Demon Hunting with a Dixie Deb - Lexi George

Chapter One

Monday afternoon

Maseratis don’t float.

Sassy’s stepfather had given her a list of dos and don’ts as long as her arm before handing her the keys to his gleaming blue convertible. That salient little fact he’d failed to mention.

The front end tilted and the car sank into the creek faster than Sassy could say mani-pedi. Water poured into the open cabin, sweeping her purse and cell phone away and enveloping her in an icy, gasp-inducing wash. It was early May in Alabama. Temperatures were in the low eighties, but the water was freezing.

The automobile settled to the streambed with a gentle bump. The late afternoon sun was shining, the water clear and full of sparkles. Pebbles swirled in the current on the sandy floor. A school of minnows darted past the submerged vehicle.

Maseratis definitely do not float.

It was a serious design flaw Sassy planned to take up with the manufacturer. The Maserati was a high-end automobile. It ought to float. It should come equipped with little wings and flotation devices and toodle across the surface of the water like a Jesus bug, saving its driver a great deal of discomfort and inconvenience.

Not to mention the ruination of a perfectly good silk dress and a pair of laser-cut Sergio Rossi sandals.

A complaint to the manufacturer was in order, as well as a tube of waterproof mascara. Sassy had the horrible suspicion her makeup had run.

First things first. She’d climb out of the creek. Then she’d figure out where she was.

Two hours earlier, she’d sailed out of Fairhope headed for Hannah, a trek of maybe fifty miles. Her GPS had directed her off Highway 31 and down a series of twisting two-lane roads. By the time she realized the device had malfunctioned, she was lost in the wilds of Behr County.

Sassy hadn’t been worried. It was a beautiful day. The gas tank was three-quarters full, and she was behind the wheel of a very expensive Italian sports car. The Maserati handled like a dream. It hugged the curves and hammered up and down the wooded hills, the responsive, aggressive engine under the hood purring like a satiated tiger.

Top down, sound system blaring, Sassy had rounded a curve. A pony truss bridge lay dead ahead, metal railings bleeding rust in the afternoon sunshine. The narrow, winding road and the bridge set against a verdant backdrop of trees made a postcard picture. Sassy was admiring the bucolic simplicity of the scene when a deer bounded out of the woods and in front of the car, a big ugly deer with gooey black eyes and teeth like knives. Sassy was no Nature Gal, but she knew deer didn’t have fangs and claws. Deer are herbivores, for goodness’ sake. She swerved to avoid Predator Bambi, ran off the road, and that’s how she’d landed in the creek.

A broken branch danced across the hood of the submerged car in a flurry of green leaves. Don’t panic, Sassy thought, holding her breath. Keep calm. Unfasten your seat belt and climb out. You’re charity chair of the Fairhope chapter of the Lala Lavender League. Die and Brandi Chambliss will assume your mantle of leadership.

Energized by the dreadful thought, Sassy fumbled for the seat belt latch and pushed. Nothing happened. The mechanism was jammed. Her heart rate shot into overdrive. She was going to drown. When they pulled her body from the sunken car her sleek golden tresses would be sodden and lank, her makeup smeared. Her flirty little sundress with the pleated skirt would cling to her like Press’n Seal.

She wasn’t wearing a thong.

She would have visible panty lines.

Sassy yanked the shoulder harness over her head. She was trying to wiggle free of the lap belt when a large, masculine hand closed around the restraint. The sturdy fabric snapped like an overcooked spaghetti noodle, and Sassy was lifted, dripping, from the car.

She was slung across a brawny shoulder. The impact knocked the air from her lungs. Wheezing for breath, she shoved her streaming hair out of her face. She caught a glimpse of a broad, muscular back and the best-looking butt she’d ever beheld—right side up or upside down.

The stranger turned and waded for shore. Locomotion did fascinating things for that marvelous rump. His worn leather britches clung to him like a second skin, outlining the ripple and bulge of muscle as he moved.

Leather in May? Goodness, leather was so last season. The poor man would get a rash.

Her thoughts scattered as she started to slide. To her shock, a large,