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Next to him Kat sank deeper against the seat, letting her head fall slightly back against the couch. She wasn’t entirely at ease—the discomfort he’d sensed from the moment he’d seen her strutting toward him at that bar looking like pure sex and sin remained—but at least she wasn’t running away from him.

It wasn’t much, but it was a start.

Chapter 5

Kat opened her eyes at the insistent ringing sound. Blinking, she shook her head and looked around the living room. The muted earth tones were bathed in streams of bright sunshine coming through the partially open wooden-slat blinds behind her.

Why am I sleeping in the living room? And fully dressed? Looking down at the leather top and jeans she still had on, she felt the night come crashing back. Jayce had killed those men—she still wasn’t sure how she felt about that—then they’d come back here and started to watch a movie. She didn’t remember any of it, though. Must have dozed off almost immediately. She hadn’t had any nightmares either. That gave her pause. Being around Jayce had always grounded her, but that couldn’t have been why she’d slept so peacefully. Could it?


It wasn’t a ringing sound. Someone was pressing the doorbell. Clearing her throat, she softly called out, “Jayce?” With his incredible senses she had no doubt he’d hear her.

No response.

Throwing off the warm afghan, she hurried to the front door. When she looked through the peephole and saw Parker and another police officer standing on the front porch, her heart jumped in her throat. Parker was in uniform, so she knew this wasn’t a social call. Instead of answering the door dressed as she was, she raced up the stairs, threw on a pair of long-sleeved pajamas, then dashed back down.

As the bell rang again, she pulled the door open. “Parker? Is everything okay?”

His nod was curt. “We need to talk to you about something.”

Warning bells went off in her head. Had someone seen them last night? Where was Jayce? Now that she was fully awake she scented traces of him in the house, but they were weak. He must have left a while ago. She kept her features bland. She’d lied to the cops before when she’d been kidnapped. She could do it again.

“Okay. What is it?”

“This would be better if we talked about it down at the station.”

Those warning bells now turned into full-fledged alarms. “Am I under arrest?”

“No. I’d just like to know where you were the night before last.”

“Two nights ago?” Relief flooded her. Parker didn’t want to know about last night. She shrugged. “I was up at Kelly’s Bar and Grill. Why?”

“Did you leave with anyone?”

She could feel her face flame at the question. “How is that any of your business?”

“Kat, I really don’t want to do this here.” He looked at the uniformed officer, who wore a stony stare as he assessed her.

The fine hairs on Kat’s arms rose but she shook the feeling off. She tried to use her seer abilities to get a read on him, but it was like he had a stone wall in front of him. He was just blank. Maybe he was one of those people who had a natural psychic shield. Parker actually did too, for the most part, but she could at least see a muddy, dark blue aura very faintly around him before it faded. It wasn’t a science, but she’d been slowly figuring out what colors coincided with obvious emotions and Parker was definitely worried about something. Her, maybe? God, she hoped not.

“Fine. You can wait outside while I get changed. I’m not going down to the station wearing my pajamas.”

The officer made a sound like he wanted to protest, but Parker simply nodded. “We’ll be waiting.”

After shutting the door, Kat fought the panic rising inside her. If this had been any other day she’d have told the sheriff she wasn’t going down to the station unless they were arresting her—even if he was December’s brother, she knew her rights. But she’d noticed that her Jeep was missing from the driveway and Jayce’s motorcycle was still there. Maybe he’d gone to dispose of the evidence from last night. Whatever he was doing, she didn’t want to have to deal with him and questions from the cops if he got back soon. Especially if he hadn’t gotten rid of those clothes. The jackets they’d taken were easily identifiable. Not to mention that she had no clue what Jayce had done with the weapons he’d picked up from the dead APL members last night. If they were lying around December’s house, she wouldn’t be able to explain them away if Parker decided he wanted to come inside. December was the one who owned the house, and Kat wasn’t sure what the laws were.

It was definitely better to be safe than sorry. She quickly changed into jeans and a sweater. After running a comb through her tangled hair, she brushed her teeth and grabbed a small purse.

She wiped her palms on her jeans as she descended the stairs. As long as Parker wasn’t questioning her about last night, she figured she was okay. She hadn’t committed or witnessed a crime two nights ago, so she had nothing to feel guilty about—something she needed to remind herself of if she wanted to convince the sheriff that she was above reproach.

