This is it. The last chapter of Agent of the Arcane: Double Cross.
But fret not! I have a few goodies for you at the end of this post…
Until then: enjoy!
Sadly, we couldn’t stay in bed forever. Norton called back, confirming the meeting from his and Mirovic’s side. Cole arranged the particulars with one of the fae, setting up the meeting for two evenings later. Those two days seemed long enough at first, but the hours raced by and in the end we were hard pressed to get ready and presentable in time.
We drove to the Den together, but Cole dropped me off a few blocks before we reached it. He parked the car on the curb and we made out like randy teenagers for a few glorious minutes. I finally pulled away, breathless. His hand was still fisted in my hair, keeping me close.
“See you in there,” he said, “Lauren.”
“Sure thing, boss,” I replied with a wink, though it would be difficult to pretend. Already my fingers itched to touch him. Maybe we would manage to sneak in a few make-out sessions behind the dumpsters.
But we didn’t want to take any chances until we figured this whole mating thing out, and also my future. Nobody knew what the NSA was planning to do with the PID or its agents, not even Norton. Not to mention the Big Unknown the fae had in store for us.
I got out of the car and Cole drove off. The further he got away from me, the more the intense connection to him faded. It hurt, almost as if my heart was being torn out of my chest. I walked faster than I usually did, just so I could be at the Den faster. The closer I got, the less the pain got and the clearer the connection once again became. Distance, apparently played a role, though I never lost him completely. He was still there, a fuzzy presence at the back of my mind, in my heart, and I could tell he liked this fuzzy connection between us as little as I did.
It was seven in the evening, so when I arrived at the Den, there were already some guests there, as well as most of the staff. I came in through the front door, since tonight I wouldn’t be posing as waitress, but as someone here to meet an acquaintance. We figured we wouldn’t arouse as much suspicion with the rest of the staff if I wasn’t even supposed to be working tonight, and just looked like I came back into the Den on the same day the boss was back by coincidence.
But Joanie and the others weren’t as clueless as we’d hoped.
“What a surprise!” Joanie exclaimed when she saw me come in through the front door. She was standing behind the bar, mixing a cocktail in a shaker. “The lost daughter returns, shortly after the prodigal son.”
I walked up to the bar and leaned against it, feigning ignorance. “Good to see you. What are you talking about?”
“Oh, come on,” she said, giving me her patented you’re-the-worst-liar-ever look. “You can’t fool me. Our fearless leader takes a week off at the same time that you do, and won’t tell us where he’s going or where he’s been. And you both come back on the same day. So spill. What’s going on? Is it serious?”
She had no idea.
But I shook my head. “You know his rule. I wasn’t with Cole. I was visiting family in Virginia. One of my uncles died, so I went to his funeral and stayed for a while longer.”
Her face fell. “Oh, Lauren, I’m so sorry.” She put down the shaker, came around the counter and gave me a big hug. Taken off guard, I laid my arms around her and tried to muster a few tears.
“Oh, you poor thing,” she said, seeing my watery eyes. “Were you close to your uncle?”
I nodded. “He raised me after my parents died.”
“I’m so so sorry,” she repeated, and burst into tears.
Wow. Hook, line and sinker. I wasn’t such a bad liar after all, considering the man who’d raised me after my parents’ deaths was hardly a well-meaning uncle. More like a jailer who enjoyed making orphaned inmates’ lives miserable.
I patted Joanie’s arm, only just stopping myself from saying ‘there, there’. I looked around the Den covertly; several patrons were staring at us, some openly, some with quick glances, wondering what was going on. Neither Norton and Mirovic, nor any fae or werewolf I recognized were here yet. Good.
I disengaged from Joanie. “It’s okay,” I told her. “I’m okay, really. He had a good life, but it was good to go and say goodbye. I’m actually meeting someone here in a few minutes, but I wanted to let Cole know I’m back for work if he’ll still have me. I kind of skipped out on you guys without letting anyone know. Sorry.”
