Turning Payne (Therian Agents Book 2)By: Chantel Seabrook
A Therian Agents Romance
"Breaking news—the Siberian tiger seen roaming Central Park earlier this morning has been detained on Lexington Avenue. Central Park Zoo has denied accusations that the animal is theirs. Police are asking anyone with information—"
Turner blew out a frustrated breath and switched the car radio off.
The Therian Agency had been able to keep most of the recent cases out of the news, but when a six-hundred-pound predator strolls through the streets of New York City, it was going to get media coverage.
He loosened his tie and glanced at the unopened manila envelope marked CASE #238 on the passenger seat. It contained the file of the most recent incident of spontaneous shifting.
Thank God, the media hadn't gotten a hold of that story. He could see the headline now—
SUBURBAN HOUSEWIFE WAKES TO FIND CHEETAH IN BED. SAVES FAMILY WITH GLOCK 19 PISTOL. HUSBAND STILL MISSING.
Unfortunately for the unlucky bastard, his wife kept a loaded pistol in the side drawer of her nightstand.
Not that Turner blamed the woman. The world remained blissfully unaware of the subspecies of Metamorphs living alongside them, and it was Turner's job to keep it that way. But between the random spontaneous shiftings and the rogue Metamorphs intent on exposing their kind to the world, it was becoming increasingly difficult to do his job.
He caught his reflection in the rear-view mirror and cursed. Dark circles rimmed grey eyes, and his normally coiffed black hair was disheveled. He'd been awake for thirty-six hours straight and every muscle in his body ached. He rolled his neck, shifted into third gear, and sped through the deserted streets of Bellefonte, anxious to get home and sleep for a few hours.
Someone was messing with the natural order of things.
Over a hundred new cases in the last three months alone, and those were only the ones the agency knew about. Of the two hundred and thirty seven other cases Turner had examined, not one of the victims had shifted back into human form.
Some members of the Therian Council were calling it the Great Shift.
A day of reckoning for the abuse humans had inflicted on the world.
Turner didn't buy it.
He'd seen the lab reports. He was no molecular biologist, but he could read a basic DNA sequence. The chromosomal mutations that caused the victims to shift were fundamentally different from the mutations that classified H. sap. Metamorphs as a subspecies.
This wasn't nature's attempt at retribution. If it was, Mother Nature had one warped sense of humor.
No, someone or something was genetically modifying the victim's DNA, causing them to shift permanently into an altered animal state, and Turner had a bad feeling he knew exactly who was responsible.
Professor Richard Fucking Boyd. The bastard was supposed to be dead, his research destroyed, but this shit had his stench all over it.
He turned the corner and had to slam on his brakes to avoid missing the long-legged redhead who stood stone still in the middle of the road.
Turner's heart beat wildly, and a trickle of sweat rolled down the side of his face as he stared at the woman's profile. She didn't move or react to the fact that he'd almost tracked black tire prints over her sexy baby blue pajama shorts.
He slammed the car door. "What the hell are you doing? I could have killed you."
Her shoulders flinched, but she didn't turn around.
"Did you hear me? I almost killed you. What the hell are you doing standing in the middle of the road?"
Her dark green eyes barely wavered over him as he came to stand in front of her.
He stopped short as recognition swept over him. Bloody hell, of all the people to almost run over, it had to be Richard Boyd's oldest daughter, Riley.
If the agency found out he'd rented an apartment two blocks from her house, he would be in deep shit. He was already on probation after what happened with Boyd. One more strike and he would get more than a slap on the wrist. He was breaking protocol just talking to her, but it wasn't his fault that she had a death wish.
Her chin trembled and her eyes glistened with unshed tears. God, she was gorgeous. His gaze lingered on the full curves of her breasts before travelling to the full bottom lip that begged to be nipped and sucked.
His cock twitched at the thought.
Yeah, that's what he needed, a hard-on for the daughter of his mortal enemy. A man whose death he was somewhat responsible for.