Finders Ghost Hunting #1
by Amy Romine
Genre: Paranormal Romance Thriller
When an expert Demonologist meets a Reality Show Producer on the Ghost Hunting Show Finders, sparks of true love fly so brightly even the Devil takes notice.
Demonologist, Luke Melloy has seen the face of pure evil. He’s fought it and sent it back to hell. It’s what he does. To Claire Westin, ghosts and demons are just great television and good for ratings. When faced with the truth Luke has seen, her reality is turned upside down as the two are swept into dire straits moments after they meet. Desire sparks between the unlikely pair, throwing their hearts into chaos with a love neither expected nor wanted.
When the Demon targets an unsuspecting Claire with his wrath, Luke finds his focus split between his oath to God and the awakening of his heart. Together, can they face the ancient evil and defeat it or lose everything?
Luke and Claire watched Grant, and the doctor attempt to engage Kelsey. The teenage girl sat still, her gaze fixed on Claire.
“Claire, come here,” Luke said motioning for Claire to join him on the other side of the room. “Slowly.”
Claire complied. Luke watched the girls’ eyes track Claire’s movement like a hunter tracking its prey.
“Luke,” Claire gasped, and Luke focused.
Claire’s usually clear eyes were fogged. He took her hand and discovered she was cold to the touch, as cold as when he’d pulled her out of the well.
“Just focus on me,” Luke said, squeezing her hand and knocking on the window between the rooms. A tingling sensation pulsed through Luke’s body. Consciously pushing the energy to Claire, he drank in the experience while taking deep breaths. Claire’s eyes cleared, and her hand warmed. “Better?”
She nodded. At the same moment, the door opened. Grant entered the small room, his eyes immediately focusing on their joined hands. “Is everything okay?”
“Yeah, I just got a little light-headed,” Claire said, releasing Luke’s hand.
Luke shot a look at Grant. “How did it go in there?”
“She opened her eyes, and we thought we were getting somewhere, but then we lost it. Not sure what happened.”
“We might know,” Luke said.
Claire shot him a deadly look.
Luke explained what happened in the observation room.
“There’s only one way to know for sure,” Grant said, looking at Claire.
“What?” Claire asked.
“We need to test the theory,” Luke replied.
“By putting the stimulus back in the equation. First in the observation room, and then in the room with Kelsey,” Grant said.
“You’re not serious?” Claire replied, turning away from the men.
“Claire, if Kelsey is attracted to you for some reason, we have to investigate and see where it leads,” Grant replied.
Claire ran her hands through her hair. She stood silent for a moment before turning and meeting Luke’s eyes. She seemed to be searching for something. An acknowledgment or reassurance? He couldn’t give anything to her and looked away.
“Claire, there’s something you need to know,” Grant said.
Luke’s stomach dropped. Listening to Grant explain to Claire what had happened at the hospital when they found her in Kelsey’s room made him physically ill. He kept his focus elsewhere, not wanting to watch Claire’s reaction to the news. The incident was his fault. He should be able to protect her.
“Fine,” Claire said. “Yeah, okay, let’s see what happens.”
Luke turned, seeing the determination in her eyes.
Grant returned to Kelsey’s room and quietly informed the doctor Luke would be entering the room next, then stepped into the hallway and motioned to Luke. The two men switched places.
Luke stepped in, noting how cold the room felt compared to the hallway. “Hello, Kelsey, my name is Luke Melloy. I want to speak with you about Crestwater Church.” The girl lay motionless. “Kelsey, can you hear me? We’re here to help you, but you have to tell us what happened. We went to Crestwater. I gotta tell you, Kelsey, the church is a pretty creepy place. I would understand if you’re hesitant about sharing your experiences.” Luke took her hand. “Kelsey, you’re safe here in the hospital. Surrounded by people who are here to help you through this trauma.”
The door opened. Grant walked into the room, followed by Claire. Luke shook his head.
The doctor audibly sighed, “I want to thank you for trying. Your help is sincerely appreciated.”
“It is our pleasure,” Luke replied, watching Claire and Grant approach the bed.
Kelsey lay quietly, the shadows of her face dark and haunting despite the harsh hospital lights. Luke watched her closely while alternating his focus on Claire.
Luke looked to Grant and then Claire. Claire exhaled a deep breath, the warmth of her breath mixing with a sudden iciness in the air. He switched his focus to Kelsey, whose eyes opened. The skin of her expression tightened against the bones of her face. Her eyes stared out with a menacing black glare. The room filled with the stench of death and sulfur.
“Kelsey?” Luke said. A guttural, yelping laugh of malevolent spite and rage emanated from the thin girl’s physical form. “Who are we speaking with, if not Kelsey?”
“He who is not him or her. He who will make the dripping climax of blood at your feet,” the Demon within Kelsey replied, licking its lips while looking at Claire.
An unearthly scream filled the room. Claire. Her face ashen and eyes wide in terror, she stumbled back. Grant moved to catch her, and Luke re-focused.
“God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I appeal to your holy name, humbly begging your kindness, that you may graciously grant me help against this unclean spirit now tormenting this creature of yours, through Christ our Lord.”
“Save her, Luke. Save her as you did Daniel!” the Demon cried. The room shook, the lights flickering.
“I armor myself today with the power of the Most Holy Trinity, in the oneness of God, Creator of the universe. I armor myself today with the baptism of Christ, His crucifixion and resurrection, His ascension and glorious second coming.”
“There is no hope for her light! It is already marked with the seed of Belial!”
“I armor myself today with God’s guidance to direct me, God’s might to sustain me, God’s wisdom to instruct me, God’s word to give me speech, God’s shield to protect me, God’s army to defend me, against the snares of demons, against the lure of vices, against all who plot me harm.”
“Centum quinquaginta animas sedem formabis radicibus!” the Demon spat out with a low growl.
As quickly as the episode began, it ended. Luke checked the room. Claire stood shielded within Grant’s protective arms, while the doctor huddled in the corner of the room.
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About the Author
Romine has always wanted to be one of the good guys. From playing Charlie’s
Angels in the backyard of her Macungie, PA home as a child to the pages of her
unending projects, Amy has always dreamed of adventure and romance. Her need to
make the characters truly deserve their happiness takes us on many a twisted
journey. From serial killers to demons, Amy holds nothing back in the name of
true enduring love.
A mother of three, Amy has spent the past sixteen years working in Operations for Ricoh America’s Corporation. She is an avid movie fan and enjoys books, television, theater, her dog Pip and all things romance.
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