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Well of Demon and Bone

Well of Demon and Bone

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Book 5 of the Stone Singers series

In this climactic saga set in the elite circles of the Hundred Halls, Moriganne Charmer and her siblings, stripped of their protective family name, confront their father's wrath, a betrayal that exposes his sinister motives. As the stakes rise, revealing that their family conflict could dictate the fate of the Hundred Halls and the world, they must find a way to thwart him to protect the future.

Synopsis

Moriganne Charmer returns in this final tale of betrayal and dark magic set amongst the Hundred Halls elite.

Without the protection once afforded by her last name, Moriganne and her siblings must contend against their father whose fury was unleashed by their betrayal. As the truth of his motives become clear, they realize that their struggle has implications far beyond the bonds of family. If they cannot stop him, then the future of the Hundred Halls—and possibly the world—is at stake.

Chapter One Look Inside

Chapter One
The sound of applause confused Moriganne, sending her heart into her throat and bringing back the last time she was on stage. Back when she was Minerva. She was puzzled because she was standing in Ivan's kitchen. She turned, almost expecting to find Darian and the other Moves waiting for her to begin bowing and throwing kisses to the packed crowd.
The clapping had come from Andromeda's laptop. They'd been watching the remote feed of the investor meeting for Charmer Inc. Victor had given a speech announcing the partnership with Magnus Dreadmarsh. The standing ovation lasted for two minutes.
"Not sure why they're getting all excited about the crypt keeper's announcement," said Ivan, leaning on the back of the leather couch. "That bag of bones is gonna die soon, and the only thing Magnus is good for is shitting gold bricks. The company will fall apart as soon as Vic dies."
Her siblings and their team of lawyers and Vindicators were crowded around the laptop. It felt like they were never alone at the house in the Enochian district, which had become their headquarters. The astronomical per hour costs of the legal team made Moriganne cringe whenever they weren't doing actual work, but the others shook off her concerns, citing their presence as the price of doing business. Or as Ivan liked to say whenever she brought up sending a few of them back to their offices, "Vic's trying to drown us in lawsuits. If we don't muscle up, we're going to wake up with three hundred Vindicator cocks in our mouths."
"This is when he's going to explain the reorganization," said Kitty, chin cupped in her hand as she studied the proceedings. The stage and lights in the auditorium told Moriganne everything she needed to know about the difference in their budgets.
Moriganne didn't know why they were watching. Everything had been well choregraphed ahead of time. She'd never realized how much pomp and circumstance there was to an investor financial meeting, but when guiding multibillion-dollar companies, she supposed that it took a lot of coordinating to get everyone rowing the same direction.
She moved to the kitchen counter, took a wheat cracker, and scooped up some black caviar. Moriganne had tried to tell them they needed to be frugal, save money for the lawyers and battle with Victor, but they'd spent their whole lives vacationing on yachts in the Mediterranean and having private tutors for every little perceived flaw. It was hard for them to shift their thinking. They'd never been poor, never had to worry about where their next meal might come from. Moriganne could still picture the nearly empty refrigerator in her old apartment with a lone container of half-eaten Chinese food.
"I thought Ares would be giving this part," said Andromeda, squinting at the screen. The metal studs around her forehead glinted in the sunlight. "Isn't that what the agenda said earlier this week?"
As they searched their phones for the updated schedule, the doorbell made a series of circus noises followed by suggestive hog squeals.
"Holy sphincter," said Ivan, standing suddenly and looking to the door. "That's why he's not giving the speech." When everyone looked to him, he added, "I programmed the security camera to use those sounds when our dear brother visited."
"I shudder to think where you got them," said Andromeda.
Ivan opened the front door, revealing Ares in an Armani business suit. His normally black hair had been lightened, the tips frosted and artfully spiked. He pushed past Ivan before a word could be said.
