Friday, August 19, 2011

Hellhound Detective Agency: Hell Hath No Fury by Anne Kane

Hellhound Detective Agency: Hell Hath No Fury

by Anne Kane
Cover art: Bryan Keller
ISBN: 978-1-60521-672-0
Genre(s): Futuristic, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Theme(s): Werewolves, Shapeshifters, Magic
Series: Hellhound Detective Agency
Length: Novella
Page Count: 45

If there was one thing guaranteed to piss off Fury, it was a man who didn't know how to treat a woman. One that actually hurt them on purpose, well, they'd better hope she managed to rein in her inner Hellhound when she came calling.
Women had been disappearing for months now, the kind of women that no one really cared about. Later, they'd turn up dead, and they didn't get that way easy. Then the killer made a mistake. The woman he'd been torturing escaped before he finished her off, and she called in the Hellhounds.
Now, the suspect is hiding behind a web of tech and Fury needs the help of a Tech Wizard to help to run him to ground. Axe finally gets the chance to prove that a werewolf-Hellhound cross is just what she needs for more than just work.
Hellhound Detective Agency: Hell Hath No Fury
Anne Kane
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2011 Anne Kane

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Yurik stumbled to a halt in front of the store, his lungs burning as he sucked in huge gulps of air. In the distance, the eerie baying of the Hellhound sent shivers of horror down his spine. She was getting closer, and nothing he'd done had shaken her from his trail. He was running out options.
Hellhounds didn't just decide to chase someone, they had to be pointed at you, and he knew who was responsible for his current predicament. Kali. She'd been so young and so deliciously innocent when he'd acquired her from her makeshift shelter in the alley. That high-pitched note of terror in her voice every night when he'd unlocked her cage to play with her had thrilled him during the endless days of her captivity. And then she'd escaped.
He couldn't believe that after all he'd done to her, she still had enough nerve to get up and run when he'd forgotten to lock her cage. If he ever got his hands on that bitch again, she'd wish she'd never been born. Now there was a Hellhound on his trail, and he had just one card left to play.
He pushed opened the door and stepped inside.
* * *
Fury pointed her nose to the sky, letting out a howl of sheer frustration. She'd been so close she could taste the perverted scumbag's fear in the very air she breathed, and now he was gone. He'd resorted to Tech Magic to cover his tracks, and that was the one thing guaranteed to drive her crazy. Only inferiors resorted to Tech.
An unfortunate rat dashed across the road in front of her, and pent-up aggression sent her pouncing on it. Her jaws snapping shut around its neck, she tore the rodent to bloody shreds before it even had time to register the danger.
Blood dripping from her muzzle, she sat back on her haunches and considered her options. This guy needed taken down quickly, before he zeroed in on his next victim. Scum like this never quit so long as they were alive. She flicked her tongue out to catch a red drop of blood.
Much as it pained her to admit it, she needed a Tech Wizard. She was proud of being a full-blooded Hellhound, able to track any prey using her own raw talent honed by Agency training. When a perp resorted to lowly Tech to avoid her, it meant she had to call in one of the Tech Wizards that the Hellhound Detective Agency kept on staff for just such occasions.
She got to her feet and started loping back toward the Agency. Might as well get it over with. A small flutter of anticipation warmed her belly, although she refused to acknowledge it. Axe was the best Tech Wizard at the Agency, so of course she'd do whatever it took to get him to cooperate.
* * *
Axe made an effort to mask his amusement, studying the cluttered top of his desk to avoid looking at her. No point in pissing off the Hellhound before he found out exactly what she was up to. He'd been trying unsuccessfully to get her to agree to go out with him since he'd first set eyes on her two years ago. She'd frozen him in his tracks with one look from those amazing eyes of hers, making no attempt to hide her distain for creatures with less than full Hellhound blood. So why was she suddenly in his office, engaging in idle chitchat?
"That new club over on Seventh is really drawing in the crowds." Fury leaned against the wall, ignoring the other chair. Axe knew she did it deliberately so that her head was positioned higher than his. Dominance games were as much a part of Hellhound DNA as breathing.
Axe tipped his leather office chair back, resting his feet on the paper-covered surface of his desk in a move calculated to show his disregard for the game. He might not be full Hellhound, but werewolves were playing these games long before the gates of Hell were opened. "Looks like a decent place. I haven't gotten around to checking it out yet."
Fury straightened up and sauntered over to the window, turning her back toward him. "We could go grab a beer after work. If you want."
He couldn't help it. His eyebrows shot skyward with the speed of light. "I want, but I'm a tad confused here. I thought you considered me to be slightly more obnoxious than the common cockroach."
She turned to face him, a sexy smile curving the corner of her mouth. "I wouldn't go that far. And I've reconsidered." Her gaze swept him from head to toe with the speed of a tornado. "You have certain... admirable qualities."
Axe grinned. She was good. He had to give her that. "I think I smell a conniving Hellhound. You want something, and you think I'll be dumb enough to give it to you just because you smile and wag your tail in my face?"
"Am I wrong?" She slipped her tongue out to trace a wet circle around her lips.
"Maybe. Maybe not. Depends what you want." Axe hauled himself to his feet and held out his hand in a mock courtly gesture. "Care to enlighten me over a glass of beer at the aforementioned establishment?"
Fury's eyes sparkled with mischief as she hooked her arm through his. "Delighted to. You're not quite the pushover I imagined."
"Thanks. I think." He slanted a quizzical look at her. "You honestly thought a werewolf-Hellhound cross could be a pushover?"
She shrugged. "The werewolf genes dilute the Hellhound blood."
Axe laughed. She had no clue how utterly ruthless and bloodthirsty a werewolf could be. Hellhounds were basically big scary dogs. Sure, they had supernatural talents, but they were still just dogs. Werewolves might appear to be more civilized, but only to those who didn't know them. She'd learn. And he was just the werewolf to teach her.

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