Thursday, June 17, 2010

Private Eyes by Mikala Ash

Private Eyes by Mikala  Ash
Read an excerpt

Private Eyes

by Mikala Ash
cover art by Kassie Thrace
ISBN: 978-1-60521-427-6
Genre(s): Paranormal, Dark Fantasy
Theme(s): Shapeshifters, Magic and Mayhem, BBW
Length: Novella


Colleen, a feisty Irish lass living alone on the wrong side of the tracks, is looking for a job. She has the gift of reading auras and being able to tell if a person is good or bad at heart. Colleen successfully insinuates herself into a job with the gorgeous Adam Verges, owner of the Dogberry Detective Agency. Not only is he tall, dark and handsome with a body to die for, he has the purest aura Colleen has ever seen.
On her first day on the job, Colleen suspects the beautiful Anastasia Orkova of stalking her new boss. The sexy femme fatale has an aura as black as coal and has her evil eye on Adam. What else can Colleen do but make it her mission to save Adam from Orkova's predatory clutches?
Murder and mayhem ensue as Colleen and her friends from the hood, a witch, a hooker, her pimp and a Sicilian convenience store owner, all join forces with Adam in the climactic battle to thwart the evilly erotic plans of a potent shape shifter.
Private Eyes
Mikala Ash
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2010 Mikala Ash

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As empty as it was, the office was virtually crackling with his presence. He was a man of great energy, and the glimmering glow emanating from his chair told me it was all positive. It was clear who the Adonis who'd stopped to help me on the street really was. It also explained his absence from the office which was left unlocked and unattended. He had, I assumed, been in hot pursuit of the thug as part of a case. How exciting.
I couldn't help but nod in approval. Oh, to work for a man of action. This job opportunity was turning out to be very suitable indeed.
I closed the door and returned to the secretary's desk. In contrast to Mr. Verges, there was hardly any of the previous incumbent's presence left. She must have been an insipid creature not to have left any trace at all. The untidiness suggested that, while Mr. Verges himself kept a tidy office, he was a stranger to efficient office procedure, and in the void between secretaries, had helped himself to the files and not returned them to their proper place.
I hoped he would return soon. My feet, unused to wearing heels, throbbed pleadingly at me, so I took the secretary's seat and kicked them off. The chair was comfortable enough, and with growing interest, I considered closely what I hoped would be my new workspace. A modern plasma computer screen took up more than half of the available space. Next to it were three trays, each marked in felt pen. To be filed was filled with dozens of newspaper clippings. Correspondence to be typed was also full. Not surprisingly, given the situation, To be signed was empty.
From the correspondence tray, I picked up the sheath of shorthand notes written, I noticed, by Mr. Verges himself. I could tell by the firm masculine hand and the brightness of the symbols glimmering on the page. I deciphered the awkward shorthand and decided that, while I was here with nothing to do, I might as well get a feel for my future employer. To say I was confident this was the place for me would be an understatement. I was feeling very, very positive.
I gave my glasses, which I need for reading and close work, a quick clean, turned on the computer and tut-tutted when it was clear that the machine was not password protected. What was my predecessor thinking? No wonder she no longer occupied this chair. I opened the word processor and, after creating a folder to save my work, started typing.
After only a dozen reports and letters, it was clear to me that Mr. Verges was a diligent and resourceful investigator. He was meticulous in the manner in which he chased down small details that, even though on first glance appeared tangential to the main matter, allowed him to come to a compelling and sometimes surprising conclusion. He had been involved in all manner of investigations: fraud, infidelity, missing persons, murder, cold cases and investigating wrongful convictions. My respect and appreciation of him were growing with every sentence. I trusted he would not be offended by my interpretation of his shorthand, for in places I had to use my imagination.
As I typed, my good feelings regarding the absent Mr. Verges grew and blossomed into a warm sensation in my belly, extending to the juncture of my thighs. You may think this is atrocious hyperbole, for how could the typing of someone's indifferent shorthand result in thoughts most erotic? Well, that's hard to explain. Suffice to say that his shorthand (written in fine blue ink) glowed on the page as if the letters were the same as those that shone from the one ring when the gray wizard extracted it from the fire. The only difference was that Mr. Verges' script glowed white and not gold, making it a tad difficult to read against the white of the notepaper.
He wrote with a certain poetry too, with a lively and catchy rhythm, and as the glowing symbols translated into words inside my head imbued with the honeyed tone of his voice, the warmth of his prose traveled to my belly and made my center tingle.
Forty blissful minutes later I had finished the letters and notes and had printed them out. Luckily the printer was filled with blank letterhead, for I had no key to the stationery cupboard that stood beside the three-drawer filing cabinet occupying the corner of the room.
I looked at the press clippings and decided their untidiness offended my sense of order enough to do something about them. I tried the top drawer of the filing cabinet marked X and again smiled at my future employer's sense of humor, for the clippings involved themselves with sightings of ghosts, demons, sasquatch and yeti-type creatures, unexplained deaths and supposed miracles. The drawer opened. The drawers marked Accounts and Case Files were locked. I was relieved. At least there was some office security, although I was still unhappy about the computer.
The top drawer was quite full. I filed the clippings in the appropriate folders and closed the drawer. There was a coffee pot behind my desk so I made a cup of coffee, thinking that it was the least reward I could expect after doing a day's work in an afternoon.
As I drank, I thought about Mr. Verges, and those sultry sensations returned with a vengeance. Had I been in the privacy of my bedroom, I certainly would have done something about it. As I wasn't in my fortress of autoeroticism, I just had to put up with the delightfully frustrating feelings of unfulfilled sexual arousal.
I forced my thoughts away from matters sexual to something less provocative; those intriguing press clippings. The letters I had typed were all down-to-earth, one might say prosaic, cases of human frailty and mundane evil. The clippings, however, suggested my future employer had a more supernatural side to his nature, and that interested me a lot.
I heard voices in the corridor and the door swung open. Two men entered, one tall and well-built and the other short and weedy. They were, it seemed, at the tail end of a one-sided discussion.
"Ah, come on, what d'ya say?" the short, weedy one whined.
Those white doves flocked together again in my belly as I recognized the blinding aura of the Adonis from the street. I'd been right. He was my new employer, Mr. Adam Verges.
"I said no yesterday and I say no today," he replied in a thickly toned voice that sent warm tendrils of lust coursing through my veins. Now I'd had a good look at it, my first impressions were mostly confirmed. His aura was one of power and innate goodness, dazzling me with its brilliance. It was not a completely pure mantle, for within its glorious brightness pale shades of imperfection ebbed and flowed like beautiful strands of sea life decorating a coral reef. For all that, it was the most perfect aura I had ever seen. Could I possibly measure up? My heart skipped and those doves turned back to pterodactyls and took flight.
The short man stopped in his tracks when he saw me and his formerly pleading face transformed into the countenance of a lascivious Lothario. "Ah, the sweet-voiced Colleen," he greeted me.
Mr. Verges shot me a glance and his gorgeous gray-blue eyes widened in a flash of recognition. Apart from that, he didn't miss a beat as he took in my occupancy of the secretary's chair, the steamy coffeepot behind me, the tidy desk now devoid of files, the empty in-tray and the full out-tray. In mid-stride he picked up the typed correspondence and, without interrupting his step, proceeded to his office door. He opened it and said over his shoulder, "There's nothing more to be said, Joey. Close the door when you leave." He cleared his throat. "Colleen. Bring your steno pad. I have some letters I want sent out today."
I gave his broad back a brisk, efficient smile. "Of course, Mr. Verges."

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