Three days after the Agency infiltrated the headquarters of the Knights, an organization that killed, tortured, and experimented on shifters, Chief Anu sends Agent Poe on assignment: find Nordik, the powerful bear shifter who controls Sanctuary, and offer alliance. Agent Poe already has his hands full with shifters who need help and a kidnapped agent who needs rescue. Poe has never failed a mission, but he finds members of the Knights who escaped the raid inside Sanctuary, raising suspicions about Chief Anu. Poe’s goals change once more when he discovers he and Nordik have a mutual attraction they can’t resist. Keeping shifters safe becomes more complicated, and more important, than ever.
Targeted Age Group:: 18+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Agent Poe needed a romance of his own. This story also delved into the reality of master shifters. This was actually the second book I wrote, after “Psychic Moon,” but I knew I had to put it later in the series since so many changes, to the Agency and the shifters, occur in it. This book was always intended to be the bridge between the before and the after, for the Agency, and concerning the continuing war against the Knights, and their main enemy, Arcas. This book also signals the end of Part One of my series.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The character of Agent Poe, his personality, his appearance, has actually been with me for several years before I found a home for him in this series. I was so very excited to finally write his story, and I’m very pleased who he became mates with. Despite his tough exterior, Poe is rather a softy inside and, I like to think, secretly wants to be dominated (by someone worthy, of course). Nordik came to me fully-formed, in appearance, personality, and his background. The only change I made later was to make him a Spirit Bear (albino bear). The Native Americans have many legends dealing with the Spirit Bear, and I found them very intriguing and perfect for Nordik. With the two of them, it truly is a pairing of alphas and an equal partnership. Poe wouldn’t have fallen for anyone less driven and blatantly alpha than himself.
“YOU have failed me,” said a silky voice on the other end of the phone. The listener shivered, and his grip tightened on the cell phone pressed to his ear. He looked out of the window into the night and wondered if he was being watched.
“I’m so sorry, my lord. I didn’t know—” the listener tried to explain.
“No excuses!” the voice snapped over the phone. “I tire of your whimpering. Get me results, you imbecile.”
“I will, my lord, I promise,” the listener said, eager to prove his worth.
“You had better,” said the voice. “I have already sent several of them to the beast’s forest, and they lie in wait. I’ve hidden them from the beast.”
“What do you need me to do?” the listener asked.
“Send the thorn in my side to find the beast,” the voice said, a smile evident in his tone. “They can die together. But not before you get that blood.”
“Yes, my lord,” the listener said. “And then?will I get my reward?”
The voice chuckled. “Oh yes, then you will get your reward.”
The voice hung up, and the listener slipped the cell phone into his pocket. He wasn’t sure if he should be encouraged or worried. He’d messed up, sure, but his lord was willing to give him a second chance?that was a good sign, wasn’t it?
The listener turned toward the window again and saw nothing in the darkness except the outlines of tall buildings. His reward would be immortality. It was the one thing he so desperately craved. The beast’s blood would give him that, his lord had said. Anticipation welled up inside him, and he couldn’t wait to begin.
TWO agents, a man and a woman, circled each other in mock combat at the Agency headquarters. It was still early morning but neither had slept more than four hours the last couple of days. Too much to do and not enough time to do it in was the usual reason. The two agents were equally matched despite their height difference?the male being considerably shorter than his tall, Amazonian opponent.
They were in one of the Agency’s training rooms. They were the only ones there, and loud, aggressive music played in the background, echoing slightly around the room. But it wasn’t so loud that they couldn’t hear each other. The lights were bright above them and they heated the room slightly, reflecting off the mirrors and warming the air. The room was extremely climate controlled?it could be boiling or freezing. Agents had to train in all environments, since they never knew where their next assignment might take them. The floor was currently covered with mats, and both agents were barefoot. The man was shirtless, his muscles straining, and the woman wore a tank top, her sports bra clearly showing. Their training had also required them, depending on the situation, to disrobe and continue fighting?in all weather conditions. Modesty was the first thing to go when one became an agent.
