Surviving the Summit of Good and Evil
New York Police Detective, Kate Morgan carries many secrets. The black sheep of America’s most notorious crime family, she walks a fine line between her commitment to truth and justice and the obligations demanded from her family.
FBI agent Grant Anderson, embraces his role and place in the Anderson family, America’s richest and most philanthropic example of good will and kindness. His loyalty ends, however, with his family’s expectations of marrying the right girl.
For thousands of years, the Morgans and Andersons have been sworn enemies. Clans, steadfast in their loyalty and commitment as handpicked first families to the Devil and God. Both sides tread carefully, maintaining the balance between Virtue, Sin, and Immortality, enduring each other only once a century, during the Summit of Good and Evil.
With the mysterious murder of Gus Morgan, the balance is threatened and the future of humanity in jeopardy. Treading through a minefield of treachery and deceit, Kate and Grant must solve this murder, face their attraction for each other, and stop a family feud before all hell comes crashing down.
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She’d been born into the most powerful crime family in the world, but all she wanted was to protect the innocent…
The water cascaded down her body, washing away the shampoo in her hair and the lovely smelling body wash across her skin. One thing the water couldn’t wash away were her memories of the last twenty-four hours. Images of mangled and desecrated bodies filled her mind. The hard facts of her stay were burned into her memory.
Her DNA, the cells that made up her body, were infused with programming from Satan and his demons. All around her, thoughts invaded her senses—unconscious confessions of heinous acts casually tossed around, as if her relatives were planning their daily “to do” lists, like ordinary people.
Instead of picking up the kids from soccer or remembering to get milk from the store, they were hideous and grotesque. ‘Manipulate John X into thinking his wife was having an affair. He was a prime candidate for murder-suicide. Work on another insider trading tip and pin it on poor Sally J. She didn’t have the temperament to survive public humiliation and ten years in jail. Once out of the way, her family land could be sold to a developer for a hundred times its worth.’
Kate blinked back tears, trying to turn off the images in her head. On the one hand, she had an obligation to serve and protect but, on the other hand, the onslaught of thoughts were destroying her soul—one small piece at a time.
Unable to control the tears, she slid down the marble wall of the shower, knees drawn to her chest, her body racked with sobs from all of the pain, the anguish caused by her family. How could she fight that power? The family influence was everywhere. Was there anyone in the world with the ability to stop them?
Originally from Chapter One…
“Kate. Kate, wait up,” yelled a familiar voice from behind her.
She stopped and turned in time to see her friend Melanie shoving money into a pretzel vendor’s hand before scurrying up the street toward her.
“What are you doing here? I told you, you didn’t have to waste your lunch hour waiting for me,” replied Kate, with a look of distain on her face. “Pretzel? Really? Those things will kill you.”
“Probably,” shrugged Melanie. “But I will die with a smile on my face.”
“I can think of a million better ways to go.”
“I’ll bet. Did you talk to Doctor Trask about your mom?”
“It never came up. But, thanks for lending me your journal. I think she likes your writing.”
Melanie stopped mid stride and stamped her foot on the ground. “Kate Morgan, how could you? I gave you my short story as inspiration for your own writing and not to plagiarize for the sake of making someone else happy.”
Kate turned and gave her a lopsided smile. “What can I say? I’m a woman of action. Give me a gun and a perp and I’ll express my feelings a lot better than by writing and reflecting in some diary.”
“You’ll never get to the bottom of your issues by lying to your psychiatrist.”
Kate frowned and feigned innocence. “What issues, Melanie?”
“Your mom. Your family. Your lack of relationships. Your fear of failure, feelings and abandonment issues.”
“What abandonment issues?”
“Your family abandonment issues.”
Kate rolled her eyes. “I abandoned them. Not the other way around.” She waved her phone in the air. “Look at this. Thirty nine messages from my mother. Thirty nine! What could she possibly have to talk to me about?”
Melanie snatched the phone from her hand and scrolled down the numerous text messages and voice mails. The message was pretty much the same – call me.
“Kate this could be serious,” she admonished. “Maybe someone died.”
“I wish,” replied Kate, taking her phone and shoving it into her pocket. “One less Morgan to corrupt the world.”
“That’s not nice.”