“He’s in the office, ordering drinks,” Joanie said. “And don’t worry, he won’t fire you. I seen the way he’s been looking at you; that’s why I thought you guys…” she hooked her forefingers on each other. “You know.”
I gave her a small smile and a shrug. “I know. And I wish.”
That made her laugh. “Don’t we all, dear,” she said, “with that fine piece of ass, don’t we all.”
Mine, something vicious inside me wanted to snap at her. My fine piece of ass, bitch!
I swallowed it back. Holy crap. This jealousy thing was getting out of hand. Unlike the mating frenzy thing, I hoped that would fade sooner rather than later. This could become exhausting over time, especially if I did continue to work here, where I’d see him all night, and see other women openly flirt with him. And Joanie hadn’t even flirted. She’d just pointed out in her sassy way that it was difficult not to, and I knew exactly what she meant. Maybe Cole would have a few tips for me. He might not have had a mate before, but he’d been a werewolf for an as yet ascertained number of years.
“I’ll go look for our fine piece of ass,” I said, somehow without scowling at her. I should have been awarded a medal.
Joanie shooed me away with a flapping-hand gesture and returned to her station behind the bar. Tansy came towards me as I headed to the back, an armful of tray and empty glasses. She was blonde, with big expressive blue eyes and bright red lips; without a doubt, she was the Den’s prettiest waitress. She’d also been the one the PID had given food poisoning so that Cole would call me in unexpectedly after I’d been doused in vamp blood to get his attention. We got along well on the job, trading quips about certain patrons, helping each other out on busy days.
“Hey Tansy,” I greeted her. “Pretty busy already for seven on a Wednesday night, huh?”
“Oh, you know, just life at the old salt mines.” And she brushed past me. Ooh-kaay…? I guess I just got my pal-pass revoked. I had a pretty good idea why.
“Is there a single waitress on the staff who doesn’t have a crush on you?” I asked when I entered Cole’s cramped office. He was sitting in front of his computer, the order program open on the screen. “I thought Tansy was engaged.”
He pressed his lips together and I could feel that he was trying to suppress his amusement. That just made me more mad, and in a ridiculous way, more jealous.
He picked up on that, of course.
“Hey,” he said in an apologetic tone as he got to his feet. He came to me, half-closed the door behind me, pushed me up against the wall and kissed me. I roped my arms around his neck and took the kiss deep, wanting to brand him. The vicious twisting thing inside me eased.
Cole broke away, breathing hard. His eyes shone yellow. “Stop,” he murmured. “We can’t do this here, and now you know the reason. Why do you think I have this no-dating-employees rule?”
I sighed. I’d always known that answer. “Because every evening would turn into a bitch fight.”
He nodded. “You have nothing to worry about. Nothing. I swear. I also know me saying that won’t make a difference, because this mating bond brings a few extra quirks with it. Possessiveness and jealousy are two of the more complicated ones. I wasn’t sure you’d feel them since you’re human but…” He smiled.
“You like it that I do,” I realized.
“Yes,” he admitted. “It shows me that this isn’t a one-sided thing just because you’re human. I was afraid it might be.”
“How is it possible, though?” I asked. “I have no magic whatsoever.”
“I guess the werewolf magic is enough,” he said, “it doesn’t have to be inside you, but you feel it, since we’re bonded. Do you think you can handle it?”
“I’ll be fine,” I said. To prove it to us both I slipped out of his grasp. “Just don’t flirt back.”
He smiled. “I never do.”
“You did with me. Even Joanie picked up on it.”
He just looked at me, a deep, soulful look that made my knees go weak. “I guess I did,” he finally said.
Mine. He was so mine.
“I told her I was at my uncle’s funeral in Virginia, by the way,” I said. “And that I came back here to let you know I was available for shifts again. So I’d better go back before my lengthy absence is noticed.”
“Our eclectic group of guests should be here soon, anyway,” he said. “I’ll be right out to make the drinks for us.”
I left him to finish the orders and headed back out. Joanie glanced at me expectantly while shaking up a cocktail. “Everything good?”
