Home > The Witch and the Gentleman (The Witches Series #1)

The Witch and the Gentleman (The Witches Series #1)
Author: J.R. Rain

Chapter One

“Hi, this is Allison. Thank you for calling The Psychic Hotline. How can I help you see into the future?”

As I spoke and waited, I reached for my protein drink, which I had just whipped up a few minutes earlier. I found that protein drinks helped me connect with the spirits.

Yes, I’m a telephone psychic. A pretty good one, too. I’m also a personal trainer and hoped to someday start my own gym. A gym that focused on the body and the mind. Lofty dreams, but we all need them.

I set aside my protein drink, cleared my thoughts and glanced at my computer screen. According to my screen, I had a call on the line, a local number, too. I worked from home, plugged into my company’s switchboard, so to speak. I wore headphones with a microphone, and as soon as I clicked on the number blinking on the screen, we were live.

The wonders of technology.

I adjusted my headphones. The previous callers were already out of sight, out of mind. A couple of kids wanted to mess with me. Except, of course, I sensed their names quickly enough to blow their minds. Then again, they were high and it wasn’t very hard to blow their minds.

Yeah, we got a lot of jerks who liked to mess with us. It was part of the business. We also got a lot of people who needed real help. Little did the callers know they were getting a real psychic. A powerful psychic. One whose gifts were enhanced nearly daily, thanks to my unusual source of power. From a friend of mine who just happened to be a vampire.

Now, I focused on connecting my energy to the person on the other end of the line. I heard crackling in the background, followed by faint street noise.

It wasn’t hard to connect with others on a psychic level once I learned how to do it. I practiced like a kid who had just learned how to ride a bike. It was a sort of mental reaching out. However, I knew it went further than just the mental. It was a brief connecting of souls. My soul connecting with the caller’s. Except he didn’t know I was connecting. Yes, I already knew it was a “he” on the other end of the line. And he had a very, very heavy problem weighing on his heart.

“Can you hear me?” asked a hesitant voice.

“Loud and clear,” I said. “How can I help you?”

Through my living room’s sliding glass door, the posh apartment building across the street caught some of the mid-afternoon sun, and glittered magnificently. A seagull swooped in that moment over my balcony, which was unusual because my Beverly Hills apartment was at least ten miles from the ocean.

“I’m not sure,” said the man.

“Then let’s start with your name,” I said.

“My name is Pete.”

I sensed his crackling nerves on the other end of the line. This wasn’t going to be your everyday phone call to a psychic. What it was going to be, I didn’t know, but I sensed a lot of pain on his end. A friggin’ lot.

“Don’t be nervous,” I said, and was not very surprised when the big seagull landed on my balcony wall. The big bird was missing a leg, but did a fine job of balancing on just one. How in the hell a seagull could lose an entire leg was beyond me.

No, not beyond me. Not these days. Just as I speculated on the leg, I saw an image of a young man holding what appeared to be a BB gun. The projectile went through the seagull’s leg, breaking it and nearly severing it. Nearly. The poor guy had spent weeks in agony until he’d finally chewed off his own leg with his beak.

The animal kingdom endures horrors that few of us could fathom, I had once read. I believe it.

“Well, how much information do I give you, and how much information do I, you know, wait to receive?” he asked.

“We can do this any way you want.”

“Well, I would prefer not to say much.”

“To test me?”

“Yes, sorry. But it’s the only way I can know if you are legit.”

“Fair enough,” I said. The truth was, I would do the same. His only ace in the hole was that he hadn’t told me anything yet, other than his name. “Give me a moment.”

I really didn’t need a moment. I was already linked into the guy pretty well. But sometimes, it took a moment to make sense of what I was seeing, feeling and hearing. And yes, I experienced all three. A true rarity for a psychic.

Then again, most psychics weren’t a source of blood for vampires. Especially powerful vampires. And my very good friend might have been just one of the most powerful vampires ever, although she didn’t quite believe it yet.

As I made sense of what I was seeing, as a sort of story unfolded before me, two things happened: the first was that the seagull hopped a little closer on one leg and cocked its head a little to stare at me, and the second was that I gasped.

“You’re looking for the person who murdered your daughter,” I said to my caller.

There was a long pause. A very long pause. Before sound ripped into my ears. And I suddenly realized that what I was hearing on the other end was the sound of the man sobbing.

Chapter Two

I waited for him to regain control of himself.

While I waited, I reached out further, expanding my mind, but I wasn’t God. I didn’t know all, see all. I was also not a medium. I didn’t see the dead or talk to the dead. I did, however, have other gifts, many other gifts. One of them was remote viewing, which happened to be my strength.

In my mind’s eye, I saw a man sitting on a couch in the dark in a living room. The shades were drawn and no lights were on. His phone was pushed up against his ear as he sort of hugged himself in an upright fetal position.

I expanded further out. It was a big home. Nice furniture. A robust leather couch banked one wall. Elegant glass tables reflected light. Framed photos were arranged across the top of a slick, black lacquer piano. I shifted my focus to the photos.

The photos mostly consisted of the man who was now presently huddled on the couch, and also featured an unnaturally blond wife and a naturally blond girl. The girl might have been the cutest thing I’d ever seen. Dozens of pictures lined the piano, and the nearby fireplace mantel, too. I quickly glanced at all of them. The girl sitting at this very piano, the girl in soccer and softball. The girl clowning around with her dad and mom. The girl who ripped his heart with unspeakable agony.

One of the frames said Penny on it.

“Was your daughter named Penny?” I finally asked.

He quit crying immediately, gasped. “Jesus. How did you know?”

“You called The Psychic Hotline, remember?”

In my mind’s eye, I could see the man desperately wiping away his tears and nodding. He sat up straight.

