Seattle Detective Christopher Fury is about to have his life turned upside down. In a world where creatures known as Interdimensional Species, or IS, are discriminated against and treated like they are worth less than the dirt humans walk on, the half-fae detective must hide his bloodline so he can continue to have the resources of the Seattle police department available to him to hunt down his father?s murderer. But when Chris stumbles across his fire-pixie mate, how can he turn against his nature when she?s everything he?s ever searched for?
His world continues to spiral out of control when he learns that his fae father was the leader of a disbanded IS Rebellion. Now the IS want him to take his father?s place and lead them to freedom. As he gains friends and allies, Chris also makes enemies, and one so powerful he never saw them coming: the human government. He wants to keep his human mother and pixie mate safe, but he also can?t sit back and watch as his people continue to suffer. In a desperate move that changes the fate of not only his life, but also the IS Rebellion, Chris takes a stand?and fights back.
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.86(d)|
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Burning Desire Part I
By Grace M. DeLeesie
Abbott PressCopyright © 2014 DeLeesie Books
All rights reserved.
When I entered the North Precinct, the first thing I noticed was the gag-worthy stench of smoke. That crisp smell, though, was not supported by any visible flames or the rush accompanying a fire inside a police station.
The officer on desk duty was filing paperwork as he usually was before the end of his night shift, the beat cops who had been circling the streets all night were processing any last minute reports, and those starting duty were logging on to get their day's assignments. It seemed normal oh-six-hundred in the North Precinct, except for the scrunched noses of all of the officers and people mulling about the station.
Which told me I wasn't the only one who noticed the smell.
I turned towards Captain Shultz as he neared. Greg had been my first partner when I'd made detective, but he'd quickly scaled up the ranks. He was made captain last spring after a were-panther pride had attacked and killed Captain Holliman and his family in their vacation home just outside of Seattle. The DIS had hunted down the pride, along with every other were-panther in the Seattle area even if they were not registered to be in the same pride as the one that had killed Holliman.
Some days the DIS Laws annoyed the ever living shit out of me, but even I was willing to admit some Laws made life easier for us cops.
"What is that smell?" I asked Greg in response to his calling my name.
Greg snorted, and then sneezed from inhaling too much, uh, whatever it was. "That would be our prisoner in interrogation room four."
I went through my mental list of creatures I knew who could make a fire-stench like what was currently in the air and came up blank. Some elves could control fire, but they couldn't create it like witches or sorcerers could. I had never heard of an Earth Witch playing with fire though—literally and figuratively. Earth Witches were more like shamans in a way; they lived to heal and celebrate life. Sorcerers were definitely capable of creating and playing with fire, but I also knew that the North Precinct of Seattle Police Department was not equipped to hold a sorcerer unless that person was unconscious or dead. Shifters and vampires were terrified of fire, so unless someone barbequed one I eliminated shifters and vampires from my list. With no registered muses, nymphs, ogres, or trolls living in this area, that me with left pixies and fae.
I only knew of three pixie colonies in Seattle, and none of them had the fire-touch. While there was a registered fae here and there in Seattle, I had never met him or her and actually made a point to avoid them. The fae were a nasty bunch and they liked the fight dirty.
Unfortunately, though, I had run through my list of IS in Seattle and had come up with squat for what lay behind interrogation room number four's door.
Gesturing for me to follow him, Greg maneuvered himself through the bullpen and down the stairs towards the interrogation rooms. I knew this path well, but I had never questioned an IS before.
The closer to the rooms, the thicker the air became and the worse the stench got. Greg pulled a handkerchief out of his back pocket to hold over his face. I nearly brought my sleeve up to do the same, but fought through it until my lungs were used to the less oxygen.
Greg stopped outside the large steel door with a black numeral four printed on it.
"Are you going to tell me what this is about?" I asked. This was not like Greg at all to just throw me into a room with an unknown subject and no information beforehand. What was going on?
Greg shrugged. "In there," his voice was muffled by the handkerchief at his mouth, "is an unregistered IS. The DIS is fighting over what to do with him, as witnesses say he only just crossed over into our dimension. He won't say a word to anyone about rights, who he is, what he is ... All he will say when asked a question is 'Detective Chris Fury'. While the DIS has their thumbs shoved firmly up each other's asses, I would like to figure out why he knows my detective's name."
While I considered myself to be a good detective, I knew there were others here who were better and more popular with the people and press than I. I only had the one media release, an interview I had given about a serial rapist almost two years ago before I was transferred to homicide. I tended to be the one in the shadows doing the dirty work while my partner and best friend Ray O'Brian did his pretty boy act in front of the cameras. We made a great team Ray and I.
So why was there an unregistered, newly dimensional creature sitting in interrogation room four asking for me?
"You don't know what he is?"
