There has been a lot of paranormal activity around New Orleans ever since the world discovered two years ago that vampires and werewolves are actually real. Most of the crimes involving supernaturals are investigated by the governor’s Paranormal Criminal Investigations Unit-PCIU for short, or more commonly called the Odd Squad. In this scene, Lt Danny Burkette is informed he just lost jurisdiction to homeland Security’s new paranormal unit.
Danny leaned back in his chair and twisted his neck hard enough to the left that it snapped, crackled, and almost popped, but he finally got a look at the clock. With an effort, he uncoiled until he was almost back in the same position as when he started. God, everything hurt. Just goes to show what two hours cramped over a stack of crime scene photos and a boatload of tension would do for you.
The whole situation fucking sucked. The murder of the two federal agents was sure to be a political hot potato yet the chief and the mayor hadn’t been in to chew on his ass. You could practically smell the ozone in the air, and there wasn’t anything he could do except wait for the lightning strike he knew was coming his way. Maybe they were waiting on the governor. And now the whole issue of budget cuts for the Odd Squad was going to look like the cluster fuck it was.
Danny could have told them something like this was inevitable. The sheer number of cases that came across his desk was a constant surprise. Hell, three years or so ago nobody gave serious thought to vampires or werewolves really being real. Sure, he’d gone to see those silly movies with the twinkly vampire and the poor young werewolf who didn’t seem to own a shirt. But the minute he’d seen the newly turned vamp suspect burst into flames in front of his precinct, he knew the world changed in an instant. And he wanted nothing more than to be a part of it.
When the call had gone out for officers for a newly formed team to deal with crimes committed against and by paranormals, he’d been the first to put in his transfer request. He believed everyone deserved protection under the law, and had seen too many of his brothers in blue turn a blind eye to gay bashings and crimes against people of color. The old prejudices died hard, and the black eye the NOPD had taken nationally over all the scandals of the previous decade spurred more and more change. And damn it, the reason he got into law enforcement in the first place was to try and make this corner of the world a little better place to live.
“No damn wonder the solve rate in this department is one of the lowest in the city, if all your officers sit on their asses and daydream instead of being out there working cases.” The harsh words startled Danny, and he spun around in his chair to confront the asshole who uttered them. Well shit, it would have to be Clint fucking Wayne.
Pushing his anger down, he turned a feral grin on the fed. Slowly standing, he rose to his full height and motioned the shorter man to a seat. “How lovely to see you too, Wayne. Come here to, uhm…make my day, pilgrim?” He raised an eyebrow, mentally high-fiving himself for the quick flash of anger his gibe at the man’s ridiculous name provoked.
“Looks like somebody needs to do something around here besides sit on his ass.” Ignoring the invitation, Clint leaned against the desk and folded his arms over his chest. “I need your case files, and I need them now. Homeland Security is taking over, and it looks like not a minute too soon.”
Danny mentally counted to ten, then sat back in his chair, leaning back to study Clint. He really wasn’t a bad looking man, when you took into account he couldn’t dress any worse and still be allowed out on the streets. Something about that silver hair with the sexy little cowlick in back made Danny want to run his fingers through it, holding the irritating man in place while he thrust his cock in and out of his big mouth.
Shaking off the image, he met Clint’s angry gaze. “I’d be happy to share information with you, cowboy, as soon as I get word from someone with some real authority that you’re taking the case. Until then, how about you sit your happy ass down and adjust that attitude, huh? I thought we were on the same side here, not some heavy-handed cliché of what everyone expects a federal agent to be. Now, be a nice boy and think about it while I call the chief.”
Ignoring the waves of rage that emanated from the agent, Danny reached for his desk phone and called the precinct chief. While it was a courtesy—Danny and his team really reported to state personnel, nominally the governor—he owed it to his colleagues here to go through proper channels.
“Hey, darlin’,” he drawled to Gracie, the chief’s right-hand woman, “your boss have a minute for me? Thanks, doll.” He waited while she giggled and put him on hold, then took a more respectful tone when the chief came on.
After a brief conversation, during which he discovered that yes, he was to cooperate fully with the fed, and that yes, she understood he didn’t report to her, but that she would take it as a personal favor if he would play nice in the sandbox with the bully, he hung up and regarded Clint. “Looks like we’re going to be study buddies. I’ll have the files copied and to you in a couple of hours. Where’s your temporary office?”
Clint turned a frosty stare to Danny and gave him a slight smile. “Oh, there’s nothing temporary about my offices. We are setting up on the third floor, on the back hall. Permanently. And I expect those files there within the hour. Look, Burkette, you need to understand something.”
The right side of Wayne’s mouth twitched, then pulled back into half a smile. Damn, if there wasn’t a little dimple hiding in that right cheek. The man should smile more often—might get more things done down here in the Deep South.
“What’s that, Clint?” Danny added an extra coating of sugar onto the man’s name, making it two full syllables.
Clint snorted, then pushed away from the desk and started walking toward the door. He rested his hand on the doorframe then turned to look at Danny. A good long look. A cop’s look.
“Things have changed, Burkette, and you aren’t the only office dealing with crimes against supers anymore. The federal government has a mandate from congress, and that means I am here. Permanently. So I suggest you take a few minutes later in the day and put your doughnuts down and figure out how you are going to work under me. Because I don’t give a fuck who you work for, you do nothing related to these murders—or any other paranormal crime—without running it by me first.” There was nothing but cold contempt in the agent’s voice.
Clint strode out of the office, leaving as much devastation in his wake as a small hurricane…maybe not quite as life altering as Katrina—but pretty damn close as far as Danny was concerned. Good thing he was alone, because that little performance had his pulse pounding in his ears and he felt a flush doing a slow crawl up his neck. He had never been so pissed. Or so fucking hard. Because really, the man did have a spectacular ass. And sooner or later, Danny was going to tap it…because there was nothing he liked better than a mouthy bottom.
“Wolf or vamp? Decide. It has to be now.”
Those were the last words Sam Garrett ever heard—as a human. Now on the para side of normal, the NOPD slammed the proverbial door on his career.
Travis Boudreaux knows exactly how his former partner feels—but when some doors close, the golden window of opportunity opens. Crimes against supernaturals require a new and different approach, and once the Feds show up, the Odd Squad isn’t the only law enforcement game in town.
When a revenge-seeking vampire creates deadly havoc, the new agent-in-charge goes on a recruiting mission—and he’s more than ready to fight fire with fire. What do you get when you mix old friends, new enemies, and a license to kill?
Warning: This is an erotic urban fantasy. In this series the vampires don’t sparkle, werewolves kill, and the men sometimes have sex. With each other.
While you’re there, don’t forget to snag the free prequel, Altered States.