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Part 5

Paranormal Apprehension Agency

“Hurry up,” Chesca hissed. “There’s a cat over there that’s making my insides squirm.”

That drew my immediate attention, distracting my half-drunk brain from the task it was trying to perform: a rune merge. I was attempting to mix the rune to dye something pink with the rune to make something fluffy. His house was going to be pink and fluffy for at least twelve hours if I got this right.

Which I never would if I had to fear some psychopath of a cat, that was planning our demise. “Is it really a cat?” I hissed, because there were many other options. Shifter. Familiar. Demon spawn.

Chesca shuddered, her silky hair tickling across my skin and almost giving me a heart attack. Why did that always feel like a spider was crawling on you when that happened?

Deciding my roommate could deal with the cat, I went back to trying to draw straight lines. It was fucking hard.

“You missed a section.”

I screamed at the deep voice, my hand skidding across my rune and destroying the magic I’d been painstakingly trying to complete for the past two minutes.

Chesca purred when she caught sight of Archer, and I rolled my eyes at her. “Seriously, girl. Seriously. I just finished telling you that he’s a scary dark fae prince, and you’re giving him the succubus look?”

Her laugh was low and husky, and even I was turned on for a minute. “I don’t care how dark he is, I’m more than willing to ride that mountain of fae.”

Archer straightened. He’d been casually perched on a nearby fencepost, outside of his house, watching us. “How long have you been there?” I said, stumbling to my feet.

A sudden rush of blood in my head had dizziness pressing in on me, but with a couple of deep breaths, I got myself under control.

“You two must be excellent apprehension agents,” he said, sounding exasperated and amused. “I heard you before you even got out of your car.”

I glared at Chesca, because she was definitely the noisy one. Not me.

To prove that point, I then tripped and crashed into a bin that had been left out on the curb by the neighbour. Pickup for trash must be tomorrow in this street. “Wonder how he could have heard us,” Chesca said, crossing her arms and staring down at me.

For a moment, I was exhausted, and considered just curling up on the ground where I was for a nap. Maybe when I woke up, my life wouldn’t be this fucking mess.

My phone started to vibrate in my pocket, and with a sigh I pulled it out and answered it: “What?”

There was a brief pause. “Liv, we have a situation. Need you to get into the city and help the north team with a takedown. Chesca too.”

I groaned. “Actually, Chief, I kind of need some time off. Family emergency.”

His anger came through the phone, even though he hadn’t said a word. “Liv, the only reason I’m not coming there right now to kick your ass, is you’ve been one of the best apprehension agents I’ve had in years. But you sort this family shit out asap. You fucking hear me?”

“Hear you, chief.” I rubbed at my eyes. “Want me to still let Chesca know?”

He growled. Fucking cranky demon. “Yes. Unless she decides to abandon us as well because her brats burned down a circus.”

“That was one time,” Chesca shouted, able to hear the conversation through the phone. “And I’ll head to Brisbane now.”

Chief made a disparaging noise, and then my phone went dead. A firm grip wrapped around my biceps, and before I could protest, Archer hauled me to my feet. My head spun again, and I realised that whatever was in my drinks, was finally catching up to me.

“Lightweight,” Chesca muttered, before she stepped closer. “A car will be here for me in a minute,” she said slowly. “Are you sure you want to go through with this … plan.”

She eyeballed Archer, who was still holding me upright. I nodded, words beyond my reach now.

My friend then turned, and for once she wasn’t looking at Austin Archer like she wanted to eat him. The look on her face was stone cold killer. “You fuck with her, even the tiniest of fucks, and I will end you. Understand. I have twelve kids. I know how to end someone. It was the first thing I learned to defend my children.”

More like the first thing she learned to defend herself against the brats. They were monsters. She wasn’t kidding though, Chesca was a scary badass once you got under all of the sexy and sultry exterior.

Archer’s smile was slow and not nice. “If I wanted to hurt her, this annoying little fae would be dead already. It’s by my grace that she lives right now.”

“Hey!” I protested, my voice returning. “I might have won. We didn’t even have a proper fight.”

I wouldn’t have won. I’d have been so dead that even the dead wouldn’t have recognised me as one of their own. But you never let them know that. Best to at least act tougher than you were.

“Sure, love,” Chesca said soothingly. “Whatever you say. I’ll keep my phone on me, if you get into any trouble, call me and I’ll bring in the cavalry.”

Archer might have even cracked a proper smile then. I was guessing no one usually threatened him or acted so dismissive of his scary reputation. “I’ll be in the otherworld,” I said softly, leaning into her. Archer still held me though, so I couldn’t go far. “I don’t think mobile phone reception stretches quite that far.”

This must have been the point where he’d had enough, because Archer reached down and hauled me over his shoulder, turning and striding back through his fence. And I mean that literally. It didn’t open, he just walked us right through it.