"Other than the obvious smell, he looks purely human. There are no markers on him identifying his species."—I knew Greg meant pointed ears, mystical tattoos, colored skin, slit pupils, fangs, claws ... Unfortunately the list went on.—"Go into the observation room. I just want to see if you recognize him before I open this door."
I didn't want to point out to Greg that most likely the IS inside the room already knew I was here. Most IS had enhanced senses that humans forget about or don't think apply to them. If the IS inside the room knew my name, he probably already knew my scent and voice. Or just assumed my scent and voice to be mine when Greg led me down here.
Still, I went into the observation room to look through the glass. The interrogation room itself was empty but for the chained male standing in the center of the room. It was protocol to remove all other objects, including tables and chairs, from a room if an IS was being left unguarded.
The male was very ... plain, I noticed. His hair was short and black, average facial features, his body lean but not overly thin, no muscle, black t-shirt and jeans, and Vans sneakers. His eyes were closed so I couldn't tell their color, but they were probably brown based on the rest of him. I glanced down at the shoes; if he had just gotten to this dimension, how had he gotten Vans sneakers? For that matter, why was he wearing jeans and a t-shirt?
Had he come over, expecting to blend in with his attire, but was caught crossing? It seemed like the most logical answer.
Greg came in behind me, the handkerchief still over his nose but now held there by his left hand. I imagined his right had gotten tired by now.
I shook my head. I'd come across many IS in my time, including before humans had acknowledged their presence as real rather than mythical, but I didn't know this one.
Greg let out a sigh of frustration. "Okay. When the DIS agent gets back, I'll have him escort you in to talk to him."
I was immediately put on edge. Whatever the creature's business with me was, I didn't want it printed in some DIS agent's records. "Can I go in now? Just to see what he wants?"
"With no protection? You can't take your weapons in there."
What Greg didn't know was that even if I handed over my Glock, stake, and silver knife, I was not going in there weaponless. I'd been training most of my life to fight the creatures now deemed as Interdimensional Species. It was why I had survived so long on the streets, how I knew more than my peers about IS, and why I hated the DIS and its politics so much.
"You'll be here," I said, trying to reassure him. "He's chained too."
Not that that would stop the male if he truly wanted to cause me harm. Human regulations about how to restrain an IS were usually wrong but, despite it being over ten years since the discovery of Interdimensional Species, humans still believed themselves to be superior in this dimension.
The truth was, Dimension Twelve—or Earth as we know it—didn't belong to man. Humans were the weak ones, and the rising death rates only proved it more. The IS had been peaceful with humans once; the DIS Laws, Regulations, and Registries were turning them quickly against man. It was only a matter of time before we had a full uprising on our hands, but no one seemed to notice or care about the tension in the air. As far as politicians and bureaucrats were concerned, everything was A-Okay and the everyday people believed them.
Even Greg seemed oblivious to many things involving the IS and their recent behavior. Luckily, Ray seemed to agree with me.
"If you're sure ..." Greg answered, though he didn't sound too convinced about letting me go in there alone.
"Turn off the cameras, will you," I said as I handed him my issued weapons.
"What? Why?" His astonishment came through the handkerchief loud and clear.
I wanted to tell Greg to "just do it", but he wasn't just my friend—he was also my boss. Instead, I said, "I have a feeling whatever he wants to tell me, he's not going to say it where it can be recorded."
"He just crossed over," Greg argued. "He won't even know what a recording is!"
I turned back towards Greg; maybe the invisible smoke was starting to get to him. "Look at his shoes, Greg. He's wearing Vans. Do you serious think he hasn't done his research on us and our culture before crossing dimensional lines?"
Even from across the room, I saw Greg's cheeks redden. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt now, but Greg had to seriously start hopping on the Future-IS-Rebellion bandwagon or I would soon start to lose respect for the old man.
And I didn't want to do that. I liked him.
Without another word, I left the observation room and turned immediately to stand in front of the interrogation room door.
A voice in my head that sounded strangely like Alex Trebek said, And behind door number four is ...
The male's head turned towards me as I entered the room. Surprisingly, the interrogation room smelled less like smoke than the entire precinct. Was he not giving off that smell? If not, where was it coming from?
From the doorway, I visually made sure that the chains around his wrists, waist, and ankles were still locked and attached to the medal plate on the floor under his feet. While I knew those chain wouldn't hold him if he tried, they might be the few seconds that meant my life and death.
I closed the door with a loud bang. The tan cement on the walls, ceiling, and floor gave the room an utterly icy feel to it, which had been the intent. Still, each time I entered one of the interrogation rooms, it was one of the first thoughts that ran through my mind.
The male suddenly shifted so his entire body was now facing me. I hadn't heard the faintest clank from the chains.
"Who are you?" I asked, trying to make my voice seem as intimidating as possible. I wasn't usually the type to be intimidated, but there was something off about this male that made my skin tingle. I had to concentrate to stand tall and sure of myself.