"Wow," said Ares, adjusting his sleeve and looking around the room with mock interest, "how did you acquire this real estate? Who'd you have to beat out at the bankruptcy hearing for this choice piece of property? I love the view of the homeless guy across the street playing with his wang in his dirty brown pants, and did I hear chickens in back?"
"What's with the frosting? Did Vic accidentally pull out and blow one in your hair?" asked Ivan.
Moriganne didn't know how to read this surprise arrival, except that her siblings were not pleased.
"Why are you here, Ares?" asked Kitty, arms crossed.
"Vic sent me to make an offer." He made a face towards the team of lawyers and Vindicators crowded around the dining room table.
Ivan whistled using his fingers in his teeth. "Yo! Legal beagles. Need you to feed the chickens for me. Make sure you give extra to Lucy, she's my best egg producer."
As their legal team funneled out of the lower level, Ares chuckled to himself.
"Oh how the overrated have fallen. How did you manage to land on your feet like you have? A two-story flat in the shittiest part of town. Actual chickens in your backyard. I didn't realize you guys would turn into an uninteresting version of Green Acres."
Ivan cupped his hand around his ear. "I'm sorry, I can't hear you with Vic's dick in your mouth."
"That's all you got? Dick jokes aren't going to help you now," said Ares as he perused their table of food, scooping up a healthy dose of caviar and shoving it into his mouth. As he swallowed the snack, his gaze fell upon Moriganne, and his cocky demeanor hardened. She could feel the anger radiating towards her.
"I still can't believe you sided with the traitor."
Kitty flared her nostrils. "I can still pull your brains out of your asshole if you'd like. Why are you here?"
Victor's voice as he continued his address through the laptop speakers intruded on the tense mood. Andromeda turned down the volume.
"No, seriously," said Ares, knocking the crumbs from his fingers onto the floor. "Why did you take her side? She's not your sister. She's an imposter. A squatter, taking residence in Moriganne's body."
"It wasn't her fault," said Andromeda.
Ares sneered at the youngest Charmer. "If you would have said something right away, then our sister would be in there." He pointed directly at her. "Instead, you kept your mouth shut and killed Moriganne. We'd all still be together if it wasn't for you."
"I have zero regrets," said Andromeda. "It was our sister's choice to go through with it. She paid the karmic price."
"You all think she's the second coming of Solstice," said Ares.
"Who Mr. Thule had killed," said Kitty.
Ares lifted his chin. "Vic already told me you'd try that bullshit. Try to get me to turn on him. I ain't buying it, no matter what kind of faked evidence you bring up."
"Seriously, Ares, why are you here?" asked Ivan. "What kind of Quisling-level bullshit are you trying to peddle?"
"Vic wants to buy you out."
"Yeah, we know," said Kitty. "Why else has he been hammering us with a hundred frivolous lawsuits? We've seen that dance before. Soften up the beach with artillery, then send in an overwhelming invading force. I just can't figure out why he sent you."
Ares stared at Kitty while pulling a piece of paper out of his inside pocket, unfolding it, and placing it on the table. He jabbed his finger into the center.
"That's his offer. Take it or suck a dick."
"I thought dick jokes were passé," said Ivan, rolling his eyes. "Or is that your poker room tell?"
They crowded around the paper. The figure was painfully small.
"That won't even pay for the legal fees we've already racked up," said Kitty, frowning.
"That's smaller that Mori's old fashion budget," said Ivan.
"It's tainted money anyway," said Andromeda, exhaling through her nose.
Ivan pushed the paper back. "You know where this goes."
"The alternative will not be pleasant," said Ares, his eyes rounding sympathetically. "Seriously, all bullshit posturing aside. Take it. I'll tell him you want thirty percent higher than that number, and I think he'll agree. It'll be enough to cover costs. You'll get out clean."
"I'm not posturing," said Ivan, lips bunched.
"What happens if we don't?" asked Moriganne, sensing the hammer was yet to be truly swung.
"You gotta understand that Vic feels backed into a corner. You guys trashed his place looking for evidence that doesn't exist, about a plot that's ridiculous, and with a traitor at your side."
"One that he created," said Andromeda.
Moriganne looked to the other siblings. She could see the fear in their eyes. They knew their father better than she did, what he was capable of, what he was willing to do to protect his empire. It'd been a threat on the horizon all summer, the rumors of an invading force, but now they were about to see how large it was, and no one was going to be pleased.
