- Author: Kate Quinn
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The Lying, the Witch, and the Werewolf
Down & Dirty Supernatural Cleaning Services Book 4
Kate Karyus Quinn Demitria Lunetta Marley Lynn
Copyright © 2021 by Kate Karyus Quinn, Demitria Lunetta, and Marley Lynn
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
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For anyone who didn’t get to go away to camp as a kid, this book is for you.
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I turned my boyfriend into a vampire, and now he won’t answer my calls.
Well, I say boyfriend, but it’s been three months since I’ve seen him, so I think it’s safe to say I’m officially dumped, and being dumped does not make a girl feel awesome…especially when I deserved it.
When I found him on the floor of his apartment, near death, Liam flat out told me to let him go, that he’d rather be regular dead than a member of the living dead. But I went against his wishes. I took that needle full of vampire venom and plunged it into his heart.
Maybe it was selfish. Maybe it was me holding onto the last bit of normality I had. But it doesn’t matter now whether he’s normal, nice, British human Liam, or sullen, moody, vampire Liam.
Because neither one of them is in my life.
Well, not willingly. I’ve been keeping tabs on him, either as a result of guilt, love, or my complete inability to come to terms with our sudden severance.
I sigh and park my van in front of the client’s house, a nice modern two-story with a ton of windows. The woman who called to hire me had sounded young, and with a voice so low and husky I’d almost hung up on her at first, thinking it was another prankster trying to get me to have phone sex with them. Dad did warn me about going with the pin-up look for the logo for the Down & Dirty cleaning business, but it earns me more work than headaches, so I’ll take it. After chatting with the potential client a bit more, I decided she was legit. So here I am, ready for my appointment.
Before going in, I give my ex-sister-in-law and current housemate, Shauna, a call. “Any difference?” I ask.
“Liam’s the same as he was yesterday,” she tells me. “He hasn’t left his room. He barely interacts with the other vamps in the house.”
“Thanks for keeping an eye on him,” I say. As a fae-vamp hybrid, Shauna has access to Liam’s new world in a way that I don’t. It’s a lot to ask of her—three months of surveillance on my ex. But that girl owes me. She lives with me rent-free.
Like I said, my ex-human, ex-boyfriend was the last bit of normality I had.
“No problem, but it’s starting to get creepy.”
“I’m just concerned for him,” I say, sliding into the back of the van and gathering up my supplies.
“Maybe the first week made sense for you to be concerned, when he lost his job and moved into a vampire halfway house,” Shauna tells me. “Now it’s getting stalkery.”
“Don’t joke about that,” I say. I have my own stalker to deal with. VSK—the Vampire Serial Killer—is the whole reason Liam ended up like this. “Is he getting enough blood?” I ask, trying to dispel thoughts of VSK from my mind.
“They limit his blood intake,” Shauna reminds me. “Newly-turned vamps can go crazy with blood lust if they get too much.”
“I know, I know,” I say, slamming the van’s door a little too hard. Vanna gives me a honk and I apologize. “Look, I gotta go. I guess you can stop shadowing Liam. He doesn’t want to see me. And he seems to be under control.”
“Okay, I’m going to hit up a Great Ghosting grief counseling meeting later. Wanna come?”
“No, I’m good.” I’ve been to a few meetings with her, and though they make Shauna feel way better, they didn’t really do anything for me.
“You can’t just keep everything inside, Paige,” Shauna starts and I roll my eyes. She was a hot mess after her wife disappeared along with a bunch of other people, including my parents. One second they were there and the next—gone. No reason. No explanation. Just poof. That was nearly three years ago. Shauna got big into drugs. Then her brother died. She was a flaming dumpster fire.
Now that she’s clean—off the fae drug of choice, beauty—she thinks she’s my personal life coach.
“Oh, gotta go,” I say quickly and hang up.
Closing my eyes, lean against the van and allow myself a minute to feel my feelings.
The truth is, these last three months have been a struggle. My heart is like a rock inside my chest and the weight of it spreads to my limbs during the long afternoon hours. By the end of the day, my body is so heavy I can barely get up all the stairs to my attic bedroom.
I’ve had broken hearts before, but this is different.
If Liam had never met me his life would still be normal. Human normal, I mean. VSK targeted Liam because of me. He also went after my cop friend. Luckily, McGinnis got away, but he messed himself up pretty bad kicking his way out of VSK’s car and now clumps around in one of those boot casts.