Vivian DuLac, shop owner of Curiosity's Curios and Collectibles, has come into possession of an old sword that Arthur ("Able") Leroy wants. But that's not all that Able wants. He wants Vivian and her connections to her ex-husband, CEO of a large software company.
Able follows Vivian to northern Minnesota where her ex-husband is meeting to discuss a merger with another company. It's the one that Able used to own and the one taken from him by his scheming stepsister, Faye Morgan.
When Faye dies under unusual circumstances, everyone associated with her comes under suspicion, including Vivian and Able. On a storm-shrouded night, Vivian finds out if she can trust Able. And they both find out if an ancient sword is worth Vivian's life.
I maneuvered the sword into the box but held onto the grip, drawing the sword itself out of the scabbard. The metal left its surround smoothly and easily. It was appreciably lighter weight, which told me the scabbard was as solid as I thought, although the blade was still heavy and difficult for me to balance.
I turned and caught a glimpse of Luther Leroy’s face. He was so stunned his mouth gaped open. Then he saw me looking at him and he quickly smoothed out his expression, the sharp look in his eyes changing to one of mild curiosity.
“I’ve handled weapons before,” I said, figuring he was anxious about me holding the sharp blade.
“That’s obvious. It’s just that I haven’t seen anyone but Arthur wield the sword for a long time.” He eyed me nervously, his dark eyes flickering from my wrists to the tip of the blade.
“I’m not really using it. I mean, it’s not like I’m chopping up any enemies or anything.” I glanced sideways at Dewin when I said it. He backed off a step in mock terror. Or at least, I think it was mock.
“It’s been in our family for generations. I was heartsick when Faye gave it away.” Luther stepped forward to stand next to the box, looking down at the scabbard. “It’s a precious piece of our history.”
“Maybe Faye had no idea how you valued it,” Dewin said.
“Bullshit.” I raised the sword but it was hard. My wrists were barely up to the task. “Of course she knew. She probably did it out of spite.”
“You didn’t know my stepdaughter, did you?” Luther asked with a small smile.
“Not really. But she talked about it last night. She knew how Able cared about the sword.” I lowered it carefully. “From what I’ve heard, anybody who uses it is cursed.” I angled the blade so I could see it better in the light. When Luther didn’t answer, I glanced at him and once again saw that stunned look in his eyes. He managed to hide it better this time, though, and he recovered faster.
“You’ve heard about that?” he asked.
“We were talking about it last night,” Dewin said, edging closer to me to peer at the metal blade. “Everyone who handles the sword has died a violent death.”