Home > Don't Rush Me (Nora Jacobs #1)(16)

Don't Rush Me (Nora Jacobs #1)(16)
Author: Jackie May

“What agency?” I ask. “Director of what? Who are you? And…is your name seriously Gorgeous?”

Gorgeous grins at me like I’ve just made his entire day. “Can you think of a more appropriate name?”

I snort again and then wince. The guy needs to stop making me laugh. “Conceited much?”

“And proud of it.” He pulls a leather ID wallet from his pocket and tosses it to me. I’m still cradled like a baby in Terrance’s arms, but I manage to catch the ID.

“Nick Gorgeous, at your service. I work for the Federal Underworld Agency. The F U Agency for short.”

I roll my eyes at his stupid acronym—though it’s admittedly more entertaining than S.H.I.E.L.D.—and focus on the more important fact. This guy’s a cop. An underworld cop. Like an FBI agent or something. I didn’t even know that existed.

And, I’ll be damned, his name really is Nick Gorgeous.

“And you are?” he asks when I toss his badge back to him.

“Nora Jacobs. Psychic human kidnapped by that asshole”—I point to Henry—“and now a major witness in your missing underworlders case. Get me out of here, and I’ll tell you everything I know.”

The cool and calm federal agent raises his eyebrows in surprise again. “A witness, you say? In my missing persons investigation?”

“A strong eyewitness,” I tell him. “I saw Shandra get abducted. I can describe the men involved and the car, and I’m the one who got the license plate.”

Slowly, a shit-eating grin spreads across his face. “Well, well, well. It sounds like I need to take you in for questioning.”

I can’t help matching his grin. “Definitely.”

“And maybe some protective custody is in order, too.”

“Sounds fabulous.”

“Well then, Miss Jacobs, follow me.”

“Gorgeous!” Henry snaps. “You can’t just take her!”

Nick—I refuse to call him Gorgeous—whirls on Henry, and for the first time tonight I understand how he might not be afraid of a pissed off troll. He pulls his shoulders back, and when he stands up straight, something about him changes. It’s almost as if the air around him somehow shifts. The man radiates a frightening power. It’s like he has an aura made of fear and anyone in its radius will be brought to their knees. The pupils of his eyes transform into long, thin slits and a wave of heat sweeps through the room. When he speaks, it’s terrifying. “Try and stop me, Henry. I would love an excuse to end you.”

Henry glowers but wisely shuts up. Parker places a hand on Henry’s shoulder and softly says, “We’ll follow you to the Agency.”

What in the world is Nick Gorgeous? I’ve never seen anything like that. Never even heard of anything like that. I don’t really know what just happened. Whatever it is, I do know one thing. You do not mess with that man.

The Detroit Division of the FUA is right downtown on the riverfront a few blocks East of the Ren Center. It sits directly across the street from a plaza that was renovated a few years back. Over the last decade or two, the city of Detroit has done a lot to try and revitalize its life, but the results on that have been bleak at best. I’m rooting for the turnaround, but I don’t really have any faith that it’ll succeed. The city as a whole is a big cesspit that sucks away your soul if you stay long enough. A few pockets of cleaned up landscape isn’t going to change enough.

As I climb out of Terrance’s beautiful fully-loaded candy-apple red Cadillac, I glance across the street toward the park. I can hear the river and see the dark outline of the Cullen Family Carousel. It makes me shudder. In the day, the plaza is a little sad—a city revitalization project that just doesn’t get a lot of traffic, because as much as you pretty up an area, if you have to travel through a war zone to get to it, you’re not going to bother. This time of night, the empty park with the carousel down on the water’s edge is downright creepy.

Nick rolls into the parking spot beside Terrance’s car and climbs off his beautiful, expensive motorcycle. “I know the feeling,” he says, having seen my shiver of unease. “I’m not a big fan of the fey folk, either.”

“Fey folk?”

Nick glances toward the riverfront. “Do yourself a favor. Stay away from the park after dark. The Riverfront Conservancy is owned by Giselle, and she lets the fey have their fun in the park without much supervision.”

I shudder again. The fey folk like to have the kind of fun that is never actually fun for the people they’re playing with. They should definitely be supervised. Or sent back to Faerie permanently. Who in their right mind would let them run wild? “And Giselle would be…?”

“The Detroit River mermaid.”

This is news to me. “We have a mermaid?”

“Oh yeah. She’s smokin’ hot but quite the temperamental fish. Bit of an unstable clinger, too. Really doesn’t like to be dumped.” A small flicker of a smile washes over Nick’s handsome face, as if he’s remembering a private joke. No doubt he’s speaking from personal experience. The man seriously hooked up with a mermaid? How is that even possible? Wasn’t the legs-on-land thing just a myth? I thought merpeople were completely waterlocked.

I shake away a rather disturbing image of Nick getting it on with a cracked-out fey version of Disney’s Ariel, and head toward the FUA building. The sign on the door says Paxton Shipping. Makes sense. Can’t exactly label it Federal Underworld Agency. That wouldn’t raise a few eyebrows or anything. “So, tell me about this agency. I didn’t realize the underworld had its own police/government/structural system.”

“We didn’t always. The system’s fairly new. It’s still a little like the Wild West. We only step in when things get out of hand, and not all underworlders recognize our authority, but it keeps the U.S. government appeased enough that they aren’t trying to exterminate all us monsters.”

Nick gives me a dry smirk as he holds the door open for me. I don’t know what to say to that, so I just nod and walk inside with Terrance and Wulf following close behind me.

The FUA reminds me a lot of the DMV. It has this overall depressing feeling that only the U.S. government can accomplish. It’s a large room with dim, fluorescent lighting and tacky linoleum flooring. There are only half a dozen desks or so, with a conference room in the back and a few doors with nameplates next to them, which I suspect are private offices.

There are only two people in the room—a middle-aged black woman a little on the heavy side and a gorgeous Asian man. The man is one of the hottest people I’ve ever seen. He’s…he’s…beautiful. Breathtaking. Mesmerizing. There’s just no other way to describe him. “How you doing, Gorgeous?” Damn, his voice is perfection, too. I let out a dreamy sigh. “Haven’t seen you in the office in a while.”

“I wonder why,” Nick says with a grunt as he drops his keys and badge onto a messy desk piled high with paperwork. For some reason, he’s scowling and avoiding eye contact with the beautiful man. It’s strange, considering he’s been over confident with everyone else so far.

The man laughs heartily and steps up to me with a beautiful smile and an extended hand. “And who do we have here?”

I blink at the extended hand. It looks so soft and smooth, and his fingernails are perfectly manicured. My policy has always been the less physical contact the better, but I can’t help taking what’s being offered. His grip is delicate but not flimsy, and his skin is warm and tingly. I shiver at his touch, and goose bumps rise on my arms. Holy shit, what’s with this guy?

His grin says he knows exactly what kind of reaction I’m having to him, and he likes it. Since I can currently hear his thoughts, I know he finds his attraction to me strange because I’m not his normal type. But he can’t deny the appeal of my lust. He brings my hand to his lips, and I totally let him.

“Cut that shit out, Ren,” Nick growls. “It’s not going to work on me, and you’re suffocating Nora.”

“Oh, all right, fine.” Ren sighs dramatically and gives Nick a very sexy pout. “But you really can’t blame a man for trying.”

   
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