“Maybe I should go to the substation,” Genii said. “See if I can find something you missed.”
“Oh? So now I miss things, do I?” Poe seethed and threw a punch at Genii’s face. She dodged and swung a hard kick at his side. He dodged and blocked, dancing away with minimal effort.
“You know that’s not what I meant.” Genii’s tone was patient as she circled Poe. He knew that, but his frustration was making him cranky all the time.
“I don’t miss things, Genii,” he said confidently, his breaths coming in short pants. “There was nothing to miss there. The shifter’s gone and so is Josh.”
It had only been twenty-four hours since Poe had discovered that a dangerous wolf shifter, one whom the Knights had experimented on, had escaped and had kidnapped one of the Agency’s aides. And it had only been seventy-two hours since Poe had personally led the mission to disband the Knights?shutting down their operation and downloading their data. Knights were still being rounded up, but there was no word as to the location of their leader, Arcas.
Which was the reason why Poe was taking out his frustration in hand-to-hand combat with Agent Genii.
“This is bullshit!” Poe growled, punctuating each word with a jab at Genii’s midsection.
The air whistled slightly as his fists flew through the air. She blocked him expertly and managed to give him a sharp jab on the shoulder. Hissing, Poe kicked at her leg, and she wasn’t quick enough to block it.
“Damn it, Poe,” she cursed, moving away from him, limping slightly. “This is why no one will fight with you when you’re pissed. You aim to kill.”
“They’re all pussies.” His voice was hard. Poe lashed out unexpectedly and grabbed her arm, twisting it behind her back and pulling up.
She yelped. Genii stood a foot and a half over Poe. She was also well-muscled with quick reflexes, but he always managed to beat her in all their mock combats. Poe had the enviable skill of slipping under his opponent’s defenses and incapacitating them.
“I yield! Yield!” she yelled, leaning backward over him on her toes.
Poe was almost disappointed. He let go and stalked away, still stressed. He grabbed a towel and turned back to see her rubbing her arm, scowling at him with a red face. He wiped his face and chest, his muscles singing from the workout.
“They’re not pussies, Poe. They just have more sense than I do,” she said.
Poe smiled, too sharp to be pleasant, and sat on the bench. “You’ll get over it.”
Genii continued scowling, but she sat next to Poe anyway, nudging him roughly on the shoulder. She wiped her own face, and Poe stared at his feet, his heart slowly returning to its normal rhythm.
They sat in silence for several minutes before Poe’s shoulders slumped. He rested his head on Genii’s shoulder. There were only two agents that he would ever let see him tired and vulnerable: Genii and Captain Odin, who used to be his partner. Genii’s skin was soft, and he closed his eyes for a moment, taking a deep breath, the air tinged with their sweat. He rather liked the smell of hard work.
“I have no leads, Genii. I don’t even know if Josh is alive,” Poe murmured, opening his eyes.
“What about that ATM withdrawal?”
“Dead end,” Poe said bitterly. “The shifter took Josh’s account card and withdrew a good amount of money before cutting up the card. Now the shifter has cash, and there’s no way to track him. He just fucking vanished.”
Poe scowled darkly. “The Agency vehicle was found next to the ATM used. They’ve got a two-day head start on me. They’re definitely out of New Mexico now, and I have no clue as to their destination. If they have one. If he has one.”
Poe narrowed his eyes, glaring around the room. He should have just killed that damn shifter when he’d had the chance. The Agency had been created to protect shifters, but they also had to protect themselves. He had to find Josh.
“All I get is a fucking e-mail from Josh saying he’s all right. To not worry. I’d think it was by the shifter if I knew for a fact the shifter couldn’t know the Agency’s e-mail. It was from Josh. That damn idiot. What the hell does he think he’s playing at?”
Genii patted his leg. “You’ll find them, Poe. If anyone can, it’s you.”
“Right, because I’m Mister Perfect Agent,” Poe said resentfully. He stood up and paced, stretching his arms, hoping to curb his annoyance. With irritation, he grabbed the controller for the stereo and turned off the music. The growly singer was cut off abruptly, and the silence that fell sounded louder against his ears.
