EXCERPT FROM SIREN’S CALL
By Jayne Castle
No question about it, Ella thought. Rafe Coppersmith was running a hot psi-fever.
She folded her hands together on her desk. Rafe had kept her secret. She would keep his. They were both strong talents and among powerful talents there were a few unspoken rules. So long as Rafe refrained from showing any signs of being seriously deranged, she would pretend that she had not noticed the weirdness in his aura.
She smiled as if nothing unusual had occurred.
“Why don’t you tell me a little more about Rainshadow Island and why you think you need a dream counselor,” she said, employing her best professional tone.
Dark amusement came and went in Rafe’s eyes. She knew then that so long as she pretended nothing had happened, he would play the same game—at least for now.
“I’m not looking for a private dream counselor,” he said. “I’m representing Coppersmith Mining today.”
“What happened to your FBPI consulting gig?” she asked. She gave him a cool smile. “Still doing odd jobs for the Bureau?”
“I’ve been a little busy with other things since I saw you last.”
Something in his voice told her that he did not want to discuss the other things. She wasn’t going to get an excuse or an explanation for the three months of silence.
“I see,” she said. “Please continue.”
“I’ve been tasked with troubleshooting a big project on Rainshadow.”
“So you immediately thought of me.”
For the first time in three months, no doubt, she added silently. Another flash of anger sparked through her. She suppressed it with Siren control.
“I immediately thought of you,” Rafe agreed. But he looked a little wary now.
“I’m sure you’re aware that music talents aren’t particularly rare,” she said. “There are probably hundreds, if not thousands of them available throughout the city-states.”
“I need someone who can handle paranormal music,” Rafe said. “That type of ability is rare, at least at the high end.”
She unfolded her hands, picked up a pen, and absently tapped the tip against the small crystal figurine of a dust bunny that sat on her desk. She listened to the faint, melodic ping ring gently out across the spectrum from the normal into the paranormal.
So Rafe Coppersmith wanted her help. Now, wasn’t that interesting? And just exactly how did she feel about the situation? she wondered.
Face it, when it comes to relationships, Sirens never catch a break. You know that.
“How long would this job last?” she asked.
“Depends,” Rafe said. “I think we’ll find out real fast whether you can handle the work. If it turns out you can, it shouldn’t take long to come up with the data the lab techs need to create a permanent fix.”
“Are you absolutely certain that this contract does not involve the FBPI or the illegal weapons trade?” she asked. “Because I really do not want to go there again.”
“This is the Underworld we’re talking about. It’s not inconceivable that we might come across some dangerous antiquities, and if that happens, it’s possible the FBPI might step in.”
“But I can promise that you’ll have several layers of protection between you and the FBPI and also between you and any bad guys who might decide to come sniffing around Wonderland. Coppersmith takes care of its people.”
She narrowed her eyes. “Let me be perfectly clear. If I take the contract I would not be one of your people. I’m an independent consultant.”
“Okay, I can respect that. But the company will take responsibility for your welfare while you’re under contract. That’s how we do things.”
Ella tapped the pen against the crystal dust bunny again. She listened to the paranormal echoes fade away.
She had some personal issues with one Raphael Coppersmith but there was no getting around the fact that his family’s company was a prestigious firm. It would be very nice to add Coppersmith Mining to her list of clients.
She told herself not to consider the fact that she would also be working with Rafe.
“I’m probably going to regret this, but keep talking,” she said.
“To date, we have hired four consultants, all of whom claimed to be able to handle paranormal music energy,” Rafe said. “The results have been . . . disappointing.”
“Define ‘disappointing.’ ”
“All four nearly got eaten.”
Posted by arrangement with Berkley Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Jayne Castle, 2015.
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Siren's Call by Jayne CastleSeries: Rainshadow #4
Published by Penguin Publishing Group on July 28th 2015
Genres: Fiction, Paranormal, Romance, Supernatural, Suspense
In the mysterious world of Harmony, there are places filled with unexplored marvels. But Rainshadow Island isn t about to give up its secrets In the alien catacombs of Rainshadow, there are creatures whose compelling songs lure the unwary to their death. That s why Rafe Coppersmith, hired to clear out the catacombs for exploration, needs a music talent. He s knows the perfect one, but she probably doesn t want anything do with him... Ella Morgan had once fallen hard and fast for Rafe, but then he disappeared for months and he s not about to tell her why. Ella, too, has secrets that only her dust bunny knows. She s not just a music talent, she s a Siren: a paranormal singer capable of singing men to sleep or to their deaths. But once on Rainshadow, Rafe and Ella will learn that surrendering to passion doesn t come without risks and fighting fire with fire only adds to the flame "