“Peachy,” I said. “I start again tomorrow. Would you make me a Mojito, please? I’ll be in the Cozy Corner. Cole said I could have it; I’m meeting someone there.”
“Sure thing. But the Corner’s already occupied with Cole’s weirdo friends, I’m afraid. They just arrived. I’m making their order now.”
Snooty and Snotty, or maybe Miles. “Actually, they’re the ones I’m meeting,” I said, knowing it would raise eyebrows in every waitress’s face here. Why would I suddenly start hanging out with Cole’s ‘weirdo friends’? There was no reason unless we were together after all. But Cole and I already had a contingency plan.
“One of them wants to sell his laptop and I need a new one, so he hooked us up,” I explained.
Joanie lifted her head in half a nod. “Ah.”
Yeah, sold that one hook, line and sinker, too. Not. But if I tried explaining it in more detail, it would look even more suspicious, so I turned and headed around the bar to the booth in the hidden alcove.
I hadn’t seen Snooty or Snotty since The Night. Cole had told me that all the fae had survived and spoke of my courage with reverie. I’d put it off as a joke I didn’t quite catch, but maybe he hadn’t been pulling my leg. Why else would two of the most powerful fae in the city stand up and bow low to me like some old-fashioned knights?
Snooty held out his hand. I looked at it like it might turn into a snake, then slowly took hold of it. He pulled my hand towards his face and breathed a kiss onto the back of it. Thankfully, he then let go, but Snotty snatched it up and repeated the same process. Only then did the two of them straighten.
“We are happy to see you alive and well,” Snooty said.
“And glowing,” Snotty added, the corners of his lips dancing. I blinked. Had that been a glimmer of humor?
“I see being mated is treating you exceptionally well,” he continued, “despite the fact that you’re human.”
That was why I called him Snotty.
“We honor the sacrifices you made for us,” his cousin said, “your bravery and courage will be immortalized in our songs for all eternity.”
And that was why I called him Snooty.
“How long did it take you two to rehearse that speech?” I asked. When they looked at me like two goldfish on the other side of the glass, I winked. “I’m just joshing with you. Please don’t take it personally. I like to tease people who are so uptight.”
I slid into the booth. The two followed my lead, just as Norton and Mirovic entered the Den. I caught their attention with a wave and slid back out of the booth as they approached. Norton held out his hand. I shook it, raising a brow at the formality. He raised his eyebrows right back in an expression that could only mean ‘behave’. As if he thought I might be rude to the director of the NSA, whom I shook hands with next.
“Nice to see you again, Age… Miss Walker,” he said, covering his slip-up with a mega-watt smile that would have made many a girl forget what he said. He clasped my hand in both of his large ones, lingering just a second too long, his thumb stroking my wrist. Right. NSA Director Zane Mirovic fancied himself a ladies’ man.
Cole appeared at my side as if conjured out of thin air. His arm brushed mine, and with the skin on skin contact I felt his animal rage and protectiveness blast through me. He didn’t like Mirovic touching me at all.
I pulled my hand away. “You, too, Sir,” I said. “Cole, meet Zane Mirovic, the…” I peeked around to make sure that nobody was listening in, “… NSA big cheese, which makes him my boss before Goodall. Mister Mirovic, this is Cole Tanner.”
“The infamous omega who stopped the fight by striding through it naked.” Mirovic shook Cole’s hand with only one of his and let go in the appropriate amount of time.
Snooty and Snotty had been listening in on this conversation without comment. Cole introduced them to Norton and Mirovic.
“Meet Therillion Ridian, head of Ridian House, and his cousin Pherion Ellimeyr, head of Ellimeyr House.”
Mirovic guffawed. “Do you have normal names that allow you to blend in?” he asked.
“Of course,” Snooty said, haughtiness personified. “But we are not here to divulge them, since we would like to continue to live in peace, unmolested by your undercover agents.”
“Miles and Kenneth will be here any minute,” Cole said, in an obvious attempt to change the subject. “Lets sit.”