“If you didn’t want that reputation,” Genii said reproachfully. “You shouldn’t be so damn good at your job.”
Poe muttered darkly. He turned away and looked at his reflection in the mirrors that lined the walls. At only five feet tall, Poe had gotten a lot of crap as a child?always teased, always bullied. He’d been a scrawny little kid with attitude. But then the Agency had come knocking, and he’d signed up without hesitation. His parents had been wary at first, but they finally realized that Poe had found the place where he belonged.
Despite his height, Poe thought himself intimidating to look at. His muscles were well defined, and he could be mistaken for a professional body builder. It didn’t matter, though, how strong his muscles were?he would still be stronger than any person on earth. When he’d hit puberty he’d discovered a remarkable gift: strength. That was his ability, one given to him by his fae blood, both from his mother and father. He’d used it and made sure those damn bullies knew about it. Once he’d hit high school, he was never bullied again.
His muscles were to intimidate and to make people instantly take him seriously. He usually complemented his tough look by wearing his blond hair short and spiky, as well as wearing a lot of leather and riding a Harley. He had a badass, take-charge reputation and it had been hard won.
But there were times, like now, that he wished the Agency didn’t expect so much from him. He wasn’t a miracle worker.
“Has Isis found anything?” Genii asked.
Poe shook his head. “She’s tried dozens of times, but there’s nothing here personal enough for her to catch Josh’s scent.”
Agent Isis could find things that were lost. That included people and agents if she had a personal object of theirs, one they touched a lot.
Poe turned to Genii. “What about you?”
Genii was psychic, though she hated that term. She could talk to people in their heads but only if she had either touched them recently or knew them personally. And on rare occasions, she could touch something personal of theirs and link their minds.
“No,” Genii said sadly. She pulled her blood-red hair out of the ponytail. Her athletic body was a straight man’s wet dream and any woman’s envy. “I didn’t know him that well. If he were a female I’d have better luck.”
“Yeah.” Poe understood. Males and females in the Agency were usually kept separate, at least at aide level. It was done in an attempt to stamp out agents forming relationships that could turn sexual. The Agency had a strict policy on that: no intimate relationships with either a fellow agent or a shifter. Both indiscretions were cause for immediate dismissal, which would mean they would be stripped of all Agency support. Agents had to be tools, vessels. Their only function was to protect, hide, and mediate shifter activity and other rare supernatural happenings.
There was always a chance that agents who worked close to each other might grow too attached, and that was seen as dangerous. You couldn’t do your job adequately if your mind wasn’t on the mission. If your mind was focused on your lover and protecting them. Agents had to have each other’s backs, but in a trusting friendship, nothing more.
Poe knew, however, several agents who’d had those ill-advised one-nighters. He was staring at one of them. Genii had broken that rule several times with several agents over the years, all one-night stands?the most recent being with an agent in the electronics division. As long as it didn’t affect their work, the bosses turned the other cheek. A good agent was hard to come by. It was only if two agents or an agent and a shifter pursued an actual long-lasting relationship that the hammer came down. There weren’t many who risked it, though. Being an agent was a great honor, a great responsibility.
Poe had nearly fallen victim several times over the years, with either a fellow agent or a shifter. He’d managed to resist, remembering why he was with the Agency. It wasn’t to have sex with someone in the heat of the moment. He sated his needs with one-night stands with humans at those clubs that catered to such things.
“Was the wolf shifter even responding to treatments?” Genii asked, pulling Poe out of his thoughts.
“A little,” Poe answered. “But he still had fits of rage that would make him shift. The lengths of the fits began to shorten but he still managed to mess up a few agents during them. We were starting to make progress on his name and identity, but now?”
Poe walked back to Genii and stood in front of her. “He’s dangerous, Genii. To everyone around him, not just shifters. If we do find them I might not have a choice this time.”
