Claws of Death: Hellbound Series Book 2
Claws of Death: Hellbound Series Book 2
Claws of Death: Hellbound Series Book 2
Claws of Death: Hellbound Series Book 2
Claws of Death: Hellbound Series Book 2
Claws of Death: Hellbound Series Book 2

Claws of Death: Hellbound Series Book 2

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Evil rises from the darkest depths…

A demon infests a peaceful seaside town. And only the Rose siblings can put an end to its reign of terror. The children of a powerful psychic, gifted with the ability to sense impending death, Wren, Shrike, and Lark have inherited a terrible burden. They must kill every last soul their late father had saved. For those who cheat death are claimed by the supernatural entities they now hunt…

Arriving in town, the three siblings discover they may already be too late. Multiple mysterious deaths haunt the streets. And all the victims are linked to one Clarence Muller… a kindly man who runs a charity for the homeless. But something lurks behind Clarence’s kind words and friendly smile—an evil the siblings know all too well.

Clarence is more powerful than the other demons they have faced, and he craves the sweet taste of young flesh. To stop him, they must delve deep into the occult secrets of ancient magic—dark lore lost to the ages.

The Rose siblings know there is a price for cheating death. But forbidden knowledge comes with a cost as well…

PUBLICATION DATE August 15, 2022


Chapter 7

Shrike gripped her phone tightly as she circled the small hospital. Heat rippled off the concrete and the crabs kept to the shade of the nearby trees.

“Did he follow you?” she asked, glancing around to make sure no one was close enough to overhear.

“No.” Wren’s sigh made the receiver crackle. “Perhaps I overreacted.”

“Trust your gut,” Shrike said.

“I trust evidence,” Wren said. “Olivia and Mateo both saw what happened and I’m the only one that seemed to think something was strange.”

“So what? Don’t risk your life because they’re idiots,” Shrike snapped.

“Okay, everyone, calm down,” Lark cut into the three-way call. “Wren and I will talk it out. But right now, you need to focus on not getting caught. Breaking into a morgue has got to be illegal. And if you haven’t noticed, our luck has sucked lately. So you need to be extra careful.”

“She’s right. Don’t worry about us, Shrike. Just do what you have to do.”

“I’m not hanging up until you’re at the boardwalk,” Shrike said. She knew keeping them on the line wasn’t going to protect them. Clarence didn’t shy away from an audience. But it was the only thing she could think to do. “I just need to know you guys are safe.”

“Okay.” Wren sighed. “I’m coming up onto the ice-cream parlor now.”

“I see you,” Lark said.

Shrike prowled around the back of the building, phone pressed to her ear, listening to her siblings’ chatter and the constant noise of the festival.

“We’re together. We’re going to the restaurant,” Wren said. “Are you sure you can do this?”

“You want the files. I’ll get you the damn files,” Shrike said.

“You still have the flash drive I gave you?”

Shrike patted the small front pocket of her jean shorts. “Yeah.”

“In and out, Shrike,” Wren said.

“And if you get a bad feeling, just run,” Lark added.

Shrike slowed her pace as she neared the back door. She glanced around, making sure that no one was looking, and ducked her head. “I’ll see you soon. Love you, guys.”

“Love you lots,” Lark chirped.

“I love you,” Wren said. “And for the love of God, don’t do anything stupid.”

Shrike hung up. Making sure to keep her face out of view of the wall-mounted camera, she slipped in through the rear entrance. The hallway was brightly lit, stuffy, and surprisingly empty. The muffled beeps and whirls of machines broke the silence. As she walked down the hallway, Shrike tried to push her phone into her back pocket. The pockets weren’t nearly big enough. She missed wearing her cargo pants and cursed the heat again. Giving up, she crammed the phone into the cup of her sports bra and hurried down the corridor. The air smelled of antiseptic and the overhead lights droned. Small plaques clearly labeled each room she passed. They were all doctor’s offices and, as she kept moving, she tried to remember the blueprints Wren had shown her.

Over the years working with their father, Wren had gotten pretty good at navigating public records, and he always grabbed blueprints whenever they were available. Shrike never understood how he did it, and she didn’t bother asking. That wasn’t her part to play.

Rounding a corner, she neared the patient rooms. It wasn’t crowded, but there were enough people around to make her nervous. There really wasn’t any way for her to keep from standing out. She was a stranger and a good foot taller than everyone else around her. But she did her best to move silently and slip by. A few people still glanced her way, but only a small boy on a plastic chair watched her with any real interest. She could feel him staring at her as she passed the elevator and took the stairs.

He’s going to tell someone, a voice in the back of her head whispered. They’re going to come looking for you.

Taking the stairs two at a time, Shrike constantly glanced over her shoulder. No one appeared. Still, she felt like something was watching her descend into the basement. She pushed through the fire door and was instantly struck by the deep chill. Her sweaty skin prickled into goosebumps. No one had been down here for a while. She could almost feel the temperature dropping as she moved down the corridor. The brick walls echoed her footsteps and, even after turning a corner, she couldn’t shake the feeling that she was being watched.

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