Full Blooded

Page 10

“Crash like that”—Ray indicated back to my shattered sliding glass door—“is bound to bring your neighbors over in a hurry. Not much chance to open the door for an accomplice, and then still have time to trash it all up like this.”

Without answering, I headed toward my bedroom. I passed my galley kitchen on the left, the only place my wolf hadn’t entered. The small space had been spared because my wolf had ignored it in favor of getting out of the apartment. I loved my tiny kitchen. It was clean and white, with black granite counter-tops and small stainless steel appliances. It had a large breakfast nook cut into my living room, set with a countertop, which gave the space a larger feel.

I stepped over what was left of a table in the hallway, all the knickknacks that used to sit on it destroyed. I maneuvered around some of the bigger pieces as I edged closer to my bed-room door, which was shut.

I held my breath and turned the knob.

Ray lurked behind me, taking every opportunity to size up my reactions.

The police had spent time in here. Fingerprint residue skimmed the top of my dresser and dotted all the drawer knobs. The police were gathering evidence to prove an intimate crime had been committed. Otherwise my bedroom looked unmolested.

I approached my dresser and pulled a drawer open, knowing Ray was still scrutinizing my choices. I scanned the contents, reaching in and lifting the clothing to do a thorough check. I closed the drawer and pulled open my meager jewelry box, which sat on top of my dresser. It contained only a few pieces of cheap costume jewelry. I was not a bling girl. I glanced in for a cursory check. Ray would expect it.

“We couldn’t find anything disturbed in here. It seems to be clean.” Ray peered over my shoulder as I closed the box. “You missing any jewelry?”


“What we can’t figure is, why didn’t they come back here first? Crimes like this, personal space gets hit first. Kind of like slapping someone in the face. If they wanted to hit you hard, they come here. Cut up the sheets, stab the mattress, shred your underwear. But it’s all clear.”

I walked toward my bed. “I have no idea, Ray. With a loud crash like you said, they only had limited time to do any significant damage. Guess they just couldn’t get back here in time.” I slid open the tiny drawer on my completely fixed bed-side stand. It was only big enough to hold one small paperback book, or a leather case full of a useful syringe. A stupid mistake I was paying for in spades. I closed it and I ran my hand over my pristine covers. Marcy’s work was flawless.

Ray crossed his arms and grunted. The scene didn’t match the typical scenario for a crime like this, and it pissed him the hell off. He also understood I was seeing it for the first time, which I was.


I was famished again, my stomach already knotting in on itself. I was also exhausted in the extreme. I was done with Ray and the dance for the day. I strode purposefully back to the living room with him predictably traipsing after me. I spun around in the middle of the chaos, all business. “Okay, Ray. Do you have any leads? Anything concrete you’d care to share with me? If not, I’ll get you my statement tomorrow. I’m calling it a day. I’ve got to clean up this mess and I’m tired and hungry. You’re not going to want to be here in another five minutes, because my cooperation time with the police is officially over.”

“We’re working a couple angles,” he hedged. “I’m going to need a full disclosure of all your contacts, specifically anyone you’d suspect capable of doing damage like this. Then I’ll need the name of that mysterious boyfriend of yours. I’d like to ask him a few questions.” Ray shot me a smirk. “When and if he shows up, of course.”

“That’s fine, Ray. I’ll fax mine over tomorrow and talk to James. I’m sure he won’t have a problem chatting with you. Is that it?” James? Well, I guess I couldn’t exactly date my brother. Men were minimal in my life and the thought of James and Ray having a real face-to-face made me smile. James it was.

Ray headed toward my door on his own, but I wasn’t at all surprised when he turned back around with another smug grin on his face. “Oh, and the horse tranq full of shit we found in your bathroom cupboard? We’ll need your full explanation on that. In writing. It’s still at the lab, but once it comes back and we tag it, your ass is mine, Hannon.” He left without looking back.

Of course they would find the syringe! That was Ray’s big coup de grâce. Why he’d gone a little easier on me once we’d gotten inside. He thought his dramatic exit would bring down the house, that the crippling news of them finding suspicious drugs would leave me quaking. And I had to hand it to him, horse tranq wasn’t actually too far from the truth. Dr. Jace had spent a good chunk of his career perfecting a sedative strong enough to prove effective on werewolves. The lab reports would likely contain a laundry list of ingredients, all with doses high enough to effectively knock out not just one horse—but a dozen.

