A weekday arrives, and with it the normalcy Dakota Combes craves. Her attempt to allude her amorous werewolf billionaire mate, however, lands her in deeper trouble. The legendarily annoying hunter Latro is in need of their help, and saying ‘no’ to a person with a gun full of silver bullets doesn’t strike Dakota as a good idea. The mystery leads Dakota and her mate through the seedy clubs of the paranormal underworld to the dark confines of Cotio’s Curiosities in a search for missing women. Along the way David shows off his prowess for trouble and sensual love-making as they outrace friend and foe alike to solve the mystery.
It was like Fate had challenged my life to give me a hell of a workout, and my life accepted the challenge by placing me in a hamster wheel that was hooked up to the engine of a hot rod. This Monday would be no different, as I was soon to find out.
First, however, I had to escape the amorous clutches of my werewolf mate.
It was early Monday morning when I slipped out of the bed we shared in his large room and tiptoed to the walk-in closet. A few moments later I was dressed in a simple pair of dress pants and a blouse. I paused in front of a full-length mirror to admire myself. The mirror reflected most of the room, including the bed.
The lump beneath the covers shifted as David sat up. His matted hair was becomingly flopped over his bleary eyes, and he was naked but for the sheets that pooled around his waist. I stopped my preening to admire his muscled physique.
David ran a hand through his hair before his tired eyes fell on me. He arched an eyebrow.
“What are you doing up this early?”
I smoothed my shirt and turned to him. “You have any idea what day it is?”
He shrugged. “A week day?”
I picked up my purse that sat atop the nearby vanity and walked over to the door. “Exactly, and that’s why I’m going to work.”
He straightened and his eyes widened. “Work? Why?”
I grabbed the knob and sighed. “Because that’s what working people do.”
He leapt from the bed and strode over to me. I averted my eyes from his assets before I decided to utilize them. “Seriously? I thought you were joking about that whole ‘working’ thing.”
I glanced over my shoulder and frowned. “Listen, I’ve been through a bunch of weirdness courtesy of your life. Now I’d like a little bit of normal courtesy of mine.”
He grasped my upper arms and slyly smiled at me. “But there are much more fun things we could do during the day.”
I snorted. “I also need a vacation from your libido before it puts me into traction.” His face fell. My conviction almost melted beneath those puppy-dog eyes. Almost. I half-turned to him and cupped his cheek in one hand. “Come on, don’t be like that. I’ll be back before you know it, and then we’ll have our bedtime together.”
I patted him on the head and hurried from the room before he could convince me otherwise. Puer met me at the front door. In one hand were my car keys. He held them out to me and smiled.
“At your early rising I thought perhaps you might need these,” he commented.
I returned the smile and took the keys. “Thanks.”
I strode past him and into the cool gray morning. My car sat in the driveway close to the front door, and I drove down the drive to the main street. In a few minutes I was in the business district just six blocks from where I worked.
That was where a line of cars greeted me. I leaned my head out the window, but the traffic was backed up beyond my line of sight. A few horns honked, but nobody moved. I shivered at the chill and rolled my window up. After five minutes the line hadn’t moved an inch.
I leaned back and threw my arms up. “Perfect. I left a warm bed and lover just so I could drive all the way out here to get fired.”
A rap on the window made me jump. I whipped my head to the door window. My eyes fell on a ruffled boy with a floppy cloth hat and dirty overcoat. I couldn’t see his face because he held his head down, but he was short and his stench wafted through the shut window.
He held up a squeegee and cloth. “Want a cleaning?”
I shrugged and gestured to the windshield. “Get at it.”
He held out his well-manicured palm. “Five dollars before I get started.”
I rolled my eyes, but took my purse in my lap and dug through for some change. “I’ve got a couple of ones.”
He nodded. “That’ll work, just roll down the window.”
I rolled down the window and held out the cash. The boy lifted his head and I saw him flash a grin. He raised the squeegee level with the open window and sprayed an ample amount of the liquid in my face.
“Hey! What the hell. . .was that-” I clutched my head as the world began to spin.
The waif reached in and unlocked my door. I grabbed their hand as it lay over the lock, but my grip wasn’t strong enough to hold them. I could barely keep my eyes open as they opened the door and scooted me into the front passenger seat. The intruder tossed their tools into the backseat and turned the car into a nearby alley on the right.
I tried to lift my arms to grab them, but my limbs wouldn’t respond. The waif’s eyes flickered to me. “Just relax. You can’t win against that stuff.”
My mouth flopped open like a gasping fish. The world around me darkened. My head lolled back and I lost consciousness.