Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Resurrection, War-N-Wit, Inc. Book 2 by Gail Roughton - Hot Excerpt

War-N-Wit, Inc. Book 2

Resurrection. A secret society. Not everyone can join, just the elite few who remember their past lives. Only the Seer knows if those memories are truth or fabrication. There’s just one problem. The new Seer is missing in action. War-N-Wit’s new assignment is a blast from the past! But whose past?
"I waited a week on pins and needles for this book to come out after finishing The Witch, and it was well worth the wait! The chemistry between Ariel and Chad is Amazing. These are characters you will most certainly fall in love with! Mrs. Roughton is a superb author who has created a world you will want to get lost in with characters who blow your mind! I can't wait to read the next in the series!! Under her spell!" ~ 5 Stars, Julie, Amazon Reader and Verified Purchase 

"I purchased this book, literally, 5 minutes after finishing The Witch. I was not disappointed at all! I really enjoyed the way the back story of Ariel and her Magic Man unfolded. I also love the way Micah is brought in and the part he plays in the story. I am looking forward to more adventures, more history, Ariel learning more about her powers and, I hope, more bounty hunting!!! Miss Roughton, please hurry and write more!!!" ~ 5 Stars, Alexandra Lundgren, Amazon Reader and Verified Purchase


Chapter One

The honeymoon was over. And a damn good thing, too. As honeymoons go, this one had been a killer. Almost for real.
I glared down at my husband. Officially, we’d been married five days. Unofficially, well—let’s just say we’d been together a lot longer than that. Through eternity, in fact.
“The doctor said you needed to stay at least three days! So if you think you’re walking out of this hospital within thirty-six hours of almost bleedin’ to death, you got another think coming, Magic Man!”
He flung the white hospital bedcovers back with his right arm, sat up and swung his legs off the bed. He was good, I’ll give him that. I doubt anybody but me would’ve noticed the white tinge around his lips or the faint grimace when his left arm and shoulder moved. Then again, nobody but me could feel the sting from the torn flesh around the bullet hole in his shoulder.
I said we’d been together through eternity, didn’t I? Well, there’re some side benefits to this “eternal couple” thing. This time around, it seemed we didn’t just know what the other was feeling. We felt it.
The soreness wasn’t so bad. I knew it was there and I could keep it at a distance. Occasionally, my foot still remembered the healing knife wound through his foot—a souvenir of our wedding trip to Vegas last week. That is, our combination wedding trip coupled with hauling in the ho and pimp who’d skipped bail. A little side business that hadn’t gone quite as planned. Still, not everybody could say they’d gotten married on a motorcycle in the White Chapel’s Tunnel of Love Drive-Thru.
Sudden, unexpected pain or fear, though? That’s a little harder to explain.  I’d been sitting at my desk last October, minding my own business and doing my job as legal assistant to three attorneys at a pretty large firm in my hometown of Macon, Georgia. Then private investigator Chad Garrett called in to report he’d successfully served a complaint. Thus ended life as I knew it. Chad Garrett wasn’t an ordinary private investigator.  Oh, no. Nothing that simple. The private investigator we’d hired had to be a warlock. Not just any warlock, either,  a warlock on the hunt for his witch, his eternal soul mate.  The soul mate he’d reincarnated with over centuries. And that, he insisted, would be me.
 I didn’t believe him, of course, not at first. Not until Christmas, when Christmas Day had given me a gift I’d never thought any mortal could possess. The day I’d known, known with absolute certainty there was an underlying power, a grand magic and music of the universe. That everything and everyone was connected, intertwined. And that in that connection was the ancient, universal truth, lost and twisted and forgotten through the ages. Before there had ever been a "Bless you, my child", there had been a "Blessed be." The religion of the old ones. The day I’d known I was a witch. One of the ancients.
Being one of the ancients had its perks. But it had its drawbacks, too, like feeling what my soul mate felt. I’d gone right into the dark with him when he’d almost bled out from that bullet in the shoulder. I’d had one hell of rough introduction to my newfound powers but at least a drug-dealing serial killer was off the streets. Permanently. And a lot of families now had their daughters back. Not the way they wanted them, and my heart still ached when I thought of their pain, but at least now they’d have closure. And graves to visit. And one girl was going home alive.

