"You saw your mother's ghost?" I looked toward the empty space where he'd been staring but couldn't sense anything. Even when I focused with the part of me that was the witch, the living room was empty. "I don't see anything. Is she still there?"


His breath caught, and I noticed his fingers whiten as he caught himself on the countertop, fingers narrowly missing the shards of broken glass. Red wine dripped off the edge of the granite, but he didn't seem to notice. "No. She's gone. She just dissipated." Closing his lids, he released a shaky exhale.

I squinted in the direction of his sofa. "Are you sure it wasn't the wine?" When he didn't answer me, I glanced back in his direction.

He winced and shook his head. "I'm sure. I just saw the ghost of my dead mother, Grateful. This isn't a case of the spins."

I spread my hands. "I'm a goddess of the dead. If an apparition of your dead mother was really here, shouldn't I be able to sense her in some way?"

"You sort souls. She said hers was already sorted. Maybe you can only see those people who haven't moved on."

"I guess, it's possible, but-"

"What's the Book of Flesh and Bone?" With his elbows replacing his hands on the granite, he bent at the waist until his forehead rested on his fists. He seemed too exhausted to hold his head up, let alone clean up the broken glass.

I sighed. Why had I unloaded this burden on Logan? And at this hour of the night? He should have been free of all this. Now I owed him an answer. "The first witch was a woman named Isabella Lockhart. In 1698, Reverend Monk and his Puritan parishioners used a spell from the Book of Flesh and Bone, a grimoire or book of magic given to him by a demon in the woods behind Rick's house. The spell bound Isabella to her body and allowed Monk to burn her at the stake. Her soul survived only because she stored it inside a living host, her caretaker, Rick. But Reverend Monk and every person who had chanted the spell from the book died instantly from using the dark magic. Their blood became a forced sacrifice to Beelzebub and opened the hellmouth in Monk's Hill Cemetery."

"So, it's the devil's own grimoire with recipes to control the living and the dead, flesh and bone. Nice. Definitely dangerous in the wrong hands."

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"For sure."

"So where is it now?"

"I have no idea. As far as I know, it hasn't been seen since the day Monk used it on me."

Logan shivered. "You'd better find it Grateful. What if that's what Julius wants? Based on your story about Isabella, the book contains some powerful magic. Maybe he wants to control you with it."

"But why would Julius give me the money tonight if he intended to hurt me?" I shook my head, folding my hands.

Logan straightened. "Maybe he thinks you know where the book is. Maybe he thinks if he gets close enough to you, you will lead him to it." He bent down to dig under his sink, emerging with a dustpan and hand broom.

I thought about that. "Why would he think I would know where it was? If anyone would know where the Book of Flesh and Bone was today, it would be Rick. He was there the day I died and lived to tell the tale."

Positioning the dustpan, Logan methodically swept glass and spilled wine with the far away expression of someone deep in thought. For a moment, I allowed my brain to blank, absorbed in watching his domestic task. I bounced down from the stool and grabbed a rag from the sink, crouching to wipe the spilled red liquid from the floor.

"Grateful, why am I seeing my dead mother?" Logan stopped sweeping and glared at me with the beginnings of dark circles under his eyes.

"What? She's back?"

"No. Not at the moment. But, before?"

I shrugged. The rag was saturated so I stood and wrung it out in the sink. The red swirled the stainless steel drain like blood in my silver bowl, and an answer popped into my head from somewhere deep inside. "There's something of the ghost left in you. Your soul was as close to dead as anyone gets and lives to talk about. You've glimpsed the other side of the veil. It remains thin for you."

He wiped a hand over his face. "That sounded like the witch talking."

"I think it was."

"So, I'm a medium or something?"

"Or something." I gave him an empathetic frown over my shoulder. "I can do some research in the Book of Light if you want me to."

He nodded. The dustpan was full, and he nudged me aside to empty it into the garbage can under the sink. Standing hip to hip, I noticed the scruff along his jaw and the fine lines at the corners of his eyes, features ghost Logan hadn't had. He was really human again.

"What else aren't you telling me?" he asked. Ghost or not, his green eyes blazed just as bright. I ignored the subtle pang of attraction his look elicited and turned away to finish wiping the counter.

"There's a guy trying to buy my house out from under me and a recent influx of supernatural baddies in Carlton City. Rick and I can hardly keep up."

Logan groaned.

"My sentiments exactly."

He returned the cleaning supplies to their place under the sink and stretched to open the little cabinet door over the fridge. When he returned, there was a bottle of Jack Daniels in his hand. "We're going to need something stronger than wine."

By the time I finished wiping, two shot glasses had appeared next to the bottle. He poured. "Do you think the two are related?"

I blinked once, twice.

He downed his shot and plunked the glass down on the counter. His lips pressed together for a moment, then he pointed a finger at me. "What if Julius isn't trying to woo you but distract you?"

I raised eyebrows.

The pointed finger waved deliberately. "He needs to distract you while he searches for the Book of Flesh and Bone. He does this by sending someone to buy your house, then planting the seed of doubt in your head about Rick. Maybe returning the money wasn't about the money at all but about giving Gary the chance to drop that little emotional bomb on you. Meanwhile, he's calling in his buddies to help him look for Satan's grimoire while you reel from all the shit he's thrown your way."

For a moment, I tried to digest that, taking interest in the whiskey on the counter. "You may be right. I had the sense he was trying to stir the pot, but it doesn't change that what he said was true. Rick admitted as much. Unfortunately, if Julius wanted to shake me up, he did a good job. I can't let this go. I need to know the truth."

"Even if you can't change it? You can't go back. You've accepted your role, and Rick is your caretaker. Finding out that he manipulated you and had a hand in Gary's fate isn't going to change your dependence on each other. Believe me, I'd like to think that it could for my own selfish reasons, but it won't."

His eyes burned into me, and I looked toward the shot snuggled in my grip for release from the heat. The conversation was veering toward dangerous territory. Again, I'd let Logan in too deep without taking into consideration his feelings for me, feelings I knew in my heart I couldn't return. I nudged my full shot in his direction. "Sorry, I can't partake. Getting ridiculously drunk with you sounds magically delicious at this point, but I need to get home while I'm sober enough to drive. I have to work in the morning."

"Ah. Sick people don't stop coming to the hospital because a vampire is threatening to take over the city."

I laughed. "Unfortunately, no. Plus, if you're right about Julius, I've got to get to my attic and make a plan. Tainted or not, the money will help. I'll use it as a down payment and buy my house."

Collecting my arctic outfit from the sofa, I stepped into my snowpants.

"I know you have to go, Grateful, but we haven't had a chance to talk about us."

Intent on my coat zipper, I refused to meet his eyes. I couldn't start this with him right now. I shook my head and reached for my gloves.

"This conversation isn't over," he murmured. "Maybe, at my party?"

Reluctantly, I agreed. I guess I owed him that much. But for now, I was exhausted. I donned my winter layers and kissed him goodbye on the cheek. He escorted me to the elevator, and I stepped into the empty compartment.

"I meant what I said before. Fred downstairs knows to let you up here day or night. If you ever need anything..."

"Thanks Logan." The doors closed between us. A wave of guilt passed through me. Why was I so careless with Logan's emotions? I knew he had feelings for me, feelings I couldn't return, yet like a sore tooth, I couldn't stop poking it where it ached. I had to be more careful with him.

I made a mental note to protect his apartment with an enchantment. The last thing I needed was some jagged-toothed supernatural nabbing Logan and using him against me. So far, I didn't think Julius knew about our friendship. I needed to keep it that way. Medium or not, Logan wasn't equipped to handle the life I could inflict on him.

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