Tiny Glitches: A Magical Contemporary Romance

BOOK: Tiny Glitches: A Magical Contemporary Romance
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Contents

Title Page

Copyrights

Also by Rebecca Chastain

Dedication

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

CHAPTER NINETEEN

CHAPTER TWENTY

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

Current and Future Releases

A Fistful of Evil Excerpt

Acknowledgments

About the Author

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tiny Glitches

 

Rebecca Chastain

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, dialog, places, and incidents either are drawn from the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

 

Copyright © 2016 by Rebecca Chastain

Excerpt from
A Fistful of Evil
copyright © by Rebecca Chastain

Cover design by Damonza

Author photograph by Cody Watson

 

www.rebeccachastain.com

 

All rights reserved. In accordance with the US Copyright Act of 1976, scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without permission of the author constitute unlawful piracy and theft of the author’s intellectual property. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. If you would like to use material from this book (other than for review purposes), prior written permission must be obtained from the publisher. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

 

This book contains affiliate links.

 

Mind Your Muse Books

PO Box 374

Rocklin, CA 95677

 

ISBN: 978-0-9906031-3-9

 

 

 

 

Also by Rebecca Chastain

 

Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer

A Fistful of Evil

A Fistful of Fire

 

 

 

Magic of the Gargoyles
(novella)

 

 

Tiny Glitches

(paranormal romance)

 

 

Never miss any novel news:

Sign up for Rebecca Chastain’s newsletter to receive emails

regarding future releases and behind-the-scenes information.

rebeccachastain.com/newsletter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Cody,

for never complaining about all the bulbs that burned out and lamps that broke every time I worked on this novel.

 

I promise I’ll be more careful with my next plot idea so future instances of my fiction shaping our reality are more enjoyable.

CHAPTER ONE

 

 

This wasn’t about me, and as satisfying as it’d be to release my curse and embrace the anger simmering in my blood, it wouldn’t help Sofie. If I didn’t want to be forced to leave, I needed to find tranquility.

I’m floating on a cloud of coffee cake. A fluffy brown sugar and cinnamon cake dense enough to choke the bastards—

I pried my teeth apart to ask the gallery owner, “What did the police say?”

Gabriel slammed the back door of the gallery’s storage room as the patrol car pulled out of the alley. His ruffled purple shirt fluttered in the back draft. “Best guess, they think it was a mistake, that the thief took the wrong art. Like
that’s
helpful.”

“The wrong art?” Nails curled into my palms.

In the middle of the night, some pea-brained imbecile had burgled Galileo Gallery, swiping every S. Sterling piece waiting in storage for next week’s show. S. Sterling—my aunt Sofie—wasn’t due back from San Francisco until this afternoon, which was why I stood in front of a ripped-open crate practicing deep-breathing exercises in a futile attempt to rein in my anger and dampen my curse. The stuttering fluorescent above me mocked my ineffectual control.

“Sterling’s art is . . . well, it’s not the most expensive or the most coveted. Or sophisticated. Or—” Gabriel met my scowl and rushed to clutch my hands, smoothing them straight. “But what do the police know? Your aunt’s paintings are exquisite and
always
sell, which is the point, right, Eva?”

I pretended I didn’t see the sheepskin sleeves pop into existence around his arms. Rescuing my hands from Gabriel’s enthusiastic soothing, I examined the art in the boxes to either side of Sofie’s. Those on the left sold for double my aunt’s asking price. Across the storage room, uncovered, rested a painting worth more than all my aunt’s stolen artwork combined. The police’s theory was logical. It was also infuriating and insulting. If some jackass had to steal Sofie’s artwork, he should steal it because he wanted it, not because he couldn’t read the labels on the boxes.

The light above me popped, darkening half the room. Gabriel squinted at the burned-out bulb, then spun away with a toss of his glossy black hair to prop open the back door. Sunlight spilled in from the alley.

I am floating on a coffee cake cloud.
I crossed my arms and thrummed my fingertips against my forearm.

“I have been
violated
. I feel like Frida Kahlo after the trolley car,” Gabriel said. His sheepskin sleeves disappeared and an ankle-high insubstantial plastic pink flamingo materialized beside his left foot, then another by his right. The apparitions floated back and forth with his pacing feet. “How dare someone invade our
sanctuary
. Never again! We’ll be locked as tight as the Louvre before sundown.” The flamingos multiplied into a wall of identical arched pink necks and crooked right legs that marched with him, one long, tasteless yard-art army.

Grimacing, I took a deep breath and sought tranquility. My curse was gaining momentum, and calming exercises were barely taking the edge off my anger.

“What about Sofie’s art? What are the police doing?”