Even though I tried to avoid it, I ended up next to Mirovic. He was good at that, maneuvering people without them realizing it until it was too late. In this case, he maneuvered Cole by asking him to get our drinks for us, giving Mirovic the freedom to slip into the booth right behind me. But he wasn’t the only one who could maneuver.
I slid all the way to other end of the booth under the pretense of making space for everybody else. Mirovic followed, but I left enough space for Cole on the open side of the booth so he’d be able to sit down next to me, too.
“Have you found Goodall?” I asked, once everybody had settled in around the table. The PID director had somehow managed to vanish himself from the cell I’d locked him up in at the parlay grounds. Cole told me the wolves followed his trail to where the PID agents had parked their cars that night. He had gotten into the van and driven off. The wolves weren’t able to follow it further than the interstate.
Norton shook his head. “No sign of either the van or Goodall, dead or alive.”
“That might be the problem, gentlemen,” Snooty said. “Goodall might be neither dead nor alive. From what we’ve gathered, he was undergoing the procedure to becoming a vampire; drinking the Tsar’s blood, she drinking his. It takes years to complete the transition. From what Ilona discribed, he was close to the end.”
Mirovic frowned. “What happens when the procedure is interrupted with no chance of picking it up again?” In other words, what would Goodall turn into, now that his vampire mistress was dead?
“He becomes a daywalker,” Snotty explained. “Sort of a mix between human and vampire. The sun probably won’t hurt him yet, and he can eat real food. But the craving for blood is strong and will become stronger every day. And he can’t survive without it anymore.”
“What does that mean, exactly?” Mirovic asked.
“It means that he has a choice: to die or to drink human blood and become the closest thing to a classic zombie there is.”
Cole came back, without drinks, mumbling that Tansy would bring them when they were ready. He sat down beside me, or rather, almost on top of me. I nudged him away a tiny bit as I posed the next question.
“So he can survive in this state?”
“By drinking human blood and eating human flesh, yes,” Pherion said. “He will be consumed by this desire sooner or later, though; nothing else will matter to him, unless he completes the ritual to becoming a vampire. But he needs Shirley’s blood for that.”
“And there is none of that left in her remains, I assure you,” Mirovic said boastfully.
“Hardly any remains left at all, she decomposed so fast.”
“The old ones do,” Therillion said. “Where are the remains?”
“We have them in lockup for study. Though at the current rate of deterioration, we probably won’t learn much from them.”
“Even if we did,” I said, “would this research ever be relevant?”
Mirovic smiled at me, showing big white teeth. “You’re asking whether the PID will continue, and wondering what your role will be from now on. Don’t worry, Miss Walker, I’ll always have a use for you.”
I felt Cole’s growl more than I heard it, because our thighs were pressed together. I squeezed his knee, remembering how I’d felt by just Joanie’s insinuation that my man was a hot piece of ass. If this mating bond was making me insanely jealous, what must it be doing to him, who was the one providing the magic to it, after all. But he had to get a grip. He was still growling, deep down inside. I nudged his knee. He stopped.
“Before you put Miss Walker to use, we would appreciate it if you heard us out,” Therillion said. “You might find that there is only one position you can offer her.”
Mirovic frowned, but whatever he was thinking was interrupted by Miles’ arrival. He took one look at Cole, glanced at Mirovic and me, and slid into the booth beside his omega, sidling up close to him. As soon as the two werewolves bumped hips, I felt Cole relax. Miles’ presence was soothing to him. Judging by the smile flashing over Cole’s face, he caught the irony of the alpha soothing the omega.
“My apologies for being late,” Miles said. “Kenneth is right behind me. He’s having a bit of trouble with… ah, you’ll see. Who are these fine gentlemen?”
I introduced him to Norton and Mirovic. When he shook hands with the latter, Miles didn’t let go of the NSA director’s hand immediately.
