Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Countdown to Netherworld IV: Animal Attraction, Excerpt 3

I made myself businesslike. “What do you want Tristan to know?”

“A number of shifters have gone missing in the last four months. Gone without a trace.”

“No sign of hide nor hair?” My quip fell flat judging from Levi’s grim expression. I sighed. “Levi, you of all people know how marginalized the weres are. You live it every day. All it takes is a scratch and some human gets Zoo Flu. Then they’re dead or furry. The majority of the time, they get ostracized. Since when is it anything new for shifters to drop out of society?”

He folded big, mouth-watering arms over his chest. “When they’re family people with steady jobs. I’m not talking about new shifters. I’m not telling you about the poor bastards who end up homeless and dumpster diving for their meals. Hell, two of my best instructors at the academy have vanished. Missing persons reports have been filed by wives and parents.”

Okay, this was serious. “How many shifters are we talking about?”

“Eight total, which I know doesn’t sound like many—” 

My mouth dropped open. “But in four months’ time, it’s a lot. I see what you mean. Tristan won’t talk to you?” 

Tristan employed a ton of people, all paras. If shifters were going missing, he would know. He had to know.

Levi rubbed the back of his neck, his expression frustrated. “When I’ve tried to set up appointments with him, his aide reminds me that he’s the head of a vampire clutch, not the alpha of a pack. She won’t give me the time of day.”

I’d had my own run-ins with Wendy and could vouch for her ability to keep people away from Tristan. “Go on.”

“I showed up at the King George tonight, hoping to catch our would-be state senator and force him to talk to me. He may not be a shifter, but he’s a para and he keeps up with everything in this town. He claims to be about all paras’ rights. Surely he’s noticed something by now.”

“If he has, I’m probably the last person he’d discuss it with.”

“I guess seeing his sister’s body roaming around with someone else in it isn’t a welcome sight?”

A spark of anger came and went, leaving depression in its wake. “Tristan tried to deal with it. He really did, but he and Patricia were too close. He can’t even tolerate being in the same room with me these days.”

Once upon a time, Tristan and I had been in love. We’d been in an uncomfortable triangle, he, Dan, and me. I’d been ready to give up Dan for Tristan when I’d been pulled into this weird half-time life in Patricia Keith’s body. 

Levi pulled me out of my morose musings. “I need some help here, Brandilynn. Even the smallest tidbit of information might be worth something. The cops have nothing. As much as I hate to admit it, Tristan’s my only hope.”

I sighed. I didn’t want to talk to my ex. But eight shifters in four months ... this was a big deal. If Fulton Falls’ champion of para rights didn’t know what was going on, he needed to.

“I’ll try. I’ll talk to Tristan and the others.” 

“Great. Here are pictures of my instructors.” Levi handed me some shots, obviously the agents’ federal identification photos. I looked them over. A weregator and werehog, both men, both late thirties, early forties. Strong and proud. They sure didn’t look like people who would up and leave with no warning.

Releasing Friday, January 29

Don't forget, the first book of the Netherworld series Drop Dead Sexy is available in ebook format for 99 cents until February 1 at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and All Romance.

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