Genii looked away, and Poe knew how she felt. Their job was to protect shifters, to ensure their safety as well as the safety of humans who didn’t know they existed. The Agency was a police force as well as a cleanup crew. They made sure the general human population didn’t know that there were shifters living among them.
But more than that?agents had a kinship with shifters, since both had to remain hidden in a world dominated by average, “normal” humans.
“You’re not alone, Poe.” Genii took his hand. Her calluses scraped his own, and they could match scar for scar. “We help each other, remember? I’ve got your back.”
Poe managed a small smile. “Thanks, Genii. Let’s get back, now.”
They gathered their things and walked to their respective locker rooms.
“By the way, how’s the leg?”
Poe glanced down at his right leg. Along the calf there was a long scar, given to him by a pissed-off jaguar shifter. He’d gotten it when he’d helped out the South American Agency deal with a shifter kidnapping ring. The slice had been deep, and he’d nearly bled to death.
He shrugged. “I don’t limp anymore. No more pain. I’d say it’s doing all right.”
Genii chuckled. “Just one more scar, right?”
“Yep. Just one more.”
They split up as they reached the locker room doors. Poe scrubbed away the sweat under the steaming water and touched the tattoo he had over his heart. It was a simple Celtic Trinity knot, representing the Three Tribes in the Beginning. Poe always thought that was a creation myth, just like the other cultures of the world had. The three tribes were the shifters, humans, and the fae. Poe and every other agent were descendants from the fae tribe. Well, to get technical, most humans were as well. But most abilities didn’t manifest at all, so those humans just lived their mundane lives, in their vanilla worlds.
Poe had gotten it when he’d gained the title of Agent. For him, it was a symbol and a binding contract. The three dominant species on earth, human, fae, shifter, depended on each other. The survival of one depended on the survival of all. They were all interlinked, a concept the Knights had never understood.
Poe turned off the water and dried quickly, then yanked on his clothes. The steam clouded up the mirrors. He used his palm to wipe it away, creating a diagonal strip that he could see himself in.
He ran the towel roughly through his short hair and then had to use a blow dryer. It made him feel girly and overly fussy. But his gel wouldn’t work in wet hair?at least, not the way he liked to use it. Squirting a healthy amount of gel into his palm, he spiked his hair with ease that could only come from frequent repetition. It only took five minutes, and then he left the mirror, packing his things into his gym bag.
Knights were still out there?the remnants of an organization whose only goal was to destroy the shifters, to annihilate them all.
Poe and most of the Agency had taken them down barely three days ago, and the amount of work they had left was obscene. Not only did they have to go through the paperwork and records of the Knights, they had to help those shifters imprisoned by the monsters. Help them physically, mentally, as best they could. Their chief had sent requests to other Agencies around the world and they got reinforcements. But it wasn’t enough to make a dent in all the work. Now Josh. Poe felt like he was being torn apart by all the things that required his attention.
The fact that he felt personally responsible for Josh’s predicament (Please, God, let him still be alive) didn’t help things. He didn’t want anyone else handling that investigation. He had to do it himself, damn it. That fucking insane wolf shifter had been his responsibility.
Poe walked out of the locker room and headed down the pristine hallway to the office where his cubicle was. He had more research to do. Agents came and went out of doors, phones could be heard ringing, and keys on keyboards were clattering. The air was zinging with energy despite the early hour. Poe suspected that everyone was hopped up on coffee and sugar, trying to sift through all the data the Knights had accumulated over years of what they called “research.” It had been torture to anyone who had a soul.
Poe’s nose wrinkled as a strong and putrid scent hit his nose. It smelled like someone had let something rot in the community fridge again. Poe rolled his eyes?when were they going to learn? Eat the damn food or don’t bring any. Yuck.
Poe turned his head but kept walking. Agent Pan, an agent who looked like he was a Greek sculpture come to life?only clothed?jogged down the hallway to him.
Agent Pan’s hair was black and framed his face, cut just below his chin. His skin was olive, and his eyes were a deep, rich brown. He also happened to be a rangy six feet tall. Pan was positively drool-worthy.
“What?” Poe said.