* * *

“Doctors always tell me I need to stay in the hospital. I haven’t listened to one yet, not starting now.” He started across the floor towards the bathroom, hospital gown flashing glimpses of bare butt. Great butt, but then I’m prejudiced.
“Hell!” He reached around to grab the flapping sides of the gown. “Besides, I hate having my ass hanging out in the wind.”
“Nobody here to see it but me,” I advised. “And I’ll look at it all day. Though I got to say, baby, your ass is always hanging out in the wind. Occupational hazard.”
“Yeah, but man, what a rush!” He left the door open and I heard the top of the toilet lid lift. Another thing about couples together through eternity. We didn’t have much modesty left.
I shook my head. No changing the unchangeable. I’d known when I married him Chad Garrett lived for the danger zone. The man loved his work. All of it. Skip-tracing, bounty hunting, process serving. He’d spent his whole career in one aspect or another of law enforcement, beginning with the  Fort Lauderdale Police Department and moving on to the Florida Bureau of Investigation. I figured there might be a few other “agency” credentials he hadn’t listed on the bio page on his website when he went into the private sector I didn’t know about yet.  I’d been a paralegal my entire professional career, up until I’d married Chad and become a  PI-bounty hunter in training. I’d never seen anybody come even close to the things I’d already seen him do. Things I didn’t think the average cop turned private investigator could do.
Chad’s cell phone sounded from the nightstand. Sons of Anarchy. Yeah, wasn’t he though? I picked it up.
“War-N-Wit, Inc. Ariel Garrett. How can we help you?”
No answer.
“I was under the impression that War-N-Wit, Inc. was Chad Garrett. Who are you and what are you doing answering his phone?”
Excuse me? It was a man’s voice, but prissy and rude as hell. However, this was my husband’s—and now my—baby. He’d bled for this company many times in the past and he’d undoubtedly bleed for it again in the future.
The sound of a shower caught my attention. I hoped he’d keep his shoulder dry. And his foot reasonably out of the water, though those stiches were doing nicely. I hadn’t even asked a nurse whether it was alright for him to shower. And I knew he hadn’t asked because he didn’t care if it was alright or not. If he wanted a shower, he’d take one.
“Ariel Garrett, sir. I turned my attention back to our caller. “Chad Garrett’s wife and partner. How can we help you?”
“I do not want Chad Garrett’s wife. I want Chad Garrett. I want the War of War-N-Wit.”
For real? Well, we’ve all got our own little bag of rocks to tote around. I didn’t much like that emphasis on the “War”, though. Like he knew what War-N-Wit really meant. Only special people with special talents usually caught on to the meaning behind the name. I’d never come across a rude person with special talents before, but I figured every group had them. I hadn’t even known persons of these particular “special talents” existed until recently, let alone that I was one of them. But if he did know what it meant, it was time to let him know who he was talking to.
“Well, sir, I’m sorry, but you’ve got the Wit of War-N-Wit, and my husband is not available at the moment. So I’m afraid you either talk to me or you don’t talk.”
For a minute I thought he’d hung up. But no. Don’t know why I thought I’d be that lucky.
“I am Mr. Oliver Hedgepath. I have been endeavoring for some time now to engage the services of Mr. Garrett but he always seems to have a full schedule. However, things are rapidly shifting to the point wherein I need his immediate assistance. I’m afraid I’m going to have to become insistent about it.”
And lots of luck with that, buddy, I thought. Anybody who thought they’d get Chad Garrett’s attention because they insisted on it must not live in the real world. Either that or they didn’t know him very well.
