Briggs' Description: Mercy is about to find out. While repaying a favor, Mercy finds herself face to face with a monster that should not exist. Her hunt for the monster will lead her deep into the realm of of the vampire -- where she will discover more than she wanted to about herself and the people she loves.
Excerpt Chapter One
Like most people who own their own businesses, I work long hours that start early in the morning. So when someone calls me in the middle of the night, they'd better be dying."Hello, Mercy," said Stefan's amiable voice in my ear. "I wonder if you could do me a favor. "
Stefan had done his dying a long time ago, so I saw no reason to be nice. "I answered the phone at—" I peered blearily at the red numbers on my bedside clock "— three o'clock in the morning. "
Okay, that's not exactly what I said. I may have added a few of those words a mechanic picks up to use at recalcitrant bolts and alternators that land on her toes.
"I suppose you could go for a second favor," I continued "— but I'd prefer you hang up and call me back at a more civilized hour. "
He laughed. Maybe he thought I was trying to be funny. "I have a job to do, and I believe your particular talents would be a great asset in assuring the success of the venture. "
Old creatures, at least in my experience, like to be a little vague when they're asking you to do something. I'm a businesswoman, I believe in getting to the specifics as quickly as possible.
"At three in the morning you need a mechanic?"
"I'm a vampire, Mercedes," he said gently. "Three in the morning is still prime time. I don't need a mechanic, I need you. You owe me a favor. "
He was right, darn him. He'd helped me when the local Alpha werewolf's daughter was kidnapped. He had warned me that he'd be collecting in return.
I yawned and sat up, giving up all hope of going back to sleep. "All right. What am I doing for you?"
"I'm supposed to be delivering a message to a vampire who is here without my mistress's permission," he said, getting to the point. "I need a witness he won't notice. "
He hung up without getting an answer, or even telling me when he was coming to pick me up. It would serve him right if I just went back to sleep.
Muttering to myself, I threw on clothing: jeans, yesterday's T-shirt complete with mustard stain, and two socks with only one hole between them. Once I was more or less dressed, I shuffled off to the kitchen and poured myself a glass of orange juice.
It was a full moon, and my roommate the werewolf was out running with the local pack, so I didn't have to explain to him why I was going out with Stefan. Which was just as well.
Samuel wasn't a bad roommate as such things go, but he had a tendency to get possessive and dictatorial. Not that I let him get away with it, but arguing with werewolves requires a certain subtlety I was lacking at — I checked my wristwatch — 3:15 in the morning.
For all that I was raised by them, I'm not a werewolf, not a were-anything. I'm not a servant of the moon's phases, and in the coyote shape that is my second form, I look like any other canis latrans: I have the buckshot scars on my backside to prove it. Read more here.