Burning Bright (Ivy Granger) (33 page)

BOOK: Burning Bright (Ivy Granger)
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The worst case of honing of my survival skills had been at
my last foster home, just before the Hunters’ Guild intervened.  I don’t
remember the house mother.  She wasn’t around much.  She was just a small
figure in a cheap, polyester fast food uniform with a stooped posture and
downcast eyes.  But I remember her husband Frank.

Frank was a bully who wore white, ketchup and mustard
stained, wife-beater t-shirts.  He had perpetual French fry breath and a nasty
grin.  It took me a few weeks to realize that Frank’s grin was more of leer. 
I’d caught his gaze in the bathroom mirror when I was changing and his eyes
said it all; Frank was a perv.  Linda slammed the door in his face, but that
didn’t stop Frank.  Frank would brush up against me in the kitchen and Linda
would set the faucet spraying across the tiles…and slide a knife into my hand. 
My time in that house ended when Frank ended up in the hospital.

I’d been creeping back to the bedroom I shared with three
other kids, when I saw Frank waiting for me in the shadows.  I pulled the steak
knife I kept hidden in the pocket of my robe, but I never got a chance to use
it.  Now that I know a thing or two about fighting with a blade, I’m aware that
Frank probably would have won that fight.  I tried to run toward the stairs,
but Frank met me at the top landing.  Frank reached for me while his bulk
effectively blocked my escape.  That was when Linda the ghost pushed him down
the stairs.  I remember him tumbling in slow motion, his eyes going wide and
the leering grin sliding from his face.

Linda the ghost had once again saved me, but it seemed that
this visit was her last.  I don’t know if she used up her quota of psychic
power, or if she just felt like her job here was finally done.  It wasn’t until
years later that I realized she was my mother.

I guess I should have realized sooner that I was related to
the ghost who followed me around.  We both have hair the same shade of shocking
red.  But where mine is straight and cropped into a short bob, Linda’s was wavy
and curled down around her shoulders.  We also share a dimple in our left cheek
and a propensity for protecting the weak and innocent from evil.

Linda the ghost disappeared, a wailing ambulance drove Frank
to the hospital, police arrived at my foster house, and the Hunters swooped in
and cleaned up the aftermath.  It was from my first Guild master that I learned
of my parents’ fate and put two and two together about my ghostly protector.

As a kid I often wondered why Linda the ghost always wore a
dark turtleneck; now I knew.  Young, rogue vamps had torn out her throat and
proceeded to rip my father to pieces like meat confetti.  My parents were on
vacation in Belize, celebrating their wedding anniversary when it happened. 
I’d been staying with a friend of my mother’s, otherwise I’d be dead too.

I don’t remember my parents, I’d only been three when I was
put into the foster care system, but I do find some peace in knowing that doing
my duty as a Hunter gives me the power to police and destroy rogue vamps like
the ones who killed my mother and father.  When I become exhausted by my work,
I think of Linda’s sad face and push myself to train harder.  And when I find
creeps who are abusive to women and children, I think of Frank.

That’s how I ended up here, standing in a Brussels airport,
trying to decipher the Dutch and French signs with eyes that were gritty from the
twelve hour flight.  It all started when my friend Ivy called to inform me that
a fellow Hunter had hit our mutual friend Jinx.  Ivy didn’t know how that
information would push all my buttons, she didn’t know about Frank or my time
in the foster system, but we both agreed that striking a girl was
unacceptable.  She was letting me, and the Hunters’ Guild, deal with it, for

I went to master Janus, the head of the Harborsmouth
Hunters’ Guild, and reported Hans’ transgressions.  It didn’t help that Hans
had a reputation as a berserker in battle.  The fact that he’d hit a human, the
very people we were sworn to defend against the monsters, was the nail in the
coffin of Hans’ career.

I was assured that Hans would be shipped off to the
equivalent of a desk job in Siberia.  I should have left it at that, and let my
superiors take care of the problem.  But Jinx was my friend.  Ivy’s rockabilly
business partner may have had bad luck and even worse taste in men, but that
didn’t mean she deserved to spend her life fending off the attacks of the
Franks in the world.

