A new day arrives for Detective Maria Selena, and the final confrontation hurries itself into her hectic life. Shadow and she are confronted with Night’s plans, and they realize they must stop him before he reveals the werewolves to all the world. Betrayals, visitations, and hectic chases abound as they race against time and Night’s insanity to stop him. Along the way the detective learns a little more about herself, and makes her fateful decision whether to leave Shadow or accept him as her mate.
Publisher: Crescent Moon Studios, Inc.
I didn’t know Marge’s cooking from a four-course French dinner until the next morning. The bed bounced, and I creaked open my eyes to see Shadow stand beside the bed. He was completely naked, but was solving that non-problem with a pair of pants and a shirt.
“Where are you going?” I murmured.
“I’m expecting a guest within the hour,” he explained. He slid his shirt over his head and turned to me with his wicked grin. “It’s someone you know.”
I sat up and frowned. “Quinn?” I guessed.
He shook his head. “No.”
“It’s not Baldwin, is it?” I wondered.
Shadow chuckled. “No, and I’ll leave it as a mystery for you to solve,” he added as he finished his dressing and strode towards the door. “Breakfast will be served soon. I hope you’re hungry.”
“Starving,” I answered as I flung aside the sheets. Shadow’s eyes swept over my naked form and his lips curled back in an appreciative grin.
I wrapped the covers over me again and glared at him. “Do you mind?” I snapped.
“Not at all. I would be glad to stand here,” he told me.
I snapped my finger at the door. “Out.”
He chuckled and bowed his head. “As you wish.”
Shadow slipped from the room like his namesake and I pulled on some of his clothes. In a few minutes I stepped into the main area of the large apartment and the smell of eggs and bacon wafted to my nose. There was an island in the kitchen with stools, and I took one of those to watch Shadow cook bacon.
“So got any plans for dealing with your son?” I asked him. Shadow froze over the bacon and shut his eyes. I sighed and ran a hand through my wild hair. “Sorry. Me and my big, blunt mouth.”
Shadow shook his head and got on with the cooking. “No, it’s my fault. I really should accept the fact that my son has to be dealt with, but running was always easier.”
“But no more running now,” I commented.
He flipped the sizzling slices of pig and a sad smile slipped onto his lips. “No, no more running.”
“So do you have a plan?” I wondered.
“That depends on what my informant brings me,” he replied. Shadow slipped the bacon onto two plates and turned to me. He slipped one in front of me and another in front of the stool he took. “His information will give us a full view of the situation.”
I raised an eyebrow. “You mean him killing us last night wasn’t enough?”
Shadow picked up a piece of bacon and studied the slice. “The difficulty with the attack is it’s our word against his.”
“So the werewolf courts can’t sniff out the truth?” I guessed.
He took a bite of the bacon and shook his head. “No. Night will have scrubbed the house clean last night and used the party and the attack as a cover for his actions. He may also bring charges against us for escaping with your vampire friend.”
I leaned back and held up my hands. “He’s an acquaintance, not a friend. You’ve got a closer relationship with him by assigning him to your detail.”
Shadow put down the rest of his bacon and frowned at his full plate. “Yes. I wonder if I wasn’t hasty in allowing him to leave.”
I set my elbows on the table and shrugged. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Quinn is that he’s reliable. A little hard to deal with, but reliable.”
“Let’s hope you’re-” A knock on the door interrupted our conversation. A sly smile slipped onto Shadow’s lips and he nodded at the door that led to the garage. “Care to do the honors?” he invited me.
I frowned and half-turned to the door. I studied it for a moment before my eyes flickered back to Shadow. “Do I really want to know?”
“You’re not afraid to meet an old friend, are you, Detective Selena?” he teased.
“I’ve had some old acquaintances try to kill me lately, so yeah, I’m a little nervous,” I retorted.
He chuckled and shook his head. “You won’t find unsafe quarters with this gentleman.” There came another knock, and this one was more impatient.
“Fine, I’ll answer it,” I grudgingly agreed.
I hopped off my stool and stalked over to the door. My nose picked up a scent I couldn’t quite place, something like musk and paperwork. I swung open the door and found myself staring at a very familiar person.
“Chief?” I squeaked.
It was indeed the police chief of my precinct. He stood in the doorway in plain clothes. One whiff of his body told me he’d added a bit of cologne to his person that masked his natural scent, but wasn’t overpowering. There was a yellow folder tucked under one arm. Shadow came up to me and set a hand on my shoulder.
“Good morning, Chief,” Shadow greeted my former boss.
“‘Morning,” the Chief replied as he stepped inside and nodded his head at me. “Detective,” he replied. He turned his attention to Shadow and handed over the folder. “Here’s what you wanted. The latest on Night’s dealings. You were right about him. He’s making a move to not only muscle in on your territory but humans, too.”
I looked the Chief over and raised an eyebrow at the Chief. “You’re a werewolf, too?” I asked him.
“Not exactly,” Shadow spoke up as he opened the folder and flipped through a few pages. “He’s more of an informer. I keep the streets clean of some crime, and he keeps me in the know about investigations in which I have an interest.”
“But only if you can keep your prodigal son under control,” the Chief reminded him.
“So you knew about werewolves the entire time?” I questioned my former boss.
He grinned at me. “Welcome to the club, Detective.”
“Why the hell didn’t you tell me?” I growled at him.
“Rules are rules,” he pointed out.
“And it seems Night is intent on breaking them all,” Shadow commented as his eyes scanned the documents.
I held up a hand. “Wait a sec. If you knew about werewolves then why did you have that creep Baldwin on the force?”
The Chief frowned. “I wasn’t aware of his true nature, or that he was a plant sent in by Night.”
“Nobody’s perfect,” Shadow agreed. He lifted his eyes and shut the folder. “This will help a great deal. Thank you.”
“Don’t thank me. Get that damn son of yours off the streets, and this time for good,” the Chief demanded.
Shadow pursed his lips, but bowed his head. “I understand. I’ll see what I can do.”
“You’d better.” The Chief turned to me and held out his hand. “You may not believe me when I say anything, but I was glad to have you on the force.”
I frowned and crossed my arms over my chest. “I don’t plan on giving up my badge just yet, Chief. If Baldwin could get the job done as some sort of monster-”
“He was a ghoul,” Shadow reminded me.
“Whatever he was he could get the job done, and when all this mess is done I plan on getting back to my desk,” I swore to my boss.
The Chief dropped his hand but grinned at me. “I’m glad to hear that, Detective, and good luck on getting through this mess. There’s a small war brewing out there, and it’ll take all my resources to keep it under wraps.”
“We’ll see what we can do,” Shadow repeated.
“You do that, and good luck to you both,” the Chief answered.
He nodded to us, turned and left through the garage door. Shadow shut the entrance and turned back to the living area. He paced a few feet before he stopped and cupped his chin in one hand.
“Damn. . .” I heard him mutter.
“That bad?” I wondered.
He turned to me with pursed lips and worried eyes. “Worse. Night means to start a war with the humans, and he means to start it within the week.”