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Teaser Tuesday: Dead & Disorderly

Here is an excerpt from my paranormal romance, Dead & Disorderly, book 2 in the Behind the Blue Line series!

You can pick it up here!

Nahia stood at the cash register in her shop, Wellington’s Magickal Apothecary, surveying

her domain with pleasure. Business was good in the downtown Indianapolis store, selling herbs

for teas and tinctures, as well as crystals and other items for varying practices of religion and

divination, and she enjoyed interacting with her clientele. Everyone from the boho chic to the

well-heeled blueblood came to her store to peruse her wares.

She snorted at her word choice; it wasn’t that kind of establishment. Yeah, it had the

requisite dark jewel-toned walls, wind chimes, walls of various books, and tarot decks, not to

mention the couple of rooms upstairs she rented out to a local clairvoyant, tarot, and palm reader,

but she wasn’t all done up in faux-fortune teller broomstick skirts and jangly belly dancer belts.

Today she had her turquoise streaked black mane tamed back into a long braid to her waist, her

favorite Hello Kitty KISS shirt, and a pair of jeans that had been new two presidents ago. It

wasn’t the mystical look, but it didn’t hurt the business at all.

She was ringing up a beginner tarot deck and a bag of tiger-eye runes when her cell phone

sang from her pocket, Saint-Saëns’ Danse Macabre. Even though it was her personal phone, she

answered, “Wellington’s Magickal Apothecary, putting potion in motion, Nahia Wellington


“Nye, it’s Nigel. I need a favor.”

“What kind of favor?” Nigel was Nigel Gooch, a childhood friend who now worked for the

police department. They’d known each other so long that their parents referred to them as Nye,

Squared. Nahia looked at her watch, a robust faced two pound wrist weight she was loath to part

with and found it odd for him to be calling her so late in the day. He was normally a day shift


“The work-related kind.” He paused to snicker a bit, “I mean, your work, not mine.”

“Oh, this can’t be good.” Though she wasn’t exactly psychic in the traditional sense she was

highly sensitive, somewhat clairvoyant and more often than not, clairaudient. For the life of her,

she could think of no good scenarios for the police department needing her services. “The walls

of roll call bleeding or something?” A simple haunting and a house blessing she could do.

Locating missing people, not so much. Ghost hunting was a personal joy for her, with numerous

pictures and audio evidence to her credit.

“No!” Nigel sounded unduly excited to be disagreeing with her. “Not like that, exactly. We

had this guy go check a house. He got thrown out of the house.”

“That sounds like a situation for SWAT, not one for a friendly, neighborhood magickal

implements supplier.” Wedging her phone between her chin and shoulder, she quietly tended to a

customer, taking money in exchange for a rose quartz pendulum on a silver chain and a bundle of

white sage.

“Not when the house is abandoned and whatever threw him out wasn’t visible to the human


Nahia smiled at the customer before turning to grab a piece of paper and a pen. “Now you

have my attention. What was that address again?”


Nico Verrazzano disliked favors, at least as a concept. It wasn’t that he didn’t like people

owing him, but the mercurial nature of the payback in the event that he was the one who owed

always bothered him. In this case, he’d owed Nigel Gooch for covering for him on a missing

persons case while he went to his cousin’s daughter’s birthday party, and now, as payment, Nigel

had him sitting outside of this scary-looking abandoned mansion on the north side of town in his

department vehicle. Looking around with his flashlight once he got out of the car, it was like a

typical scary movie set, overgrown landscaping, broken windows on the bottom floor, and an

overall sense of foreboding and despair. There were even gargoyles at the end of the drive, for

fuck’s sake.

He turned around for the second time in as many minutes, feeling the tingly sensation of

being watched, only to find the three story house looming over him with no movement in the

blackened windows. This was not worth the original favor, definitely.

The reason for his presence was he was supposed to meet someone here, someone who was

going to ‘ghost hunt’ in the house. Since it was abandoned, he didn’t have to worry, necessarily,

about them trespassing, but more about the very live things that could be hanging out in the big

old Gothic structure. Why they’d want to though, was beyond him. The place was damn creepy.

Though it was the middle of July, he found himself fighting a shiver that chased down his

spine as the evening stretched leisurely across the sky and the lengthening shadows seemed to

reach for him.

He was debating waiting inside his car when a pair of headlights pulled into the driveway

behind him. A cute little Fiat, sky blue in color, bumped along to music barely contained within

its confines. The door opened and the engine died simultaneously, giving him just enough time

to detect the presence of U2 on the speakers.

Nigel hadn’t told Nico who he’d been waiting for, but when the tiny little brunette bounced

out of the driver’s seat with all the eagerness of a puppy with a toy, he figured this was his

charge. Watching her wasn’t going to be hardship at all, he mused, taking in her well-shaped ass

and legs in a pair of jeans she had a closer relationship with than he did his dentist.

When he thought ‘ghost hunter’, she was nowhere close to what he’d imagined, though he’d

be hard-pressed to describe his original suppositions. Maybe driving a hearse or dressed in a

squad suit and carrying a proton pack, but not her. In a million years. Even before she marched

up to him in her tight little black t-shirt with a large backpack slung over her shoulder, he knew

she was going to be different than any other woman he’d met. And he’d met more than a few.

“Nahia Wellington.” She offered her hand with a confident grin. He could see lighter streaks

woven through the braid over her shoulder opposite the imposing satchel.

Quickly pocketing his flashlight, he responded in kind. “Dominic Verrazzano. Like the

bridge.” When she shook his hand, all his senses erupted, feeling everything all at once. Her

delicate bone structure, her soft skin, her warmth. His breath arrested in his lungs until she

released him. “You can call me Nico.”

“It’s...lovely to meet you, Nico.” She didn’t sound any steadier than he was, her quick

shiver as she put her hand in her pocket had him on full alert, and the evening hadn’t even started

yet. “Where’s Nigel?”

“He didn’t say.” Nico shrugged and reached for her backpack. He hoisted it onto his

shoulder with one hand while checking his hip for his gun and his pocket for his flashlight. “He

asked me to step in. I hope you don’t mind. I won’t get in your way.” Even as he said the words,

he had no idea what he was agreeing to other than being her Sherpa.

Nahia stepped to his side and rummaged in her pack he had on his shoulder before coming

away with her own flashlight, a camera around her wrist and small digital recorder. “Not at all.

This’ll be fun.”

She stood before him in the dark, almost completely obscured by the night, a hand on her

hip and chewing on her lip as she regarded him. He would have given the entire contents of his

wallet to know what she thought. Rather than let the awkward moment grow between them, he

took a step toward the house, feeling his muscles tighten in his legs in defiance of the action.

Hopefully she didn’t notice the stutter in his step as he held out a hand. “Shall we?”

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