The Alpha's Captive Book 1 - Taken (Chapter Six, page 1 of 5)

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"Hey, Beane," Levi said into the burner cell. He watched the girl, Harper, lean forward and scratch her ankle just above the edge of her short black boot.

"What'd you do this time, Harris?" Chay Beane sounded wary.

"What makes you think I've done anything?" Levi said defensively. The girl straightened and appeared to stare at her boot's toe as she tapped out a staccato rhythm.

"Because when you call me out of the blue sounding that cheerful, it's always because you need me to save your ass. Always," Beane returned.

"Maybe I'm just happy."

"You don't call me when you're happy, Harris," said Beane.

He had a point there.

"Okay, so maybe you're right," Levi admitted. "You know that job I talked to you about last time?"

"Yeah, the one that I told you to forget about, because there was no way that you'd survive?"

"That's the one." Levi paused for a moment to admire the line of the girl's body as she stretched luxuriantly back against the hood of the car. What he'd like to do to her thereā€¦. That kiss, seized so impulsively, had only whet his appetite for more.

"Harris." There was a warning in Beane's voice.

He was going to find out sooner or later. "Well, I did it. And I'm still alive, thanks."

"God, are you a complete idiot? Mortensen owns half of Baltimore, and he's got a controlling stake in the Newark port. The Genovese are in his pocket, and so's half the law enforcement on the East Coast."

"Look, it wouldn't work if we didn't go after someone big like him," Levi returned. "The major players are the only bloodsuckers with enough pull to make a difference. I've got the package, but if I'm going to do anything with it, I'm going to need your help."

"I'm not much help against mobsters or police," Beane said. "Not that there's any difference when there's a vampire in the mix."

"I'll handle that. I always do. I need technical support, man. That's it."

Beane sighed. "Okay, so it's a dagger."

Levi pulled it out from his waistband. "Right."

It was absurdly ornamented, a tacky, impractical thing, the sheath and hilt chased with curlicues and inlaid with gems and pearls. An obvious fake, though the gems were real enough, except they were lab-created.

Some people took Levi to be stupid. After all, as a werewolf, he was often hired to do jobs that relied on stealth or brute force, rarely finesse. And he had to admit that he had made rather a habit of going off half-cocked.

But he'd discovered a few years ago that he had a knack for observing small details, the little things that told him whether something was what it appeared to be. He'd had almost a sixth sense for sniffing out lies and frauds, and his natural talent had been honed when he'd started taking cases to verify the provenance of unique and expensive art and memorabilia.

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