“Please allow me to warn you that your preferential attention to the lady in our midst might not be beneficial to your health,” he said, his speech as swollen and old-fashioned as the fae’s. “We lycans are a very possessive species and consider Miss Walker one of our own now. Some of us might take offense at your rather obvious romancing of her.”
I was glad he didn’t go into the details and reasons for me being part of the pack now. I wasn’t sure when to broach the subject of my being mated to a lycan.
Later, I decided, feeling the tension inhabiting the booth. Later was better.
Mirovic opened his mouth, but again was interrupted by newcomers.
“Good evening, ladies,” Kenneth’s voice boomed. “Got room for two more?”
He slid into the booth next to Norton, on the opposite side of the table from Miles. The two alphas nodded curtly at each other, then Kenneth swung out an arm to encompass the man who’d come in behind him.
“Everyone, meet Jordan Eames,” he said. “If that’s his real name. He swears it is, though he also told me it was Ethan Something when we met. You two would know,” he waved at Norton and Mirovic, “since I’m guessing you’re his bosses. My name is Kenneth Hayden. Pleasure to meet you. Though we seem to have walked in on something, if the stink in here is any indication. Phew. Come on, Ethan or Jordan or whatever your name is. Sit with us.”
Jordan looked down at the man who had tortured him to the brink of death. He was thin – Jordan, not his tormentor – almost gaunt, his skin pale, a sickly yellow in contrast with his black hair. The cuts and bite marks on his body had healed; they must have given him some of the fae healing elixir. His psyche, though, still needed healing and may indeed never recover fully. You could tell by his stance that he wanted to be anywhere but here.
He pulled his eyes away from his torturer and glanced at Norton, then Mirovic. They finally came to rest on me and the shock of the torment in them shook me to the core. Jordan was a man lost at sea, and no wonder. His enemies had tortured him, his friends and allies forsaken him, and now his enemies and his alleged friends sat around a table together, staring up at him as if they were confused at his reaction. As if what he’d endured was inconsequential to us all.
“I’m glad you made it, Jordan,” I said. “This is a truce of sorts.” I wanted him to know that neither side was taking this meeting lightly.
Jordan’s eyes flashed, reminding me of Cole’s when the wolf was close to the surface. Or any other lycan’s, for that matter.
Cole tensed up again beside me but didn’t say anything. I felt his apprehension though, as if it were my own.
Something wasn’t right with Jordan. Had Kenneth turned him into a lycan? Cole had told me lycanism was hereditary, but if vampire-blood could turn humans into zombies, what did lycan-bites do? And why had Kenneth brought him to this meeting, when Jordan was clearly in no condition for it?
Tansy approached with a tray full of drinks. None of us said a word while she distributed them amongst us. My Mojito landed in front of me with an audible ‘thunk’ that shook the table.
Great. I realized with a sinking heart that working at the Den would be difficult from now on, if not downright impossible. If waitressing should remain my cover story, I might have to find another bar to do it at. Although that would kind of defeat the purpose.
But all this what-iffing was pointless when Snooty and Snotty hadn’t revealed their reasons for this meeting yet, regarding these mysterious plans they had for me. As soon as Tansy stalked off with the empty tray, I faced the two fae.
“We’re all here,” I said. “Time to talk.”
Snooty and Snotty looked at each other. The former nodded at the latter.
“We have a proposal for you,” Snotty began. “Since you’re aware of our existence, we must figure out a way to coexist. From what I understand, you would prefer it if the world – that is the human world – remained unaware of our existence.”
Mirovic nodded. “The world has forgotten the existence of magic for a reason. Every scenario we ran through analysis ended in chaos, even the best-case ones. The country – the world – can’t afford that right now.”
“We agree,” Snooty said, “and would very much like to keep it that way, too. But things happen. We slip up in our secrecy, or humans stumble across clues. Making such things go away would be a lot easier for us if we had help from the human side. Your side.”
“You want our help?” Mirovic said, sounding as surprised as I felt.
But Snotty shook his head. “We want to offer our cooperation in such cases, so long as Miss Walker acts as our mediator.”
