The Medium's Possession
Cecily is ready to re-launch her life after the death of her boyfriend, starting with moving her over-worked sister, Zander, back to Seattle. The trouble is Scott—the sexy, tattoo artist brother of Zander's boyfriend--who is making the move, too.
Crushing on Scott while her ex literally haunts her would be awkward... and apparently unavoidable.
Ah, life as a medium.
Scott has wanted Cecily since the first time he heard her voice. There's only one problem with that: she's Zander's little sister, and crossing that line risks the newfound balance he fought for--and a secret he's been keeping for too long.
When Zander's behavior becomes erratic, they blame the pressure of the move--until she
spirals in ways more supernatural than stressed. Cecily and Scott band together, navigating their attraction while helping to save Zander's life from the hidden darkness consuming her. But to banish the evil, they need a witch—and she might not make it in time.
Release date: February 23, 2021
Publisher: Done Playing Press
Print pages: 268
Content advisory: Contains depictions of self-harm, mental illness, and discussion of past child abuse.
* BingeBooks earns revenue from qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate as well as from other retail partners.
The Medium's Possession
The burning sting intensified against Cecily’s side. She tried to keep her ribs from flexing as she drew a breath, squeezing her eyes shut and steeling herself against the pain.
“You doing okay?”
She tucked her face into her arms, smiling despite the burn. “Doing good.”
The buzzing of the tattoo needles stopped. She heard Scott sit back, then felt a cool rag against her skin.
Lifting her head, she stole a glance at him before cradling her face in her arms again. “How’s it look?”
A breath’s pause, then, “Amazing. Do you think you can take any more tonight or should we plan to do another session?”
“I can take it,” Cecily replied. She adjusted how she was laying, settling in and shoring herself up again. She could do this. “Let’s finish what we started.”
Scott’s chuckle might have been laced with admiration. She tried but failed to ignore the part of her that thrilled at that.
“Okay, but tell me if you want to stop,” he said. “Another sitting doesn’t have to be months away. We’re moving to Seattle, remember?”
“Oh, I know,” she replied. How could she forget?
Cecily winced when the needles first touched her skin, the burn akin to bee stings against her side.
“I saw that,” Scott remarked.
“Yeah, it hurts,” she said, “but that doesn’t mean I’m not fine.” Or that there wasn’t some small part of her that kind of liked it.
But it wasn’t like she was about to say that out loud.
Outside, rain pelted the roof and the windows. The blinds at the front of the shop were shut tight against prying eyes, but the sound made it clear—it was pouring outside. That seemed to just be the way summers worked in New Orleans, rising humidity all day until the clouds opened up and dumped a short torrential downpour and started the process all over again. It was nothing like the all-day Seattle-style drizzle Cecily was accustomed to.
Scott had a single goose-neck lamp on and angled to shine where he was working, but the rest of the shop was dark. It was well after closing time. Rhia was dozing peacefully under the table, but other than that, they were alone in the shop. The only sound besides the tattoo needles and Rhia’s occasional snuffle was Scott’s breathing, slow and steady, and his voice, calm and comfortably low, when he chose to speak.
Cecily was topless, lying on her stomach on the padded table so Scott could access the tattoo he’d begun inking on her ribs months ago on her first trip to New Orleans. On that visit, he’d outlined the runes that had protected her over the last few months. Now he was adding detail and shading, taking it from a set of lines to a work of art.
His fingers moved against her skin, his touch warm and sure as he changed his angle.
In the year since she’d met Scott over the phone the day she, Zander and Callum had destroyed the Shadow that had been stalking them (how about that for a bit of life experience she never expected to have?) Cecily had grown to think of Scott as one of her best friends.
She thought on that for a second.
Did Zander count as a best friend? She supposed yes, but also no. Zander was her oldest sister—that was a category all its own.
So, yeah. Scott was certainly her best friend still living.
He was smart, interesting and, unfortunately for her, incredibly good-looking.
Which was something she definitely hadn’t known the extent of when she’d talked to him that first time on the phone, but had gotten the full brunt of when he and Callum had visited Seattle with Zander for Christmas just a couple months later. The same visit when everything had been revealed about Cecily not finishing her degree. Yeah, that had been awkward.