“Agent Phoenix just found six more knights.” Pan looked like Christmas had come early.
Poe was impressed. “She does nice work. Hope we have room.”
“Oh.” Pan laughed and slapped Poe’s shoulder. “We’ll make room. Promise.”
Poe smiled. “Get to it, then.”
Pan kept grinning as he jogged down another hallway. Poe watched him for a moment, admiring his enthusiasm?and his ass?before stepping into his section of the building.
Agents worked in specific divisions at headquarters; some worked locally and others on investigations across states. Poe was one to hop states. He and a few others were the go-to Level 4 Agents when it came to trouble that was thousands of miles away. He shared the Interstate Division with Agents Genii and Isis along with Pan and Hecate. But while he got his assignments from Captain Odin, the women in his division got their assignments from Captain Hera. Poe didn’t envy the captains?they had to constantly monitor news reports and the Internet (or their aides did) and then had to compile enough evidence to justify sending an agent to investigate. And, of course, some shifters and human allies called the Agency personally for help. Those were given top priority. In fact, it was one of those calls that had led Poe to infiltrate and disband the Knights.
The Agency had dozens of aides, who were frequently assigned to substations around the United States. They rotated annually. That was how Josh got in such a predicament. He’d just happened to be assigned to the substation that held the wolf shifter.
Poe’s jaw clenched.
He walked into the office that held his cubicle and had to immediately duck to avoid a paper airplane aiming for his eye.
“Hey, Lila, what the hell?”
A skinny blonde with pale-blue eyes and a lanky gait bit her lower lip as she tipped herself out from her cubicle.
Poe glared. “I know it was you.”
Lila vanished back inside her little box. Poe hid a smile. Lila was a sweet girl but had still to lose some of the green of a rookie. Or the immaturity of a child. She was a Level 3 Agent, which meant she was a partner to a Level 4. Agent Phoenix, specifically. Level 3 Agents were in their final years of training and got to be more hands-on in investigations?they got to do field work. Lila had apparently held down the fort while Phoenix rounded up those knights. Poe had yet to be saddled with a partner, and he was quite happy to have it stay that way. He wasn’t one to train someone else. He didn’t have an aide assigned to him either, which worked just fine. He’d rather do his own research. But aides did have their uses?they did the filing and most of the data entry. They also answered the phones. Poe had great affection for aides, but only from a distance.
There were other Agency headquarters across the globe, but it was rare that the Agencies worked together, each being independent. There was, however, an annual meeting of the chiefs in Switzerland. But even before the infiltration Poe had led, his Agency had connected with the other Agencies because of the Knights?those murderers hadn’t been isolated to the States. Apparently, they had been a problem globally. That knowledge just made Poe anxious.
His cubicle was right in front of Chief Anu’s office, and he’d never liked that. He had never liked the chief?Anu just seemed too… slick. Snake-like. His personality just seemed slimy.
“Any luck with Josh?” Agent Hecate asked as he passed her cubicle. Hecate was a Necromancer?a disgusting gift in Poe’s opinion, but he would never tell her. He respected her but never wanted to see her ability in action. She was originally from Jamaica, and her black skin made her silver eyes shine brighter from her face. He’d never had a chance to officially work with her during a case, but he’d chatted with her about cases before. She always had a different perspective on something he might be stuck on.
Poe shook his head, and the hope in her eyes fizzled. Poe felt weighted down. He felt like a failure. He had just sat down in his chair and dropped his gym bag on the floor when his cell phone vibrated with an incoming text. Poe sighed and slouched in his chair before reading the text.
“Damn it,” he muttered. He dropped the phone on his desk before straightening his shirt and walking to Chief Anu’s office. He smoothed his face to neutral as he approached the office. The window was currently blocked with shades, which raised his anxiety level. But the door was open, and Poe stepped up to the threshold, grimacing inwardly at the medals and awards the chief had hammered into the walls.
