Detective Maria Selena finds herself on the wrong side of the law when Quinn asks her to steal a vial from a mysterious man known as Night. He leads her to the man’s house as a lamb to slaughter to infiltrate Night’s castle during a large party. Trouble follows her paw prints as she faces past troubles and new enemies in her effort to win the disk from Quinn and find out the truth about Shadow and what she’s become.
It had been a hell of a night, but I wasn't going to go to bed until I had my answers. There I was in Quinn's house, and he and I were seated opposite each other in his living room. I sat on the couch, and he was in a chair.
He leaned against the back of his chair and clasped his hands together in his lap. "What would you like to know first?"
I nodded at his inner jacket pocket. "I'd like to know what's on that disk."
He grinned and shook his head. "Not until I get what I want."
"So what will you tell me right now?" I asked him.
He nodded at my hands. "I can tell you how to get rid of that."
I raised my hands and looked at my clawed fingers. My fingers hadn't changed back. I ground my teeth together and fisted my hands as I felt the clause break the skin of my palms.
"This is only part of my problem. Making this go away isn't going to rid of the curse," I told him.
No, but you'll be able to help me and yourself by hiding what you are now," he pointed out.
I opened my fists and my eyes flickered up to him. "How the hell do you think you know so much? Did you learn it all from the disk?"
He grinned and shrugged. "Maybe I did, and maybe I didn't. All you need to know is what I tell you now."
I jumped to my feet and glared at him. "You think I'm some servant dog because I look like this? I won't take orders from you." I held my fists in front of me so he could clearly see it. "I could crush steel with these. What makes you think I won't put a dent in that face of yours?"
Quinn chuckled. "For one, you're a detective, Detective. To protect and serve is your motto. I won't believe for a second that just because you look like a monster that you've become one. For another, you don't quite have a grasp on what you're capable of."
"And you know what I'm capable of?" I questioned him.
"More than you know, but I don't think we're getting anywhere with your questions." He stood and gestured to the doorway. "Maybe we should get some sleep and-"
"I don't want any sleep!" I screamed. I took a step towards him and felt my teeth lengthen into fangs. "I want answers, and you're going to give them to me now!"
Quinn's smile slid off his lips and he folded his arms across his chest. "You're letting the beast take control of you. That wouldn't be a good idea around me."
I ticked off everything that ticked me off. His smug attitude, the miserable night I'd had, and all the stupid mystery that I'd dealt with since that night. I couldn't take it anymore. I sprang at him with my claws and teeth bared. He just stood there waiting for me to jump on him like he was a giant wolf treat, and the next second he was gone. Vanished like a ghost.
That didn't stop me. I landed where he had stood and lifted my head. My nose sniffed the air for him, and I whipped my head back to glance over my shoulder.
Quinn stood where I had jumped from. His eyes were narrowed and I detected a reddish hue in their depths. I snarled and spun around to make another leap at him, but the next moment he was gone again. My eyes widened and I looked and I slept my gaze over the room.
"Behind you," Quinn's voice spoke up. A pair of arms reached around me and pulled me against a hard chess. I strained and kicked, but the strength of my captor was unbelievable. "Calm down or I will crush you," Quinn threatened me.
"Let me go!" I growled.
"Call me down, Detective!" he insisted. The next words he spoke were softer, but no less firm. "I'll tell you more of what you want to know if you come down."
"I said let me go!" I snarled. I was too far gone to care about anything except getting his blood on my teeth.
"Get a hold of yourself, Detective Maria Selena!" Quinn snapped at me. "You're better than this! Fight it!
I shut my eyes and ground my sharp teeth together. God dammit, but he was right. I wasn't the bloodthirsty type. It didn't suit my badge. I did an old trick my dad once taught me.
"One, two, three, four. . ." I counted off until I hit ten. I took a deep breath and opened my eyes. The world was no longer red, and I noticed my fangs were teeth and all of the hair and claws were gone from my hands.
"Very well done, Detective," Quinn complemented me.
Quinn opened his arms and I dropped to the ground. I pressed my hands against my face and didn't feel the peach fuzz of wolf hair, though the normal spots for my hair were still long and thick. I spun around to face him. Quinn stood there with his arms crossed and that strange glint in his eyes. I raised an eyebrow.
"What are you?" I asked him.
He chuckled. "Now you're asking the right questions."
I narrowed my eyes at him. "What you talking about?"
He shrugged and walked over to his chair. "And there you go asking the wrong questions again," he scolded me as he took a seat. He clasped his hands together in front of his face with his elbows on the arms of the chair and looked at me over his fingers. "You asked me what I was. What I am is a vampire."
I shook my head and ran a hand through my thick, wolfy hair. "You've got to be kidding me. . ." I grumbled.
"Some nights I wish I was, but this night isn't one of them," Quinn replied. He dropped his hands into his lap and smirked. "I don't mean to brag, but I'm pretty old even for my kind. It was my love of information that kept me alive, and keeps me in business."
I opened my eyes and glared at him. "So you're telling me that you want a werewolf to work for you, a vampire, to gets something from a mob boss?"
"That's exactly what I'm telling you," he confirmed.
I dropped onto the couch. "If you're such an old and powerful vampire then why don't you get it yourself?"
He smiled and shook his head. "They'd spot me in an instant. You saw what happened at the club."
I leaned forward and frowned. "Speaking of that, why did you have us meet at the club, and who were those men who chased us?" I questioned him.
Quinn studied my face. "You don't believe I'm a vampire."
"I believe you believe it," I quipped.
"But that's not quite the same thing, but I suppose it doesn't matter," he mused. "What matters is that I have that vial in my possession so I can put the disk in yours."
"How am I supposed to get this vial when you can't?" I asked him.
"Like I said before, with your-shall we say new personality-you'll fit right in with this crowd," he assured me. He glanced over my body and frowned. "We'll have to get something more suitable for the occasion, but you'll fit fine into a slick dress."
"You forgot one thing. I still don't have an invitation, and if this guy's as powerful as you're implying then he's going to have the place watched and wired for security," I pointed out.
Quinn stood and stretched his arms above his head. "That's for you to figure out, Detective. I'll give you a dress and a ride. The rest is up to you."
I narrowed my eyes. "That disk better be worth it," I warned him.
"I think you'll find my information very-well, interesting," he assured me.
"How interesting?" I asked him.
"Just the identity of this-well, we'll call this Shadow a man, and his dealings throughout the city. It could blow the criminal world wide open. You would be a hero, the city's savior," he mused.
"I don't care about being a hero, but if what you're telling me is true-"
"And it is," he insisted.
"-then what you have there is evidence of criminal activity, and needs to be handed over, so give it," I demanded as I held out my hand palm-up to him.
He chuckled and patted his chest. "You know I don't work for free, Detective, and this certainly cost me a great deal. That's why I'm asking for the vial."
I folded my arms across my chest. "And I'm supposed to trust a self-proclaimed vampire to hand over that disk after I get the vial?"
He grinned and bowed his head. "You have my word, Detective."
I snorted. "Keep it. It's not worth the breath you used to say it."
"If that is all you have to say then I think it's time we got some rest," Quinn suggested. He walked past me and towards the doorway.
"This questioning isn't over, Quinn. Not by a long shot," I warned him.
He waved to me as he left the room. "Good day, Detective."