Chapter 1

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I pull the covers over my head, wishing they could block out the ruckus threatening my sleep. But after another series of knocks on the front door, I'm left in silence again.

That's not necessarily a good thing, and I hold my breath while I wait.

Sure enough, a floorboard creaks in the next room. Then, my little sister's voice fills the space. "Come on, Kay. You can't avoid me when I have a key. We're going to be late."

Sometimes, Cole is a far worse enemy than the alarm clock. Despite being my younger sister, she's usually the one on top of things.

"Go away, Cole. I'm sick," I lie, but I need an excuse—any excuse. She's not going anywhere, and I really don't have a choice in the matter since eventually I'll have to crawl out of bed and head to work. But I'm exhausted. So, despite the sound of Cole's footsteps entering the bedroom, I refuse to crawl out from under the covers.

"Bullshit," Cole says. "If anything, you're hungover."

Of anyone, she should know that isn't the case, but obviously that reputation is going to follow me for a long long time.

"I haven't had a drink in almost two months." Not since the binge I'd gone on a week after Ian packed up and moved out. I'd had a hell of a hangover the next day, too. Although, at the moment, I thought, I'd kill for a drink... or several. "We've worked for Carlisle for more than three years, he won't mind if we're a little late."

He never really does. Set schedules aren't his thing, and I'm totally okay with that. Let's face it, that's a good part of what makes this my dream job.

"We have a meeting," Cole says, tapping her hard-soled boot on the floor. "Mr. Edwards. Historical Society. Wooden box engraved with occult symbols. Ring a bell?" Cole's voice rises with every phrase so by the time she finishes, I want nothing more than to bury my head deeper into the pillow.

Oh, yeah. I groan and flip the covers off my head to finally face my sister eye-to-eye. She stands over the side table, leaning against the inside of the doorway. A crisp pink collar sticks out from the top of her dark grey pea coat, which is paired with matching grey slacks.

Always overdressed, I think, especially for a job that usually has us crawling in dank and dusty places. I pull myself up, teetering on the edge of the bed before I can force my body to move toward the closet.

"If you don't hurry up"—Cole's shrill lecture reminds me of her presence—"the cappuccinos will get cold.

"You know I prefer it that way," I say dryly as I pull some moderately business-casual clothes out of the clean clothes pile and head to the bathroom.

"Weirdo," Cole calls after me.

I answer by slamming the bathroom door. Thankful for the brief moment of silence, I take my time sliding into a pair of black jeans and a blue, long-sleeved V-neck. I smooth out the wrinkles in the shirt, then focus on my matted hair, finally facing my reflection in the mirror.

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