"What's he gonna do?" asked Moriganne when they couldn't.
"Well," said Ares, "he won't bring this up officially, but other parties will start asking questions about why Mikhail Dresden went missing. There just might be some video evidence and eye witnesses at a certain bar that can nail Kitty as a prime suspect. And then there's Ivan's illegal raves and drug peddling."
"All a thing of the past," said Ivan. "We've started an alchemist business."
Ares sighed heavily. "There will be a raid on your lab upstairs, which would place everything into evidence and essentially shut down your company for as long as you could be kept in trial, which could be years, up to a decade." He glanced to Andromeda. "There are reports about you being part of a scheme to blackmail a private company. The Gonzalez's? Something about the local mob and the restaurant business? I couldn’t believe it when Mr. Thule told me, but he's never wrong, is he? Plus something about a girl at summer camp. Leslie, was it? I always thought you were the good one. Like Solstice. But I guess I was wrong. You know you ruined that family's life."
Andromeda turned away, eyes watery as she swallowed. Her shoulders hunched as if a spear had been shoved into her chest.
Ares' hate-filled gaze fell upon her. "If there was a way to get my sister back, I would use whatever leverage I could to do it. But since you're not going to give up easily and you've destroyed my family, breaking us apart when we should all be together back at the suite, I will make this simple." He smashed his finger into the paper, crinkling it. "This offer does not extend to you. It's not your money. You didn't earn it. You stole it from my sister. Vic doesn't want you to have a single penny. You have to walk away empty handed."
"And if I don't?"
"All those things I said will happen to them regardless of what they decide, and you'll never have a moment of peace," said Ares with dead eyes.
The implications were clear. Having seen Kavano in action, she had a pretty good idea how she would meet her end.
"How long do we have?" asked Moriganne.
"To decide?" said Ivan. "Why would we even entertain this bullshit? He's a bully. Him and his puppet master. This is how he does it. This is how he wins."
"You have two weeks. No longer. All the paperwork for the company reorganization is happening then. He wants this change written in stone."
Ares marched out the door. The circus noise and hog squealing followed, after which, Ivan let loose a long string of curses at the top of his lungs.
"We have to sell, right? His blood money isn't worth what he could do to you," said Moriganne.
The ashen faces and looks of inner annihilation said otherwise.
"That's just the first move," said Kitty. "Once we're out of the company, we're fair game."
"Like István," said Ivan, to nods of the others.
"István?"
"Vic's brother," said Ivan. "Early on in his career, István was a key member of the business, but something happened between them. This happened when we were all young. There was a falling out. Vic destroyed him. The police arrested him for child pornography, but everyone knew that was bullshit. They said they found it on his laptop, but István was famously computer illiterate. He hated them. Smashed one once when he was asked to learn how to use them for the business. Monique always told us that he was too kindhearted for this business and his mistake was opposing Victor."
"Broken hells," said Moriganne, "his own brother? Why haven't I heard this before?"
"Because even saying the name István was dangerous. Might as well slit your own throat. He killed himself in jail. Hung from bedsheets with his hands bound behind his back," said Kitty.
"What do we do now?" asked Moriganne.
Andromeda had taken a seat on the couch, face buried in her hands. The twins stared at the floor. No one answered her. Maybe there was no answer.

Main Tropes

  • Urban Fantasy
  • Magical Academy
  • Found Family
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D
D.
Testing Family bonds!

The Charmer family will face a lot in this unpredictable, fast paced adventure, which wraps up this interesting series.

P
Phyllis S.
Well of Demon and Bone

I hope you like explosive excellence
because that's all that's in this book !!
Enjoy !!

Phyllis S.

P
Phyllis S.
Well of Demon and Bone

I hope you like explosive excellence
because that's all that's in this book !!
Enjoy !!

Phyllis S.

D
D.
Testing Family Bonds!

The Charmer family will face a lot in this unpredictable, fast paced adventure, which wraps up this interesting series.

D
D. Reeves
Testing Family Bonds!

The Charmer family will face a lot in this unpredictable, fast paced adventure, which wraps up this interesting series.