Authors: rebecca hamilton
Shadow Born © 2016 Jasmine Walt & Rebecca Hamilton
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This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, organizations, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
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CHICAGO POLICE DETECTIVE BROOKE CHANDLER IS KEEPING A SECRET…
AND IF SHE’S NOT CAREFUL, IT COULD GET HER KILLED.
Brooke is no stranger to the supernatural. In Chicago, vampires are just as prevalent as drug lords, and infinitely more bloodthirsty. So when her partner and fiancé dies in a mysterious fire while chasing down a lead in Salem, she suspects something dark and otherworldly is at play.
Blessed with the ability to see into the past by touching inanimate objects, Brooke transfers to the Salem PD, hoping her talent will help her get to the bottom of things. Between dodging assassination attempts and being stonewalled at every turn, the going is tough. Add in a mysterious fae club owner with secrets of his own and a personal grudge against her, and it becomes nearly impossible.
If Brooke wants to play in the supernatural sandbox, she’s going to have to roll up her sleeves and get dirty. But how many people will have to die for Brooke to discover the truth?
paused at the last one, my fingers curled around the small steel case tucked into my duffel bag full of essentials. Standing at the edge of my crappy motel bed in Buffalo, I lifted the box to the dusty shaft of light filtering in through the window and cracked open the box to peer down at the hand-crafted wooden bullets inside. They were each filed to sharp points, mimicking stakes, and worked just as well as the real thing—provided you were a good enough shot to take out a fast-moving vampire.
I was a good enough shot.
Thank you, Uncle Oscar
, I thought, closing the box and tucking it back into my duffel. Shooting wasn’t the only thing he’d taught me; my uncle had also taught me how to make these bullets. And while he wasn’t actually my uncle, he was still the only family I knew. Raised me since the day my parents dumped me on his doorstep at six years old.
Oscar had kept me on a tight leash as far as the supernatural were concerned, refusing to let me anywhere near anything that even hinted at magic. But Chicago was infested with vampires, so rather than trying to fight a losing battle on that front, he’d trained me to protect myself. I was leaving Chicago behind now, true, but I’d been using these bullets all my life. I wouldn’t feel safe without them.
Besides, who was to say the place I was going didn’t have vampires, too? Salem had so much supernatural folklore surrounding it that I couldn’t rule anything out.
I zipped up my duffel, did a quick check around the motel room to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything, then grabbed my luggage and headed outside. Between the vampire gun strapped beneath my jacket, the police-issue S&W .40 at my hip, and the detective’s shield hooked through my belt, I felt pretty comfortable about my safety. Even so, I took a good look around the parking lot as I made my way to my Jeep. It didn’t pay to be off-guard, and I was in new territory.
I made a pit-stop at a Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee and a breakfast sandwich, then headed onto the I-90 to finish the last leg of my journey. The Chief of the Salem PD had approved my request to come out there on loan from Chicago PD a week ago, and I’d wasted no time packing my stuff up, getting someone to sublet my apartment, and finding a place to stay in Salem before hitting the road. If not for the fourteen-hour trip, I would have done the whole drive in one shot, but I wanted to arrive at the station to meet my new teammates as alert and fresh as possible.
Unfortunately, the Chief wouldn’t be there herself, as she left town just two days ago due to a family death, but she assured me that the captain of the department handling Tom’s case would roll out the welcome mat for me in her stead.
A pang hit my chest at the idea of having to work without my partner, and I tightened my grip on the steering wheel. Of course, Tom Garrison, had been more than just my partner—he’d also been my fiancé. The love of my life, the first man who’d understood my needs and desires and accepted me for who I was.
Well, at least who he figured I was.
Tom knew about my vampire-staking ways, but he didn’t know about my strange ability. I’d been holding off on telling him because Uncle Oscar had instilled in me from a young age that revealing my talent would put me and those around me in grave danger. I didn’t want to put Tom in danger.
Yeah, and look how that turned out.