Lindsey sees ghosts. They make his life complicated, because most don’t take no for an answer, which is why he just got fired again. His only way to find a steady job is to work for someone who wants him to talk to ghosts, which is why he applies for a job at a PI agency. The problem is that he hates one of the PIs, and the man hates him.
Jerome wouldn’t say he hates Lindsey. He strongly dislikes him, and he has no intention of working with him. The only reason his partner convinced him to give this a try is that they’re stuck trying to solve the last case they were hired for, and they need results.
But those results aren’t what they expect. Lindsey isn’t what they expect, and when Jerome and Lindsey find themselves investigating a murder and getting shot at, Jerome will have to choose—can he trust Lindsey, or will his irrational hatred of humans doom both of them to death?
Jerome checked his watch when he heard the office front door open. He swore and got to his feet, knowing William would have things in hand but wanting to be there, too. They were partners, and they worked together. William shouldn’t be welcoming clients on his own.
Jerome rushed to his office door but paused before stepping out. He stood taller, looked down to check that his shirt was neat and that he hadn’t gotten it dirty with ketchup, patted his hair, and finally walked out of his office.
William was in the waiting area with two people, a man and a woman. They had to be in their mid-fifties, maybe a bit older, but it was hard to tell because of the worry carved on their faces. The man looked like he hadn’t slept in days, and his wife wasn’t that far behind. He held her hand as he spoke, while she looked around. Her gaze stopped on Jerome, and her eyes widened only for a second. It happened often, so Jerome wasn’t offended. He also knew she couldn’t see any hint of his dragon when he was in his human form. He’d worked hard as a child and a teenager to keep his dragon always under control, and it had come in handy. Humans tended to treat him better when they didn’t realize he could shift at will.
William turned around when he noticed the lady looking at Jerome, and he smiled tiredly. “This is my associate, Mr. Allais.”
The man nodded. “French name?” he asked.
Jerome strode to him, offering him his hand. “It is, yes.” It was his mother’s name, but he didn’t mention that. People always had a lot of questions when he explained he didn’t have his father’s surname, and he wasn’t in the mood right now.
“These are Mr. and Mrs. Adams,” William explained. “They’re here to talk to us about their son.”
Jerome nodded. “Why don’t we sit down? Do you want coffee or anything else?”
Mrs. Adams was still staring at Jerome, but he did his best not to stare back. He’d worked with enough people that he understood that when something was wrong, they did everything they could to distract themselves. Often, that included staring at people they normally wouldn’t be staring at. She’d probably realize what she was doing soon, and she’d stop.
Mr. Adams shook his head. “We’re fine, thank you. We just want to talk about Dennis.”
“It’s this way,” William said, guiding them to the conference room.
Their space was small, but large enough for each of them to have their own office, a bathroom, and a conference room. Since they worked together on most cases, they found it easier to meet their clients in a conference room, where all of them could sit around the table and talk about whatever was going on.
Jerome grabbed a bottle of water from the breakroom before following William and the Adamses into the conference room. When he got there, Mrs. Adams was already in her seat, and her husband was sitting next to her. He took her hand as soon as they were in their seats, and Jerome took a moment to look at them.
Something terrible had happened to them, but that wasn’t very surprising, considering that he and William were PIs. People usually came to them when something bad happened, although Jerome had no way to know what that something was. They took care of a lot of cheating cases and divorces, but not just those. Since Jerome was a dragon shifter, he often had to deal with paranormal creatures. That meant the cases they could deal with covered pretty much anything, although he tried to keep William out of the worst situations. William was human, and Jerome wasn’t about to put him in danger.
“Why don’t you tell us about Dennis?” William asked.
He seated himself in front of them on the other side of the table, and Jerome took the chair next to him. William usually dealt with clients and answered the phone when they called to make an appointment, and Jerome liked things that way. They tried to work together as much as possible, but it was better to divide some things. William answered the phone and booked appointments while Jerome took care of supernatural cases. So far, it had worked well for them, and he hoped that wouldn’t change.
Mr. and Mrs. Adams gazed at each other. She nodded, and Mr. Adams looked back at William and Jerome. “He’s nineteen years old,” he explained. “Almost twenty. He’s always been very independent, and that hasn’t changed as he grew up. He went out with friends a few days ago, and he never came back.”
Jerome frowned. He didn’t like missing person cases, but they dealt with those quite a bit, especially when it came to supernatural creatures. He didn’t think the Adamses belonged to his world, though. They felt entirely human to him, but he could be wrong.
“I suppose you went to the police,” William said, echoing Jerome’s thoughts.
Mr. Adams’s expression changed. He looked angry now, and that was enough to tell Jerome what had happened with the police.
“We did,” he confirmed. “The day after Dennis didn’t come home, we tried calling him and his friends. We couldn’t find him. His friends told us that he was supposed to get a cab, and that’s when they last saw him. We went to the station and explained what happened, but they wouldn't help us. They said Dennis is an adult and that he’d probably come back in a few days. They told us not to worry.”