“Nothing useful. Checking pawnshops, notifying auction houses. That sort of thing.” A white fifties-style full-coverage brassiere engulfed his chest, obscuring the bulk of his shirt. The bra spontaneously combusted. “I’ve got a broken lock and a
slew
of missing art, and they inferred
I
am at fault for not having video surveillance.”

The burning bra tested my hard-won ability to ignore apparitions. Flames licked up the straps and the cups disintegrated, exposing Gabriel’s ruffle-front shirt through the blackened holes.

Though Sofie claimed the apparitions were a family gift, it felt more like I was twice cursed. At least Sofie, my mother, and Nana Nevie saw useful images. I suffered through a barrage of people’s emotions, represented by intangible apparitions that floated around their bodies. The visions were unique to each person, following no rhyme or rule—and definitely not logic. In other words, I was privy to divination gibberish. Case in point: What the hell did a burning bra on a middle-aged man mean?

In my twenty-six years of apparition bombardment, I’d learned it was easier to judge a person’s emotions by their expressions and actions than by using my questionable gift. If I could have turned off the visions, I would have flipped the switch years ago.

Without the off switch, I was perpetually at the mercy of my curse.

The bra’s embers drifted toward Gabriel’s feet, disappearing at his knees. I sucked in a deep breath and held it for a count of five, only half listening to Gabriel’s ongoing rant.

“. . . swap my testicles for turnips if they remember to check—”

Gabriel’s teeth clicked shut as a shadow darkened the door. I followed his gaze. The man peering into the storage room from the alley had a dusty-blond five o’clock shadow and striking blue eyes that warranted a double take. His tousled dirty-blond hair said
surfer
but his posture and physique said
military
. I approved of both, especially how the sun outlined his broad shoulders and trim hips.

My pent-up breath eased out. The gallery owner’s burning brassiere melted away, and he stood on the deck of a colorful gondola. It bobbed in the concrete beneath his shoes, extending three feet in front and behind him, the prow and stern severed by the sharp lines of reality.

Gabriel floated to the handsome stranger, hand extended. “Gabriel Galileo. May I help you?”

“Hudson Keyes. We spoke on the phone this morning about upgrading your security.” A dimple flashed in Hudson’s five o’clock shadow, and a layer of my morning’s tension lifted at the sight, making it almost easy to ignore the heavy, wide-brimmed blue sombrero dwarfing Hudson’s head. Enormous gold shells circled the base of the sombrero’s barrel, and golden pom-poms clustered the brim. When he spoke, a matching poncho draped his chest.

“Yes, of course.” Gabriel shook Hudson’s hand. The pom-poms swayed.

Hudson turned his smile to me, and Gabriel released him to make the introduction. “This is Eva Parker, niece of S. Sterling, the artist whose collection was abducted last night.”

Hudson’s large warm hand enclosed mine, and the contact zinged through my body. For the first time since I’d learned of the theft earlier that morning, I smiled.

The three remaining fluorescent lights sputtered out, drowning the storage room in shadows.

“If it’s not one thing, it’s another,” Gabriel exclaimed. In the glow of the sunlight slanting through the open back door, I watched Gabriel test the light switches, then throw up his hands. “What else could go wrong?”

“I’m sorry for your family’s misfortune,” Hudson said, unfazed by the lighting issues.

“Aren’t we all,” Gabriel said. “Simply awful. Sterling’s pieces are amazing. Definitely worth stealing. Not that someone should have stolen them. Not that
anyone
should ever steal
anything
. Oh, dear, I’m babbling.” He clapped both hands over his mouth, then shrugged, dropped his hands with a smile, and barreled through the space between Hudson and me. “At least the lights are still on in the gallery.”

Gabriel flung open the interior door, and Hudson and I threaded through the cramped, gloomy storage room into the spacious gallery. Hudson glanced around, his eyes on the ceiling rather than the art. My gaze slid down Hudson’s backside to appreciate the fit of his jeans.

“I didn’t see a camera out back and I don’t see any video surveillance in here—”

“First the officers, and now you! I’m starting to feel like
I’m
the criminal.” Gabriel thrust his wrists toward Hudson. “Okay, I confess. I don’t have any cameras. Lock me up.”

“I don’t think that’ll be necessary.” Hudson didn’t hold back his grin, and Gabriel swooned toward him. “What about an alarm?”

I eased away from the men. I wouldn’t have minded ogling Hudson Keyes a bit longer. I could use a dose of handsome to counterbalance the frustrations of the morning, but I should have left the moment I saw the gondola.

Shoving familiar bitterness back into its mental box and wedging the lid shut, I strode down the hallway to Gabriel’s immaculate office. I closed the door behind me and leaned against it. Picturing a placid lake, I dumped my emotions into it, letting the anger and frustration sink beneath the surface. As my emotions calmed, I restored the barriers around my curse and did my best to smother it.

BOOK: Tiny Glitches: A Magical Contemporary Romance
3.09Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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