Working Blurb: Sin Marston is one of the rare humans who can see through glamor. When the hidden came out of the veil with the treaty of 2010, the magical visitors flowed into the Terran realm, both the good and the bad. Through her private security firm, Sin helps law enforcement with hidden problems and hidden visitors who wish to avoid falling afoul of confusing Terran law and custom. Business is booming, and she has almost paid off her student loans when a chance encounter with a stunning fire elemental reveals the daring art heist she thwarted was something very different.
I peer over the lip of my glass, mesmerized by the tiny flames dancing on Rad’s fingertips. But then, I’ve spent the last hour mesmerized by every aspect of Rad. I’ve become accustomed to the gentle resonance of his power, finding it fades at arm’s distance and intensifies with contact.
I’ve heard of elementals, but he’s the first one I’ve met. Half turned on the loveseat to face him, I lean forward for a better look. His glossy black hair catches the light from the dozen candles that augment the light streaming onto the balcony from the living room windows.
“Can you send fire away as well as summon it?”
He chuckles and the dancing flames disappear.
“I mean, one you didn’t summon to start with?”
Three of the candles lighting the balcony go out and I laugh in surprise and delight. The power of his presence coupled with his playful attitude is pushing all my buttons in the best way possible.
He mirrors my position, our knees touching, intensifying my awareness of both his power and his maleness. “I would know about Sin Marston. Your ability to penetrate glamour suggests Hidden ancestry. Do you know the species?”
When the Elder Council revealed hidden realms, the school authorities stopped trying to medicate me against my ‘delusions’ and had me checked for Hidden DNA. It turns out that psychics, among others, are Hidden descendants. “I was tested at seventeen and they found nothing.”
His fingers trace my kneecap. “Odd. Are there many like you?”
“A few.” HRAC claims to have a dozen, but I only met two. As his fingers dance close to my skirt hem, I realize I should come clean about my affiliation. “I met two during the five years I worked at the HRAC.”
His lips tighten. “You said you weren’t with H-rac.”
“I’m not. Almost six years now. They recruited me out of college, but it wasn’t a place I could make a career. Now I’m freelance. Private security and investigations. About half of my clients are Terran companies and law enforcement agencies who suspect Hidden of criminal behavior. The other half are Hidden visiting Terra wishing to avoid behavior that will bring them into contact with law enforcement. Next week I’m escorting a group of goblins on a tour of Salem.”
His eyes widen and he barks a laugh. “How did you encounter goblins?”
“A referral from some djinns I escorted to New Orleans for Mardi Gras one year.”
He slides closer. One knee nudges between mine, his hands finding my waist. “And law enforcement? What do you do for them?”
Even through his leather pants, his knee is hot against my exposed skin. Delicious ripples of pleasure expand from the point of contact. His lips are so close. Another inch and I can brush them with mine. “Today, I caught the imp behind the medieval gold thefts.”
His head jerks back. Ruby flares in his eyes. “You did what?”
“Caught an art thief?”
“How long ago?” Those are definitely flames in his eyes. “Where is the imp? Does H-rac have her?”
“How did you know it’s a her?”
His hands tighten, fangs visible as the deadly predator emerges from the charming diplomat. “The elders will not be pleased.”
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