Deceived is available in ebook and paperback.
Boredom tightened the aching muscles in my neck. The opposing counsel droned on as I examined my nails. They were infinitely more fascinating than the pompous jerk in front of me. I frowned at a small chip in the polish and jotted down a reminder to schedule a manicure.
This was my fourth meeting today. Each one was more boring and useless than the last. I’d started grinding my teeth over an hour ago, at this rate I’d wear the enamel to the nerve.
The opposing counsel strutted around the boardroom like a garish peacock. He tossed over-inflated numbers around in a useless attempt to lure me in.
Lies spewed from his lips.
It wasn’t his body language or tone that gave him away, anyone can learn to mask tells like that. I knew he was lying because I could see it. Each lie appeared on his skin, iridescent symbols that danced and twisted on his face. The jagged runes were tanner than his skin, a clouded shadow that barely sparkled in the low light of the boardroom. They drifted down his neck and disappeared into the stiff collar of his shirt.
No one noticed but me.
I was the only one who could see them, the only person I’d ever met with the talent–the curse as I thought of it sometimes.
I’d never truly mastered the language, although after decades of seeing things that no one else could, I’d figured out a lot. The color, intensity, movement, and symbols themselves all had a meaning. Each said something specific about the wearer and the lies they told. The darker the tattoo, the more frequent the lie was told.
The ease of its appearance, the thickness of the symbol, proved that it was a common thing for him. A pastime no more challenging or thought-provoking than breathing. My powers may be minuscule compared to others, but they were oh-so-useful.