Monday, September 01, 2008

Excerpt: The Agency-- Bear's Den by Michelle Hasker

Agency: Bear's Den
by Michelle Haskercover art by Karen Fox

ISBN (13): 978-1-59596-741-1

Genre(s): Paranormal, Action/Adventure

Theme(s): Shapeshifters

Series: Agency

Length: Novella

Richard’s had his best agents on this case from the start, but after one too many mistakes he’s not going to trust this final mission to anyone else. His ex-lover is his one hope to fix the trouble his agents have caused and capture the head of the drug cartel once and for all. Unfortunately, Sydney’s not the same woman he once knew and loved.
Sydney blew her last chance with Richard because of her fears and insecurities. She’s learned from her mistakes, and even if Richard never forgives her, she’ll do her damnedest to win him back, and prove she’s all the woman he needs, or die trying.
The Agency 4: Bear’s DenMichelle HaskerAll rights reserved.Copyright ©2008 Michelle Hasker
This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.
Richard studied the all white exterior of the house and wondered why Erik Hardaway had a fascination with the color. Or lack of color.
Sydney had convinced him that Erik was only guilty of ignorance in this case, but it didn’t mean he had to trust the man. A woman could be swayed by a handsome face. Especially one she’d been sleeping with for the past year.
Too much depended on this. It had taken years to get this close to shutting down the operation, and nothing -- not even personal feelings -- would keep him from putting the mastermind behind bars. He would retire with every case satisfactorily solved, and move as far from the luscious Sydney as he could.
The door opened before he could press the doorbell a second time. He pasted a smile on his face and waited for the person to step out of the shadows and greet him. The man who did was as immaculately dressed as Jess and Chase had warned him Erik would be, but the look on his face was not what he’d expected. Instead of a pleasure loving man concerned with his appearance and entertainment, he was a man who looked haunted by demons both internal and external. Richard could relate to that well.
“You look even fiercer than Sydney described.”
Richard gave a harsh laugh. That made two of them. Before he could make a comment, Erik pulled the door open wider and stepped to the side. “I’ve sent some of my staff on vacation while we sort out this mess. The attempts on my life are one thing, but I’ve already lost enough staff members I actually care about. I’m not even sure if I can trust my kitchen help anymore.”
“You’re worth more to them alive than dead.” Richard looked around the foyer. The bright white, enormous and expensive decorations were everything Chase had promised, and then some. And Erik was exactly as Jess described.
They stood almost the same height, except Erik was about an inch taller. Richard stiffened his spine and stared into the man’s blue eyes. As he studied the man’s tanned skin and blond hair, he understood why Jess had referred to Erik as a beach bum. Was Erik Sydney’s type? Why did he care?
A growl built in his throat. He tried to disguise it by clearing his throat, but knew his host wouldn’t be fooled for too long if he didn’t keep his animal urges under control.
“Sydney’s been busy preparing for your arrival.”
“I’m sure she has been. Are all the deadly weapons locked up so she can’t kill me?”
“She doesn’t want to kill you.” Erik’s genuine smile dimmed even more of Richard’s hope that Sydney hadn’t fallen under the man’s spell. With his perfect appearance, manners and money, no other man would be able to compete with him for a woman’s affections. Not even his weird quirk for white would scare off the ladies.
“I believe I know her better than you.” Richard smirked and adjusted his tie. Being polite to the man bedding his ex was more trying than he’d anticipated. Hadn’t he gotten over these feelings years ago?
“I don’t think so.” Erik shook his head. “You may have been intimate with her, but what Sydney and I share goes beyond that.”
Richard clenched his fists so tight they shook at his sides from the effort to keep his hands off his host. He had a job to do here. Whether he liked Erik or not, the man was actually innocent of any wrongdoing. That he was a pervert who hosted kinky parties wasn’t in question, but no one had ever been hurt, and no complaints had ever been lodged against him.
“Down, boy.” Erik flashed him another toothy grin. The urge to break some of those pearly whites was almost overwhelming. “I’m not trying to one up you or anything, but I’ve spent months with Sydney, and I know her inside and out. I know her better than you ever thought you did.”
Richard growled. “Shut up while you’re still breathing.”

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