Haven is a hero. He was born to hunt and kill supernatural creatures, which is exactly what he’s done for hundreds of years.
Until he couldn’t anymore.
The conclave is giving him one last chance to prove to them that they can trust him. They send him to kill a leshy who kidnaps children and kills their parents.
Or at least, that’s what Haven is told.
Dimitri saves abused children. He kills their parents and finds them new families, and he’s not planning on stopping, not even when the conclave sends yet another hero after him.
But this hero is different.
Haven listens to Dimitri, which is a first for the conclave. Unfortunately for both of them, the conclave won’t listen to reason, and once they’re on the run, they can only rely on each other, especially after Dimitri is wounded. Haven steps up as his protector, but they both know it can’t last. A hero and a supernatural creature are too different to fall in love, and now that he’s realized how wrong he was, Haven needs to find his way to redemption.
Can Dimitri really trust Haven with his life? And just as important—can he trust him with his heart?
The sounds around Haven were familiar, as were the sights. He’d been back at the conclave building where he spent most of his time for weeks, but he was still having trouble getting used to it again. He didn’t know why. What had happened shouldn’t have changed the way he thought, the way he obeyed the conclave.
He didn’t want to think about Thor and Cecil. What had happened with them had been a fluke. Haven should have killed both of them, since they were supernatural creatures and it was his job as a hero, yet he’d let them leave. He’d even allowed Thor to give him his phone number. He didn’t know why. It had been a spur of the moment decision, and he would never use it. He would never allow himself to use it. He might be curious about Thor and Cecil and their world, but he knew his place in the world.
He was a hero, and he killed supernatural creatures like Thor and Cecil.
He hit the punching ball again, then again. He was sweating, but the physical labor wasn’t helping him as much as usual. He still needed to do it, but he wished it would stop the thoughts about what had happened and what he’d done—or rather, hadn’t done.
He hadn’t done his job. He was a hero. He’d been born to hunt and kill supernatural creatures. Why hadn’t he been able to kill Thor and Cecil, then? Why hadn’t he been able to obey his orders and rid the world of the plague they represented?
But Thor and Cecil weren’t a plague, were they? They hadn’t done anything wrong.
He snorted and hit the punching ball again.
Cecil hadn’t done anything. He had a shitty brother, but that was it. Thor, on the other hand, was a professional assassin. Haven knew enough about him to be sure of that. He should have killed him, but he hadn’t been able to. He’d allowed Thor and Cecil to convince him the best thing to do was to let them go, and now here he was. He was lucky he hadn’t been terminated as a hero. That was what happened to heroes when they went rogue and worked against orders.
But supernatural creatures were a threat to humans. There were a few exceptions, like Cecil, but they were just that—exceptions. There could be no other reason for his behavior. Haven had been a hero long enough to know that most supernatural creatures were evil.
His phone rang on the bench, and he froze. Only two people called him, and one of them was out on a mission.
That left the person who gave him orders.
He looked at the phone as if it was about to bite him. It just might. He knew he’d been lucky the conclave had allowed him to live and to continue being a hero. He wouldn’t be lucky the next time.
That meant that next time, he had to kill whoever he was sent to kill. He couldn’t allow his feelings and his thoughts to come between him and the creature he was sent after.
He sucked in a breath and stopped hitting the punching ball. He moved to the phone quickly, knowing Marsha didn’t appreciate having to wait, especially when he wasn’t on a job.
“Haven. In my office. Now.”
She hung up, leaving Haven to look at his phone screen until it went dark.
It was Marsha’s usual behavior, so Haven wasn’t overly worried. She wasn’t one for hellos and goodbyes. She didn’t have a lot of free time, and she tended to use as few words as possible. It made her sound curt and hard, but that wasn’t a problem. They weren’t friends. She was his boss, and as such, he didn’t expect to be coddled.
He took the quickest shower he could—Marsha wanted to see him right away, but she wouldn’t appreciate it if he dripped sweat all over her office—and headed over to her office. Her secretary waved him in, and Haven knew he was late. Maybe he shouldn’t have washed the sweat off after all if Marsha was already waiting for him.
He quickly knocked on the door, then opened it. Marsha was behind her desk, working on something, and she waved at him without looking at him. He stayed silent, letting her finish whatever she was doing. She would talk when she was ready to talk, and not one second sooner.
He stood there, waiting until she put down her pen and looked at him. “How are you feeling?” she asked.
She wasn’t one to ask how one was feeling, either, so Haven knew there was something there. “I’m fine.”
“Are you sure?”
“I’m sure. What happened was a fluke. I had to take care of one of those creatures, and I allowed the other two to slip away. It won’t happen again.” He hadn’t told the conclave the truth, and he wasn’t planning to. He’d come up with an excuse, and since there had been a body, it had worked. It wouldn’t work a second time, though, and he had to be careful.
Marsha nodded. “Good, because I have another job for you.” She paused, hesitating.
Haven held his breath. She didn’t usually behave like this—hesitant and unsure.
They weren’t friends, but they’d worked together for decades. They knew each other well, probably as well as anyone could know someone in their line of work. They weren’t close, but Marsha was the closest person he had to a friend except for Percival. Haven knew it was hard for her to juggle those opposing aspects of their relationship. Right now, though, she was his boss, and all signs of friendship were gone.
“This is your chance at redemption. There’s a supernatural creature kidnapping children and tearing apart their parents.”