Authors: Laurie Olerich
The Lost Soul Trilogy
is a sexy roller coaster urban fantasy romance that follows a budding psychic and the tight group of powerful warriors charged with her journey to immortality. Dark, funny, full of twists, and steamy passion,
The Lost Soul Trilogy
proves no one is truly lost.
A Look at
Budding psychic Mica is a walking miracle. After surviving a brutal attack, she vows to live each day to the fullest. Little does she know her life is no longer hers to control. When Tall, Dark, and Annoying shows up to shadow her, she’s intrigued…
Powerful and ruthless, Sean’s assigned to guard more than Mica’s body. Her future is at stake, and it’s his job to keep her on the right path. There are plans for her. Plans that’ll change everything she believes if she lives long enough to learn the truth. Guarding one human shouldn’t be this complicated, but Mica makes it anything but easy.
As the clock ticks, Sean pulls Mica deeper into the Primani world until there’s no way out, and she doesn’t want to leave.
A Look at
Call the Lightning
The sizzle continues… After a year of heartache, Mica finally has everything she wants. Her soul mate Sean's back from the dead. She’s finally getting a grip on her unwanted powers. Life is good until Killian shows up naked in her visions. Is she seeing the past or the future? As she struggles to find the truth, a new threat looms. Something watches in the dark. It plots. It lusts. It hungers for more than her blood. It wants everything.
Killian has secrets--a lot of them. When he vows to protect Mica, he’s all in. His intention takes a dangerous turn when she becomes a pawn in the game. Desperate to keep her alive, he drags her into his shadowy world of ancient power and bloody altars with devastating consequences.
Bound by blood, there’s no turning back.
A Look at
Mica’s got no options. Sean’s lost his mind. Violent and unstable, he’s teetering on the edge. Desperate to save him from falling, she risks everything she has, including Killian. How far will she go to pull him back? Every step moves her farther away from Killian’s plan. As they work together to save Sean and the rest of the world, she’s haunted by a sense of deja vu that leaves her feeling trapped between two worlds. Which future is the right one?
3,000 years ago, Killian made a promise. Since then, he’s waited for fate to right the wrong that stole his life. The time has come for him to be free, but it’s never that easy. Knowing that Mica’s love is the only weapon against Sean’s demons, he sends her to rescue him. He trusts her completely, but can he trust Sean?
His heart, her soul... Will the promises of angels heal them both?
Copyright 2013 by Laurie Olerich
Copyright 2014 by Laurie Olerich
All rights reserved. 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 prior written permission of both the copyright owner and publisher of this book.
These books are works of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, business establishments, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
By Laurie Olerich
The forest was lush and heavy with the soft summer rain. I was alone, wandering aimlessly. There was a soft light ahead in the trees. I could barely make it out against the grey film of rain. It called to me, softly, relentlessly, purposefully. I stumbled forward, pushing my hair out of my eyes. Suddenly there were branches in my way, stones in my path. I fell to my knees as the rain poured down. Frantic, I searched for the light... there! Just ahead through the endless sea of trees. I ran blindly until my path was blocked by a huge beast, and I froze, heart caught in my throat. I woke to the sound of my own screams.
ANCIENT OAK TREES LOOMED like sentinels standing watch above the rolling hills. In summer, they would be majestic and beautiful. In March, they were skeletal against the dark clouds and dead grass. It was cold and gloomy. A good day for a funeral, I guess. If you’re into dark and creepy, this was perfect.
Marc was waiting for me. He’d shown up in black pants and a jacket he must’ve borrowed from his father. Like a little kid playing dress up, he seemed awkward and uncomfortable, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. At least he was here. We hadn’t seen each other since The Day my world ended. He’d been the one to drag me away from my mother’s body and held me together while we waited for the police.
As the service got started, I stood between Marc and my long-distance father, surveying the crowd and doing my best to stay calm. A lot of people lined up around the casket in support of our family and in remembrance of the woman who’d so briefly touched their lives. My mother’s best friend Billie was quietly crying into a tissue. Her boyfriend held her upright by the elbows. Her eyes were shattered. Did I look like that? Is that how everyone sees me right now? I carefully pulled my face into a blank mask. Better.