When he didn't answer, I changed my question to, "What are you?"
Still, I got no reply from the male.
I shot a quick glance at the mirror, where I knew Greg was standing on the other side. He would yell at me for it later, but right now my sole concern was answers.
"My name is Christo—"
"I know your name."
I nearly jumped at his voice. It sounded like a dozen men speaking the same line, but low pitched.
I cleared my throat. "All right. If you know who I am, then why are you here? Why did you ask to see me?"
"I am here for my father."
"Your father?" I had had two pregnancy scares in my life with two separate partners, but both turned out to be false alarms. And, despite the young age I had started my long line of sexual adventures, I knew there was no way he was claiming to be mine. First, he was too old. I know many creatures age differently due to species and which dimension they lived in, but Earth was the fastest dimension. He couldn't be mine. Second, the way he spoke of his father. It made me lean towards him having a loving relationship with his sire.
"Yes. I believe your people call it 'revenge'."
And then he leapt at me.
I barely had a chance to move, but luckily I was half expecting the attack. Circling to my right, opposite of the door and my escape, I ducked below the claws he suddenly possessed. The chains that had kept his wrists and ankles bound together were broken and the ones attaching him to the floor now hung uselessly from his ligaments.
Scales replaced the black t-shirt and jeans along his body, his face elongated, and—fuck me—out sprouted a tail. The average male I had looked through the observation window at was now a giant lizard and those precious seconds I was counting on the chains for were now nonexistent.
Claws swished and swiped all around me, with me ducking them as best I could. Just before I got a solid kick into the lizard's stomach, four long claws raked down my left forearm. Both of us hollered out in pain from the other's contact, taking steps back to collect ourselves.
The lizard shook his head, almost as if to clear it. "You killed my father." The dozen voices were back, same pitch, but ten times scarier when passed through a lizard's mouth and fangs. "I have hunted for years to find you."
I backed away, my right hand clutching my bleeding arm, trying to locate a weapon or create a strategy of sorts. Unfortunately all items had been moved from the interrogation room when they placed the lizard—then a man—in here and he was now standing between me and my exit.
I glanced at the mirror. Why hadn't Greg come in here by now, guns-a-blazing? I was hesitant to defend myself when I didn't know if I had an audience who would later ask questions.
Then again, after the lizard had stated I had killed his father, I was going to be questioned later anyway. Despite the fact that I had never before seen a giant lizard interdimensional creature before and therefore had never killed one, so this one was just nuckin' futs!
Yet, being life or death, I was fairly certain I didn't have much of a choice as I was otherwise weaponless.
When the lizard attacked again, I rolled away and touched my bloodied hand to the mirror. In that second, I reached inside myself to the fae blood running through my veins. The spell was quick but enough to splinter the glass to make vision impossible from the other side, while keeping the mirror in place.
"Fae!" those dozen voices shouted in unison as the lizard threw his head back in a mighty roar.
"Yeah, bitch." I sent another spell to barricade the door. I had no idea if Greg was on his way or what was going on outside this room. All I knew was that I couldn't risk outing my fae-half to kill this son of a bitch. I'd worked too hard to get to where I was, hiding half of my nature. I wasn't going to risk all that because this idiot creature with a giant lizard for a body wrongly decided I had killed his father. "Ready for round two?"
* * *
Yelling as I was thrown across the interrogation room, I hit the wall opposite the door in a painful collision. I did not know where Greg or anyone else was. After ten minutes of fighting this damn thing and still having not found a spell to kill it, I was half hoping for Greg to come bursting through that door like a fucking Terminator to the rescue.
That might have been the blood loss though because I only just now remembered I had barricaded the door with a spell.
I tried to heal myself as I had been taught, but the scrapes and cuts topped with broken ribs and now probably a concussion was too much for my half-blood abilities. Papercuts were no problem, but broken bones were another matter entirely.
Suddenly two massive claws gripped my shoulders and I was stood up with my back pushed against the concrete wall. He thrust me back several times, my head colliding each time with the cold hardness, before I watched with blurry vision as he raised his right claw for the kill strike.
I wasn't quite sure what happened next. I remembered seeing the integration room door burst open. I realized later that, in my weakening strength, my barrier spell must have deteriorated enough for the others to get through. But it wasn't a bullet that had halted the lizard's attack on me.
It was a fireball.
I was dropped instantly to the floor, my legs collapsing beneath me. Through a series of deep breathes, I opened my eyes to see the lizard's back as he stood facing away from me. His cries of pain were what made me look for a source, but the doorway was blocked by a wall of fire. I could see the shadows of the men on the other side trying to break through.
Excerpted from Burning Desire Part I by Grace M. DeLeesie. Copyright © 2014 DeLeesie Books. Excerpted by permission of Abbott Press.
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