Read Keeley Thomson (Book 3): Mistress of Souls Online

Authors: P.S. Power

Tags: #fantasy

Keeley Thomson (Book 3): Mistress of Souls

Orange Cat Publishing

 

Electronic Publishing Division

 

2012

 

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Orange Cat Publishing books by P.S. Power:

 

 

 

The Infected:

 

Proxy

 

Gabriel

 

Cast Iron

 

 

 

Gwen Farris:

 

Abominations

 

Monsters

 

 

 

Dead End:

 

A Very Good Man

 

A Very Good Neighbor

 

A Very Good Thing

 

A Very Dark Place

 

 

 

Keeley Thomson:

 

Demon Girl

 

Keelzebub

 

Mistress of Souls

 

 

 

The Young Ancients:

 

The Builder

 

Knight Esquire

 

Knight of the Realm

 

Ambassador

 

Counselor

 

Slave Line

 

 

 

Stand alone titles:

 

Crayons

 

Unrelenting Terror

 

 

Mistress of Souls

 

 

 

P.S. Power

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter one

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keeley tamped down the tickle of nervousness she felt, focusing on what it was like to be calm and relaxed instead. That ability, being able to control her body and mind just by thinking about it hard enough, was one of her favorites so far. Demon powers could be fun, if you remembered to use them. Just because it was a new situation she made sure to bring out a feeling of confidence and charm as well. It couldn't hurt and really, this was important.

"May I help you miss?" The man behind the desk was older, probably in his late forties and looked a bit soft. Too many donuts and cups of fancy coffee, most likely. People forgot that drinks could have calories too and it led to overeating without ever feeling like it.

Keeley could tell that coffee was part of it for half a dozen reasons. The main one being that the man held the evidence in his hand at that moment, a drink that had so much sugar in it Keeley could taste it on the air. The half eaten lemon jelly filled on waxed paper sitting on his desk added its own allure to the mix. It occurred to her that she might just be a little hungry, which she damped down too. There would be time for eating later. Before she spoke she had that taken care of, the hunger subsiding into nothing in seconds.

"You sure
can
help me." Holding the soft pink box out she cracked the top, showing it to be filled with cookies. It got the man to blink and set down the coffee. His attention turned to her though, meaning he probably wasn't all that hungry at the moment himself. Not for food at least.

It was clear what he saw, which was what she wanted him too. A girl with dark brown hair, thin, but in a way that hopefully didn't seem anorexic yet, wearing a light blue skirt that covered her knees and a matching shirt that was just a little too tight at the waist for it to be an accident. It had either been that or making her bust line grow again and she opted for the easy way this time. It would make her look slightly sexy without actually being overtly trampy.

"I'd like to introduce myself and see if I can use these cookies to bribe someone here into mentioning the Coretechs Halloween party on the air. I tried Brad Stevenson first, but he said that it would really be up to you." It was true. Of course the man had also broadly hinted that if she'd leave him a cookie he could try and talk the idea up a little with the news director, Stanly Mims. The man in front of her.

Her words got a wry turn of mouth and a half snort from the guy.

"Brad actually sent you to me first? Amazing. Probably the Coretechs thing. Why don't you have a seat and explain that to me? Leave the cookies though. I promise I'll share with everyone." He looked like he meant it, so she smiled and set the box down, wondering just how many of the four dozen would make it to the break room. The man wasn't fat, but he had a soft middle that showed more than just forgetting his daily exercise regime and had to do with some purposeful overeating at times.

"Alright. The short answer first then. Mrs. Gibson, the owner of Coretechs, along with Police Chief Benson and a lot of his men, plus the local Veterans of Foreign Wars, are putting together a party for the whole city. We need to advertise of course, but it's a free event and going to have a Haunted House, refreshments and a costume parade for the little kids. On top of that we'll have games and prizes, including a free drawing for one thousand dollars at the end that anyone can put their name in for. We're having live music from seven to ten and a DJ from then to one in the morning. It's going to be fun and family friendly." That about covered the whole thing on the surface. All she had to do was make sure it all came together correctly.

Or rather her people did.

That she had people for things like that was darned useful. Two of her slaves were Hsreth, which were basically the ultimate in supernatural household help. Her two, Clara and Glen were caterers by trade, so the party wasn't outside of their wheelhouse at all.

Keeley winced internally at the word wheelhouse. No one used that phrase now, and even thinking it could show anyone reading her mind that she was a lot older than she seemed. At least a hundred years. She wasn't of course, being only sixteen, but she'd been making a point of pretending to be older all the time just in case anyone could hear her. It wasn't all that likely, but about one in ten thousand people, or other beings, could do it. At least in theory. Practically speaking she could block them out if she wanted to. It just took discipline and enough magical force.

The idea hitting her from the memories the Demon Tarsus had put in place weeks before, she decided to try it, forming a space around her through which her thoughts just wouldn't travel. It might help her seem a bit older, if she could do it well enough. The dead zone of mental shielding caused a slightly slick feeling to her mind, but Stanly Mims the director didn't seem to notice at all. Probably not all that psychic then.

