Talking with the Dead

An FBI Psychics Prequel

Michael O’Rourke’s days are filled with ghosts and guilt. A psychic who can connect lost souls, his life is about finding justice for the dead. Enter Sheriff Daisy Crandall-she sees him, she wants him, but he’s in the middle of a crime scene and she can’t trust him.

Talking With The Dead Cover, full-body pose of a man in jeans and black t-shirt, looking down, against an otherworldly backdrop with a woman's face superimposed over the background.

Michael came awake at the knock on the door.

His neck was stiff, his mouth was dry as cotton and his back hurt like hell after falling asleep at the desk. Slowly, he stood up and stretched, trying to ease the kinks in his muscles. It didn’t do much good.

“Yeah?” He wasn’t going to open that door until he knew it was the innkeeper. That woman made the Bureau look soft when it came to interrogation. Mike wasn’t going through the inquisition again.

“It’s Daisy.”

The sound of her soft, husky voice started a low burn deep in his gut. His cock jerked a little and he pressed a hand against his fly. Just hearing her voice and he got hard. “Just a minute.” He glanced at the computer. He’d bumped the mouse when he woke up and the images on the Bureau’s website glared at him. He wasn’t working this case in any official capacity, but he’d hoped there might be something in the Bureau’s database that might help.

He’d been logged out due to inactivity but he didn’t want the pretty sheriff seeing him there. If he had something to tell her, maybe. He didn’t want her worrying that a lot more feds were going to show up, in an official capacity, and start poaching.

Mike had spent most of the night checking databases, hoping to find something. But no luck.

He padded over to the door and muffled a yawn. Shoving a hand through his hair, he opened the door. She looked a lot more awake than he felt, he thought tiredly. She held up a piece of paper but instead of looking at it, he just stared into her furious eyes. “She was fifteen. Fifteen.”

Michael felt yet another crack etch itself into his heart as he looked at the flyer. Kerri Etheridge. Fifteen. Runaway from Denton, Indiana. The bright red font across the bottom alerted authorities to the fact that she had a heart murmur.

“Heart attack,” he said, closing his eyes. A blessing in disguise.

“You already knew that,” Daisy said, her voice trembling with rage.

Michael glanced at her as he reached out and gently tugged the flyer from her. “I suspected it,” he said, stepping to the side. She frowned at him but came in, crossing her arms over her chest. Turning around, she watched him while he closed the door.

Kerri. Pretty name. “She’s worried about her mom.” Michael closed his eyes. “She wants her mom to know what happened. She just wanted to go to a play.” He crumpled the flyer in his fist, clenching his jaw. Impotent fury ate at him. He wanted to hit something. Anything. But instead of pounding on something with his fists, he dropped down onto the bed and stared at the crumpled flyer. “All she wanted to do was see a play.”

“I can’t say anything to her mom until I find her,” Daisy said quietly. “Nobody has even seen her. If I say something now, without proof—that would be cruel, Michael.”

“I know. Daisy, you don’t seem to understand—I’ve been doing this a long time.” Too long…

“You’ve been doing this too long.”

His eyes flew up to meet hers and an unwitting smile curled his lips. He watched as she moved forward and knelt down in front of him. “This hurts you,” she whispered, staring up at him. “I’m sorry. I wish I didn’t need you to help me.”

Michael reached out and traced his fingers along the curve of her cheek. “This is what I do, ma’am,” he drawled. “Nothing to apologize about.” Dropping his gaze to her mouth, he finally gave into the urge that had been driving him nuts ever since he’d seen her. Threading his hand through her hair, he drew her a little closer, slowly, giving her the chance to pull away.

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