The chief’s desk was situated in front of another window that looked out onto the skyline. The busy street was below, and other tall office buildings rose up, stretching toward the sky. The sky was blue, and the weather looked like it might actually be a nice day, instead of all the rain and thunder they’d had of late.
The office was a small room, but it had all the latest equipment. The desk had been hand carved and polished. The room smelled of incense and Poe instantly thought of home?his mother was a Wiccan. His heart ached, but he gave no outward sign of his homesickness.
Poe knocked on the doorjamb, and the chief, who was typing, his eyes focused on his screen, nodded to Poe without looking at him. Poe walked inside the office, the thick blue carpet sinking, making him leave footprints.
“Shut the door,” the chief ordered.
Poe shoved the door with his hand, and it clicked shut, blocking out all the extra noise immediately. He said nothing, and the chief kept typing. Poe resisted the urge to sway with impatience and instead stood still, his hands held behind his back, his legs set firmly apart. He waited silently, because that was what he was trained to do.
Some might say that Chief Anu was attractive. Poe never thought so. His face was too pointed, his skin too sallow. His hair was long and black, pulled into a ponytail. Poe always thought he needed to wash that hair. His eyes were bright blue, cold, and he seemed to always be planning. Conniving, in Poe’s opinion.
Long fingers continued to type, and Poe suspected that the chief was relishing his power to make Poe wait in silence. Jerk. He also noticed the rather large bejeweled ring on the chief’s pinky and secretly wondered if it had been a bribe.
“Thank you for waiting, Poe,” Chief Anu said. He finally looked up at Poe, leaning back in his chair. “Let me just cut to the chase, shall I?” the chief continued. Poe said nothing. “I know you have a lot on your plate right now, but I’m afraid I must change your priorities.”
Poe’s jaw tightened and his fingers flexed behind his back. “Might I ask why?” Poe said after he’d managed to pry his jaws apart.
“Of course.” The chief sounded delighted. “I have a mission for you, Poe, one that only an agent with your talents and skills has any chance of completing.”
“With all due respect, Chief,” Poe said. “I don’t think anything is more important than capturing knights and finding Josh.”
“I understand that, Poe,” Chief Anu said, looking sympathetic, but Poe wasn’t convinced. “But there are other agents who are working on rounding up the knights, and you can pass off the Josh situation to another agent.”
Josh situation? It took almost all of Poe’s training to keep himself from ripping Anu apart.
“Chief,” Poe argued. “Josh could still be alive, and the wolf shifter is my responsibility. I’m the one who tracked him, captured him, and got monthly reports on him. And Josh?Josh is one of us. I have to find him.”
“Have you ever considered the fact that Josh might not still be alive?” Chief Anu said gently, a sickening smile on his face.
Poe seethed. “I have considered it, Chief. But I must work under the assumption that he is alive. And the knights?”
“As I said,” Chief Anu said, pulling a folder out of his desk. “The entire Agency is working on the Knights. It’s time to be a team player, Poe. You can’t do everything.”
“Enough!” Chief Anu snapped, his smile gone, his face sour. “This is not negotiable, Agent. This is an assignment that I am personally giving to you.”
And that was a strange thing-agents didn’t have much contact with the chief, and the chief never gave out assignments personally. He’d always give special assignments to the captains and then they would give them to the most appropriate agent. There was always a chain of command. Poe’s anxiety grew?why was the chief subverting the chain?
“Does Captain Odin know about this?” Poe asked stiffly.
Chief Anu suddenly looked like he was sucking on a lemon. “I’ve sent him a memo.”
Liar. “Chief Anu, I do have another question,” Poe said as respectfully as he could. “I have vacation time coming up. I had hoped to find Josh before that time came. But now that I have a new assignment, well, I wondered if you had a deadline on this mission.”
A small, rather sinister smile graced the chief’s face. “There is no deadline.”
Poe wanted to scream. No deadline meant he might be on this mission indefinitely. He had no option?he had to succeed because that was the only way he would be able to move onto anything else.
And?damn it?he had scheduled his vacation years ago. He was going to spend one blissful month in Yellowstone with his parents. Parents he hadn’t seen in years. He had been looking forward to it for a very long time. All three of them had. Now that would be pushed off for who knew how long.