“I will kill you,” Chesca yelled after us, but he didn’t turn around. Waving from my position high above the world, I watched my friend shake her head before spinning around when a car screeched up behind her. The PAA loved fast cars, and they’d gotten her something that was black and sleek and low to the ground. She was going to pissed she was too drunk to drive it.

Just before Archer hauled my ass inside, I caught a glimpse of a gorgeous man in the driver’s seat, and I had to smile. Linc, he was six and half feet of dark skinned demon, and he was definitely a father to at least one of Chesca’s kids. Those two kept falling into each other, only he was an incubus, and they could never be a true couple. Settling wasn’t in their blood, but sex definitely was, and my friend was getting laid tonight.

Unlike me.

“Put me down,” I snapped the moment we were inside his impressive beach side mansion. My hands slapped at his back, and I started to kick my legs, because I was not used to being compliant with men.

A heavy hand came down on my ass, and I gulped. There was a brief moment of pain, which quickly turned into pleasure when he didn’t remove his hand. Instead he brushed it over the spot he’d just smacked.

“I have a rule,” I warned him, trying not to moan. “If you spank me, I get to spank you.”

Archer actually laughed. “We’re playing by my rules now, Livra. You’re going to learn that no one –”

He was cut off by the appearance of the same cat that had been outside watching us. Close up I could see it was giant, at least the size of a medium sized dog, and it had a mushed in face and thick orange hair.

“That creepy, ugly cat is yours?” I asked, squinting at it.

“Who are you calling ugly, bitch?” it said to me, and I almost died right then.

I’d never heard a cat talk, not any cat, not even one that was part demon. They just didn’t have the vocal cords.

Archer finally lowered me to the ground, and I warily backed up from the glaring orange beast. At least I think it was glaring … with that face.

“Uh, my apologies. You’re not ugly, you’re just … very … fluffy.”

It took a step closer. “You’re quite fluffy yourself,” that weirdly rumbly voice said again. “Never got the attraction that boobs and ass has for you two leggers. It’s weird. Lumps of fat everywhere.”

I lifted my foot, ready to kick that little asshole across the room. “Did you just call me fluffy?” I screeched, swinging my leg.

Archer got in between us before I could connect, hauling me back into his arms. I pouted. “Awww, comeon, Arch. Let me kick the cat. It’ll be fun.”

“Don’t call me Arch,” was all he said, before he strode away with me still captive.

Archer’s teeth were so white, his skin so perfectly bronzed, his eyes startling and piercing. Being this close to someone so sexy, while I was under the influence of … whatever was in those drinks, was really not a good idea.

“Are you taking me to bed?” I murmured, wiggling myself closer to him.

He didn’t answer, instead he opened his arms and let me fall right out of them. I landed somewhat heavily on the thick soft mattress, and pushing my silver hair back, glared the fuck out of him.

“I hate you,” I grumbled. “Bossy asshole.”

Leaning over, he traced a finger across my cheek and down to my lips. “Hate is a strong emotion,” he murmured, and I was mesmerised as he continued to stroke my skin. “I’m not sure you even realise who much you will hate me by the time this is over. I’m not one of your humans, or a demon, and I might just break you before we finish this task.”

Something hot slithered across my chest, before settling with a heavy thud in my stomach. Hot and aroused, because apparently I had a few screws lose, and it was more than a little fucking exciting to know that Archer was capable of anything. That he didn’t follow any rules, and that I was now his prisoner for the next however long.

He released me from his thrall then, pulling back and straightening to tower over my bed. “Bathroom is through there,” he said, pointing to a closed door. “I’ll arrange for clothing and we will leave early tomorrow.” He turned to walk back out the door, glancing back one more time. “Get some sleep, Livra. You’re going to have a very busy day tomorrow.”

I wanted to argue, but I just couldn’t find the energy. I also wanted to ask a tonne of questions, like … how the hell we were getting to faerie world, and how the hell he was going to keep me safe there, and how the hell did he get his teeth so white…

I must have drifted off during all of these vitally important questions, because the next thing I knew, the sound of crashing waves was rousing me from sleep. With a groan, I dropped my hand over my eyes to try and block out the world. It was so much more than light now, I literally needed to block out the very air because it sounded fucking loud in my pounding head.

“Why do I keep drinking?” I moaned as I rolled over. My bladder protested, and I knew I needed to pee, but I also wasn’t sure I could stand without vomiting.

“Because you’re a fucking lowlife wannabe-human?” A purring voice said from nearby.

With a shout, I jumped to my feet, spinning on the bed as I tried to find the orange fucker.

Before I could see where he was and rune the hell out of his ugly ass, my stomach lurched, and I practically threw myself off the bed, only just making it into the bathroom in time.

My gut screamed as I hurled up whatever was in my stomach, which really wasn’t much. Which of course always made the vomiting experience so much more pleasant.

By the time I was done with dry-heaving, I crawled to the shower and turned it on as hot as I could stand, before I sprawled across the floor. I probably would have drowned if Archer hadn’t hauled me up ten minutes later.

