Rory Sullivan and his younger sister Molly are on the run, hiding from their parents' killer. When they're almost captured, shifter Deke Haggard intervenes to save them and then shelters them at his home, erroneously believing Rory is unaware he and his sister are also shifters. Deke offers to find out who killed their parents and why, calling on his ex Conall Taggart for assistance.
Conall is a shifter diplomat with extensive contacts within their world. What he discovers about why the Sullivans emigrated from Ireland may give a clue to who wanted them and their children dead. Then new information is uncovered that changes everything.
Will Conall and Deke be able to set a trap to catch the killer with Rory and Molly's help? And can they survive Molly's matchmaking in the process as she tries to make them see they still care for each other? Only time will tell.
"Conall, before you hang up, I need your help," Deke said.
"Do you now, and why should I care?"
"Because we were ... friends ... once. I've got two kids here who someone wants dead."
"Kids like us?" Conall asked.
"Yeah, but they don't know it. Their folks were murdered, they're on the run, and I was at the right place at the right time to keep a couple of goons from grabbing them."
"Intriguing." Deke could picture Conall tapping his fingers together -- or he would have if he hadn't been holding his phone in one hand. "Tell me more."
Deke did, as much as he knew so far. He ended by saying, "The parents were Irish, and, according to Rory they came over here right after they got married. It makes me wonder if their families were enemies and they had to get away before her parents could interfere and perhaps kill Finlay, or vice versa."
"I've heard of that happening. You said they left Ireland around twenty years ago?"
"I'd say at least that long. Rory's nineteen. His mother might have been pregnant with him when they fled, but that would still make it a minimum of twenty years."
"Kathleen and Finlay Sullivan. That doesn't ring any bells."
"Damn, Conall, use your head. They wouldn't have used their real names after they got here."
"Deke ..." Conall growled.
"It's okay. It's just you being you. I presume you want me to do some checking to see if anyone might remember a couple disappearing around the turn of the century. You're lucky I'm at loose ends at the moment."
"I know I am, if you really are," Deke replied.
"Are you calling me a liar?"
Rolling his eyes at the sharp tone of Conall's question, Deke said, "Not at all."
"Hadn't better be. All right, I'll see what I can find out. Not for you, but for those kids. What do you plan on doing while I'm slaving away?"
"Trying to figure out how to let them know they're more than human."
Conall snorted. "That should be fun."
"Not even," Deke muttered and after thanking him again, he hung up.
By then, it was close to three A.M., but he wasn't tired so he decided to do a little digging of his own. He brought the computer out of sleep mode, and then went online. He had security well beyond the norm, meaning he could get to the site he wanted, and into it, without anyone being aware that he had. A good thing in this case as it belonged to the fire department's arson investigation team in the town where Rory's parents had been murdered.
"It wasn't a firebomb," he murmured as he read the report on the fire. Or I suppose it was, since it was a Molotov cocktail. A particularly vicious one because the bastard who made it used rubber cement and petroleum jelly mixed with the gasoline and diesel fuel so the burning liquid would adhere to whatever it hit, like Rory's parents. The fact his dad was able to stay alive long enough to warn him is a damned miracle.
"How I'm still awake is a damned miracle, too," he grumbled when a wave of exhaustion suddenly washed over him. Backing out of the website without leaving any footprints, he got offline, shut down the computer, and headed upstairs.
A few minutes later he was ready to crawl into bed, having decided he was too tired to shower, when it occurred to him that he'd better leave a note for Rory letting him know that he and Molly shouldn't try to venture outside as the alarm system was on. He did, and with that accomplished, he fell into bed and was asleep within seconds.