Kit Colbana—half breed, assassin, thief, jack of all trades—has a new job: track down the missing ward of one of the local alpha shapeshifters. It should be a piece of cake.
So why is she so nervous? It probably has something to do with the insanity that happens when you deal with shifters—especially sexy ones who come bearing promises of easy jobs and easier money.
Or maybe it’s all the other missing kids that Kit discovers while working the case, or the way her gut keeps screaming she’s gotten in over her head. Or maybe it’s because if she fails—she’s dead.
If she can stay just one step ahead, she should be okay. Maybe she’ll even live long to collect her fee.
Here is an excerpt:
“Stop it,” I whispered, pointing the blade at him, leveled at his throat. “I'm tired of this, do you hear me?”
“You should put that thing away before you hurt yourself.”
I leaned in enough that it was pressed against his throat, watched as the tip pierced his skin. As smoke drifted from his wound to curl in the air, I glared at him.
“How did you get it past me this time?”
“And you keep calling me the idiot.” Blood stained the tip of my sword red now. The blade liked it. She wanted more. A lot more. “You saw me lock the damn thing up in the lockers upstairs, cat. Or are you blind?”
His nostrils flared, a growl rumbling through his throat.
“The two of us need to come to an understanding,” I said flatly. I twisted the blade, watched as it pushed a little deeper into his throat. “I'm dead if I don't find this kid. If he's down there on a slab, I'm dead, all because your crazed queen needs to blame somebody and it doesn't matter if he's been dead for ten minutes or ten days.”
His lashes flickered.
“Now I'm not going to whine about how unfair that is. Nor am I going to bitch about the fact that if you all had been doing your job by that boy, maybe he wouldn't have run,” I added. “The bottom line is...he did run. And I've got a soft spot for kids. This is a well-known fact, a card your Alpha knew and worked to her advantage. Now...if that's not him, we've still got a job to do. If it is him...well, I'll deal some other way. But nevertheless, there's a job to do and it's not going to get any easier with us at each other's throats.”
He snarled and pushed himself closer, driving the blade a quarter of an inch into his throat. “You think I want to be working with some crazy little bitch who can't control her emotions?”
“Well, you worked with your Alpha,” I pointed out with a polite smile. “Face the facts. I'm not were. I respond to fear, anger, grief and all the other emotions. Those are my shortcomings, having human blood. You should have been prepared for that. If you're not equipped to deal with it? That's your shortcoming as one of the more alpha cats in the damned clan.” I smirked at him. “I keep hearing about your vaunted control. All the shifters are supposed to be in control. It's what guides them through the spiking, adolescence. If you can get through that and not lose your marbles, it's supposed to be smooth sailing.”
Damon glared at me.
“It seems to be a myth, if you ask me.” I twisted the blade and watched as blood trickled down. Flesh continued to burn and he just stood there. Oh, he had control, all right. He had it in spades.
“Is there a point to this or are you just really into having me wring your neck?”
His voice was a growl too deep. The storm clouds in his eyes had changed, too—shifting to that eerie luminescence singular to felines. The pupils were changing.
Pushing too far, damn it. Oh, well.
“The point is...if you want this job done, you have got to get off my ass. I can't do it with you growling at me. I can't do it with thunderclouds over my head and I can't do it if I'm worrying about an ax falling on my head at the first wrong move, if I'm worried about anything other than doing this damn job.”
Those eyes flashed again, and then, to my surprise, that eerie, flickering glow melted away and he stared at me with a human gaze. “Are you done?”
“Possibly.” I twisted the blade once more. Maybe I really was crazy. “Are we going to keep doing this or are you going to let me work?”
He reached up and closed a hand around the blade.
Shifter flesh met the enchanted silver and started to smoke. As he pushed it away, he leaned in and said, “You can work, little girl. But sooner or later, you and I are going to have a reckoning.”
“I can't wait.”
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