The hammering gained new intensity as if Curran was trying to pound the house into the ground. I guessed he was trying to get the nails all the way in with one hit.

"I'm here with Knight-protector Monahan. He informed me of your involvement with the Red Point Stalker murders."

Red Point Stalker. Ugh. Sounded like some half-baked made-for-TV mystery.

The hammering had reached deafening levels.

"We're impressed. If you don't mind me asking, what is that banging?"

"Just a minute." I put the receiver on the table and yelled, "Curran!"


"Could you hold a minute? I'm on the phone with PAD."

He growled something, but the hammering ceased.

"I'm sorry. You were saying... ?" I asked the phone.

"I was saying that we're very impressed with your work. We contacted the Pack and the Beast Lord had very good things to say about you."

"He did?"


"Just a minute." I lowered the receiver. "Curran?"


"Did you get a call from PAD about me?"

"I may have."

"What did you tell them?"

"I don't recall. I think I mentioned your discipline and ability to follow orders. I may have said something about you being a team player."

Derek emitted a strangled cough.

"Why?" I demanded.

"It seemed like a good idea at the time." Curran resumed hammering.

"I'm sorry," I said into the phone, sticking my finger into my other ear so I could hear. "His Majesty tends to exaggerate things. I'm not a team player. I'm undisciplined and I have a problem with authority. Also, the Beast Lord can't hammer for shit."

On the roof Derek was laughing his head off.

"I wasn't looking for a team player," Gray said.


"What do you know about Marduk?"

"An ancient deity. Prefers human sacrifice. He's particular about how it's prepared. Why?"

"I'm looking for an Order representative to assist my team with one of our cases. Your name came up."

"I'm flattered but I have no authority to represent the Order."

"Knight-protector says that you do."

"Oh." Oh was a nice word. Short and neutral.

"I spoke to the Guild; they are on board. They recognize a need for a liaison between themselves and the Order and it seems everyone would be happy if you took the job."

Liaison between the Guild and the Order. A salary. An actual salary - probably embarrassingly small - but still, a salary. Unfortunately in my current financial state "small" would prove to be a problem. "I'm sorry," I said. "I would love to help you but I can't. I'm broke. As a matter of fact, at the moment I'm less than penniless, and I'll have to take a regular Guild gig before I can commit to anything else."

There was a muffled sound of distant conversation and Gray said, "The knight-protector's asking if you've checked your mail lately."

I poked the pile of correspondence with my foot and it spilled onto the floor.

"Is there something in particular I should be looking for?"

"A blue envelope."

I fished the blue envelope out of the pile and opened it, cradling the receiver between my shoulder and my ear. A beautiful statement looked back at me, boasting of six thousand dollars being deposited into my account. The caption stated, "For services rendered as stated in accordance with Article Ml." Ml covered crusaders. Unlike most knights, they didn't draw a salary but were paid per job.

"Please tell him thank you for me." I'd never become a crusader, Ted and I both knew it. But I was grateful for the rescue.

"I will," Gray said. "So will you take the job?"

Thank you, Ted. "Yes," I said. "I will."

"Great. When can you start?"

I looked outside where a beautiful day was just beginning and thought of the two shapechangers on my roof.

"Tomorrow," I said. "I can start tomorrow."


Tags: Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels Vampires
Source: www.StudyNovels.com
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