Poe had desperately wanted to find Josh and get a good handle on the scattered remains of the Knights before he left. Now all his plans were flushed down the toilet.
“I do apologize for this, Poe,” Chief Anu said. “But this mission is very delicate, and once you have completed it, you will have your vacation. I promise.”
Chief Anu slid the folder across his desk and leaned back in his chair. Poe took a deep breath and grabbed the folder, flipping it open.
His stomach dropped. Just when he thought it couldn’t get any worse.
“You have got to be kidding,” Poe said, his training slipping.
“Indeed, I am not.” The chief sounded like he wanted to laugh.
“You want me to locate and make contact with?” Poe whispered.
“Nordik.” Chief Anu smiled. “Yes, that is correct.”
“But?” Poe felt like he had fallen into a black hole, and he just kept falling. “Chief Anu, Nordik is a master shifter. Sanctuary is his home. He won’t be found unless he wants to be.”
“Then make him want to be found.”
Poe gaped. He couldn’t help it.
“Poe, you are the only agent we have that has any chance of finding Nordik.” Chief Anu had a notable tone of urgency in his voice. “You know how to survive in the wild, how to track. You need to find him.”
“Why?” Poe shook his head.
“Well, since the Knights are disbanded.” Chief Anu paused there, giving Poe a look that indicated he had not forgiven Poe for keeping him out of the loop concerning the raid. “We need all the help we can get,” Chief Anu continued. “We need help from shifters to find other knights, to detain them. Having a master shifter on our side would be a vital asset.”
Poe felt a little dizzy. Nordik was a bear shifter and the guardian of Sanctuary, which was made up of several national forests in Montana and Canada. He was also a master shifter, which meant he was nigh immortal. Nordik was already very old and was exceptionally hard to kill.
Poe had never met a master shifter?they kept their locations hidden and rarely made their presence known. Nordik was the only one who they actually knew by name and one of his locations. But they still knew laughably little.
“And he might know where the other master shifters are,” Poe said softly, staring at Chief Anu with increasing dislike.
Chief Anu smiled. “Now you’re getting it.”
Poe gripped the folder in his hands, wishing he could tear it up.
“I want Genii to search for Josh,” Poe said.
Chief Anu raised an eyebrow. “I will assign the agent for that job?”
“I know, sir.” Poe struggled to keep his voice calm. “But I am requesting that Genii take over for me. She is familiar with the case, and I would focus better on this mission if I knew she was on it.”
Chief Anu nodded. “I will consider it, Agent Poe. Now, I think you should get going. The sooner you find him, the sooner you can go on vacation.”
Poe wanted to leap over that gaudy desk and punch the chief in the face, but instead inclined his head, tucking the folder under his arm. He turned on his heel, opened the door, and left the office. He walked straight to Genii’s cubicle and leaned close to her.
“Find Josh, Genii. Even if the Chief doesn’t give you the task, find Josh,” Poe demanded in a low voice.
“What? What’s going on Poe??” Genii asked.
“A wild goose chase,” Poe growled. “The chief has something up his sleeve. Just find Josh, Genii.”
She opened her mouth again, but Poe gripped her shoulder. She nodded but still looked confused.
Poe walked back to his cubicle and grabbed his cell phone and several other items before shutting everything down. Captain Odin was currently on assignment, but Poe would call him as soon as he was at his apartment. Odin would keep an eye on Anu while Poe was smack in the middle of nowhere searching for a ghost.
About the Author:
M.D. Grimm lives in the wet state of Oregon, and when she’s not reading, writing, or watching movies, she dreams of owning a pet dragon. She’s wanted to become an author since second grade and feels that her dreams are finally coming true. She was fortunate to have supporting parents who never told her to “get her head out of the clouds.” While she doesn’t like to write in only one set genre, she feels romance is at the core of most of her stories. M.D. earned a Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of Oregon and hopes to put that degree to good use in the literature world as well as the “real” world.
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