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
“Well, well, little warrior,” Jude murmured, turning to face me. “You pick unusual company these days. That’s Annette’s most favorite toy. How did you get so lucky? She doesn’t share her toys well.”
Annette. The cat-bitch’s name was Annette. It didn’t suit her. Kitty-cat Barbie was so much more fun.
I sneered at him and dropped down into one of the chairs.
“He’s not a toy I’m interested in playing with,” I muttered. Then I mentally cringed, knowing exactly how Jude would take it.
Yep. Seconds later, his hand stroked over my cheek. “I’m glad to hear it, little warrior. I’m not particularly good at sharing…and I’d hate to have to share you with that.”
I batted his hand away. “Newsflash, vamp. I’m not yours.”
“So you keep insisting.” He snagged the only other piece of furniture in the room, another chair, and swung it around, straddling it and staring at me as he rested his arms on the back. “Why are you working with cats?”
“A job. Money. Same reason I take any job.”
His gaze flickered down to my throat. “It’s a job that’s gotten you in trouble already. Is it paying well?”
“Not well enough,” I muttered.
A fist slammed against the door and I groaned as I felt the magic of the ward crackle. “Open the fucking door, Colbana.”
“He has a nasty temper,” Jude murmured.
Absently, I touched my throat. “I can handle it.” To be fair, Damon hadn’t laid a hand on me since that first day, except to push me out of the way a few times. It had been necessary more than a few times, and not just when we’d gone trolling down in Wolf Haven.
“I heard the Alpha’s nephew was missing.”
I shot Jude a dark look as the pounding at the door increased. Damon shouted, “Colbana, open the door or I’m going to wring your fucking neck again.”
Sighing, I leaned forward and buried my face in my hands.
A hand touched my knee. Cool as death. I knocked it aside.
Too bad I couldn’t brush aside the whisper in my mind.
“She does not tolerate failure, Kit. Why did you take this job?”
I shoved up out of the chair.
The hell would I answer him.
Jude continued to watch me while Damon banged away on the door. Each time he did, the magic sparked. He’d break the ward soon. It would cost me money to put it back up if he broke it. “I can’t let him break my wards. I need the safe room.”
“Look at me.”
But I did.
The green of his gaze started to glow.
“If you fail her, it’s likely she will try to have you killed. You already know this.”
With a short nod, I acknowledged that. What was the point in denying it?
“I can help you. Not many can stand against the cat Alpha. But I can.”
Rolling my eyes, I stared at him. Why in the hell would he?
I knew I amused him, but my amusement factor shouldn’t get me that far in life.
He came out of the seat. “Would you like a way out, Kit? It will not cost you much.”
“Uh-huh.” I wasn’t about to become another one of his servants.
A faint smile canted Jude’s lips upward. “I have enough of those. Just…” He brushed his fingertips along my bruised neck. “One taste. For now. Another when you require my assistance…should it come to that.”
I tensed. No.
“Why not? It’s just a taste, Kit. And it will not harm you, nor bind you…and if it comes to it, it could be the very thing to save to you.”
Why in the world would he be willing to fuck with the Alpha Cat just for a taste of my blood?
A smile pulled his lips back from his teeth and the glow in his eyes started to go red.
“Fucking with her is reason enough…”
Shiloh Walker/J.C. Daniels