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AGENT OF CHAOS
Region 2 Series Book 3
BY JANET WALDEN-WEST
I have to be perfect.
Perfect agent. Perfect Commanding Officer. Follow every rule to the letter, since HQ already expects my new ragtag team to crash and burn.
With the cryptid situation pushing my bare-bones team to its limits, I don’t need a stray civilian whose goal seems to be getting himself killed on my watch. Marshall throws himself between people and danger like his life doesn’t matter.
Except, for some reason, he matters to me.
Even if the giant redhead’s touch reminds me I’m more than my Command position, how can I risk his life and my team’s chance at success just for the sake of my happiness?
All I ever do is screw up.
With jobs. With people. Especially with people.
Definitely with the crazy-beautiful superhero-soldier who takes down my vampire boss—who, no, I didn’t know was a vampire.
Ending up in her custody, at a secret base full of other perfect super-soldiers? Custom-made opportunity for me to mess something up. But Liv sees through my weirdness to the real me.
Now, I’ve gotta show her rules are made to be broken and that while she’s protecting everyone else, I’ll be protecting her.
This time, screwing up isn’t an option.
Trained from birth to defend humanity, the members of Company Alpha Cryptid Containment are the best of the best at what they do–protecting Region Two from that which goes bump in the night.
But protecting their hearts? That’s a whole different story.
Marshall sucked in and edged around the stacked boxes filling what should’ve been a wide-open OSHA-compliant kitchen hallway, but still banged a knee, causing a pallet of flour sacks to bump against the industrial pantry door.
“Watch what the hell you’re doing.” Jenkins glared at Marshall.
As far as Marshall could see, the guy didn’t report to the head chef or the kitchen’s boss-boss, but he was always around in the evenings.
“I could move this stuff in where it belongs,” Marshall muttered. He was already working late, way after the kitchen closed, same as every night since he started here a couple of weeks earlier. Not that the extra hours were reflected in his check. But somebody—probably him—was gonna break their neck trying to squeeze through the cluttered passageway.
All the stacked supplies belonged in the pantry but nobody except this guy and the head chef had been allowed inside since Marshall started working here.
“Mind your damn business and do your job,” Jenkins ordered, like he was management. Except management didn’t wear jeans and long-sleeved shirts with weird bulges under both armpits. “Get done and get out, unless you want fired. Boss is checking in tonight.”
Because he needed the cash, Marshall kept his mouth shut and didn’t point out that unloading after-hours wasn’t a line cook’s job, and shouldered through the door for today’s piled up deliveries. Except for cold stuff, none of the drop-offs were allowed in until after closing, either.
Even close to one a.m., the Mesa heat hadn’t dissipated, trapped between the kitchen and hotel outbuilding’s walls. The set-up created a wide, depressing alley.
At a sharp pop, followed by a click, Marshall hesitated. The layout left this area darker than the night was naturally, but it was more like a cave tonight. When the sound didn’t repeat, he stepped into the lot.
Something other than pitted concrete crunched under his sneakers. Glass from the two weak security lights that illuminated the lot now littered the ground. Unease skittered up his spine. The bulbs had been fine when his took his break a couple of hours earlier.
Janet Walden-West lives in the Southeast with a pack of show dogs, a couple of kids, and a husband who didn’t read the fine print. A member of the East Tennessee Creative Writers Alliance, she is also a founding member of The Million Words craft blog. She pens inclusive Contemporary Romance and Urban Fantasy. As a two-time Pitch Wars alum turned Pitch Wars 2019 Mentor, Sherrilyn Kenyon scholarship recipient, and Golden Heart® finalist, she believes in paying it forward by supporting burgeoning Southern writers.
She is represented by Eva Scalzo of Speilburg Literary Agency.
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