I blinked. Say what now?
Mirovic sat back and stroked his hand over his clean-shaven jaw, clearly mulling. “How, exactly, do you imagine this to work?”
“We, the fae and lycans of this city, agree to supply any needed or useful information in criminal cases involving the arcane,” Snotty explained in his most formal tone, “provided that, one: you disband the PID and its attempts to infiltrate our lives and gather intelligence on us. And two, that all our dealings are with Miss Walker, and her alone.”
“Why her?” Mirovic asked.
“Because she is the only human that we know of who is mated to a supernatural,” Snooty said. “And she picked our side when things got tough.”
Alrighty then. There went my plan to keep the mating thing a secret for a while.
Mirovic sat up straight and turned his whole body towards me. His gaze pierced mine.
“I’m sorry, you’re what?”
“Mated,” Cole said from my other side, baring his teeth at Mirovic in an eerie grin.
“You’re fucking him voluntarily?” Mirovic said. “He’s half animal.”
He did not just say that.
“Watch your mouth, Sir,” Miles snapped. “Miss Walker belongs to my pack now, and if you want our cooperation in the future, I must insist that you treat her with respect. If not for her, all your PID agents would be dead.”
“Killed by you and your pack,” Mirovic barked. “You’re all loose cannons. I can’t in good conscience disband the PID when I know the dangers lurking in the city.”
“In the whole world, Mr. Mirovic,” Snooty said. His expression was as dark as a storm cloud. “And if you want to have any influence on them at all, this is the way you’ll have it. We offer no other option.”
If they didn’t make any concessions, Director Bullhead would never agree. At least not without putting me under secret twenty-four-seven surveillance, a condition I wanted to avoid under all and any circumstances.
“I’m willing and happy to take up this role of mediator within the parameters you’ve presented,” I said, looking at the two fae, “if you agree to my minor conditions, too.”
The fae frowned at me. They hadn’t suspected me to interfere or make demands. I wondered if that was because they were stuck in some chauvinistic past, or because they’d spoken to Cole and he’d told them I’d do it without consulting me. Either way, they regarded me thoughtfully for a while, then looked at each other, conferring without words. Finally, Snooty turned to me.
“It depends on what they are,” he said.
“I have to make a living,” I said, “but if either side pays me exclusively, the other will never trust me. We’ll fix an hourly rate for my services with such cases of the arcane, and you will split them fifty-fifty. Are you with me so far?” I looked at everyone at the table, even Jordan, who didn’t see because he was staring at a black spot on the dark brown table.
The fae nodded. “We were going to suggest the same thing.”
Mirovic looked more ready to negotiate than before, now that he knew he hadn’t lost me as an ally completely. “Lets hear the rest of your conditions,” he said.
“I want a team,” I said. “Nothing big, don’t worry. Just a couple of people who are aware and knowledgeable of both the supernatural and the human world, who can provide back-up and help me with the legwork.”
“Who do you have in mind?” Kenneth asked, proving once again his savvy people-reading skills. The people I wanted on my team were all sitting at this table, the most important right beside me.
“Cole,” I said. I could feel my mate’s anxiety buzzing through him and our bond. He didn’t like me becoming involved in this at all, and I knew he’d never be left on the sidelines. His relief was just as palpable as soon as I said his name, and he bumped my knee with his in silent gratitude.
The fae nodded, happy with this solution as well. They trusted Cole most of all wolves, even before their own bodyguards. Miles, on the other hand, didn’t look convinced. But he knew better than to object. Cole would never listen to him in this matter.
“Who else?” Mirovic asked.
“Norton, if he’s inclined,” I said, looking at my former handler. Norton had a large network at the NSA, and his skills in the research department were legendary. He knew everything any of the PID agents had ever uncovered about supernaturals.
I smiled at Norton when he nodded in consent. “I’m in.”
“Thanks,” I said. “I appreciate it.” I could use him, I was sure. And I trusted him to ninety percent, which was more than I could say for any other of my colleagues. Except maybe the next and last person on my list for a team.