I’d put a call in to my father. Dr. Jace would need to invent a medical necessity for my having it, some rare disease requiring heavy sedatives, and fax the info down to the precinct. That sounded feasible. The needle had never been used, which would be easy enough for the lab to see, and even if they suspected it was illegal, it wasn’t like I shot up every night, since there was just the one dose. But Ray was still going to make a big deal about it. Like a thorn stuck in my ass. I sighed and turned, considering my living room and the mess surrounding me. “Okay, now what?” I said out loud to a roomful of my broken possessions. Sadly, nothing responded.

I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning and stacking as much as I could into various piles. My walls were going to need some major repairs. Big chunks were missing where things had smashed into them. I couldn’t even think about the floors without weeping. The gorgeous hardwood was so deeply scarred it would be a miracle if it ever looked the same.

When I finished, I made a couple of phone calls, then devoured every scrap of food in my kitchen, which amounted to an assortment of cheese, crackers, pickles, and microwavable entrees—before falling into bed. Everything else would have to wait until tomorrow.

I slept like a newborn.

When I opened my eyes it was noon the next day.



I hustled out of bed and showered quickly. While still slightly damp, I yanked on a pair of jeans and a black cotton top. I tugged my long black hair back into its customary ponytail and slipped into a pair of soft leather flats. I always went to work casual when I wasn’t meeting with clients.

Marcy had briefed me yesterday in a short phone conversation about the schedule for the rest of the week. I had several cases requiring my attention today. It seemed the office had received an interesting call from a prospective client yesterday morning, and a response on my part was necessary as soon as possible. It felt like I’d been gone for weeks, not days. Sleeping in had not been on the itinerary.

I’d also chatted briefly with my father before bed. He informed me that he’d positioned several trusted wolves around my neighborhood, several blocks away. The plan today was business as usual. Molly Hannon had to convincingly pick up where she’d left off on Friday if we had any chance of keeping a lid on my shift.

I was glad for the distraction of work, because lingering on my change would drive me batty if I was left to my own devices. My wolf had been quiet in my mind since returning home, but the plain fact that I’d become a full-blooded werewolf was going to alter my life completely—my current reality would eventually become unrecognizable. I wasn’t ready. Truth be told, I was ill prepared for any of it. I’d lived as a human for the past twenty-six years. I had no idea what it meant to be supernatural. But since I’d left the Compound seven years ago, I’d taken each day as it came and today I was going to do just that. So help me.

I grabbed my errant purse, the one I had to scrub down last night so it was usable, and slung it over my shoulder. I wove my way through the path I’d cleared to my front door. Once I got outside, I made a cursory glance around the lot. There was no evidence of the car I’d crushed. There weren’t even any bits of glass or stray pieces of chrome lying around. That was a little disappointing. It would’ve been interesting to see the damage. Crashing out of a three-story balcony was impressive by anyone‘s standard.

I walked toward my black Nissan and pressed the unlock button. The car gave a gratuitous beep. I pulled the door open, but before I could slide in I heard a noise. Footsteps sounded on the asphalt behind me. I inhaled, but strangely I couldn’t scent anything. The air carried no smells. I tossed my purse in the front seat and spun around, ready to fight.

“No need to be worried then.” A heavily accented English voice hit my ears a heartbeat before I spotted him. “It’s just me. I’m checking to make sure all is well with you this fine bright afternoon, and you’re still all in one piece.” Danny Walker, my brother’s best friend, and one of my father’s most trusted, sauntered up to me smiling. His brown hair fully covered one eye, which he remedied with a flick of his head. He was a lanky wolf, thin but powerful.

“Danny,” I said. “You snuck up on me. I’m going to have to get better at detecting, but it’s great to see you.” Even though Danny was a friend and ally, and one of the few who knew my secret, our paths never crossed in the city. It had always been too risky. Even now it was risky. “Why can’t I smell you?”

“I rang up that witch of yours last night when I received my orders from your father. I asked her for a favor and she willingly obliged. Positioning wolves around the perimeter of your place was bound to raise suspicion to anyone who happened by with a keen nose, even if they were a few blocks away. She fixed us up quite nicely. Seems to have done the trick.”

“Great plan.” I inhaled again. All clear. Marcy must’ve conjured some kind of stripping spell, making it impossible to detect any smells within its boundaries. I couldn’t even smell the grass. It was likely the quickest and easiest way to spell such a vast area.

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