Victor never wanted to come home, yet here he is. He’s done the job that was asked of him, so he doesn’t have a reason to stay, but he can’t abandon the three untaught psychics he’s met while rescuing Marcel. The fact that his ex-boyfriend can’t take no for an answer doesn’t matter, since Victor hopes Barton isn’t aware of his presence.
Unfortunately, luck never works his way.
Tim wants to show his cousin that the mistakes he made when he was younger are far behind him. When Jerome agrees to hire him, he wants to make the best impression, and when they’re hired to investigate the disappearance of several humans, he can both help find them and impress his cousin.
But things are never easy. The man who took Marcel is in business again, and this time, he’s targeting humans. By fomenting the tensions between humans and shifters and using the right people, he’s throwing suspicions in a direction that could be dangerous for Tim, Victor, and their friends.
Someone needs to find the people who have vanished before the unthinkable happens.
Victor winced when the door of the room next to his slammed shut. He’d just been falling asleep, and the couple fighting next door had startled him awake. He’d hoped it wouldn’t go on for too long, but instead, they’d been fighting for the past twenty minutes, and now all hopes of falling asleep again were gone.
Just like the woman who’d been fighting with her boyfriend, apparently.
Victor sighed and pushed himself into a sitting position. There wasn’t much to see in his motel room. It wasn’t home, just a place to lay his head and try to sleep, but he was having problems lately, even with that. It wasn’t only that he was worried about everything that was happening, either. He didn’t want to be here, but he had to be, and it was messing with him.
He rubbed his face with his hands, trying to shake the sleep off. He really needed to sleep, but since that wasn’t going to happen, he might as well turn his attention to something else. The most pressing thing was that his funds were getting low, which meant he wouldn’t be able to stay at the motel for much longer. He’d be glad to leave it behind, but at the same time, where would he go? The best thing to do would be to get an apartment, but that would mean living in the same town as Barton, and he wasn’t ready to admit that was what he needed to do.
Being in the same town as Barton was never a good thing.
But there was no way out of it. The ghosts in town were acting up because of Curt. If Victor wanted to help the PIs who’d already dealt with Curt once, he couldn’t go anywhere. He was needed here, no matter how little he liked it. At least Barton didn’t know he was in town. If he had, the man would already have been knocking on his door, telling Victor he was glad he’d come back to him and that they were going to be happy together.
Barton had always been delusional. What Barton wanted, Barton got, or at least, that was what he thought. He never understood that maybe Victor didn’t want the same.
There was a reason they’d broken up, after all.
Victor got out of bed. He didn’t want to stay here, thinking about Barton and about how much of a mess his life was. He didn’t know anyone in town except for Barton, but he felt that if he asked for help, the PIs and the psychics would do what they could. That didn’t make them friends, but maybe it could turn into friendship in time.
Victor wasn’t sure he could allow that to happen. He hadn’t trusted anyone since Barton except for his family, and he didn’t know if he was ready or if he could. He supposed he’d find out soon enough.
His phone vibrating on the nightstand made him jump. His heart raced as he picked it up and peered at the screen, only relaxing when he saw his brother Olsen’s name on the screen. It wasn’t Barton. Victor’s ex didn’t know he was in town, and he wouldn’t find out.
“Why are you calling me?” he asked as he answered.
“I’m feeling the brotherly love. What crawled up your ass and died?”
Victor found himself smiling even though there was nothing for him to smile about. “Brotherly love? What brotherly love?”
Olsen laughed. “That’s what I was saying.” His tone turned more serious. “How are you doing?”
“Can we not talk about it?”
Olsen snorted. “Fat chance of that. I’m worried about you. We all are. Just say the word, and we’ll be there for you.”
It was tempting to ask his brothers to come to his rescue, but Victor could deal with this on his own, and he could deal with Barton on his own, too.
As long as he stayed away from Barton’s family. It wasn’t enough that Barton was a rich asshole. His brother was the chief of police, and his best friend was the mayor. This city was all kinds of fucked up, which was probably one of the reasons Victor didn’t feel comfortable here.
“I don’t want you to come.”
“We got that, but I’m not sure it’s the best idea. You’re dealing with something none of us have ever seen.”
“Which is why I don’t want you to come.”
“So you can be in danger, but we can’t?”
“It’s not like I want to be in danger. I already am, and I won’t leave these people on their own.”
“Didn’t you say they have two psychics?”
“They do, but they’re untrained. Hell, one didn’t even know he was a psychic until recently. What are they supposed to do? They don’t know how to deal with ghosts, but I do. I’m the only one who can help them.”
“Not true. You’re the one helping them because they contacted you. They could have contacted anyone else, including Roslin or Donahue. If you don’t want me to come, at least talk to them.”
“I don’t want them to be in danger any more than I want you to be,” Victor pointed out.
“But we both know you’re extra worried about me because I’m not a psychic. I get it. I just don’t want you to have to face all of this on your own.”
Victor thought about the people who worked at the PIs office. “I’m not alone.”
“Fine, but are you with people you trust?”
“These people wouldn’t hurt me.”
“You don’t think they would. You can’t be sure, and even if they don’t, they’re not who you have to worry about. Have you found out more about what’s going on with the ghosts over there?”