Hidden Dragons

Hidden Dragons by Emma Holly Read Free Book Online

Book: Hidden Dragons by Emma Holly Read Free Book Online
Authors: Emma Holly
Tags: paranormal romance
heap as it began to evaporate. The subway employee gaped, barely noticing the four gear-toting EMTs who clattered down the stairs onto the platform.
    “Shit,” said one of them—the word of the hour, Rick guessed. “Get that canister working, stat!”
    One of his colleagues pulled a sleek handheld vacuum from a big shoulder bag.
    “No,” Rick said, jumping instinctively to his feet.
    “We’re licensed to do this,” the first medic insisted. “Faerie dust doesn’t retain forensic evidence.”
    This hadn’t been Rick’s objection. Still in protector mode, he hadn’t wanted the faerie harmed further. He stepped aside reluctantly, frankly uneasy watching the EMTs suck the dissipating remnants of his victim into a hose nozzle. He knew faerie dust was an irreplaceable component in many medical treatments—and quite hard to come by. The medics weren’t being ghoulish, just practical. They knew better than he did how many non-fae this dust would help.
    “Shoot,” Tony said, just then arriving at the foot of the platform stairs. A cluster of uniforms followed him. He had called for backup apparently.
    “You okay?” Rick asked. His brother looked fine, just out of breath.
    “I lost Sword Guy.” Tony shook his head dolefully. “I mean, no surprise, but I hoped I could stop him from catching his magical wind longer. He disappeared himself about a mile from here, outside that motorcycle repair on Elm. I requested a department psychic to see if he left any trace of where he went.”
    This was good thinking. Fae were hell to nail for crimes. They glamoured witnesses, they disappeared, and they poofed away evidence. Hopefully, this one had been in too much of a hurry to erase his tracks completely. If he had, it could save the night from being a total loss.
    “We’ll escort whoever they assign,” said one of the uniforms.
    Rick nodded. His throat felt tight, so he cleared it. “Anybody see a waitress up on the next level? She called the bus, she said.”
    “Compton’s taking her statement,” the same uniform answered.
    “Good.”
    Sensing he was off, Tony stepped closer to his brother—not to touch but just to be near. It was something pack did without thinking. Rick was glad for it right then.
    “I’ll talk to you,” he said to the dazed transit guy. The big man was shivering slightly from his ordeal. “We’ll get you a coffee, and go over what you saw. I assume you can get me access to the station’s surveillance.”
    The man said he could, steadying a bit at having a task to do.
    “Where’s the female’s sword?” Tony asked, thanks to his cop’s aversion for leaving dangerous weapons unaccounted for.
    Rick kicked himself for forgetting. “I don’t know. I didn’t see it when I came in.”
    “We’ll search the tracks,” assured the uniform. “We had Transit halt the trains.”
    Out of reflex, all the cops glanced around—as if the missing sword were going to conveniently reappear. As they did, Rick realized his hand was fisted around the metal object the faerie had passed him. It was evidence: his only evidence right then. He started to show it to Tony, then remembered the faerie’s words.
    Don’t trust anyone. They’re watching .
    Tony wasn’t anyone of course, but who knew what else might be lurking invisibly? With its policy of letting any race that could play nice qualify for visas, the city had no shortage of sneaky residents.
    Rather than show his hand, Rick shoved his fist into his pants pocket.
    ~
    The detective squad Rick and his brother worked for operated out of a magically warded basement bunker in their precinct building. Their cousin, Adam Santini, was their alpha and lieutenant. Werewolves comprised the bulk of the RPD. Organizing squads along pack lines made such instinctive sense few cops ever questioned the arrangement. Rick was Adam’s second—his beta, as it was termed. He liked the position. Adam was a good leader as well as someone he cared about. Having his best

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