Here is an excerpt from Ghosts of Trenton House (Revenant Investigations, book two) for your Monday reading pleasure 🙂
Oh, how Lena Tompson wished she was still at home, curled up on the couch watching Pride and Prejudice—the Colin Firth version, of course—instead of being at the Revenant Investigations office for an emergency meeting. But that wish wasn’t going to come true. When her boss, Folger, called, they all knew to come immediately. Now Knox Trenton, the once-love-of-her-life, sat in her boss’s office with his forehead creased from worry.
“I’m very sorry to drag you all here at this hour,” Knox said. “But there’s an emergency at Trenton House.”
Arabella Pierce—coworker, medium, and best friend—spoke up. “What do you mean?” Arabella asked.
Knox rubbed his eyes.
He leaked emotions—Lena could feel just how worried he was. Having grown up with and seriously dated Knox, this wasn’t normal for him. Something had to be dreadfully wrong in order for him to bleeding emotions as strongly as he was. As a high level empath he was very good at guarding himself unless he was extremely stressed or tired.
Lena reached out with her own empathy gift to search his feelings, and a brick wall slammed down.
“Nana has done something,” he replied, dread lightly imbedded in his tone.
Oh dear. When his great-grandmother did something to earn that tone of voice it normally meant another feud was brewing with someone, probably a family member. The elderly spitfire was too fiery for her own good at times. “What did Imogene do?”
“You both know the story of my great-grandmother and her twin sister, Ruth.”
“Hard to forget the story,” Arabella replied.
While the story was well known, not many knew the actual details as she and Arabella did. He’d told them in Junior High. And a hell of a story it was.
He turned to Folger. “I’m going to tell you the story, but I ask that you keep it to yourself, for your records. This is a very sensitive issue.”
Folger raised his hand. “What you tell us goes no further than this room.”
Knox sighed. “Thank you. My great aunt Ruth conjured my great grandpa Duke’s spirit when he died of a heart attack in his mid-thirties. She wanted to punish her sister for allowing him into the family and betraying her. Their father trusted Duke and had learned to love him as a son. He willed Trenton House to him and Nana. Ruth was furious with her sister for allowing such a thing, saying that she was betrayed, even though their father left her and her husband well over five hundred thousand dollars and the country house at the edge of town.” He paused, sighing. “Most of the family believes that her objection was solely about Duke’s name being put on the house. I think it’s safe to say that if it was just Nana’s name on the deed, she wouldn’t have been so vehement about the whole thing.”
Lena had been to that country house a few times—a beautiful home that sat on a lovely four acres of land. But Duke being willed Trenton House and watching it fall into his hands, even with Imogene there, was just the tip of the Trenton sister feud.
Lena had seen no real ill-will between Knox and his cousins, but their parents…well, there was a reason she never liked going to the family get-togethers. The barely veiled animosity was like ice cracking against her skin. Knox tried to shield her from most of it but the intensity was too great for him to block all of it. She tolerated the events the best she could, but admitted they’d taken a toll on her, and her view of their relationship.
“And no one knows where Ruth trapped Duke’s spirit,” Arabella said, leaning back against the couch and crossing her legs. “Ruth took that information to the grave.” “Knox,” Folger said, “tell them what Imogene did.”
Hesitation lightly touched the air, and was clear in his dark brown eyes when he glanced at her. All thoughts of their past momentarily fled when she saw it—something was very wrong all right, and worry intensified in her gut. “Knox?”
He fidgeted in his chair, until he settled for sitting with his back completely straight, as if someone had pulled a string upward, and rested his hands on the arms of the chair.
“Nana…raided Ruth’s crypt at our family’s private cemetery and stole a necklace from her coffin.”
Lena’s mouth dropped in shock. “She did what?”
“That’s not all. When she returned to the house and tried to call her husband’s spirit to her, she ended up summoning Ruth instead.”
“Oh my God,” Arabella whispered.
Knowing what she did of Ruth—whom she’d met only once, at a birthday party shortly before her death—Lena could just imagine how the ghost was taking being summoned by her sister. Death did little to quell emotions. “What do you need us to do?”
He stood, putting his hands in his pants pockets. “I need you two to come talk to Nana and Ruth and try to calm them down before they destroy the entire house battling each other, and tear the family completely apart in the process.”
“What do you mean?” Arabella asked.
“My great uncles, Silas and Wick, are threatening to sue me and my two brothers for both the house and guardianship of Nana if we don’t deal with the situation in the next two weeks. They’re threatening to put her in the Jasmine Home for the Gifted.”
Not good, not good. The Jasmine Home was built specifically to care for elderly people with gifts, ones who couldn’t control their gifts anymore, or those who committed such an act as Knox’s great-grandmother. The home served most of coastal Maine—with other smaller homes scattered throughout the state.
Imogene would consider it a prison, and that did not bode well for those around her.
“Does Imogene know?” she asked. “What about Silas and Wick’s children?”
“I told her today. As for Silas and Wick’s children, they’ve agreed to help their fathers if Nana doesn’t undo what she’s done. All but Brendon, who’s trying to help me.”
She took a deep breath. “What do you need of us?”
His eyes softened, and for a split second she felt her heart melt, just a little.