“Well, sir, in fact, we’ve had a very full schedule. And at the moment Mr. Garrett is recuperating from the aftereffects of our last engagement. But I would be delighted to relay a message, providing of course you give me one.” I’d always had the knack of parroting the tone of a person I was conversing with by phone. An invaluable talent for a paralegal. I could be as country or as redneck or as official as I needed to be. Or, as in this instance, as prissy. I wouldn’t be at all delighted to relay a message though, that was a bald-faced lie. I absolutely didn’t like Mr. Oliver Hedgepath. And from his pained tone, he absolutely didn’t like me, either.
He sighed. Apparently he’d decided I was an obstacle that must be overcome. Well, at least he wasn’t completely stupid.
“I am the major domo of a very important organization. That organization is under attack. I believe Chad Garrett is the only man who can help me. I have already explained this to him, but I don’t feel he’s given it the import it demands.”
Faint alarm bells juggled my memory. A phone call Chad had taken on the way to the Atlanta Airport en route to our wild Vegas run.
"There's a group called Resurrection. Membership is contingent upon being reincarnated. Status is contingent on how many times."
“Mr. Hedgepath, would you be referring to the Resurrection Society?”
Shocked silence on the other end of the line.
“Mr. Garrett discusses his confidential phone calls? Perhaps I misjudged him.”
“Mr. Garrett discusses his business calls with his business partner—who is also his wife. Perhaps I should remind you that my husband specifically advised you not to expect his answer —which was no—to be any different should you check back with him at a later date. Something on the order of ‘War-N-Wit, Inc. deals with the living. The modern American justice system.’”
Mostly that was true. As Chad had explained, he’d worked hard to gain the reputation he had in his field and he was damn good at it. It was nobody else’s business if he had a little extra talent on the magical side.
Chad walked out of the bathroom, towel wrapped casually around his hips. Dry bandage, so at least he’d been careful.
“Baby girl, I sorta hoped you’d join me.”
I waved the phone in the air and motioned for him to sssssshhhh. He raised his eyebrow and I hit the speaker button just as Mr. Hedgepath recovered from the latest shock to his system; namely, that I have almost total recall. That shocks a lot of folks, actually. Very handy talent to have.
“Young lady, you are impertinent and a detriment to your husband’s business. You are female and therefore cannot possibly have any expertise in this field. Now, I demand to speak with Mr. Garrett.”
I winced. But he’d asked for it. Chad’s face darkened as he grabbed the phone, not bothering to take it off speaker.
“Oh, so the young lady has a modicum of sense, she’s finally given you—”
“Hedgepath, I will not work for you. I would never have worked for you. You have no idea how lucky you are you’re not in the same room with me. Because no one talks to my wife like that. Do not ever call this number again.” He hit the “end” button and turned to me.
“And don’t you ever just stand there and let anyone talk to you like—”
“Whoa, darlin’. I wasn’t goin’ to. But you came out of the shower and took over.”
He blew a “whoo” through his lips. “Yeah, I guess I did. But you’re not working at any law office and you’re not hired help. You don’t have to take insults and I don’t want you to ever take any. Understand?”
“Magic Man. I wasn’t goin’ to, trust me.”
“Okay. Just don’t.” He walked over to the carry-all I’d retrieved from the hotel room when we’d taken up residence in the hospital, pulled out fresh jeans and tee, and started dressing.
The surgeon chose that moment to check on his patient.
“And what do you think you’re doing, Mr. Garrett?”
“Checking out.”
“Oh, no, you’re not, you need at least another full day—”
“Watch me. Get me the release form, I’ll sign it.”
“What release form?”
“The ‘against medical advice thing’. I’ll sign it.”
“You’re real familiar with those forms, I’m guessing?”
“Yes. I am. Now get it.”
“Mr. Garrett—”
Mr. Garrett, still enraged courtesy of Mr. Oliver Hedgepath, turned to the doctor. His eyes turned from blue to silver. He glared. That was all. He didn’t speak.
The doctor sighed.
“One ‘against medical advice form’. Coming up.”

(C) Copyright 2012 Gail Roughton

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