“You are married.” No, wait. That didn’t feel right. I got psychic ‘hits.’ Strong impulses. Strong feelings. This didn’t feel right. “You were married,” I corrected. “To the fake blond. Oops, sorry. Didn’t mean to say that. Anyway, you were married to the blond in the photographs along your piano and fireplace mantel.”

“Jesus.”

I waited for more information to come through. It always came through in a variety of ways. With Peter, the information was coming through in feelings, too. Sometimes it came through in symbolic images. Or, if I was getting a particularly clear remote viewing hit, I could just have a look around the tangible environment. I was doing that now, combining my seeing with feeling.

Yeah, I was weird like that.

But I wasn’t getting a hit on the daughter. No surprise there. Not being a medium, I couldn’t see or feel the dead. Also, I wasn’t a mind reader, so I wasn’t privy to what Peter was thinking or what he knew. I got impulses of information. Also, I could not control how much information came through, or what kind of information was revealed. I simply opened myself up to the information...and hoped for the best.

Peter stood and wiped the tears from his face. I saw him pacing in his big living room. I even saw his footprints forming and reforming in the elegant white carpet. He ran his fingers through his hair with his free hand.

As he did so, I began getting more hits, this time flashing images. Horrific images, and as I received them, I spoke with rising alarm. “Your daughter was killed. Strangled to death. She was found in a park nearby. Jesus. Local kids found her. The police don’t have a suspect. This was years ago. Maybe two or three years ago. Your wife has long since left you. I’m so sorry. Jesus.”

I saw him bury his face in his hands as he sobbed even harder than before.

“You still wear your wedding ring,” I said.

As I sat in my cozy chair in my living room, with my protein drink next to me and my eyes closed, I saw him look down at his hand and study the diamond-encrusted band. “How...how could you possibly know that?”

“My strength lies in remote viewing,” I said.

“I’m not following...”

“It means I’m watching you now.”

He shivered so much he nearly dropped the phone. He began turning in circles, looking around in a panic. As he did so, which I reported seeing, he next went to the front door and looked out, which I also reported seeing.

“That’s incredible,” he said. “You see my every move.”

“My boyfriends all hate it,” I said.

“Have you always been like this?”

I thought of my vampire friend. “It’s been getting stronger lately.”

“What am I doing now?”

I laughed. “You just touched your nose.”

“Are you looking into my house somehow?”

“That’s one way of putting it, but not in the way you’re suggesting.”

He sat heavily on the big couch. “I guess you know I just sat down.”

“Yes.”

“I think I called the right person to help find my daughter’s murderer.”

“Maybe,” I said. “I can’t guarantee anything.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means I can’t control my psychic hits. You do realize, Peter, that most of my clients are lonely women wondering if they’ll ever find true love.”

I saw him nod. “Yes. I can’t imagine you get very many calls like mine.”

“No.”

“So, what do we do next? I need to know who killed my daughter. I have to know. He has to be found. It’s killing me inside.”

It wasn’t ethical for me to meet a client outside of work. I was not running my own business here. I worked for The Psychic Hotline. My bosses could be listening. Actually, I had a strong sense that they were not listening. Not this time.

I bit my lip, thought hard about it. As I thought about it, the one-legged bird continued watching me. I believed in animal totems. My animal totem was a hawk. In some states, seagulls were called sea hawks. If a one-legged seagull could make the journey to see me, I figured the least I could do was make the journey to see Peter.

Finally, I said, “I’m going to need to get to know your daughter a little better.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’ll need to see her things, touch her things. That kind of stuff.”

Now he was nodding enthusiastically, wiping his red nose. “Yes, definitely. Should I give you the address?”

“No,” I said. “I’m good.”

He laughed a little, even as he wiped the tears. “When can I expect you?”

“Tonight,” I said. “Around eight.”

“Thank you,” he said. “I’ll see you tonight at eight.” He hung up.

He might have hung up in the physical sense, but he and I were still very much in contact in the psychic sense. I watched him toss aside his house phone, sit back on his couch and cover his face with both hands. One thing I knew above all else, Peter was not his daughter’s killer.

I pulled back until I was outside his regal home, and noted the street name and street number. I swung further out and returned to the park I’d seen, the park where his daughter had been found dead. I noted its cross streets. Yes, I was a living, breathing Google Map App. A psychic one.

Such a freak, I thought.

I opened my eyes and gave myself a few seconds to fully return to my small, but cute, apartment in Beverly Hills. I wrote down the street names and address on a pad of paper next to me.

After sipping my protein drink and clearing my thoughts, I took my next call.

“Hi, this is Allison. Thank you for calling The Psychic Hotline. How can I help you see into the future?”

Chapter Three

Later, I pulled up to the park.

Yes, the very same park I had seen in my mind’s eye when talking to Peter. I was freaky like that. Especially these days, thanks to my friend, Samantha, and before her, Victor. That they were both vampires was no coincidence.

I sat in my car, feeling a deep sadness that I knew was not my own. It was dusk, and the park was mostly empty. A young woman watched two kids swinging. She was looking down at something glowing. It was too big to be a phone. It just might have been one of those Kindle or Nook thingies. Whatever it was, its ambient glow highlighted her lower face and eyes, touching on cheekbones, the tip of her nose, her chin. She highlighted well. The two kids swung and shouted and laughed. The woman ignored them and read, although she glanced up every few minutes.

The park was exactly as I had seen it in my mind. Back in the day, before I had met Victor, a man I would love, a man I would eventually move in with, a man who I would watch die—a man who was, in fact, not a man at all—I had little psychic ability. I would get flashes of insight here and there. Maybe an odd picture would appear in my thoughts. Enough to believe that I certainly had some semblance of a gift. But it wasn’t until I’d met Victor—a creature of the night who had fed from me for months—that my psychic abilities had truly awakened.

   
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