“No, Katherine. That’s not very nice.” A male voice with the slight hint of a Southern accent made her whirl around. In front of her stood a man with blond hair, six feet and dressed in a very expensive suit.
To any other woman he would be described as a god. Gorgeous and sophisticated with a hundred watt smile that could make even the hardest hearts melt like ice cream on a summer’s day. To Kate, he made her blood run cold.
“What the hell do you want?”
“My, my, is that any way to greet me? Have you been away so long that you’ve forgotten your manners, Katherine?”
Kate put herself squarely between her friend and the stranger. She took a step toward him with her finger in his face. “I haven’t forgotten a thing Lucas. What do you want?”
Lucas smiled and casually stepped around her, his hand extended. “I don’t believe we’ve had the pleasure. I’m Lucas Morgan, Katherine’s cousin, and you are?”
Kate slapped his hand away. “She’s nobody understand me? You forget that you ever saw her, you psychotic piece of shit. That goes for everyone else around me. My coworkers, friends and hell, let’s throw in my mailman while we’re at it. Got it?”
“Oh my God, Kate!” exclaimed Melanie. A look of shock and disbelief filled her eyes.
“No!” she replied, whirling back to face her friend. “You will leave now!”
“I – what has gotten into you?”
“I said now! Go!” She yelled, pointing her finger down the sidewalk and away from them. Melanie searched for something in her friends face that suggested this was a joke but she had never seen her so serious. After a few seconds she threw up her hands in disbelief and started to walk away.
Kate didn’t bother to watch her leave. There was a much more dangerous problem behind her. She turned and faced him with hate in her eyes. “What do you want Lucas? Why have you strayed so far from home?”
Lucas shook his head with disappointment. “I am pretty sure that New York is a free city, my darling. You don’t have a say on where I choose to go.”
“Then let me rephrase it. Why have you strayed into Yankee territory, Lucas? Everyone knows you don’t like to be away from Georgia anymore than the rest of the family.”
Behind the radiant smile she caught a glimpse of his true nature. The evil behind the mask was still there, just waiting to emerge. He shook his head in feigned sympathy and held up his phone. “As a courtesy to your mother, baby girl. She was anxious to pass on a message and she figured that you wouldn’t pick up your phone.”
“She was right and stop calling me that.”
Lucas sighed, then signaled to a black limousine that had eased its way out of traffic. He shoved his hands in his pockets and cocked his head, making a clicking sound with his teeth. “I see even after all these years, things haven’t changed. You really need to learn some respect for the family, baby girl. It’s time to stop this one person rebellion you have going. It’s not cute anymore and certainly not becoming of a lady.”
The limo driver jumped out of the car and hustled around the vehicle, opening the door for Lucas. He flashed her the hundred watt smile and climbed in the back of the waiting car. Before the door closed he shouted his reason for visiting. “Your mother wants you to know that time is up. It’s time for you to make a decision.”
Kate stared at him. “Fuck you and the rest of the family.”
He laughed in response. “Love to baby girl. Might even find some time with your girlfriend Melanie. I bet she’d be more than willing to know what true Southern hospitality feels like.”
“You stay away from her, you understand?” replied Kate. “I still have files from three unsolved murders the last time you were in town. Would hate to send a SWAT team to your hotel room.”
“You have no proof,” he scoffed.
“I don’t need any to hold you. Of course that would mean missing the Summit or become a fugitive in the eyes of the law. Which one would suit you better?”
He paused and glared at her. Hatred oozed from his handsome face. “You know we don’t have a choice. We have to attend the Summit.”
“Great. Fugitive it is. Escaping police custody easily adds a few years on to a triple murder...” She paused and looked at him closely. “No make that a quadruple murder charge.”
“Get out of my mind, Katherine.”
Her eyes widened as she probed him further. “You son of a bitch. How many bodies are you hiding?”
“Stay out of my mind, freak. I’m warning you.”
“Stay away from my friends, asshole and we have a deal.”
They stared each other down before he snarled something unintelligible at the driver and slammed the door. Kate stood for a long minute, watching the car disappear from view. She forced her hands away from her hips, from the safety of the Glock 22 attached to the belt of her pants. She wanted to shoot, but a bullet wouldn’t have stopped him and the paperwork would have been a nightmare. Besides he was right about one thing. No one was allowed to miss a reunion. Not even her.