Back of the Book:
Available in ebook or print on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003JTHOBC
Brent Cambers’ life is good. Finally free of his forced tenure as a Man in Black, he’s starting a new position with The Agency whose mission is to identify the members of The Group, steal the designs for their advanced technologies and uncover their long-term plans.
- His job description: deep undercover ops, license to kill, no partner, no rules, and a lucrative paycheck.
- His target: a suspected Group operative, the elusive Emily Shadow.
- His assignment: locate her and establish a long-term relationship.
Claiming she’s a pro-victim, freelance adventurer, she plans to infiltrate a secret island facility, where the lab rats are human and the researchers are not. Once there, they will capture the non-humans, rescue the lab rats, and destroy the facility.
Sounds like his type of fun.
But can he trust the woman to watch his back?
Or does she have a secret agenda?
Precisely who, or what, is Emily Shadow?
The man approached Emily. “I hate eating alone in restaurants. May I join you?”
His rumbling tenor stroked her skin. Inwardly, she hummed approval for the melody while admiring his eyes, like deep and warm tropical seas, the surfaces sparkled, the depths burst with life.
He was a rare human specimen, a biological work of art. She should scare him away for his own safety. But Curiosity ruled her base code. And whined like a pup yearning for more of this special treat.
Without waiting for her reply, he slipped into the seat opposite her. She glanced at the front door for Mike who had not yet arrived. Well, she could give this pretty man a few moments.
He extended a hand. “Brent Cambers.”
When she gripped it, prepared to provide him with one of her insignificant aliases, his touch blasted through her, which halted the noise in her head, along with all thought and breath. The silence was bliss. Dormant sub-routines launched and merged into the suspended queue. When her mind ground forward, screams filled her head again. She turned up the masking noises.
Who was this Key? Her wonder queue filled with questions that had no answers. Fear skittered into her mind, tail between its legs, whimpering, tugging on her to flee.
Her grip snapped around his hand like a mouse trap. “Emily Shadow,” tumbled from her mouth. Why had she given him that name? What code had he spawned? She released his hand thankful she hadn't felt or heard any of his bones snap thereby giving away her superior strength.
He pulled his hand away, slipping it under the table, probably to shake off the sting he'd feel for a week. “I don’t usually eat this late. What about you? No weenies at home?”
Oh, of course, he meant a penis, attached to a man, at home, waiting for her. How very male. “Not suitable for consumption.” None of them were, except maybe this one. Fear yowled. She dismissed the thought, which must have come from one of the awakened sub-routines. She swallowed uncertainty.
Like a reward for answering his question, tingles danced on her skin. Emily cocked her head, paying Fear no attention, giving it no reward. This man affected her as no human or non-human ever had. Curiosity chased its tail. After completing her mission tonight, she would unlock this puzzle-box. “Are you seeking excitement?”
Brent shook his head. “I’d prefer witty conversation.”
She leaned forward, chin in hands. “Sorry. Don’t have the time.”
Before he could reply, the front door burst open. A sandy-haired man shuffled in, agitated and breathing hard. A brown shirt clothed the young man’s chest under a bulky olive jacket. He looked like one of the homeless with his grimy exterior.
A massive, black daemon shrouded him, feeding off his paranoia. It raised an ugly dragon-like head and snapped inky teeth.
Tipping his dark sunglasses down his nose, revealing a scar down the left side of his face – the identification she’d waited for – Mike surveyed the restaurant interior. Per the plan, he recognized her by her photographer's vest. He caught Emily’s gaze, nodded, and then sat in a booth near the front.
“Nice to meet you, Brent. Excuse me.” After walking away, Emily sat across from Mike and his daemon.
* * *
Softly, Brent cursed. His physical appearance usually guaranteed a woman’s phone number, even if hastily scribbled on a napkin. At least he’d obtained a name. What little was known about Emily Shadow proved she was an illusive target. With a name, could he track down a birth certificate or driver's license? Definitely not if she was a member of the elusive Group. Shadow? No doubt, the woman gave him an alias.
In this digital age, every citizen left behind footprints. But not her, except for a blurry, black and white photo, and an anonymous tip about where she’d be tonight.
Her deep green eyes had probed him with aloof cunning. Shoulder length hair of ebony, with several broad streaks of mahogany, framed her oval face. Dressed like a tourist, she wore an ivory, multi-pocketed vest. The lapels swelled over her generous breasts, a white scooped-neckline shirt revealed the dark hollow between and hugged her slim waist. Relaxed blue denim covered her heavenly hips and ripe rump.
She wore white running shoes but moved as if she wore spiked heels. He savored the view of her walking away from him – not a good sign this early in their yet to be established relationship. After he got everything he came for, then he could savor the inevitable parting.
If she slipped away from him tonight, she would again become a shadow lost in the dark of night. This was his chance to make permanent contact. Who was she meeting and why? Though she’d resisted his flirtation, and dismissed him without looking back, she’d unwittingly left him an opening.
Brent strode to the pair and tapped Emily on the shoulder. “I am seeking excitement tonight.” Using his darling dimples and baby blues, he oozed the charm he’d perfected. This particular look put men at ease and made women swoon.
The brief instructions in the file had been clear: establish a long-term relationship, observe, and report. All relationships began somewhere before evolving. He offered a hand to the blond man and added a soothing lie. “I’m her brother, Brent.”
After a brief and weak handshake, the young man shifted in his seat and white-knuckle gripped the table edge. His wild-eyed glare landed on Emily. “Is he okay?”
She didn’t swoon. Her emerald gaze pointed at Brent like two barrels of a loaded shotgun. “If he’s not, I’ll kill him.”
She might be bluffing.
The woman had perfected stealthy living. A public scene would attract unwanted attention. Brent hip-pushed Emily deeper into the booth and sat next to her. Her warm thigh pressed against his. The contact zinged a pulse of desire to his prick. He forced the smile to remain. Brothers shouldn’t lust for their sisters.
She put an inch of space between them. Turning her head, she sniffed him. Was she offended by the hotel’s soap selection?
The young man squinted and his eyes darted between them. “You don’t look related.”
“Different parents,” Emily quipped. “Mike, we don’t have much time. Please continue.”
The sandy-haired man took a deep breath. “I brought these as proof.” Mike removed the sunglasses and slid them across the table to Emily. “I took them from a man they sent to kill me. He’s in the trunk of my stolen car.”
Emily donned the glasses and stared straight ahead for several quiet seconds. “Finish your story.” She placed the black frames on the table.
Brent grabbed the Ray Bans, like the Men in Black wore. Nice guys. Who took their jobs way too seriously. One of the many reasons he’d quit their team. He wore the spectacles and closed his eyes. Silent streaming color video appeared in his mind, which properly tuned would allow him to take a nap and watch TV at the same time. Yep, standard MIB issue.