Detective Thaddeus Ezax is in over his head. He’s the only wizard in Rockshade’s Paranormal Investigations Department, and it was his name that got him the job. The Ezaxs are known as some of the most powerful wizards in the world, but Thaddeus isn’t your average Ezaxs. Is it any wonder his family shuns him?
When a kidnapping case is dropped into his lap, Thaddeus must act fast. While most five-year-olds can cast a location spell, Thaddeus can't and is forced to get creative. When he finds himself in possession of a black market werewolf skull with a ghost trapped inside, accidentally releases the spirit, and somehow forms a connection with it, things get even crazier.
Sandulf Hunter doesn’t remember dying, but he remembers the last thing he saw before everything went black -- a wizard. All wizards must die! The only problem is, the wizard standing next to him smells too damned good, so good Sandy thinks he might have to keep him.
And since wherever Thaddeus goes, Sandulf finds himself yanked along, he might not have a choice in the matter anyway.
“Yes, the killer is a soul eater. I, at least, think he or she is a soul eater.”
“A female serial killer preying on other females?” Ric crossed his arms over his chest giving Thaddeus a look clearly stating he didn’t believe him.
“Gender has nothing to do with it.” The soft voice had Sandy whirling around with a snarl. He hadn’t noticed anyone coming up beside him. The woman, a short, shapely -- he pulled in a breath through his nose to place the scent -- human, stood way too close for Sandy’s comfort.
“Oh, you’re up.” Thaddeus smiled, and a knot formed in Sandy’s gut. Damn, he was -- pretty was the wrong word, but Sandy wanted to taste his smile, wanted to put his lips on Thaddeus’ to show everyone here those smiles belonged to him. Fuck.
Sandy moved away to increase the distance between him and the woman, hoping no one would notice he moved instead of making the human do it.
The human wouldn’t understand the power struggle, they were most often blind to that sort of thing, but Ric and the cat man wouldn’t be.
The woman nodded and gave Thaddeus a soft smile. The growl climbing Sandy’s throat wouldn’t be halted. Why was she smiling at Sandy’s mate? Didn’t she see Sandy standing here?
Sandy stepped closer to Thaddeus, flashing teeth at the human, and winced at how he was acting. That Ric hadn’t called him on it was a miracle.
“So ... You’re saying?” The cat man looked between Thaddeus and the woman.
With a deep breath, Thaddeus focused on the cat man. “I did something really stupid.”
“You do stupid things every day.” Ric sneered again, and while Sandy understood not liking wizards, he could at least let Thaddeus speak without constantly putting him down.
Sandy growled as yet another shifter appeared behind the woman. “How many are you in here?” Sandy turned to Thaddeus.
“This is everyone. Wulfric Hunter --”
“I know Ric!”
“Well, yes, okay, moving on.” Everyone stood stock still staring at Thaddeus as if he’d lost his mind. Why did they look at him like that? Thaddeus glanced at him and grimaced. “And this is my boss, Captain Kol Jaecar. Next to him, you have my partner Elora Long, she a psychic, not a wizard --”
“Human.” Sandy looked Elora up and down.
“I guess.” Thaddeus shrugged. “And behind her, you have Leo Norden, Ric’s partner.” His face was pale as he looked into Sandy’s eyes. Then he continued, “Everyone --” He gestured at Sandy. “-- this is Sandulf Hunter.”
The roar was instant. Sandy didn’t have time to react before Ric had taken Thaddeus to the ground. The air filled with the scent of blood as sharp teeth tore through Thaddeus’ clothes. Blue sparks exploded around them followed by a fire acting as a guard dog. It took a shape no fire ever should, and it was attacking Ric without touching the floor.
Sandy grew cold, as if someone gulped down everything that kept him warm, in deep swallows. One moment, he was fine, the next, ice clogged his veins. With one last gulp, Sandy lost his shape. He could sense part of himself being sucked into Thaddeus right before Ric was shoved off him by invisible hands and held there. He struggled in the hold, growling, and snarling, blood smeared over his half-shifted face.
Sandy sank down on the floor next to Thaddeus. Blood seeped steadily from Thaddeus’ shoulder, but he’d managed to keep Ric from his throat. He was pale and the scent of panic was almost as strong as that of the blood.
“What the fuck, Ric?” Sandy didn’t remember moving. One second he was by Thaddeus’ side, the next he was snarling in Ric’s face. “Have you lost your mind?” It wasn’t until Sandy raised his hand he noticed he was see-through, hardly holding his shape at all. What the fuck? “Thaddeus, what’s happening?” He didn’t look away from his arm.
“Sorry ... had to ... borrow ... power.”
Sandy looked over his shoulder at Thaddeus. He was paler than before, his face drawn, and the blood kept seeping out of him. Why wasn’t he healing?
The cat man -- Jaecar? Leo? -- cleared his throat. “What’s going on?”
“Calm down!” Sandy hadn’t meant to roar at him, but he was ... see-through, Thaddeus was hurt, and Ric wasn’t acknowledging him. It was too much to handle all at once.
Cold pierced his soul as the Captain stepped right through him. Sandy moved away, his lips clamped shut so he wouldn’t whimper at the sensation.