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Dark Lies [Secure eReader]
eBook by Vivi Anna

eBook Category: Mainstream
eBook Description: What dark secret was she hiding? When the Otherworld Crime Unit reconvenes to investigate a ritualistic murder, werewolf Jace Jericho can barely set aside his past--and his hatred of humanity--to work with the team's newest member. As far as Jace is concerned, police rookie Tala Channing has two strikes against her: one, she's human, and two, something about her drives him wild with desire... Forced to work side by side with Tala, deep into the witching hours, Jace struggles to keep his primal instincts in check. But when they finally succumb to wild passion, Jace realizes Tala has spun a web of lies. And Tala's secret now puts his life--and heart--on the line...

eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Silhouette Nocturne
Fictionwise Release Date: October 2007

17 Reader Ratings:
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Chapter 1

The moment Jace Jericho stepped into Boneyard's staff room, he knew there was trouble.

The entire crime scene unit was assembled. Lyra, their young witch, sat on the sofa, her petite frame rigid with nerves. The chief, Caine, leaned against the corner as if unaffected, his new wife Eve next to him, not quite pulling off the same impassive look. Her hand rested on his forearm in a sure sign of support and affection.

Jace still had a difficult time accepting that his best vampire friend had married a human. But it was obvious that Eve made Caine deliriously happy, so he didn't protest. At least, not out loud.

Kellen, the firearms expert, Gwen, the lab tech and Dr. Givon Silvanus, the medical examiner, sat at the long wood table. Even the baron himself, Laal Bask, was present. He stood in the center of the room, trying to command the attention of the others. As usual, everyone on the team ignored him.

When Jace entered, Caine acknowledged him with a nod. "Thanks for coming in on your night off."

Jace shrugged. "It didn't sound like I had a choice."

"You didn't."

Settling in beside Lyra on the sofa, Jace glanced around the room. Everyone looked nervous, especially Eve. She kept her eyes on Caine; Jace could see the tension in her face and in the way she twisted her hands in her lap. Something major was going on and it had to be human-related.

Jace prayed they hadn't found another human body in Necropolis.

Caine moved to the center of the room to stand beside Laal. The baron took that as his cue to start talking.

"First of all, I'd like to thank everyone for coming in. I know some did so on their days off." He tipped his head to acknowledge everyone.

Caine cleared his throat. "Let's just cut to the chase, Laal. We're wasting time." Caine glanced around the room meeting everyone's gaze. "There has been another murder."

Lyra shivered beside Jace. He glanced over at her and saw a look of knowing in her big brown eyes. Her hand was on the silver pentagram amulet at her neck and she was rubbing her thumb over it. For comfort or concentration, he couldn't be sure. Had she had a vision? Was she having one now? Sometimes she knew things before the rest of them did. As powerful as his wolf senses were, Jace's abilities were no match to Lyra's.

"This one is very similar to Lillian Crawford's murder." Caine met Jace's gaze and kept it. He knew the vampire was trying to read his emotions. Trying to figure out if he was thinking about the last case. It had been horrific for everyone involved.

Caine continued, "The body was found in an abandoned house in San Antonio."

There was a collective gasp across the room. Even the devil-may-care vampire, Kellen, had a look of alarm on his tattooed face. No small thing, considering he usually didn't give a rat's butt about much.

"Who called it in, Chief?" Jace asked.

"Captain Morales phoned Eve." Caine glanced at his wife and gave her a small smile. "As a courtesy, he's asked us to come in and investigate."

"You and Eve?"

Caine shook his head and looked right at Jace. "All investigators are going in. You, me, Eve and Lyra. The rest of the team will be on standby in case we need them to process information."

A sense of dread washed over Jace. "Do you really think that's necessary? I'm sure they don't need all of us there."

"It is necessary." Lifting his gaze, Caine glanced around the room. "If this murder is like the others, we'll need everyone's help. So, be on alert."

"When are we leaving?" Lyra asked.

"Right away. The crime scene's getting cold. So grab your kits and your gear. We'll meet in the garage in a half hour."

Everyone got to their feet and began to file out of the room.

"Remember to be on your best behavior out there." The baron clapped his hands together and smiled. "Your behavior is a direct reflection of this lab."

Everyone ignored him and exited the room, Caine and Eve the last to leave.

Jace remained seated. He wasn't going anywhere. It had been over fifteen years since he'd been in any human city. He wasn't going to one now.

When Caine reached the door, he glanced at Jace. Pressing a kiss to the top of Eve's head, he said, "Grab my kit. I'll meet you in the garage."

Flicking her eyes to Jace and then back to Caine, she nodded and left.

Sighing, Jace leaned back against the sofa. He knew what was coming even before Caine opened his mouth. "I'm not going. You don't need everyone there."

Caine stood in front of Jace with his hands in his pockets. The vampire's casual stance was deceiving. Jace knew that under Caine's spit and polish beat the heart of a formidable predator. Not someone a person would want on their bad side. Jace knew this was going to lead to a disagreement. They butted heads on a weekly basis.

"It isn't up for discussion, Jace. The whole team goes."

Standing, Jace brushed past Caine to pace the room. He had a hard time staying still for more than ten minutes at a time. It was even harder with the moon calling to him. It was close to a full moon and Jace should've been out running through the woods instead of being at work. That the lab was underground and didn't have any windows was a small blessing. At least he didn't have to see his pale mistress begging for him to come play with her.

Copyright © 2007 by Tawny Stokes.

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