Number of pages: 225
Word Count: 83,000
Cover Artist: Exquisite Ebook Creations
Demon Inhibitions (Caitlin Diggs) by Gary Starta
Most people don’t travel to another universe to get a new job, house and boyfriend but psychic investigator Caitlin Diggs did.
Now she’s living the life of her alternate self, working for the FBI’s Preternatural Division where her first case just happens to include chasing a genetically engineered man hell bent on stealing souls. Well, there had to be consequences.
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Excerpts from Demon Inhibitions
Grant’s ruggedness gave me strength. The notion that I would be flying in a single engine plane brought back the wave of nausea I had experienced when I first experienced my cold symptoms. Only the cold symptoms were gone, along with any dizziness one might feel when imbibing a cup of murky green cold medicine. I couldn’t explain this. I couldn’t explain a lot of things. Yet an eyeful of Grant gave me courage, even inspiration. Robust and bright eyed, Grant possessed a pair of broad shoulders and a six-foot-three-inch frame, nicely packaged in a gray pinstriped designer suit. Sea green eyes peered at me, hungry, curious for answers. Carter must have laid it on thick concerning my psychic skills. Did this man have every confidence in my clairvoyant abilities, or did he just want to jump my bones? Hard to tell, I thought, staring out a window at the murky brownish colored sea below us that was nothing as effervescent or alluring as Charles Grant’s eyes. Yes. It had been a long time since I dated. And my horizontal dance with incubus boy didn’t count. Youth is nice but this man could be a walking definition of the “whole” package. Charming as well, he comforted me straight away as we lifted off.
“Don’t worry Ms. Diggs, the Cessna 400 is the most reliable single engine piston powered-plane on the market.”
I smiled with the alacrity of a mental patient when he accentuated the words “piston powered.” Yes, much too long without the company of a man. I unconsciously began to fan myself although the cabin temperature had been cool enough, in fact quite a welcome relief to the ninety degree plus weather outside. So he could immediately pick up on my worries and Needs. Maybe just a coincidence, I told myself, still foolishly fanning myself with a Chinese takeout flyer I had dug out of my purse. And merely coincidental I found him irresistibly attractive. No, this isn’t about falling in love at first sight. Nooo…
Then he put his hand on my knee, and I felt my heart thump. “You know,” he began, “if you need privacy to conjure up your vision or dream state, I can go sit with the pilot.”
“Oh, no.” I nearly screamed it. His eyes told me either realized my phobia of flying in small aircraft had been a ploy to garner his attention or perhaps a real deep seated fear, one which might invite a panic attack.
“Okay, then,” he said. His voice became gentle and lilting in reaction to my squawk. “I’m not going anywhere. It’s just that it’s imperative we get a lead, any kind of lead to stop Mollini.”
“Yes,” I said staring into his sea green eyes. “I know what it means to be desperate…I…uh, mean, desperate for a break on a case.”
“Now do you?”
I wondered how Grant could not recognize me. Surely, he must have at least heard my name. I had had the best arrest/conviction rate i the Bureau. But I realized it would be best if he continued to think of me as a civilian-which I now was. The Bureau hadn’t been kind to me lately. And I had left in larg part because I believed they would never accept my gift; or how I had come to acquire it. “Oh, I just watch a lot detective shows,” I said.
He laughed, hopefully swallowing my lame-assed explanation. So he possessed an open mind, at least when it came to crunch time. That point in a case where you would rub a bald man’s head for luck if it brought you any closer to apprehending the perp.
“Then we probably realize we’ve got to make a stand.”
I could tell by the way he said it that even he didn’t give it much chance of success. And his gaze fell away, distant, probably counting the number of colleagues who would be fitted for body bags.
“Have you thought about an alternative?” I blurted out.
“I’m open to suggestion.” His eyes rejoined mine. Again, I could literally hear my heart beat.
