The Haunting of Secrets #3


by Shelley Pickens

" Aimee killed a man. Worse yet, she enjoyed it.

Aimee has survived a bombing, a killer’s torture chamber, countless evils harbored deep within the minds of psychopaths and killers, and even death. But now, the greatest threat is the evil barely contained within.

With her ascension, Aimee gained great power. She no longer needs to touch a person for their every memory and thoughts to be divulged. With that power, she now feels the pull to become judge, jury, and executioner to those who commit evil in this world.

Despite her desire to be alone with Logan and live a normal life, she soon realizes that she, in fact, is the greatest threat to the normality she craves. Without control of her own powers, she inadvertently causes harm to those she loves the most. Aimee is forced to seek out the only other person in this world that can help her: Brett.

Together, they explore the world as ascended beings, reveling in the intoxication of mind control, as flames of love ignite between them. With each new emotion explored, the reasons behind the origin of her powers are slowly revealed.

But a dark threat looms in the horizon—a sinister plot that will cause the monster within Aimee to emerge.

With Logan kidnapped and Brett unable to face his sinister father, Aimee must battle the lure of infinite power to save the two boys that hold her heart captive.

Or risk being lost to the evil forever.






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*NOTE: This book contains violent themes and may not be appropriate for all readers.



I killed a man. Worse yet, I wanted to kill him. The darkness I’ve fought so hard to keep out of my life had somehow seeped into my soul without me knowing it. My ascension brought great power, but at a horrible price. All it took was a moment. A fleeting thought, and when it was over, the man before me, lay dead and my soul cried out in agony. I stand above him now, watching my reflection as it bounces off his lifeless eyes. This isn’t the girl I’m supposed to be. The girl I know would never have harmed a living soul. Yet, here’s the proof right in front of me, staring lifelessly into nothingness. I know he never saw death coming for him because his expression is a strange mixture of pain and surprise. I want to help him, but there’s nothing I can do, he’s gone. I watched his thoughts end, his soul dispersed to the sky above. Still, his face remains stubbornly determined; like he wants nothing more than to return so he can admonish me for my sins. But he can’t.

And I’m the reason why.

I slowly back away from him, still unsure of what to do. My progress is halted abruptly when I run straight into a solid wall of muscle. His arms come around to embrace me from behind. It’s comforting despite the complete inappropriateness of it in the face of death. He holds me as I stare helplessly; hovering over the body of the man I just destroyed.

“It’s all right,” he begins in a soft tone. “You did what you had to do.”

 I turn around and look at my companion, my equal in both power and stubbornness. “No, I didn’t. I did what I wanted to do. For that, I’m going to burn in hell.”

My self-proclaimed soul mate stares at me with a puzzled look on his face. He seems confused, as if hell is a place that shouldn’t be feared. After all I’ve been through in the short sixteen years of my life, I’m more certain than ever that hell is very real.

And it’s a place I now seem destined to visit.

Though my companion seems understanding and empathetic of my remorse, he isn’t quite able to hide the pride he feels for my eliminating someone with my powers. I don’t need to see his thoughts; it shines clearly through every aspect of his expression.

He moves his hands up to cup my face, catching the latest tear as it falls from my regret filled eyes. “Then we shall burn in hell together, my dark princess.”


Chapter One


~ Screwed Up Justice ~



Washington, D.C.


The man rushes along the busy streets beneath the lights, unaware that he’s about to be sentenced to death. DuPont Circle is only a block or two away, he can make it if he runs. Holding his tie with one hand and his briefcase with the other, Senator Jay Rollings begins to run. Or at least waddle since his rather large midsection prevents him from outright running. He silently curses his love for Krispy Kreme donuts.

The night air is thick with fog making it hard for the senator to breathe as he makes his way around the corner to the bench in front of the apple tree. He was told to meet there at midnight. A source close to the investigation told him they had evidence that would help him indict his longtime nemesis, Henry Marr. Rollings has been waiting for years for the slimy bastard to make a mistake and it’s finally happened.

He’s practically glowing with impending success as he rounds the tree and sits on the bench to wait for his contact. But his anxiousness is making him edgy so he doesn’t sit for long. As he paces the small space surrounding the bench, he licks his lips in anticipation.

After years of secretly investigating his fellow senator, he may finally have the evidence he’s sought for so long, implementing Marr in bribery and extortion in his last two campaigns. He thinks he’s untouchable simply because he’s head of the Defense appropriations committee, which sadly has provided him with protection and key people needed to help cover up his crimes. The bastard has been lucky, but tonight, that luck ends. Rollings knows that Marr has committed multiple crimes; he can feel it in his gut.

And his gut is never wrong.

The frustration of his continued failure has slowly poisoned him from the inside out. His heart is close to failing. Before he goes though, he wants to take the lying, cheating bastard Marr, down with him. As the head of the Crime and Terrorism committee, it’s his duty to punish those who’ve done wrong.

A crackling sound from behind startles Rollings from his vengeful thoughts. He turns quickly on his feet and comes face to face with his informant. “Are you Charles Steed?” asks Rollings, barely able to contain his excitement.

The pristinely dressed man in his mid-forties folds his well-manicured hands in front of him and simply stares at Rollings, unable or unwilling to answer his question. An action that almost drives the senator mad.

“I asked you a question, dammit! Are you Charles Steed? Do you have the information I requested?” he asks furiously; confused by the other man’s unwillingness to cooperate when he was the one that arranged the meeting in the first place.

The mystery man unfolds his hands and steps closer to Rollings so that his face is partially illuminated by the light on the path just behind the tree. The man’s green eyes practically glow in the moonlight as they bore into Rollings’ blue ones. The intensity of his stare unnerves Rollings, rendering him momentarily speechless. His earlier elation all but smothered out by this man’s intensity. Uneasiness fills Rollings, making him squirm beneath the unspoken judgment forced upon him.

After what seems like an eternity, the man finally speaks. “I find you lacking, Jay Rollings. Your puny efforts to squash the dealings of Henry Marr have failed because I will it so. I judge you and find you guilty. Your sentencing begins…. now.”

Pain like Rollings has never experienced before, hits him full force. He grabs his head with his hands, trying to ease the onslaught of torment but it’s no use. Series of small explosions have taken over his brain. Thought is no longer possible. Within seconds, he’s blind and blood trickles out from the corner of his eyes. The moon hides behind the clouds, aware that death is imminent. Cloaked in darkness, the senator is helpless to fight the onslaught of memories invading his mind. Blood pours from his eye sockets as synapse after synapse fires rapidly from brain cell to brain cell, leaving nothing but charred remains in its wake.

The senator breathes, “No,” one last time before he collapses beneath the tree, death claiming him before he hits the ground.

The tall man, in the pristine black suit, turns and retreats swiftly, the senator all but forgotten. No worries boggle his mind; no regret tarnishes his soul. He serves no purpose higher than his own. His power and intellect serve him well. He is judge, jury, and executioner. The people of this world would do well not to cross his path.


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