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Neon Blue

E. J. Frost







Neon Blue

Copyright 2014 by E. J. Frost


All rights reserved.

Cover art by Luke Bailey


Model courtesy of faestock


Interior book design by Bob Houston eBook Formatting

ISBN: 1503314618

ISBN-13: 978-1503314610

All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a

retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the written permission of the author.

Any person who does any unauthorized act in relation to this publication may be liable for criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.

The scanning, uploading and distribution of this book via the Internet or any other electronic means without the permission of the author is illegal and punishable by law. By purchasing an authorized electronic edition, you are supporting the author’s rights. Thank you!


This novel was workshopped over several years, and with the good and the bad, I lost my Path. Without the unwavering support and encouragement of Ian Tregillis, Carina Persson, DeeGee Timms, Jamelith, Minda Tackett, and Sheila Hoag, I would not have found my way back. Tu lux mea.

Y’all rock.

And for Kayleigh. This is a book you might be allowed to read. Someday.

Chapter 1

I’m a sucker for flavored coffees. Starbucks. Dunkin Donuts. They pour in some syrup – amaretto, mocha, hazelnut, vanilla crème, or that new one for fall, pumpkin spice – and they’ve got me.

Unfortunately, anyone who knows me, knows my weakness. And knows where to find me. Which is how Manny Goldberg tracked me down to a table in front of Borders on School Street that September morning.

“Zee, how are you, kid?”

I hunch over my double pumpkin spice. Manny is one of the few of my former clients who won’t accept that I’ve moved on. “Hey, Manny.”

Manny settles heavily into the chair across from me. The autumn sun’s unkind to him. It brings out the blotchiness of his doughy skin, the slivers of scalp peeking through his comb-over. His dark blue suit looks like it’s been slept in.

“Want a coffee?” I offer, knowing he won’t take me up on it. High blood pressure and an ulcer keep Manny away from my vice.

“No, thanks.” He stretches and tries to look casual as he slides three thick files onto the table. Redwells. I haven’t seen legal files in months. At the clinic, we keep our files in rainbow plastic file-folders. Bright and cheerful.

“What’s with the files, Manny?” I ask, although I know perfectly well. Manny has run into a dead-end – three dead-ends – and wants my help. My special kind of help.

I hunch my shoulder at the files. I don’t want to give him what he wants. Don’t want to get pulled back down into Manny’s world of adultery, divorce, death.

“How’s the new thing going?” Manny tries to divert me from the oppressive presence of the files between us.

“Good, thanks.” I don’t ask how things are with him. I don’t want to give him an opening. “Are you sure I can’t get you a coffee?”

“No, you know.” He pats his rounded stomach. “Listen, kid, I know you’ve got this new thing going, but I wondered . . . it’s just these three. I’ve kinda hit the wall on them. They really need your, uh, special touch.”

I glance at the files resignedly. I owe him. Big time. “No child custodies?”

“No, no. I wouldn’t do that to you.”

I nod. At least he’s respecting my rules, even if he has hunted me down in the middle of my morning fix. I take a sip of coffee and pick up the first file. Reynolds. I flip through the file quickly. “Love potion?” I ask.


“Did they love each other . . . before?” I wave my hand over a set of pictures in the back of the file. Pretty blonde wife in a variety of compromising positions with someone who is clearly not Manny’s client.

“He says so.” Manny sighs heavily. “He wants it back the way it was.”

“And you’ve warned him about what can happen if she never really loved him?”

“Yeah, I got him to sign the disclaimer.”

I shake my head. Manny worries about malpractice claims. I worry about dooming two people who don’t really love each other to a lifetime of misery.

I close the Reynolds file and pick up the next one. A quick flip through shows more of the same. Husband straying this time. Serially.

“She doesn’t need a love potion. She needs a leash.”

“She has three little kids. They need a dad.”

I glare over the top of the file at Manny. I hate it when he tries to guilt-trip me. “He definitely loved her once upon a time?”

Manny nods.

“Pretty girls.” I say, nodding at the pictures. They’re all very pretty, and very young. “How is she looking now?”

“Like the mother of three little kids.”

“Rose-colored glasses.” I hold out my hand. “Did you bring them?”

“Back of the file.”

I tilt the file forward and peer into the back of the redwell, where two small vials nestle amongst the papers. “Contact lenses?”

“Yeah, won’t they work? She says he never wears glasses. Not even sunglasses.”

Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve never tried the charm on contacts. I shrug. “I’ll give it a try.”

I close the file and place it on top of the Reynolds file at my elbow.

As I reach for the third file, Manny says, “That’s a strange one.”

I read the label. “English, Willa. Probate.”

“Yeah, I did Ms. English’s will for her about five years ago. Pretty straight-forward. Most of her assets to her family. Bequests all the way down the line, even the pet cat. Everyone’s happy, yadda, yadda. Except for this ring. This ring she wants donated to some museum in Cambridge. The Column Museum of Antiquities.”

“Never heard of it.” Which is odd, because I’ve lived one town over all my adult life.

“Me, neither. Turns out it’s a private collection. Very private. Never open to the public. I only found them ‘cause I got a friend at Harvard and sometimes they get

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