He lifted his head when he heard his name. Where before his eyes had blazed, they were now glazed windows into a barren, hopeless wasteland. It was worse than the torment I’d glimpsed only a few minutes before.
“That might be difficult,” Kenneth said, his voice uncharacteristically subdued. “At least for now.”
“What’s wrong with him?” Mirovic asked.
It was Miles who answered. “We’re not sure,” he said. “We suspect that Jordan might have some supernatural ancestor a long way down the line. A lot of humans have a tiny amount of magic inside them, more than you’d think. Mix that with werewolf saliva and fae healing elixir…” He shrugged.
“Not to mention the trauma of enduring emotional and physical distress of the highest order,” I added.
Miles inclined his head. “That, too.”
“Yes, but what does this mean?” Norton asked. “Will he go back to normal again?”
“We’ll have to wait and see,” Miles said with a shrug. “Until then, Kenneth will keep an eye on him. He’s the only one who can get through to him at all.”
Cole had been silent but now he lay a hand on my arm. “Are you sure you want him on the team?”
I thought about it; it was a valid question. I didn’t really trust Jordan, not after what had happened at the keep and especially not after seeing the state he was in now. But I felt responsible for him in a twisted way. Maybe it was just the fact that if things had been only a tiny bit different, it could have been me tied to Kenneth’s rack, my back whipped to bloody shreds, chunks of my flesh bitten out of my limbs.
“If he ever wants to join, there’s a spot open for him,” I finally said, hoping that this solution would satisfy everyone. I fixed Kenneth with my most intimidating glare. “Until then, you’d better watch out for him. You may look forward to random check-ups.”
He waggled his brows at me. “Bring them on, princess.”
“So we are in agreement?” Snooty said. “Miss Cole will act as mediator between human and arcane factions. Each side shall pay her and her team fifty-fifty for every consultation. The PID will be shut down. In recompense, Miss Cole may record the information we provide for her to solve any cases or settle any disputes, on an electronic server that we have half the administrative rights over.”
“Done,” Mirovic said. I kept the frown that wanted to show on my face inside me; that had been way too easy. He was already planning to launch another super secret division like the PID; I could almost read it on his face. Calling him on it wouldn’t do any good, though. He’d never let me know about it and would deny its existence every day of his life. I’d just have to keep my eyes and ears open and let the fae in on my suspicions if I ever came across something dubious.
“Very well,” Snotty said. “I will have our lawyer draw up the contract tomorrow. We will hand it over to Miss Walker as soon as it is done, so that she and you, and the others involved, may sign it.”
“May I suggest a first mission for our new team of the arcane?” Norton asked.
We looked at him expectantly.
Everyone agreed this was the perfect test run for the new team.
Well, not quite The End. There’s a bonus chapter in the free PDF-eBook-version, downloadable if you sign up here. (No worries if you’ve already signed up for my newsletter; your email-address won’t be added a second time.)
I hope you enjoyed reading the story as much as I did writing it. Thank you for sticking with it to The End! 🙂
I also have another free goodie for you: the novella Once Upon A Nightmare, available as an ebook on Amazon and other ebook retailers.
Here’s a blurb for Once Upon A Nightmare:
Last night, Elysia Rey was a dream. Today she’s alive, flung into a world where phones are smart and magic is called electricity.
A world in which her kind has no right to live and is hunted by monsters and humans alike.
But Elysia Rey wasn’t created to roll up and die. She has one purpose: protect her dreamer.
No bulletproof chimera or vengeful shade hunter will keep her from fulfilling that purpose.
Once Upon A Nightmare is the prequel novella to the Nightmare City series. Get it here on Amazon or find out which other retailers have it for you here.
Book 1 of the Nightmare City series will be available at the end of March 2018. You can download and read the first 5 chapters of Nightmare City here.
Thank you for sticking with me through this writing journey of mine (that I sometimes go into detail about here on my blog).
It would only be half as much fun without you as my readers!