Win is the council assassins’ handler, and that means he has to keep them safe. That’s not an easy thing to do when there’s a group of people trying to kill them, but Win has done his best, and now they’re down to only six people to eliminate before he can take care of his family. But his obsession with their safety means he doesn’t have time for anything else, and that includes Graham, the assassins’ cook—and his mate.
Graham has suspected there was a bond between him and Win ever since he arrived at the warehouse, but since he’s human, he can’t be sure. He won’t get any answers from Win, who spends more time in his office working than he should. If Graham wasn’t there to make sure he ate and slept, he probably would have collapsed, and that’s the last thing Graham wants.
Graham’s opportunity to find out if that bond is really present comes when the council puts Win on a forced vacation. It so happens that Graham is headed home to his parents for two weeks, and somehow, Win ends up going with him. Will that interlude be enough for Graham to get through to Win? Or will Win be unable to forget about the work waiting for him back home and ignore Graham? Will the assassins finally find out what’s really happening with the people trying to kill them?
Win raked a hand through his hair and glared at the stack of documents on his desk. He’d already gone through them once, but he was going to have to do it again, just in case he’d missed anything. He wouldn’t be surprised if he had, because he was having trouble seeing straight, and that meant he needed more coffee.
He got up and stretched, then rolled his neck. He wasn’t sure how long he’d been sitting at his desk, but his leg was stiff, so it had been a while. That was nothing new, not since he’d become the handler for the council assassins. He loved his job and the people he protected and worked with, but he could have done without so much time in his chair.
He limped toward the small counter in the corner where the coffee pot was. The sludge left in the pot was cold and as black as tar, so he rinsed the pot in the sink and started a new one. He leaned against the counter as he waited, but his focus kept returning to the files on the desk.
He sighed. The council had already decided who the next assassins’ targets would be in the list of people trying to kill them, so there wasn’t much Win could do. He needed to, though. He felt like he wasn’t doing enough to protect his family.
He just didn’t have a clue what more to do.
He’d gone over all the files. He’d been in countless meetings with the council. He’d already picked who would have the marks based on what he knew about them. There wasn’t anything else to do until his people came back from their job and told him if they’d found something new.
Because Win didn’t believe that this was just a group of people trying to get rid of the council assassins and the council. There had to be more. He knew the council was a bother for a lot of powerful, rich people who wanted to do what they desired without having checks and balances and someone to answer to.
All the people on the list had money, so it might only be that they wanted more of it. But Win’s instinct told him there was more to this. He just wasn’t sure how to find it, and as far as he knew, there wasn’t any hint of it in the files he already had. He hoped the assassins would be able to find out more after going on their next job, but there was no guaranteeing that, even though they had orders to interrogate their marks before killing them.
The knock on the door startled Win. He jumped and instantly berated himself for it. He eyed the door, wary. Was it Graham again? He wouldn’t be surprised. The man had taken on the role of a mother hen with Win, and while Win’s okapi was delighted at the attention and the closeness to their mate, Win’s human side wasn’t as happy. “Come in.”
The door opened, and Beck peeked in. Win relaxed and waved him inside. Roark followed him, and Win realized it was already time for their meeting.
“Did you smell I was making fresh coffee?” he asked them, attempting humor.
Beck smiled, but Roark was staring at the files on Win’s desk, and no doubt at the three empty coffee cups.
Win sighed. He wasn’t in the mood for a scolding. He already got enough of that from Graham, even though he did his best to avoid the man.
“It doesn’t look like you need more coffee,” Roark pointed out.
“I’m not sure when I used those mugs, to be honest. They could have been here since yesterday.”
Roark arched a brow. “We both know that’s bullshit. You’re twitchy as fuck, Win.”
Win glared. “You’d be twitchy in my place, too. It doesn’t have anything to do with coffee.”
“Not entirely, no, but the coffee isn’t helping. Didn’t Graham give you an herbal tea to drink or something?”
Win wrinkled his nose. “It smells like dirty socks.” There was no way he was drinking that, not even because Graham had given it to him.
Beck flopped into one of the chairs in front of Win’s desk. “The tea is that bad?”