The service dragged on forever. Reverend Vaselli droned. I’m sure he talked about what a great life Mom had and how many people would miss her. I’m sure he talked about Heaven and angels and God’s mercy. I’m sure he talked about these things because that’s what ministers do, right? The truth is I stopped listening the second he started talking. Frozen as a statue, I stood ramrod straight, thinking of anything else to block out the words. If I listened, if I
, if I
, I would implode. I would lose control. I would cry like a baby in front of all these people. No. That was not something I wanted to do. My grief should be private. I wanted to be dignified, strong. I was screaming inside, but my face was blank, so painfully blank. My teeth ached from clenching, my jaw throbbed with tension, my eyes blazed with unshed tears. Would he not hurry up? How much did he really need to say?
I stared off into the trees, watching their bony arms claw at the gray sky. My mind wandered to the highway barely visible over a ridge. The faint sounds of cars driving by drifted on the breeze. Where were those people going? Were they on their way to work now? Were they going to the store? Running errands? Normal things... What was
normal now? And still, the reverend talked.
After an eternity, I heard him say, “… dust to dust. Amen.”
Everyone echoed the words. Amen. Amen, indeed. I placed a single yellow rose on the casket. It was her favorite. My hand shook so hard I curled my fingers into a fist, nails gouging crescents. Damn. Oh, Mom. Why? Why you? The screaming in my head beat against my throat demanding release, demanding a voice. A tear rolled down my frozen cheek, a trigger to open the dam. I leaned against the casket, willing the tears to stop, letting my hair veil my face, silently saying goodbye to the most important person in my life.
IF THIS WAS HEAVEN, it was a major disappointment. Where was everybody? Hello? Anybody? I’m freezing my butt off over here… anyone?
Wrapping my arms around my chest, I rubbed them for warmth. Wasn’t being dead supposed to be, uh, more comfortable? I mean, really, dying was bad enough, wasn’t it? The afterlife was supposed to be rainbows and sunshine… and warmth, glorious warmth. Looking around again, I sighed long and hard.
Well, this place sucked. There wasn’t anything here besides me standing in an empty white space. Could it be any worse? In response, the Keepers of Paradise tossed a handful of heavy snow down on my head. Really? I tucked my chin and huddled in the blizzard. After a minute or so, I saw a faint glow, barely a break in the never-ending white. The glow became a solid ray of gold that speared the fog, cut through the film of snow to illuminate a path.
It was so pretty… so pure.
Stupid bitch! You ruined everything
Oh, my God! Where was he? Where was
My eyelids burned. The sensation pulled me from the medicated sleep I was swimming in. Like the sun popping out from a cloud bank, the sudden brilliant light heated my skin. By the time I blinked the room into focus, it was gone. I peered between my bandages, but there was no other light. The hospital room was dark with the exception of the dim radiance of the machines sitting near my bed. Huh. I
I saw a light...
A nurse bustled into the room when she noticed my eyes were open.
“All right Miss Mica, what are you doing up? You were sleeping a minute ago.” Her name tag read ‘Lillian.’ She was an older woman with a healthy rack and several braids pulled back in a ponytail. She had a motherly way about her that made me feel better.
I cleared my throat and reassured her, “I’m okay; I woke up hungry.” I gestured at the IV bag, and added, “This isn’t doing it for me.”
She smiled, and muttered, “Mm hmm” as she read my chart and checked my vitals. She asked me about my pain and other official nurse questions.
Yes, I was feeling better. Well, I didn’t feel
now, so I guess that was
. Yes, I’m still feeling some pain. Was she kidding me? I was one big bandage! Everything hurt if I moved. I couldn’t take a normal breath without pain. Did I want more pain meds? Well, of course I did! This woman was hilarious. I snorted out a small chuckle which hurt my nose. I ended up laughing and gasping in pain at the same time. Bless Lillian, she stuck a needle in my IV, and the pain went away in a warm feeling of bliss. She was awesome. I told her I loved her before the room went black.
The next morning I had a visit from Dr. Strakowski. His bedside manner was nonexistent. I couldn’t get a question out of my mouth. He was rushing through a list of doctor questions like he had a hot date waiting somewhere. When he finally asked how I was feeling, the answer was ‘peevish.’
“Let’s see. My entire body hurts. No one has told me what part of me is
broken; and I have no idea how long I’ve been a guest here at this Holiday Inn.” I was sulking. As an afterthought, I added, “And I have no idea what happened to the psychopath who tried to kill me. Other than that, I guess things are just peachy.”
