An excerpt from the upcoming sequel to House of Lies…
Tess depressed the button that made the back of her hospital bed sit up a little straighter and then narrowed her eyes at Shane. “All you wanted to do was steal my joy. I was happy until you started nosing around in my business! What concern is it of yours anyway?”
Shane swallowed hard because she didn’t want her answer to come from a place of anger, but from the love that she felt deep down. “I want nothing more than your happiness and I’m sorry that you think I have somehow robbed you of joy.”
Rising from the bedside chair, Shane turned toward the door. Maybe Braznovich was right. Maybe it was time to give up the fight to save her sister. No! Not yet! Her inner voice screamed and taking only two steps, she whirled back around to face Tess. “It was my concern because I love you. I looked into what you were so deeply into because I cared for your wellbeing. I saw it destroying our family and your life and all I wanted you to do was open your eyes and see what was happening before it was too late.”
“You wouldn’t have been happy until I gave up everything that was important to me!” Tess seethed. “I’m not going to do that. I’m never going to do that, no matter how horribly you persecute me!”
Shane fought the lump rising in her throat and tried to calmly continue. She silently reminded herself that her sister was brainwashed and that the deception she had been living under would not be undone overnight. It was going to take time. “I didn’t ask you to stop believing what you believe or even to stop doing what you do. I only asked that you would take some time to study it from an objective perspective so that you would fully understand the hold that it had on you. The hold it obviously still has on you.”
“I don’t feel that God is telling me to study it,” Tess rebutted.
Shane had heard this excuse one too many times and it grated her like nails on a chalkboard. She stormed to the other side of the bed, pulled open the bedside table top drawer and took out the Gideon Bible. Tossing the Bible unto Tess’s bed, Shane blurted, “Look up James 1:5.”
“I don’t need to look it up. I already know what it says,” Tess spat. “‘If any of you lacks wisdom let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach; and it will be given him.’” Tess gloated. “I don’t lack wisdom. You do.”
Shane’s breath caught in her chest as a realization rushed over her. She wasn’t talking to her sister. Not really. She was talking to the demonic, blinding stronghold that had taken over Tess. She could see it in the hollow stare of her sister’s gaze. Tess’s body was here but whoever or whatever was peering from behind her eyes was not Tess.
Slowly backing toward the door, Shane fought to keep her composure. “Maybe you’re right. Maybe I should go and ask God for more wisdom.”
An evil smile spread across Tess’s face and sent a chill darting up the back of Shane’s neck, the same chill she had felt when she stood face-to-face with Maxwell Sagan. ~