He just looked away and then nodded after a few seconds.

"Going to have any nude dancers there?" The tone wasn't joking, but then it shouldn't be. The Coretechs parties they'd held after the Homecoming dances for all the high schools in the district had featured scantily clad men and women. Not naked, but close enough to send the prudes on the PTO to go into a tailspin. It hadn't been her idea, but she kind of wished it had. That part of things had just about made the parties. Everyone that didn't go felt pretty bad earlier in the day at school, since it had actually been kind of exciting.

"Nope. This is a family thing and six year olds would rather see Dracula than a stripper. I
am
however pushing for some cute dancing elves for the Christmas party. I can't promise anything though." She leaned in a little, the very top of her chest showed but no cleavage did. The man glanced at her anyway, but brought his eyes back up before it got too creepy. She was only sixteen after all, even if she did look slightly older after her recent weight loss. She hadn't been chunky before, but doing all the Demon magic she had been really took off the last bit of little girl plumpness she'd had.

With the makeup she had on and her hair being down she looked pretty good, she knew. It wasn't vanity... she was a Greater Demon. They were generally born good looking for the society they lived in. Most of them actually had to learn to play down the looks and strived for a more average standard, Darla aside. Her sister was hundreds of years old and not vain at all, but had been waiting for her at Raintree, hiding out for years as a cheerleader. Then she'd managed to recruit Keeley's dad to work in her company's accounting office. The whole thing had been about her little sis, of course, but it was still a good job that had a really decent benefits package.

The man focused on her eyes, his blue and a little murky, with just a hint of yellow at the edges which indicated possible liver trouble. Hers were brown. Technically she could have changed the color, and needed to learn to do that along with shape shifting, but for now brown was good enough. Gem green would attract more attention, but she got more than enough already most days. He nodded, as if deciding something and smiled at her.

"What's your role in all this then?" Stanly didn't add any suggestions as to what he thought that would be, he just waited, leaning back just slightly. It was a subconscious gesture that indicated he felt like he had the power in the situation.

That was the case, so Keeley followed his lead, tilting forward a little more. That would make him feel more comfortable, if on a subconscious level. He wouldn't realize it had been done, but going with what he wanted would work for her in this case, since as a news director what he wanted professionally was a story and this was one.

"I'm the junior deputy gopher, of course. Technically I'm in charge of the whole thing, but we have Bob Richards from Corrtechs in on it as well as Karen Benson, the Chief's wife. Plus Clara Taggard from Clara's Catering. They don't really need a high school girl to run things." Keeley paused to let that sink in, not knowing if the man would get what all that really meant.

It seemed he more than got the idea. He whistled, a medium low sound and started nodding.

"I see then. So this isn't just some kids party with apple bobbing and pin the tail on the donkey or whatever. Clara Taggard is the go to person for any kind of event isn't she? How did you manage to land her? Did Mrs. Gibson..." He trailed off and waited again. Then took a sip of coffee, glanced at the box of cookies and pulled one out. After taking a bite he looked at it and closed his eyes.

"And did she happen to make these too? They're wonderful. I don't think I've had chocolate chip this good before." To illustrate his point he took another bite and savored it for a few seconds.

"She did make those. Well, that or her partner Glen did, I'm not sure. Except the chocolate walnut ones. I made those. She showed me how. Made me do three batches before she thought they were barely good enough for you. She's very serious when it comes to her job." The only lie there was that Clara hadn't
made
Keeley do anything. In fact Keeley had to command her to be honest about her cookies. The woman didn't want to offend her at all, being that Keeley rather owned her in about as literal a fashion as was possible without using cages.

She'd intended to just switch the ones Keeley made out originally. The shapes had been too irregular. Keels had gotten it down though, with practice and a lot of attention to detail. Plus learning to use a little ice cream scoop for it.

"As to how we landed them, well that wasn't hard at all. They volunteered. I mean, they're being paid for it, Mrs. Gibson wanted to make sure they were taken care of, but they didn't hesitate to jump in when they heard the idea. Wonderful people."

The man finished his cookie and took another, one that she'd made and then looked at it for a long time after a few bites.

"Well, the effort shows. OK. I'll set up a color spot for you. Can you do that now? It's pretty simple, we just set up and ask a few dozen questions. Then depending on how you do we'll reedit it to make it seem like you aren't freaking out or a breathless teenager and try to make you look good enough for the segment. How's that? Think it will leave the rest of those people on your committee happy, or do you want to come back tomorrow with the Chief's wife? She always does well when she's on." From the way the man said it Keeley assumed he had more than a tiny bit of a crush on Karen. She didn't blame him, the woman was good looking and had been groomed to be perfect for her position after all.

"Let's do it now. If this could go up today it will get a lot more people interested than tomorrow or the next day. Besides, I don't know if the bribe will still be in effect if I wait too long." She eyed the box and then the third cookie in his hand, which got the man to look down at his own middle.

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