My teaser this week is from Electric Candle, book 2 of The Sleepless City. This series is cowritten with Anne Barwell.
Lucas led the way to his office. It was at the far end of the building, near the morgue. Forge hung back. Something was wrong. He could feel it coming off Blair, and it had nothing to do with a soulbond or Declan.
“Want the tour?” Lucas looked excited.
Blair’s expression was suspicious. He glanced around the office and through the door to Lucas’s lab. “Are there dead bodies?”
Lucas grinned. “Kid, it’s a morgue, and I’m a medical examiner. Of course, there are dead bodies.”
“No, thanks, I’ll pass.”
Forge laughed, and he felt Blair relax. “Blair, what’s wrong?”
“Maybe it should wait until we’re back at the castle,” Blair said.
“We can talk here, and Stewie knows about things like vampires and werewolves,” Forge said. He took a step closer to Blair and laid one hand on his forearm for a few seconds. A tingle ran through his hand and the length of his arm to spread across his chest and down his belly to settle in his groin. Blair arched an eyebrow and glanced down at Forge’s hand, convincing Forge he’d shared the experience. Forge didn’t move away, however.
“I was tailed. Some guy, except I don’t think he was human. It was more like he stalked me.” Blair pulled his lower lip between his teeth. “I’d think it sounds crazy except….”
“You’re a vampire having a discussion with another vampire in the office of a M.E. who is a werewolf?” Lucas asked.
“Yeah.” Blair looked down at the floor, then up at Forge when he squeezed Blair’s arm. “This guy followed me, watching me in all the stores I went into. When I came here he was behind me right up to the front door.”
“Security cameras.” Lucas was moving across the room to a computer. “Here’s the feed.” Lucas pointed at the monitor. “Who?”
Blair and Forge shadowed Lucas and looked over his shoulder. There was a clear image of people walking along the sidewalk, some going up to the front of the building, others passing by. The outside door appeared to open and close on its own.
Lucas nodded at it and said, “That must be Blair. Where’s the guy?” he asked, turning to look at Blair and Forge.
“He’s not there. I swear to you, a man followed me. While I was waiting for you, I could see him out on the sidewalk,” Blair blurted. “He got close enough to me I could do what you told me to do, I listened to his body. I could hear something moving inside him, but he wasn’t giving off any heat or smell. He was a little taller than me, lighter red hair, glasses. He was trying to look geeky, but it was fake.”
“How’d you know?” Lucas asked.
“He asked me about smartphones in the store.”
“Could have been a ploy to talk directly to you,” Lucas said.
Forge nodded, leaned against the desk and stared at the monitor. “Apparently, we have something that can hide from a camera or doesn’t show up on one, but isn’t a vampire.”
“You believe me?”
That surprised Forge. “Of course, I believe you.”
“Why do I have the ‘we’re screwed’ feeling?” Lucas asked.
“There was another murder. Lucas and I had just gotten back from checking things out when you arrived. This time the victim was a werewolf. An adult male werewolf, and either he had changed or was in the process of changing when he was killed. Do you have any idea what sort of force is needed to bring one of those guys down?” Forge asked.
Blair shook his head. “I never thought about it.”
“Think about it,” Forge said. “A werewolf in full form is one of the most powerful creatures around.” Blair’s gaze shifted to Lucas for a second, then back to him. “They’re not all as sweet and friendly as Lucas, and I sure as hell wouldn’t want to go up against one.”
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