Mouth open in surprise, he raised an eyebrow and peered over the top of his glasses as if Nurse Lillian could shed some light on my snarky attitude.
With one hand on her ample hip, she enlightened him in a tone that sent a flush over his cheeks. “No one was supposed to upset her until she was stabilized--
orders from the ER. She’s been here for two days now, and today is her first day of real interaction. She’s been sedated most of the time. I’d say she’s been remarkably patient, considering.”
After scrutinizing my chart again, Dr. Strakowski sat down next to the bed and settled in. “Okay, you’re right. You do need some answers. The nutshell is you were dropped off outside of the ER two nights ago. You were unresponsive. In addition to numerous cuts and a broken ankle, you had a lacerated spleen, a punctured lung, and a major concussion. We rushed you into surgery to repair the spleen. You’ve got a long recovery ahead of you. But you
recover. You’re very lucky.”
A few minutes later, he made some notes, gave Nurse Lillian new orders for meds, and then left to finish his rounds. Five minutes later, a detective took his vacant chair. She was a brunette with wide brown eyes and a kind face. She must have been around 30 or so.
“Mica, I’m Officer Halliwell with Plattsburgh P.D. I’ve been assigned to your case. Do you feel strong enough to give your statement today?”
For the next hour, I recited everything I could remember about Scott Flynn before he lost his friggin’ mind and tried to kill me two days ago.
I was out cruising around with my best friend Ricki. I was focused on switching lanes when a distraction popped up. Braking with a jolt, I pointed to a hot guy idling at the curb who was staring in our direction.
“Hey, isn’t that Scott Flynn over there?”
“Yeah, that looks like him. Who cares?”
“He’s waving at us. Let’s see what he wants.”
She shot him a glance and frowned in disapproval. “I don’t know, dude. He’s kind of a jerk.”
“True. But he’s a cute jerk.”
Ignoring her warning, I studied him through my Oakleys as he sauntered over. It was hard to make out his expression in the shadows. There was something about him that attracted and repelled me at the same time. It might have been the motorcycle that tipped the odds in his favor. In my mind, that made him 100 percent more attractive. I was dying to go for a ride, but he hadn’t offered. I’d been flirting with Scott all summer. It was now officially fall. At this point he was on my last nerve. He was hot and cold. He was annoying. He was hot. We usually ran into each other someplace. Half the time he ignored me. Half the time he tried to get me alone for a hook-up. I’d say no thanks. He’d laugh and leave with someone else. The whole situation was getting old.
He leaned into the window like he owned the car. My toes curled as I breathed him in. It wasn’t fair that he should be so gorgeous and smell amazing too.
He nodded at Ricki, dismissing her completely. “So, Mica, you got time for a ride?”
This was unexpected. I studied his face for clues. Well, he didn’t look like he was up to anything… Why not? “Okay, I guess that would be cool. Who all’s going?”
He flashed a devastating grin. “It’s just you and me, babe. Scared?”
It was a perfect day for a ride. Once we were on Route 9, I settled my cheek against his back and held on tight. The orange and yellow trees were a blur as we raced through the countryside. The colors were incredible. Mother Nature had outdone herself.
The bike roared like a living animal. Part of me was terrified that we’d go sliding off the road and die; the other part of me was… not. What a rush! The wind in my hair, the vibrations from the engine, the awesome thrill of speed--So cool! I was a little disappointed when we reached The Rocks. The wooden boards creaked as we rolled slowly across the decrepit covered bridge to get to a parking area. The Rocks were really just a place in the river where people hung out. The river was usually low so there were huge slabs of granite lying all over the place. They were flat enough that you could sit chairs on them if you wanted. We grabbed a blanket and claimed our space. We were completely alone in the middle of the river.
I leaned back on my elbows, eyes closed against the sunlight, taking it in with all of my senses. The gurgle of the water, the warmth of the sun, the earthy scent of dying leaves… everything was perfect, peaceful.
“Comfortable?” Scott drawled from behind dark sunglasses. He sat cross-legged on the opposite side of the blanket.
“Pretty much.” I smiled up at him from behind my own lenses.
He was so gorgeous sitting there, dark bangs brushing his forehead, sexy mouth set in a half-smile, eyes impossible to read. I still couldn’t believe he had invited me today. It was kind of strange. I didn’t completely trust him, but I didn’t think I had anything to worry about. What was the worst thing that could happen? He’d try to kiss me? I could deal with that.
