Federal Paranormal Agency 6 - Leannan (15 page)

BOOK: Federal Paranormal Agency 6 - Leannan
6.24Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

It took a minute to convince himself to leave, but he somehow managed to turn and walk away. Shoving his hands into his pockets, Toby got lost in the crowd as he strolled down the busy sidewalk.

Loud noise surrounded him— horns honking, sirens blaring, and the indistinct chatter of people in various conversations. He ignored all of it. Toby kept his head down, staring at his feet as they carried him away from Duncan’s house.

By the time he reached the tall condo building on Leonard Street where all the FPA agents lived, it was dark. He pushed the door open and came to an abrupt stop when he saw Graham leaning against the wall beside the elevators.

“Hi,” he mumbled.

“Hey,” Graham said, pushing himself off the wall. “I tried calling you a few times, but your phone kept going to voicemail.”

“The battery died,” Toby lied. He pressed the call button for the elevator and waited, hoping the damn thing would hurry.

“Are you hungry?” Graham asked. “Since you stood me up before, do you want to grab some dinner?”

“No.” He shook his head. “I’m tired. I think I’m gonna go to bed.”

The elevator doors slid open, and Toby stepped in along with Graham. He pressed number eighteen, and the doors closed.

“Please, Toby. Talk to me.”

“I don’t have anything to say.”

“You used to confide in me, remember?”

Toby turned toward Graham. He grasped his friend’s hand and stared into his warm brown eyes. “I
need
my mate. I’ve been without him for
three
years. I don’t know how much more I can take. I cry myself to sleep, and when I wake up, I’m in so much pain I can barely breathe. Trust me when I say that you can’t help me.” He shook his head for emphasis. “Nobody can.”

When the elevator doors slid open once again, Toby dropped Graham’s hand.

“Is that what you wanted to hear?” Toby asked.

Graham’s eyes filled with pity. “I’m sorry you’re in pain. I wish there was something I could do. If you ever want to talk, you’re not alone. I’ll always be here for you.”

“Good night,” Toby said as the elevator doors closed.

Chapter Sixteen

The familiar jingle coming from his cell phone pulled Toby away from his dream. Slowly sitting up, he grabbed the device off the nightstand. Bruno Fischer’s name flashed across the screen, and Toby clicked the talk button.

“Hey,” he said
with
a yawn.

“Duncan Ó Branagáin is MIA,” Bruno said in place of a greeting.

Toby’s heart flipped inside his chest, the organ coming to life at the mere mention of his mate’s name. “What do you mean? What’s going on?”

“They released him, but now he’s wanted for questioning, and they can’t find him.”

“Why?”

“My sources say that he left Ireland and he’s searching for you. He wants payback.”

“I don’t understand.” Toby kicked the blanket away and climbed out of bed. He started pacing around his bedroom. “Do you really think I’m in danger?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Does he know who I am?”

Toby had been waiting for this day to come since being forcibly dragged from Duncan’s home in Ireland. He’d never expected to hear that his mate would come searching for him though. In all of his daydreams, it had been the other way around, Toby jumping on a plane and rushing to Duncan’s side. In those fantasies, Duncan always forgave him and welcomed him back with open arms.

“Like I said, I don’t know. He was told that Thomas Doyle was killed in a car accident, but other than that, nobody knows for certain if he found out your true identity.”

“Weren’t the charges supposed to be dropped against him? Did you talk to the other agents?”

Bruno sighed. “That’s where things get worse for Duncan. The agents we worked with—Lionel, Griffeth, and Conall—they’re dead.”

“No.” Toby shook his head. “Duncan wouldn’t kill them. He may have been a weapons dealer, but he’s not a murderer.”

“He’s their primary suspect.”

“But that doesn’t make any sense.”

“An alert went out to all the agencies. They’re hunting for him.”

“Fuck,” Toby breathed out. He needed to find Duncan before anyone else did. “Thanks for calling.”

“Don’t do anything stupid,” Bruno warned.

“He’s my mate.” This meant that Toby would do everything in his power to protect Duncan, regardless of the consequences.

“I know.”

He needed to find Duncan before anyone else did. Most agents shot first and asked questions later. He wouldn’t allow Duncan to go down like that. His mate was innocent. There was no way that Duncan would have killed those agents. He had nothing to gain from their deaths. It didn’t make any sense.

“How long ago did they lose track of him?”