“How was your flight?” Scott asked over the sound of the needles, interrupting her thoughts like he knew she needed rescuing.
“It was good.” She smiled and angled her face toward Scott slightly so her voice would carry over the harsh buzzing. “If you call having the spirit of a woman talk at you for the entire flight good. I mean, she was nice enough, but it’s not like I could respond to her with all of those people sitting around.” Which meant she just sort of spoke the entire time. It had been exhausting.
Scott’s chuckle came from deep in his chest. “Jesus, that sounds awful. Callum hates to fly. That’s probably why.”
“Probably. It definitely wasn’t the most relaxing flight I’ve ever had.” Though getting this time to unwind with Scott was a nice way to end an otherwise hectic day. “Hey, do you think Zander and Callum are staying out late tonight?” Callum had picked her up at the airport. They’d grabbed a fast food bite, but when they made it to the house, he’d all but turned around and left again, saying something about meeting Zander for a last-day-at-work happy hour. He’d asked if Cecily wanted to join them, but she’d already had this session set up with Scott. That had been around seven p.m. By the time she’d showered off the airplane feeling and gotten to Scott’s tattoo shop, it had been nearly eight.
“I mean, it’s Zander’s last day at work. Wouldn’t you?” was Scott’s response.
Cecily thought for a moment. Zander had coined the term “hell-job” to refer to the role and the company she was leaving behind. “Point taken.”
“Why do you ask?”
The funny thing was, she wasn’t sure. But she did know it definitely wasn’t to get a sense of if she and Scott would be hanging out at the house by themselves after they finished her tattoo. Or to know if anyone would be waiting up for them back home.
It wasn’t anything like that.
“Just trying to get a sense of if I should stay up to hang out with Zander tonight or save it for tomorrow.” She was here for over a week—there’d be plenty of time to see Zander. Plus Scott wasn’t one to go out to bars—not that he was the reason she wasn’t going out. Besides, there would be lots of opportunities to spend time with Zander and Callum, along with Scott, when they moved up to Seattle at the end of this vacation-to-help-them-move Cecily was currently on.
She smiled as a thrill of excitement ran through her: Zander back home in Seattle! Living just a short drive from the apartment Cecily was about to sign a lease for!
She’d taken time to get her head right after Trevor died. He was still around thanks to her medium mojo, but he wasn’t alive so every plan they’d made together had been destroyed. She’d spent the last year-and-a-half since then standing still, unsure what to do next.
But, at some point during the summer, she’d started to feel better. More solid.
Scott was part of why. He was this constant, sure-footed presence in her life—even if he lived halfway across the country. Callum’s friendship—more big brother than Scott’s best friend vibes—was another. Zander’s acceptance, her no-nonsense care and her ambition kept Cecily grounded and reminded her that she’d had goals at some point, too.
Time, she knew, was the other part that had begun to heal her wounds.
It still sucked sometimes, knowing she and Trevor weren’t facing the future they’d planned. But not as much as it had at first.
Which was why she had registered for winter quarter classes at the university, and why she was getting ready to sign a lease and move out on her own once and for all.
And why she was so excited to have her three favorite living people (well, besides her mother, of course) a quick drive instead of a five-hour plane ride away.
“How are things with Alyssa?” Scott asked, his voice coming from somewhere along Cecily’s side, which, she’d learned, usually meant he was inking some seriously tiny detail.
Of course he’d ask about the one part of Cecily’s life that wasn’t progressing according to her designs. “She’s fine.”
“More or less.” Although by that, she meant only more.
Cecily suppressed a sigh. She and Alyssa’s relationship hadn’t been the same since that drama with the Shadow. Alyssa had been more than happy to leave the apartment while Cecily, Zander, and Callum destroyed the thing but when she came back after it was all over, it was like a wedge had been planted between them. Nothing uncivil or direct. Sometimes Cecily wondered if she was imagining it, but then something would happen that normally would have been prime sister bonding fodder—and nothing. Alyssa would laugh, or comment, but she remained distant. The conversations were more akin to that of a trusted co-worker, not the sister-closeness they’d once shared.
