Tanner and his team are done helping with cleaning up Gillham, and they’re looking for something more interesting, like the string of burglaries that happened recently. What Tanner was not looking for was his mate—although he wouldn’t have said no to a boyfriend—but after he meets Orlando, he’s ready to make space for him in his life.
Meeting Tanner is the worst thing that could happen to Orlando. He wants to be with his mate, but Tanner is an enforcer, while Orlando is the cat shifter thief responsible for the recent burglaries. He’s already decided to retire and settle down with his best friend and his mate, but first, he has one last job to do.
When Tanner finds the thief in the mayor’s house, the last thing he expects is for the cat shifter to turn into Orlando. When Orlando tells him they’re mates, Tanner knows he can’t give him up to the authorities, so he lets him go. But Tanner is an enforcer. No matter how much he wants to be with Orlando, he doesn’t know if he can ever trust him.
When there’s another burglary, will Tanner be able to see through the pain of betrayal and believe Orlando has nothing to do with it? Or will they lose the fragile relationship they’ve managed to build?
Tanner walked down the sidewalk, following his team. He could see several of them on the other side of the street, and he was pretty sure Rose had snuck into the coffee shop. Maybe she was just checking out what was happening there, or maybe she wanted coffee. Tanner wasn’t going to try to keep her away from it. It wasn’t his business if she stepped away from work for a moment, and no one wanted an under-caffeinated Rose. She got grumpy.
Tanner wasn’t part of any of the conversations happening around him, probably because even though he was part of the team, he hadn’t been for long. There had recently been an influx of new enforcers and a departure of others who had better things to do than being sent out on missions and wanted to focus on family and love, and Tanner didn’t blame them. He wasn’t crazy about the fact that he’d had to move to another team, but that had nothing to do with his new team.
Tanner didn’t like change. He supposed he should be relieved he’d been able to stay in Gillham instead of being transferred to another town. He had Bran to thank for that, and he had.
“It’s hard to look at the town and see this,” someone murmured close by.
Tanner tried to understand who had spoken. He was pretty sure it was Lorcan, who’d grown up in Gillham like Tanner.
“We’re fixing it,” Justin answered. “And most of the people here are okay. I think that’s the best we could expect, considering what happened.”
Tanner agreed. After the Beasts had attacked Gillham, the town needed a good cleanup. Before the gang had arrived, a lot of windows had been boarded up, and it had helped. There was damage, especially close to the pack and on Main Street, but they were dealing with it. When Tanner wasn’t at work patrolling the streets and making sure everyone was okay, he was out there helping with cleanup. It made for a lot of work, but he didn’t mind.
He wasn’t like most of his team. He didn’t have anyone waiting for him at home except for his family, and while he loved them, they weren’t a mate. They weren’t even a boyfriend, which Tanner supposed would be easier to find. It was strange to be the only human on the team, though. Well, he wasn’t, since Xander was human, too, but Xander was mated, while Tanner wasn’t. Everyone on the team was either mated or in a relationship, and while Tanner was happy for them, he was also jealous.
He wanted that happiness, too. He wanted someone to go home to, talk to, and wake up with in the morning. He didn’t know if he would ever find out if he was someone’s mate, but even if he wasn’t, he could have a boyfriend. Maybe now that his life was calming down, he’d be able to meet someone.
“What do you think?” Justin asked.
It took Tanner a moment to realize Justin was talking to him. He was only half surprised to be included in the conversation. This team was close, more like a family than coworkers, and he was the new guy. They’d welcomed him, though, and they were trying to make him feel like he was part of it.
“I apologize. I wasn’t listening.”
Justin smiled, thankfully not bothered. “We were talking about the string of burglaries in the wealthy area of town. I’m surprised the mayor’s house hasn’t been targeted yet.”
Tanner had heard about the burglaries, but their team hadn’t been pulled in. Until they knew whether the thief was a shifter or a human, they wouldn’t be. The enforcers only took care of shifters and paranormal creatures, so it made sense. “Maybe it’s the next target,” he said.
“That’s what I was saying,” Justin agreed. “Lorcan thinks the thief won’t go to the mayor’s house because it would be too obvious.”
“Well, we don’t know how the thief thinks, but I don’t see why he shouldn’t try robbing the mayor’s house. The mayor is the richest man in town, after all.”
Kameron might be, if he didn’t spread his wealth to the town and pack. Or maybe that was pack money and not Kameron’s. Tanner couldn’t say he fully understood how the pack worked, not because he was human, but because he hadn’t asked and it wasn’t his business.
“I think it would be too dangerous for him,” Lorcan said.
“I think it might not be a guy,” Justin added.
Tanner agreed. He wasn’t sure why he’d said he, although something told him the thief was a guy. “What about the human police? Have they found out anything about the thief?” he asked. He was glad to be included in the conversation, and he didn’t want it to end.
He and the rest of the team were patrolling the streets of Gillham. The Beasts were long gone, but that didn’t mean the people in town felt safe. It helped to see the enforcers walk along the sidewalks, even though there wasn’t much work to do. Tanner didn’t mind, but he wished he could be out there helping clean up and rebuild instead of walking around. At least this allowed him to spend more time with his new team, which he sorely needed.
He hadn’t been transferred long before they’d been thrown into the war with the Beasts. There hadn’t been a lot of time to get to know the others, and Tanner would feel better once he did. They were his team, and he needed to be able to trust them to have his back at all times.