“Three days.”

“He could already be here,” Toby muttered.

Duncan had access to a lot of money, but more than that, he knew people.

“He could be anywhere,” Bruno said. “I’ll make a few more calls. If I hear anything else, I’ll let you know.”

“Okay.”

Toby ended the call. He stood rooted to the ground as a wave of emotion crashed over him. After three years, he was finally going to see his mate again. He didn’t know if Duncan would be pleased to see him or not, and at this point, Toby didn’t care. The drive to be near Duncan overruled every other logical thought.

Was Duncan in New York? Did he know Toby’s true identity? Had Duncan killed the other agents for information? Did he want revenge? Was he looking for Toby in order to get payback? Questions ran through his mind so fast he was barely able to think straight.

One thing was for certain. Toby refused to believe that Duncan was a killer.

Toby glanced toward the clock on the bedside table. It was only a little after midnight, and there was only one place he wanted to be, Duncan’s house. Marching into the nearby closet, Toby pulled on a pair of worn jeans and a T-shirt. He put on his tennis shoes and tied the laces before grabbing his black duffel bag off the top shelf.

He hustled toward the kitchen and dropped his cell phone onto the counter beside his badge. That way nobody could track his movements. He stared at the piece of metal, and his heart clenched. He’d spent most of his life trying to earn the right to join the FPA, but his first solo mission had changed everything. He didn’t belong here anymore. His place was beside Duncan, and Toby knew he would do whatever was necessary to protect the man. Three years ago, Toby had made the biggest mistake of his life. He hadn’t followed his natural instincts where his mate was concerned.

Reaching out a shaky hand, Toby ran his fingers over the engraved letters one last time.
Department of Justice, Federal Paranormal Agency.

Turning on his heel, Toby strode toward the elevator. He made his way to FPA headquarters located underneath the federal building. When the doors opened, Toby stepped into the hallway and looked around, hoping he was alone. A whispered voice caught his attention, and Toby paused, listening closely.

“One-two cha-cha-cha…three-four cha-cha-cha…One-two cha-cha-cha…three-four cha-cha-cha…”

Instead of heading straight for the armory, his original destination, Toby took a
detour. He followed the voice
toward the tech room. When he reached the threshold, he stopped and stared at Axel Lee. The tech guru was dancing. He moved around the center of the room gracefully, as he continued mumbling to himself.

“One-two cha-cha-cha…three-four cha-cha-cha…”

When Axel saw him, the lion shifter stopped suddenly. His cheeks flushed with embarrassment, and he looked down at his feet as if he was hoping the ground might open up and swallow him whole.

“Do you mind if I cut in?” Toby asked.

Axel’s head jerked up, and his eyes widened in surprise. A small smile teased the corner of his lips, and he nodded. Toby dropped his duffel bag and walked into the room. He put his left hand on Axel’s shoulder and held out his right. Axel wrapped his right hand around Toby’s waist and took his hand.

“One-two cha-cha-cha…three-four cha-cha-cha…” Axel took the lead, showing Toby the steps, and Toby followed along, dancing with the other shifter.

“You’re a great dancer,” Toby told him.

“Listen, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t tell anyone.”

“Your secret’s safe with me.”

“What can I do for you tonight, Toby?”

“What makes you think I need anything?”

“Answering a question with a question.” He raised a brow. “That’s never a good sign.”

“I can’t share anything about this particular case.”

“It’s top secret, huh?” Axel’s tone of voice told Toby that the lion shifter didn’t necessarily believe him, but the other man didn’t call him a liar to his face.

He nodded. “I was heading to the armory when I heard you.”

Toby didn’t want to lie, but he wasn’t ready to share anything with anyone. He needed to confront Duncan alone and deal with his mate one-on-one.

“At this hour, I’m usually alone.”

“When do you sleep?”

“I don’t.” He shrugged.

Toby merely nodded. He understood perfectly. He rarely got a full night’s sleep. In fact, the only time he slept was when he passed out from sheer exhaustion after staying awake far too long.

Duncan.
His mate’s name whispered through his mind, bringing him back to the present and the real reason he was at FPA headquarters.

Toby dropped his arms and gave Axel a little bow. “Thank you for the dance.”

Axel smiled. “Anytime.” Toby had turned and started toward the door when a warm hand touched his shoulder, stopping him. “I know being the new guy can be tough. If you need a friend, I’m here.”