Hans continued his Guild duties while the higher ups
shuffled papers and prepared to send him away.  Hans should have skipped our
training sessions, but then again, he didn’t know who had ratted him out—and
the guy had a lot of rage to vent.  I stormed onto the practice mat and saluted
Hans with my sword.  It wasn’t long before the man started to bleed.

We were supposed to be using practice swords, but I’d
accidentally grabbed the sharp blade I used on hunting runs.  I didn’t leave
any lasting injuries, but the shallow cuts made a mess of his precious
tattoos.  I just hoped the scars were a constant reminder of what happens when
you attack the innocent.

One week later, I received a plane ticket and orders to meet
with one of our contacts in Belgium.  I wasn’t sure if this assignment was
intended as a punishment or a promotion, but I was eager to prove myself to the
Guild leadership.  Master Janus’ parting words whispered in my head,
distracting me from the voice on the overhead intercom echoing throughout the
cavernous airport.

“Do your duty, Jenna,” he said.  Master Janus placed a
large, sword-calloused hand on my shoulder and looked me in the eye.  I
swallowed hard, but I managed to keep my hands from shaking.  “Make us proud.”

“I will, sir,” I said.

“Good hunting.”



Also by E.J. Stevens



Adult Series


Smells the Dead


of Witchtrot Road

with Death

Pirate Curse



Fantasy Series



and Mistletoe






Fantasy Series


in Bruges (2014)


Poetry Collections


the Shadows

of Myth and Legend




The Spirit Guide Series


Smells the Dead


Yuki has
a secret…she smells the dead.


series is like Nancy Drew meets the Winchester Brothers from

So Rather Be Reading




of the Dead are coming...


mystery, part adventure, part romance and all the things a reader wants."

For Your Future


of Witchtrot Road


agitated ghosts, irritated witches, angry werewolves, and the horrors of high
school has never been so hard.


didn't think it possible to fall even more in love with this series (and the
characters, oh the amazingly swoon-worthy male characters and the super snarky
female characters), but after having read this book, the third installment of
this series, I found that it is indeed possible."

Book Nook


with Death


was scary, but graduation is downright terrifying.


has managed to once again create a wonderful mystery filled with characters
that are not only loveable but completely realistic and unforgettable."

Guilty Obsession


Pirate Curse


Yuki starts smelling salt brine and seaweed, she finds her summer vacation
hijacked by pirates...the DEAD kind.

the ghost of Black Sam Bellamy, Prince of Pirates, lead Yuki and her friends to
treasure or terror?


an excellent book! There's action, adventure, werewolves, witches and pirate

Sleep Read



The Ivy Granger Series




to Harborsmouth, where monsters walk the streets unseen by humans...except
those with second sight, like Ivy Granger.


recommend this book to anyone who enjoys sarcastic wit, supernatural beings, a
good mystery and one kick butt heroine."

Romance Guild


Sight is well worth a 5 out of 5 rating...I enjoyed it even more than my
beloved Hollows series by Kim Harrison."

Keeper Shelf


and Mistletoe: An Ivy Granger Novella


are worse than a full moon for making people crazy. In Harborsmouth, where many
of the residents are undead vampires or monstrous fae, the combination may
prove deadly.


always Ivy was a fantastic main character who is always able to keep me
chuckling and always kicking butt everywhere she goes. I love how much of a
strong character she is. I also loved how creepy everything felt due to the
fact that it was holiday themed...a very nice addition to the Ivy Granger

Bite Reviews



Granger, psychic detective, thought she'd seen it all...until now.


brilliant installment of the Ivy Granger series."

Urban Fantasies




demon, an Unseelie faerie, and a vampire walk into a bar...


absolutely loved Club Nexus."

Bite Reviews




down the house...


amazing installment in the Ivy Granger series!"





E.J. Stevens
is the author of
the Spirit Guide young adult series and the bestselling Ivy Granger urban
fantasy series.  When E.J. isn't at her writing desk she enjoys dancing along
seaside cliffs, singing in graveyards, and sleeping in faerie circles.  E.J.
currently resides in a magical forest on the coast of Maine where she finds
daily inspiration for her writing.


can learn more about E.J. by visiting


with E.J. on her
, and


the world of Ivy Granger at


BOOK: Burning Bright (Ivy Granger)
7.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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