Kenner reached as high as 2 on the New York Times list and is published in over twenty countries. JK lives in Central Texas with her husband, two daughters, and several cats. Visit her website at www. Account Options Connexion. Version papier du livre. Julie Kenner. Demon-Hunter Kate Connor is having a very bad month. Her toddler son has entered a tantrum phase. Clean up the cat food, or clean up your brother. I took a deep breath and reminded myself that she was fourteen. Raging hormones.
Demon Ex Machina
Those difficult adolescent years. More difficult, I imagined, for me than for her. Why not? I know why not. Setting a bad precedent, not defining limits, blah, blah, blah. I caught another whiff of nastiness right before we bit the restrooms. Out of habit, I looked around.
A feeble old man squinted at me from over the Wal-Mart Sunday insert, but other than him, there was nobody around but me and Timmy. But not for long. Like a rose! After a million wipes and one fresh diaper, Timmy was back in the shopping cart. We fetched Allie away from a display of newly released CDs, and she came more or less willingly, a Natalie Imbruglia CD clutched in her hand.
Ten minutes and eighty-seven dollars later I was strapping Timmy into his car seat while Allie loaded our bags into the minivan. He was standing at the front of the store, between the Coke machines and the plastic kiddie pools, just staring out toward me. I pulled over. My plan was to pop out, say a word or two to him, take a good long whiff of his breath, and then be on my way. I jumped, whipping around to face Allie, who was already fumbling for the volume control and muttering, Sorry, sorry.
I pushed the power button, which ended the Natalie Imbruglia surround-sound serenade, but did nothing about Timmy, who was now bawling his eyes out, probably from the pain associated with burst eardrums. I shot Allie a stern look, unfastened my seat belt, and climbed into the backseat, all the while trying to make happy sounds that would calm my kid. To her credit she sounded sincere. At first Timmy ignored her, but after a while he joined in, and I felt a little surge of pride for my daughter. I remembered the old man and reached for the door, but as I looked out at the sidewalk, I saw that he was gone.
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Nothing, I said. And then, since that was the truth, I repeated myself, Nothing at all. For the next three hours we bounced from store to store as I went down my list for the day: bulk goods at Wal-Mart— check; shoes for Timmy at Payless— check; Happy Meal for Timmy to ward off crankiness— check; new shoes for Allie from DSW— check; new ties for Stuart from T. Maxx— check. Mostly, though, I was distracted. That old man was still on my mind, and I was irritated with myself for not letting the whole thing drop. But something about him bugged me.
As I pushed the shopping cart down the dairy aisle, I told myself I was being paranoid. For one thing, demons tend not to infect the old or feeble. Even so, common sense told me there was no demon. I may have been a Level Four Demon Hunter once upon a time, but that time was fifteen years ago. I was retired now. Out of the loop. Even more, I was out of practice.
I turned down the cookie-and-chips aisle, careful not to let Timmy see as I tossed two boxes of Teddy Grahams into the cart. In the next aisle, Allie lingered in front of the breakfast cereal, and I could practically see her mind debating between the uber-healthy Kashi and her favorite Lucky Charms. I tried to focus on my grocery list were we really out of All-Bran?
Surely I was just being paranoid. I mean, why would a demon willingly come to San Diablo, anyway? The California coastal town was built on a hillside, its crisscross of streets leading up to St. In addition to being stunningly beautiful, the cathedral was famous for its holy relics, and it drew both tourists and pilgrims. The devout came to San Diablo for the same reason the demons stayed away—the cathedral was holy ground. That was also the primary reason Eric and I had retired in San Diablo. Ocean views, the fabulous California weather, and absolutely no demons or other nasties to ruin our good time.
San Diablo was a great place to have kids, friends, and the normal life he and I had both craved. Even now, I thank God that we had ten good years together. You okay? From the way her nose crinkled, I knew she suspected I was thinking about her dad. Fine, I lied, blinking furiously. I was trying to decide between pepperoni or sausage for dinner tonight, and then I got sidetracked thinking about making my own pizza dough. The last time you tried that, you got dough stuck on the light fixture and Stuart had to climb up and dig it out.
Thanks for reminding me. We talked about it on occasion, sometimes remembering the funny times, and sometimes, like when we visited the cemetery, the memories were filled with tears. I squeezed her hand back. My girl was growing up. Already she was looking out for me, and it was sweet and heartbreaking all at the same time.
What do you think? I asked.
Want to rent a movie on the way home? My cell phone rang. I checked the caller ID, then leaned against the grocery cart as I answered. Hey, hon. Any chance you were planning something fabulous for dinner? Enough to serve eight, with cocktails before and some fancy dessert after? Ah, Stuart said. In the background I could hear the eraser end of his pencil tapping against his desktop. Beside me, Allie pretended to bang her head against the glass freezer door.
Well, that would serve eight, he said. But it may not have quite the cachet I was hoping for. Clark thinks it is. Right now, Stuart had a low political profile, working for peanuts as an assistant county attorney in the real estate division. Stuart was months away from formally announcing, but if he wanted to have any hope of winning the election, he needed to start playing the political game, shaking hands, currying favors, and begging campaign contributions.
A house full of attorneys, I said, trying to think what the heck I could feed them. Or, better yet, if there was any way to get out of this. Oh, great. I hated it, actually. Always had, always would. But my husband, the aspiring politician, loved me anyway. Imagine that.
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I tell you what. Now, see? Guilt welled in my stomach just from the mere suggestion. This was the man I loved, after all.
What kind of a heartless wench was I? How about rigatoni? I asked, wondering which was worse, heartless wench or guilty sucker. And a spinach salad? And I can pick up some appetizers and the stuff for my apple tart.
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That pretty much exhausted my guest-worthy repertoire, and Stuart knew it. I passed the phone to my daughter, who was doing a good impression of someone so chronically depressed she was in need of hospitalization.
She lifted a weary hand, took the phone, and pressed it to her ear. In between demon patrols and teaching self-defense classes to the local moms, Demon Hunter Kate Connor has to deal with a teenage daughter gung-ho on being a demon slayer in training, and a toddler son entering a tantrum phase that rivals anything from the pits of hell.
Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom Series by Julie Kenner
To make matters worse, her husband Stuart has learned of her secret life and has been smothering her with attention. Not such a bad thing if dabbling in the demon worlds wasn't so deadly Isbn Get a Library Card. Subject Fantasy Fiction. Library Locations Map Details. Library Links. Mission Member Libraries.