“I suppose following protocol would be best,” I said half heartedly, my eyes fighting to disengage from his.
“I don’t want to pressure you. But do you have any inkling? Any hint where Mollini might be ultimately headed?”
Shit, I thought. I sure as hell did. And now I couldn’t share with this man, something my physical self desperately desired. And as I wallowed in guilt, I began to question my sudden attraction to this man, the irresistible urge to bare all with this man-damn it—the near uncontrollable urge to unfasten the waist ties on my halter and bare more than just the truth. What was happening to me? I thought about it for a few seconds.
Perhaps Grant believed I had fallen into a psychic trance. If so, that would buy some time. I stared, pensive, eyes trained on the floor, playing the stereotyped crystal gazing psychic to the hilt. And I realized that along with my vision, came my ability to read people. My empathic gift had come back as well. Possibly this power seemed so overwhelming to me because I had spent the last few weeks living as a shut-in. As if black clouds suddenly rolled away exposing a radiant, blinding golden blast of sunshine, I could read the goodness of this man, not only see his aura but also feel it.
Intoxicated, I realized the reconnection to my feelings and emotions had caused sensory overload.
Maybe that’s why I had nearly succumbed to infatuation when I should have been plotting how to stop Mollini. But first things first, I had to misdirect Grant. It would be for his good. And mine as well, from a selfish standpoint. Whether my lust had been organically or paranormally stimulated, I genuinely perceived Grant to be an honest and caring man. I could not lead him to his slaughter. And with that realization, came baggage. I also could honestly say that one part of me really didn’t care if a butt load of FBI agents went down fighting. That part of me, the self-righteous, self-absorbed portion, would say they had it coming, foolishly attempting to combat a supernatural power with conventional weapons, and in the process only making the perpetrator stronger. I only cared about Grant’s safety—his sea green eyes, melt-me-inhis- mouth kind of safety… Shut up, I told myself, trying to disconnect the imagery. I had to quell that voice. That would be the voice of pride speaking—and possibly the voice of lust as well. And while I was in full self diagnosis mode, it was a voice that needed to feel justified for leaving my FBI career. A voice that said they would regret allowing me to resign. Shut up, I said again, more forcefully. Who am I kidding? I am replaceable. Even this wonderful agent doesn’t recognize me. Time to get a grip, Caitlin, it’s time to do your job. You didn’t join the Bureau for glory, I told myself. You did it because you had no other choice; the job was already part of you—it never needed to become part of you. You and the job were already symbiotic. Okay, so now it’s time to do the job. Despite the fact I was no longer FBI, I would think like I was.
Unconventional, that’s how I solved the lion’s share of my cases. I would use my paranormal abilities to combat Mollini’s. It all sounded so simple, in theory. I would stick to the plan. I let my eyelids flutter as if the vision were ending. And I spoke. “I think I have a lead. I see where Mollini will make his stand.” As Grant’s eyes bore into me for detail, I glanced away for a second, to catch the time.
“Where are we now?” I asked.
“Somewhere at the end of New England, and the beginning of the tristate area.”
“That’s good. You’ll continue on—without me—to this address.” I rummaged through my cluttered purse, amazingly pulling both a pad of paper and pen in my first attempt. I wrote the address down, tore off the sheet from the pad and handed it to Grant.
“That’s where you can get Mollini. He’ll need to replenish himself there.” Grant stared at me. “Yes, with souls from living bodies,” I said in reply to his polemic gesturing. “He’ll need a mass killing. But he’ll be vulnerable for a window of time. You and an attack team might be able to take him down, even without firing a weapon, possibly in hand-to-hand combat. Although,” I quickly added, “I wouldn’t recommend that.” And even though I knew this encounter would most likely never happen, I couldn’t bear to see Agent Grant get caught in Mollini’s demonic grip.
About the Author:
Gary Starta is a former journalist who writes paranormal fiction with a blend of SCI FI, Fantasy, Mystery and Romance.
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