visiting his pappy. He’s not doing too well! He forgot how to speak English- all he speaks is French now! And we’re pretty sure it’s mainly swear words! I didn’t think the kids should hear that, so it seemed like the perfect weekend to do this!”
Aidan’s eyes bugged out upon hearing this. “Did you say weekend?”
“Oh no! Uncle Aidan is old now and going deaf!” Harper exclaimed.
“Hey! I’m not so old that I can’t hear!” Aidan rebuffed that slight.
Kinsey offered, “Did you want me to get that?”
Aidan puzzled, “Get what?”
“There was a knock on the front door. Didn’t you hear it?” Kinsey pressed him.
“That doesn’t mean anything!” Aidan contended to Harper, who appeared very much triumphant.
Another knock resounded across the apartment, and this time, we could all hear it! It had the level of volume that would suggest it was someone desperate, which I found strange until a foul odor wafted by my nostrils… “It’s Wade!” I declared. “He’s broken out of prison, and he’s out for revenge!”
Mom differed, “Sweetie, that’s impossible! He has all of the highest security surrounding him at that facility! Believe me, I did my research on that ‘cause I came to the same conclusion after passing an open sewer! There’s virtually nothing he could do to get out! Besides, even if did escape somehow, the warden would let us know immediately! Don’t worry about that ever happening!” Her logic was solid, and I knew my theory had the hallmarks of total lunacy, but my instincts indicated that I was totally correct! My stomach lurched at the very premise of that notion, and I held my wand at the ready in the eventuality that my hypothesis panned out…
“I’ll see who it is!” Aidan assured me after the rapping at the entryway intensified. As he peeked through the peephole, my heart pounded wildly! I fully expected Aidan to announce that the sinister scoundrel had, indeed, arrived at our doorstep, and that feeling only got exacerbated when Aidan fretfully reacted to what he saw, “Oh, shit!”
“Ooh! Uncle Aidan sweared!” Mason called out.
Aidan put all of his weight on the door and commanded, “Somebody call the police!” He shouted to the person on the other side of the entrance, “Get out of here, you psychopath!”
I advised everyone, “Get back to your hiding spots!” They heeded my word, and I prepared myself for a lengthy battle.. But then…
“Aidan! Please let me in!” a woman with a thick southern accent pleaded.
“You’re not welcome here! The restraining order should have made that perfectly clear!” Aidan angrily addressed her.
I didn’t recall Aidan ever mentioning having a restraining order against anyone! Oh sure, he screwed over a lot of crooks, but he always wore disguises, so it seemed unlikely that he would go through such a measure for them! I couldn’t fathom why he kept this from me, so I grilled him, “Aidan, who is this person?”
Aidan filled me in, “She’s my ex-girlfriend from high school. She didn’t handle our breakup well and started stalking me! I was positive I’d never see her again once I left Kentucky! Seriously, it’s been over a decade, I thought I lost her!” The knocking grew more erratic, so Kinsey made a bid to let her in, but Aidan stopped her from doing that. “Don’t invite her inside! She’s not stable!”
“Actually, I got much better after they put me on these meds!” the woman quarreled.
“Then what are you doing here, Minna?” Aidan challenged her.
Minna professed, “I followed your sister here! But I wasn’t gonna do anything! I only wanted to watch your windows and pretend that I belong here! If you mull it over a little, you’ll see that act as very romantic!”
Aidan retorted, “I see it as creepy! Do you really imagine I’d be cool with this lawlessness? I’m sure you already figured out that I’m a police officer now!”
“I did! Never mind how I knew that though! I need to get in there lickety-split!” Minna beseeched him. “Someone’s after me!”
“Yeah right!” Aidan shook his head. “How convenient!”
With that foul odor getting stronger, I wondered if her appeal had any merit. “Who’s after you?”
Minna reported, “I don’t know! He didn’t say his name! Plus, he had a hood covering his face like your neighbor here is… Uh oh! It’s him! He’s coming up!”