“Thanks.”

Axel dropped his hand. “Take care of yourself.”

“I will.”

Toby grabbed his duffel bag from the ground, leaving Axel inside the tech room. As he strode down the hallway, the stress he’d been feeling only moments ago flooded back.

When he reached the armory, Toby filled his bag with as
many
weapons as it could hold—machine guns, flash-bang grenades, handguns, and plenty of bullets. He might be going overboard, but truthfully, Toby wasn’t sure what he was facing, and it was important to be prepared.

* * * *

Toby stood across the street from Duncan’s house, staring at the brownstone. The interior lights were on, beckoning him to come inside. Somebody was home, but was it his mate? Although he wanted to walk over and ring the doorbell, Toby needed to think like the well-trained agent he was. He couldn’t afford to act naïve. Toby crouched down beside his bag and unzipped it. He pulled out the 9mm and put a bullet in the chamber, tucking it in the back of his pants.

Toby stared down at the arsenal of weapons he’d brought and frowned. He couldn’t storm the house with flashbang grenades and guns blazing. Not only would it draw unwanted attention from the police but Toby didn’t want to kill anyone. He couldn’t abandon the bag on the side of the road either. Toby put the straps over his shoulder and stood. He jogged across the street, alert and cautious.

Making his way along the side of Duncan’s house, Toby stayed close to the brick wall, carefully creeping forward. He went toward his usual entrance, hoping the window was still unlocked. With each step he took, Toby’s heart pounded wildly, adrenaline making him practically shake. He hid the duffel bag under a nearby bush since he wouldn’t be able to haul it inside the house.

Taking a couple deep breaths, Toby rolled his shoulders, trying to ease his nerves. After a couple of minutes, Toby reached up and tested the window. The glass slid open, surprising him. He pulled his body up, climbing inside. When his feet hit the floor, Toby jerked upright. He pulled his weapon free from the waistband of his jeans, holding the 9mm at the ready. Toby scanned the room, looking for an immediate threat.

He crouched down behind the sofa and lifted his face, scenting the air. A mixture of fresh scents told him that Duncan was inside the house with about a half-dozen other men. It was now or never. He had to make a decision and be quick about it. Keeping low to the ground, Toby was silent as he moved forward.

He spotted a human standing by the front door, peeking out the window, with his back to him. Standing up, Toby rushed behind the human and pressed the barrel of his 9mm against the back of the man’s head. The guy froze instantly.

“I don’t want to hurt you,” Toby said. “I only want Duncan. Where is he?”

“I’m right here, love.”

Toby spun around and came face-to-face with his mate. He was momentarily stunned as he stared into Duncan’s icy blue eyes. The other man looked exactly like the picture inside Toby’s mind—tall, dark, and incredibly handsome. He took Toby’s breath away with a single look.

Toby instantly lowered his weapon, pointing the barrel at the floor. He opened his mouth but quickly closed it, unsure of what to say. He’d been waiting so long for this moment, and now he couldn’t seem to say a single word.
I’m sorry. I love you. God, I’ve missed you so damn much.
The words sat on his tongue, unmoving.

Without warning, something slammed into the back of his head, and Toby crumbled to the floor.
Why did I trust him?

“You didn’t need to hit him, Danny,” Duncan chastised.

“He put a gun to my head.”

Duncan knelt down and picked Toby up, cradling him against his chest. Toby struggled to stay awake, but his eyes closed without his permission, and his world turned black.

Chapter Seventeen

Toby came back to consciousness slowly. He opened his eyes and flinched at the bright light. Groaning, Toby turned his head, wanting to burrow back under the covers and go to sleep.

“Hello, Thomas.” Duncan’s voice washed over him.

Toby’s eyes flew open. He blinked rapidly, clearing the fog from his mind as his memories came flooding back. He quickly took stock of his current situation. Toby was sitting on one of the overstuffed chairs in the living room, and his mate was standing before him, his tattooed arms crossed over his chest.

BOOK: Federal Paranormal Agency 6 - Leannan
6.24Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Lady X's Cowboy by Zoe Archer
Deathless Discipline by Renee Rose
Chaos Theory by Penelope Fletcher
The Crystal Frontier by Carlos Fuentes
SLAVES OF HOLLYWOOD 2 by Declan Brand
The Devil's Closet by Stacy Dittrich