Exclusive preview of ADDICTION
Alex dragged the heavy curtains shut, flicked off the lights, then took his place with us on the floor. The air was thick with the herbs Dante had been burning, and I found the fragrance oddly soothing. Dante sat still, head bowed. The trouble with waiting was keeping my mind away from Janine. With an effort, I thought about Krista instead. There was no reason to stay away from her now. Not that I’d tried to. She might be the perfect distraction.
“Rico Sanchez, I summon you to the circle,” Dante said. Sylvie stiffened beside me, but there was no sign of any presence in the room. Dante called for Rico some more, but nothing happened. Maybe it was something to do with me not paying attention? I stared at the floor. Thought of Sylvie. Of Rico, whom I’d never met. I’d never met Elliot ether. Janine mentioned him months ago. What had she said about him? Shit, my mind was running away again. I shifted my gaze to a tiny white feather on the floor near my shoe, and I listened to Dante calling for Ingrid, the little girl he summoned yesterday.
Didn’t Janine see Elliot presenting at a conference? Was that it? My ass was going numb from sitting in one position so long, and damn, my nose was itching. I lifted the hand linked to Sylvie’s and tried to scratch my nose. I had to lean toward her, but it worked, and the itch receded.
There was a long pause while Dante sat quietly again, and then he called for another name. Eve.
Sylvie fidgeted beside me, but then gripped my hand as though she clung to me to save her life. I looked up, and there in the corner of the lounge was a shimmering young woman. Fuck me, he’d done it again. This was a teenage girl, a Goth, with wild black curls and dark makeup. She didn’t look pleased to be there.
“Tat-Boy.” She scowled at Dante. “This isn’t a great time.”
“Hello, Eve. It’s good to see you again. I want to ask—”
“I said”—her voice was sharp—, “I don’t have time for this.”
Undaunted, he continued. “I just —”
“Yeah, I heard you the first time.” She stomped to the edge of the circle, her heavy boots making no sound. “I’m on the last episode of LOST. They’re about to explain the whole series, and bang, you drag me here. Do you have any idea how long I’ve waited to watch this episode? Do you?”
I stared speechless, as she blew a giant gum bubble, then sucked it back into her mouth. A Goth ghost that chewed gum and watched LOST. The world became more bizarre every day.
“Eve, that’s not important. It’s just TV. I need—”
“And I said, not at the moment, Tat-Boy. See ya.” She vanished.
Dante cursed under his breath, and then sighed. “I’m sorry. She appears to know Rico, and I thought it’d be a good idea.” His voice trailed away. He looked exhausted.
Sylvie cleared her throat. “Um, would it help if we brought in someone else? Another psychic?” Before Dante could reply, she hurried on. “I don’t mean instead of you; I mean as well as. You know, two of you working together would be stronger, don’t you think?”
Dante dropped his head and stretched his back, all the while keeping hold of our hands. “I don’t know,” he said, finally. “I’ve never tried that, but yeah, it might work.” He shrugged. “I know a good psychic who lives in the area. She gave me protection training, so I could call her.”
Sylvie nodded. “Would that be Leanne Ruget? We went to one of her sessions ages ago, and she gave me a message from Rico.”
What? That would explain why Sylvie and Alex were so quick to accept Dante, if they were already into this stuff. I opened my mouth to ask about it, but Alex shook his head. It could wait.
Ten minutes later, it was all set. We’d reconvene the night after and try again, with two psychics in the circle. Dante hesitated after filling us in on his call to Leanne. “She hasn’t done this before either, so I have to warn you. This is unpredictable. We have no idea what to expect.” He ran a hand through his hair. “Anything could happen.”