Banshee Charmer Page 25
’’Quinton was my brother,’’ he said, finally. ’’He wasn\ ...stable. He was never quite right, odd even when we were kids. We figured out something was really wrong when girls started going missing in our hometown ones he\d been seen with. I realized later that he was getting worse because of the women he\d killed absorbing too much can be dangerous, but it packs a hefty punch of power.’’ He let out a heavy sigh. ’’By the time the locals made the connection and called us, he\d moved on.’’
’’Who is us?’’ The pain in his voice drained the anger from me. I wanted to reach out and touch his shoulder, comfort him, maybe take some of the pain out of his face. But I needed answers.
’’Technically, we are part of the OWEA, but we don\ answer to the normals or report through the standard channels. Our records are separate from the other divisions of the OWEA. Regular agents can\ access them. We\ e sent into situations that it would be...awkward for humans to know about.’’
’’I get plenty of cases where otherworlders have killed normal humans. I\ve never seen you people before.’’ But it made sense. No wonder Greaves couldn\ find a record of Aidan in the OWEA.
’’Like I said, we\ e called in when things need to remain discreet. Special circumstances.’’
’’What was so special about this case?’’
’’Other than the fact that incubi are supposed to be extinct, you mean?’’
I blinked. I\d forgotten that, but it still didn\ make sense. ’’Yeah, other than that.’’
’’We\ve built up our numbers enough to go public again, as a registered subspecies. Coming out as the result of an investigation into a serial killer isn\ the best way to show ourselves. Worst-case scenario, they could categorize us as subhuman, though even with this coming out party, I doubt that\ll happen. But it would have been nice not to come out by way of a serial killer.’’
’’So much for avoiding that. You\ll be lucky if this story isn\ on every channel by now, incubus.’’
’’I know.’’ He put his face down onto his knees. ’’What\s done is done. We\ll just have to deal with it.’’
’’Super special cover up?’’
He shrugged, cocking his head to look at me. ’’That\s not my problem anymore. My team is strictly an investigative agency, but with fewer rules than standard OWEA divisions.’’
’’What? Like the CIA or something?’’
’’Yeah, I guess that\s a pretty good parallel. Not as much bureaucracy or personnel. Not as many noses in our business.’’ He touched his nose playfully.
’’Ah.’’ There you go, Mac, kill him with your wit. ’’Why didn\ you tell me any of this sooner? And don\ give me any crap about being sworn to secrecy.’’
He shook his head. ’’I couldn\ tell you, for reasons I can\ even confide in you now. But mostly the reasons weren\ official.’’ He kept his eyes pointed anywhere but at me. ’’I wanted to keep you safe, and it seemed safer to keep you gathering a bit of information here and there ’’
’’To help you with your investigation, you mean,’’ I snapped.
’’Yes, but not to keep all the glory or anything. I just...’’ His jaw clenched, and he paused as if searching his mind for the right way to say what he needed to. ’’I\d seen what he\d done, Kiera. I couldn\ let that happen to you.’’ He glanced up, meeting my eyes for a brief moment before looking away again. ’’I knew you were special, the first night I met you. I couldn\ stand the thought of him getting his hands on you. And after he proved he could take someone as strong as your partner ’’ Aidan drew a deep, ragged breath. ’’I wish...’’
’’What?’’ I met his gaze and he looked away.
’’I wish you hadn\ seen him. It must feel I mean, do you look at me and see the monster who attacked you?’’
I scooted closer to Aidan and pressed two fingers under his chin, prodding him to look me in the eye. His normal grin was gone, replaced by a frown that cut across his features. He looked tired, and sad. I didn\ like it.
’’Hmm...your hair is all wrong. You\ e missing a certain crazy glint in your eye. Sorry bub, not seeing it.’’
For a moment he stared at me, jaw slack and eyes wide. Slowly, a smile overtook his face and my heart warmed. He leaned forward and kissed me, a soft touch, testing.
I kissed him back, tugging him closer to make it more interesting. When he finally pulled away, we were both out of breath. The morning air felt cool against my suddenly hot cheeks.
Giving me his normal grin, he looked me up and down. ’’Shower?’’ he asked, wiggling his eyebrows.
I laughed, and tension released from my chest. ’’I\ll meet you in there.’’
As Aidan pushed himself up and went into the house, I watched the sun fully reveal itself on the horizon. Amanda was gone, but her killer no longer threatened the lives of other women. She would be proud, and I could take comfort in that. Justice had been served. A very hot man waited for me in my house. And the sun was shining. I smiled and headed for the shower.