Unable to resist the urge to commune with nature, I hopped to my feet. “God, it’s too beautiful to sit still!” I jumped from our rock to the next one over and then to the one next to that one.
He jumped up to chase me and the race was on. I was laughing too hard to watch my steps and ended up in the river. It was only ankle deep, but it was ridiculously cold. Still playing, I kept splashing through it to the next rock when suddenly Scott grabbed my arm, and I lost my balance. I fell back against his chest, laughing and flailing my arms. He was laughing too as we stood catching our breath. And then he stopped. Our faces were inches apart, and I suddenly realized how close he was holding me. I was molded against him so tightly I could feel the snap on his jeans. Something creepy flashed in his eyes. Flushing, I tried to step back. Rubbing his thigh against mine, he tightened his grip on my shoulders. His smile didn’t quite reach his eyes. The creepy expression was back.
“Scared yet?” he murmured.
I stuttered an uncomfortable laugh as I tried to put some space between us. “There are people walking up. Let me go. This is embarrassing.”
He didn’t relax his hold, but he looked towards the people who had just pulled up. There was a group of about six men and women. Two of the bigger men were eyeballing us with interest. Surely they would step in if things got out of hand? Scott released an insincere chuckle as if he was just playing around.
“Come on. Let’s go.” All sense of play evaporated as he snatched up the blanket.
Heavy grey clouds buried the sun, the temperature plummeted, and I shivered with more than cold. Scott was pretending to look at me, but I could see him still watching the two big guys. His stance was not protective, but more territorial. I didn’t like it. It didn’t feel right. Scott’s face seemed different to me. His hooded eyes didn’t seem deep or sexy now; they seemed cold and calculating. His hard mouth didn’t seem mysterious; it just seemed cruel. I was definitely afraid now.
I tried to keep my voice casual as I said, “I think maybe we should leave. I’m soaked and freezing my butt off. Let’s head back.”
Expression stony, he shrugged. “Sure, babe. I don’t like the looks of those guys anyway.”
As I settled on the motorcycle, I realized I had a big problem. I really didn’t want to touch him now. The earlier feeling of adventure was gone. I just wanted to get home--preferably in one piece. Scott took the curves at a ridiculous speed. The sky was dark with a building storm. It was getting more and more ominous. We were going so fast my lips were numb. I was pretty sure he was going to kill us. I yelled for him to slow down, but he just laughed and pushed the bike harder. At this point, prayer seemed like a good idea. Oh, please God! If you get me out of this, I would be so grateful. I swear I won’t go near this guy again. He’s crazy! Please get me home alive!
The bike slowed enough for us to turn onto a gravel road that I didn’t recognize. I didn’t know what to think until I saw an old house looming up in front of us.
“What are you doing?” I yelled over the roar of the engine.
He ignored me.
Where were we? What was he doing? All my instincts were screaming that this was BAD. Running through escape options, my brain went into overdrive. There weren’t many. Could I jump off and run? No, we were still going too fast. I didn’t see any other signs of people. No place to run to. Shit. This was not good.
Fat drops of rain pelted us as we rolled up to the wraparound porch. On cue, Mother Nature unleashed her fury. Screaming winds drove the rain against the house like a hurricane. Before I could object, he yanked me through the door. Thunder boomed so close I jumped out of my skin. Lightning lit up the windows, turning Scott’s face into something sinister, demonic. Visions of horror movies raced through my head. This was so bad…
“Looks like we made it just in time. Lucky for you I knew about this place.” He smiled, teeth gleaming whitely in the darkness. Another flash of lightning turned them into fangs.
“Get away from me.” I was trying to sound fierce, but my shaking voice probably wasn’t convincing.
He chuckled before wagging his head slowly as though I were a disobedient child. “Mica, Mica, Mica. You’ve been hot for me for months. Don’t try to deny it. Now’s your chance to see what you’ve been missing. We have privacy here.”
been hot for him, sort of; that’s true. But that was a different Scott.
guy was creeping me out. Between his mood swings, the violent storm, and my overactive imagination, I was almost convinced he was Satan himself. Storm or no storm, it was way past time to get the hell out of here.
“I didn’t know you then. I didn’t want to hook up with you. I just thought you were cute. There’s a difference!” I snapped, backing away, edging towards the door.