Fans of my demon-hunting soccer mom series know that Kate Connor hunted demons before retiring to suburbia, but we don’t see too much of what happened in the past in the books.
In the most recent book to be re-released, Deja Demon: The Days and Nights of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom, readers get thrust into the past–and into one of the most horrific battles that Kate and Eric ever fought.
Toto, I don’t think we’re in suburbia anymore …
The demon spread his arms wide, as if inviting me close for a hug. I managed to hurl a wad of spit right at the demon’s feet.
“So sullen,” the demon said, again in Cami’s voice. “Katie, I thought we were friends. Best buddies.”
She moved away, finally reaching the urn. She released her hold on the wound in her neck, and allowed Cami’s blood to spill into the vessel. Then she slipped the shard into the last link of the fifth chain. Once it was secured, she gave the chain a tug and it slowly descended until the stone was no longer visible.
“Five stones to raise me,” Cami said, her eyes turning black.
“Six to bind me. The blood of three vestal virgins, flowing but not alive, to protect me.” Her smile was white, and I flashed on a memory of Cami, laughing in flannel pajamas as she stood at the sink next to mine and dutifully brushed her teeth every night. I blinked back an unwelcome rush of tears and reminded myself to focus. Somehow, I’d stop this demon. And I’d do it for Cami.
“You know your Roman history, don’t you, Katie? You, who’ve grown up in this ancient city? There are no vestals left, of course, but I have found a worthy substitute. For what were the vestals but secret-keepers? And what females now, within the seven hills of Rome, still keep such weighty and clandestine confidences?”
I knew the answer, of course. As a Demon Hunter, my very life was a secret. As for the rest—
“And you are, of course, pure. Like my host and the young Greta? Your male cohorts I assume are pure as well, but since history requires a female . . .” The demon trailed off, then approached me. Cami’s body was slowing down, becoming paler. I tried not to think about that. On the one hand, the departure of the demon would be good news for me. At least until one of those demons beyond the gates rushed in, overpowered Eric, and slit my throat.
The demon leaned closer, bathing me in its rancid breath. “So tell me—just between us girls—are you still capable of serving Vesta? Or would you have been buried alive for betraying your vows?” I didn’t answer, but I didn’t have to. I was only fifteen years old and Catholic.
Raised not only in the Church but in the Vatican itself, my only father figure a priest. The answer was obvious, and the demon knew it.
“And Katie makes three,” the Cami-demon said. “Now where is the stone?”
“Gone,” I said, silently thankful we’d dropped the damn thing. Not such a bad move after all. “You should have told your thugs not to attack us.”
For an instant, I saw a flash of the true demon inside—red eyes and bulging skin, as if thick spines were about to burst forth. Then she gave a shake of her head, and everything settled into place, her smile so friendly and her eyes so bright that my heart skipped a little. This was Cami. Except, of course, it wasn’t.
Want more? You can snag the whole series at a variety of retailers, with more coming very soon: