A Preternatural PNW Novel, 3
Finn's turned Veruca's life upside down in the best possible way. He's generous, beautiful, funny, and the best lover she's ever known. He's also a magnet for trouble, attracting it like he's the floor and it's the buttered side of toast.
Despite that, when an emissary of the fae shows up accusing Finn of reckless necromancy, she knows something isn't right. Finn's been a thief and a conman, but he isn't capable of murder. With help from an unlikely and unlikeable source, Veruca must follow a trail of blood and bodies and hope they lead her to the person who's making Finn look bad in the eyes of Fairy. His life may depend on it.
Finn watched Veruca and the big guy quizzically, wondering why they were acting like James Bond and some villain who’d accidentally tipped his hand about the death ray he had pointed at them both. The phrase “mutually assured destruction” came to mind for a fleeting moment, until they stepped into the house and Finn caught sight of his own reflection in a full-length mirror to the left of the door. He looked pretty good, especially for the early hour. He’d gotten more than enough sleep the day before, so staying up half the night pleasuring Veruca had hardly taken its toll. His life hadn’t always left him looking so spiffy, but since meeting his true love he looked pretty great most of the time.
“He should be allowed to inspect the evidence against him,” Veruca said as Finn winked at himself in the mirror and straightened his tie. Realization dawned on him, and he watched his own reflected expression wrinkle into a frown.
“The—what evidence?” Finn asked. Veruca smiled briefly his way, but as she opened her mouth to speak, something pulled her attention off to the far end of the foyer. Her shoulders stiffened and Finn recognized something was wrong. The big guy kept watching Finn, his muddy eyes narrowed. Finn offered a smile, but it didn’t make a dent in the creature’s stony glare.
Veruca took off without a word and Finn lost sight of her the second she rounded the corner into the hallway. Uncomfortable with staying behind, Finn rushed after her. An itch started between his shoulder blades as soon as he put the big guy at his back.
“What’s going on, my love?” Finn asked as he crossed the threshold into a large bedroom. Whoever lived there was a pretty good decorator, Finn thought, before he noticed the body stretched out on the big bed at the far wall. His necromancy picked up on the problem the second he focused on the corpse, and Finn wondered if his previous thought had become invalidated. From the look of it, maybe no one was living there at all.
“This doesn’t belong to Finn,” Veruca said from the foot of the bed. She was staring down at the corpse, shaking her head so minutely Finn wasn’t sure she realized she was doing it. “The fragment is so small, though, that I can’t get a reading on it. If I had to guess, I would—”
The corpse sat up abruptly, startling Veruca, and turned its face directly to Finn. When it said his name, he almost fainted.