Blinking swollen eyes at him, I tried my best to glare. It was basically all I had. “What are you doing fully clothed in the shower?” he asked, his eyes flashing.

My face screwed up. “Can you talk softly,” I mumbled. “Your voice sounds like a chainsaw in my head.”

“Told you to kill the bitch last night,” the orange fuck said from where it was perched in the doorway. “You never listen to me. And now we both have to listen to her.”

“Go away,” Archer said softly, and I thought he was talking to me, because he was focused on me, but it must have been directed at the devil spawned cat. It lifted that fluffy ass and strolled off. “We’re leaving for the otherworld in ten minutes,” Archer said, bringing my attention back to him. “I have left clothes and painkillers by your bed. Don’t make me come back in here and dress you, Livra.”

For a brief second I contemplated not moving, just so I could see how he’d handle dressing me, but then I decided I’d probably want to jump his sexy ass if I was naked, and since I currently hated him and all the drama he’d brought into my world, it was best not to do the naked dance.

When Archer left, I dragged myself up, using the edge of the shower. Shuffling across to the sink, I was overjoyed by the sight of a new toothbrush and paste. Once I was finished with my teeth, I examined my washed out appearance. Silver hair was everywhere, and on the right side it had half matted up in a twist of snarls. My eyes were puffy, black makeup giving me a ghoulish appearance. Eye colour was still the same though, a blue so dark it was almost navy. They were a striking contrast to the very light silver of my hair, but right now, contrast or not, I looked like fucking shit.

It took me a minute of searching, but I found a hairbrush and managed to smooth out my hair. I then stripped off the old clothes I was wearing, dragging a towel from a nearby shelf to dry myself. I dropped it down to mop up the puddle of water I’d left from standing at the sink wet, and headed naked into the bedroom.

My head pounded harder as I swung it around to see if the cat was in here, but it seemed I was alone. On the bed a pile of clothing sat, but I ignored that in favour of the painkillers and water, which I downed in one go.

Those little white tablets of miracle better kick in soon, or I was going to kill someone.

Realising my ten minutes was almost up, I reached for the clothes and pulled on the underwear first. They were black and silky, and they fit me like they’d been made for me, cupping my curves in all the right places, and pushing my boobs up like they were brand new.

Fucking fae.

After that it was black jeans, a simple black shirt, and a thick dark jacket. That made me think it was going to be hella cold in this otherworld land. In the mountains he’d spoken of, and now the nerves were really kicking in.

I was going to another world. With a fae I didn’t know or trust. This was the real reason I’d gotten shit faced last night and tried to merge runes in front of Archer’s. Because I was too chicken-shit to deal with the heart-pounding fear that was shaking my very core.

Realising I hadn’t seen my phone in ages, I searched my wet clothes and the floor, but it was no where to be found. I really wanted to call my mother before I took off again, because I needed to know she was okay, and I also needed to talk to her in case this was the last time we ever got the chance.

Not to mention it might be nice to get some information from the woman who’d screwed a fae prince and put me in this mess. A little warning about daddy dearest would have been nice, mum.

The door slammed open then and I drank in the sight of Archer. He filled the space, and since he was now dressed all in black, just like me, his dark beauty was absolutely captured perfectly.

“Little cliché, don’t you think?” I gestured to my clothes and then his. “I mean, dark fae, dressing only in black … not very creative.”

Archer’s jaw twitched. “The black is so we blend into our environment. The terrain is dark, and we have to move across it to get to my home.”

It almost looked like it pained him to have to explain this shit to me.

I just smiled in return, because he’d wanted me with him, and now he had to deal with me. It was almost worth it to probably die a terrible and painful death.

“We need to leave now,” Archer said. “The doorways do not open for long between our worlds.”

“I have to phone my mother first,” I said shortly, crossing my jacket clad arms. “I need to know she’s okay before I leave. I haven’t heard from her.”

He shook his head. “No time. But I will send someone to check on her, someone I trust. Give me her address.”

I hesitated, watching him suspiciously. “I’m not sure I trust you with her address. And for all I know, you’re going to send that orange fuck to check on her.”

“He’s coming with us,” Archer said, ignoring my first statement. “Why don’t you leave a message for Chesca. I’m sure your friend will find out.” Amusement might have flittered across his eyes. “She seems … resourceful.”

That was very true. “I can’t find my phone, do you know where it is.”

He nodded toward the side table, and I slid the drawer open to find my phone there. Picking it up, I quickly shot off a text to Chesca, and another to my boss telling him I’d be completely off the grid, and then I dropped my phone back in the drawer. I wouldn’t need it in overworld. I would be vulnerable and out of reach.

Despite my words about trust, I was going to have no choice but to trust Archer. He was probably going to be the only thing standing between me and death.

Great.

Wait … did he say that orange asshole was coming with us?


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