“I thought she was considering coming down with you this time,” Scott said, his breath brushing against Cecily’s ribs.
Which she totally didn’t notice.
“She was,” Cecily replied, “but she couldn’t get the days off work.” If she even tried.
The truth was, she had no idea what was going on with Alyssa. On the one hand, she wished Alyssa would get over whatever was keeping her distant already. On the other hand, she understood why she hadn’t.
“I really figured she’d come around,” Scott remarked, almost like he knew all the things Cecily wasn’t saying.
She started to shrug but stopped herself.
“Hey, did you end up taking classes for fall quarter?” Scott asked. The buzzing stopped for a moment, like it did intermittently, leaving only the weight of his fingers against her ribs.
“Nah, I’m working a ton to save up so I can move out,” she replied, forcing her brain to stay on track. “But I registered for Winter quarter.” It had taken her some time to be able to stomach the thought of going back—then more months to save up the money to actually do it—which was why it had taken her so long to follow through on the thing she knew she should have done a year ago.
She braced herself for the sting of the needles as she felt him lower the machine back onto her skin a second before the buzzing kicked back on.
“Good for you. Did you end up landing that apartment you wanted?”
“We did!” she exclaimed in response. Damn, had it been that long since she’d texted with him? “We sign the lease when I get back. It’s near campus so getting to work will be a breeze—”
“Not to mention your classes,” Scott interjected. He’d been a good friend and a huge support with the whole school thing—from the moment her no-degree status had been unceremoniously revealed.
Cecily smiled. “And my classes. But the apartment is far enough away from campus not to be too noisy Friday and Saturday nights. I’m not looking to dive into the party scene or anything.”
Scott laughed under his breath. “You sure you want to move out of your mom’s place? It seems kind of cushy where you’re at now.”
“Yes, I’m sure,” Cecily replied with certainty. “I’m twenty-three. I need to not live with my mom anymore.” Ouch! She drew a sharp breath through her teeth before she could stop herself.
The buzzing of the tattoo needles stopped immediately. “And that’s my cue to quit.”
Cecily sighed, annoyed at herself. She wanted to keep going—but even she had to admit that the pain was starting to get to her.
She also wasn’t sure if it was the tattoo, or the company that made her so gung-ho about keeping on.
“That was a full body wince,” Scott said, like he knew she was silently kicking herself. “Endorphins bottom out eventually—no matter how badass you are.”
Cecily pushed herself up onto her elbows and turned her head to look at him, careful to maintain some semblance of modesty by keeping her breasts hidden behind her arms.
Ever the gentleman, Scott wasn’t even looking. He was sitting back in his chair, eyes closed, stretching his neck, left, then right, and left again. His black, horn-rimmed glasses were pushed up into his short, dark hair. His sharp jaw was shadowed in stubble at least two shades lighter. And below that, the tattoos that ran up his neck, peeking above the collar of his plaid, short-sleeved button-up looked like pencil sketches on his skin.
He sat up and opened his bright, brown eyes. Cecily cast her gaze to the space beyond him, to the art on the walls, but it was too late.
He’d caught her staring.
“I’m not worried about being a wimp,” she said with a laugh, shaking her head and redirecting her gaze completely so she stared at the table beneath her. She clasped her hands and picked her feet up from the table, crossing them at the ankle in the air behind her, going for casual and nonplussed.
Anything but shit-I-just-got-caught-staring-at-my-sister’s-boyfriend’s-brother.
“I just can’t wait until its finished,” she added.
She couldn’t take it anymore. She threw Scott a glance—only to catch him staring.
Unfortunately, he was focused on the tattoo he’d just been working on.
Not on her.
He looked up at her with a quick breath, like he’d been lost in thought about his work. “It’ll be worth the wait,” he said. “Not to be too self-congratulatory or anything.”
Cecily laughed. “If you’ll hand me my shirt, we can get out of here.”
“Not yet,” Scott replied.
But before her imagination could get too far ahead of her, he turned, reached, and swiveled back again with a tub of ointment in his hands.
“Gotta wrap you up.”
We hope you are enjoying the book so far. To continue reading...