Author Charlie Richards
Now Available at eXtasy Books!
Shifter's Regime: Book Six
Out of the Cage: Pause...a temporary stop or rest, a cessation of activity because of doubt or uncertainty.
Enforcer Delanrue Drudeson is a komodo dragon shifter who’s known as the intense brother, the unapproachable one, but he has his reasons. Keeping his brothers safe from a sadistic alpha while growing up meant he’d had to be a careful, manipulative adult…from a very early age. Specializing in interrogation for the last several decades, Delanrue is happy with his life. Then he walks into a secure room where he’s supposed to question the occupant by any means necessary—Midget Suvergy, a guinea pig shifter.
Except, one sniff tells Delanrue that Midget is his mate—the other half of his soul. Knowing the mate-pull could easily compromise his judgement, he immediately assigns the interrogation duties to another. That doesn’t stop him from walking back into that room to be with him. Midget claims just to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, and to Delanrue’s relief, his words scent true.
Then word comes down that Midget is wanted for the murder of a member of his guinea pig muddle. Delanrue isn’t stupid. It’s easy to see that Midget is no killer, no matter what anyone says. Can Delanrue’s connections keep Midget safe long enough to clear him from the conspiracy dogging his steps?
Excerpt - Interrogation Techniques
The excerpt below contain explicit adult language and sexual content.
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“Enforcer Glade, stop hindering Enforcer Delanrue from returning to his duties,” a deep voice ordered, drawing Del’s attention to beyond the lion shifter. “I know you have somewhere you need to be, too.”
Del spotted Mycroft Portent, an uber-dominant cheetah shifter, who worked as the head enforcer for the council. He ran a tight ship that Del appreciated. Mycroft had a frown creasing his lightly tanned features, and he was focused on Glade.
“Sorry, sir.” Glade’s tone immediately turned respectful. “I was just trying to get clarification on a matter.”
“Get it another time,” Mycroft ordered. Then he flicked his gaze between the brothers and gave them an almost infinitesimal nod. “I look forward to hearing what your afternoon’s assignments have to say.”
“Me, too,” Del replied honestly as he returned the cheetah shifter’s nod. “I’ll have my report to everyone as soon as possible, Head Enforcer Mycroft.”
“Good,” the man replied.
Happy to get away from the annoying and obnoxious lion shifter, Del headed toward the interrogation wing. His brother broke off to the left, bidding him good-bye and see you later. Del replied by waving.
Del took the elevator down to the third underground level where the cells and interrogation rooms were located. As soon as he stepped off the elevator, a light airy scent caught his attention. The pleasant fragrance was completely out of place within the hall of cool concrete that ended in a heavy steel door which led to the cells.
To Del’s increasing confusion, he felt the komodo dragon he shared his psyche with rumble with interest. His body warmed and arousal began simmering sluggishly through his veins. He took in a slow, deep breath, hoping to squelch the unexpected and completely ill-timed rush of desire, but all that did was allow another surge of the pleasant aroma into his lungs.
What the hell?
Doing his best to dismiss the oddity, Del strode toward Germaine—a fellow enforcer and anaconda shifter. The tall, whipcord lean man stood outside the second interrogation room on the left. Two were on each side of the hallway, just in case several had to be interviewed at once, so they could compare stories.
Of course, since a paranormal could normally tell when a person was lying, that didn’t happen very often. Coincidentally, that was one of the things Krakow’s serums had been trying to remedy. They’d done it, too, although the side effect meant the user had a distinct odor of patchouli. Now, every person smelling of that scent was suspect.
In my opinion, anyway.
“Hi, Enforcer Germaine,” Del greeted the wiry black shifter. At six-foot-five, Del was nearly able to look the inch taller shifter in the eye. “Who’s next on the list?”
“He said his name is Miggs and claims he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He hasn’t said anything beyond that,” Germaine told him as he handed over a clipboard. When he sniffed, his black brows furrowed. “Uh, everything okay?”
While Del was known for being excellent at his job, he’d never become aroused by it. He figured the faint scent was confusing the snake shifter—or concerning him.
Grimacing, Del admitted, “There’s a scent here that is getting to me.” Then he focused on the page attached to the clipboard, trying to will away his burgeoning erection. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll still do—”
If Del had had a lightbulb in his brain, it would have suddenly flicked on.
Del grimaced as he peered toward the closed door. “Or maybe I won’t,” he muttered. “Hang on.”
Cocking his head, Germaine didn’t comment as Del reached past him.
Opening the door, Del didn’t even need to take one step into the room. The light airy scent pervaded the room with its deliciousness. His dragon rumbled with delight, urging Del to find the source and capture it for all time.
Pinning his gaze on the shifter chained to the table, Del barely resisted the urge to run to him and free him from his bonds. The small man sat hunched at the table. His short hair hung lank against his skull, as if even the locks were admitting defeat.
Del wanted to wrap the little shifter in his arms and comfort him. He wanted to assure him that everything would be okay, and he would keep him safe. Then Del wanted to strip the baggy clothes to discover the body within.
Except, he couldn’t. He had a job to do.
When the man—Miggs—lifted his gaze and peered at him with fear-filled brown eyes from beneath his lashes, Del realized he couldn’t.
Stepping backward, Del closed the door, and even putting that scant bit of distance tested his control.
Shit! These mating urges are intense.
“Call Enforcer Malone,” Del murmured, tearing his gaze away from the closed door. He met Germaine’s questioning look and told him, “That shifter, Miggs, is my mate. There’s no way I can interrogate him objectively.”
Germaine’s jaw sagged open, and his eyes opened wide. Then his lips curved into a wide smile. “Damn, man. Congrats.” Just as quickly, Germaine cast a worried look toward the room. “Hope he was telling the truth.”
Del nodded. “Me, too.”
Clamping his hand on Del’s shoulder, Germaine offered him an encouraging smile. “We’ll get it sorted.” He took the clipboard, then used it to indicate the interrogation room. “Go comfort your mate. The little fellow looks like he could use it.”
Nodding again, Del silently agreed.
As Del heard Germaine talking on his phone, he reopened the door and slowly headed inside, ready to meet the shifter who was about to turn his world upside-down.
Still, I can’t wait.
An emotion flooded Del, and it took him a second to identify it.