* * *

A couple of hours later Kat resisted the urge to punch the detective sitting across the table from her. Detective Chance Kinsey had rough, calloused hands. A workingman’s hands. He was also incredibly good-looking, and he’d been trying to use that against her from the moment he’d taken a seat. As if Mr. Tall, Dark, and Sexy with the gorgeous toothpaste-commercial smile was going to sway her. Please. First, he definitely wasn’t her type. Second, her father was an arms dealer. Not something she was proud of, but she knew her rights and she knew these guys were fishing for information. About what, she still hadn’t figured out. As soon as she got an idea of what they wanted from her, she was leaving.

“So you’re saying you just left Scott Ford’s house because you changed your mind about sleeping with him?”

“Yep.” She kept her expression cool.

“You don’t think that’s a little odd?”

“Last time I checked, no means no and I don’t owe some guy sex because he bought me a few drinks. I changed my mind about hooking up with him, so I left.”

His dark eyes narrowed. “Without a car?”

“For the third time, yes.”

“It’s January.” He said the word slowly, as if she were stupid.

She knew what the detective was getting at. Walking home in the middle of the winter was crazy. But she was a shifter, so it wasn’t that crazy. Plus December’s house wasn’t all that far from Scott’s place. There was no way in hell she was telling this guy Jayce had followed her to some human’s house and she’d left with him. Especially since she was beginning to think Scott Ford was dead. After the way Jayce had acted around that human, she was a little fearful that he’d gone back and done something. Even if he had, she wasn’t going to narc him out. Instead of responding to the detective—since he hadn’t asked a question—she sat still and waited for him to make the next move.

Finally he spoke again. “Did you ever go inside Scott’s house?”

“No.” At least she could answer that honestly.

“Are you sure?”

“I’m sure.” Don’t offer up any information and keep your answers short if you’re ever questioned by the cops. How many times had her father drilled that into her head when she was growing up? That was one of the first lessons he’d taught her and she’d only been eight. At the time she’d hated it. And hated him a little if she was honest. She’d always wanted a normal family. One that didn’t think cops were the enemy. Now she thought maybe normal was overrated.

“What about his truck? Will your fingerprints be in there?”

Her eyes narrowed as her annoyance increased. Even though she wanted to keep her cool, this was getting ridiculous. “What do you think? I rode with him from the bar to his house. Now why don’t you tell me what all this is about or I’m going to walk right out the door. You’re not arresting me, and if you do, I’ll call my lawyer.” To prove her point, she stood up.

The moment she did, Kinsey’s face darkened, all charm disappearing. The handsome detective took on a dangerous edge she hadn’t noticed before. The man was almost a closed book as far as her seer abilities went. He definitely had natural psychic walls, sort of like Parker. She got only brief glimpses of his aura. A sharp flash of red almost seemed to pop off him for a moment, but then it dissipated like mist. Red meant a lot of things, including anger. And she had no doubt the man was angry. She didn’t need any of her seer abilities to figure that out, though. Right now she could actually scent his fury. Something raw and sharp burst into the air, jarring her. He opened the manila envelope that had been sitting in front of him and dumped out a handful of glossy eight-by-ten photos.

Kat felt the color drain from her face as she stared at the pictures of blood and gore in front of her. It took a moment for her brain to compute what she was seeing. Body parts. Everywhere. All over what looked like a kitchen. Bile rose in her throat, forcing her to turn around. She slapped a hand over her mouth, trying not to throw up on the dingy tile floor. She clutched her stomach while gagging until she felt the detective’s presence behind her.

He held the small trash can she’d seen in the corner of the room in his hand. “Do you need this?”

Shaking her head, she swallowed a few times until she was sure she wouldn’t be sick, then sat back down. Thankfully, he’d put the pictures away.

The detective leaned against the table next to her seat, looking down at her. She knew what he was doing, trying to use his size and position to intimidate her. At the moment she didn’t care. Breaking her own rule of not talking more than necessary, she asked, “What was that? Or who . . . was that?”

“Scott Ford.” His face betrayed nothing.

She blinked once, still trying to grasp what she’d seen. “And you think I did that?” She couldn’t keep the incredulity out of her voice.