A Superhero Urban Fantasy

Black Kat IV: Playing with Fire

One hot mess deserves another...
Shane Sumner was just an ordinary firefighter until the flames started speaking to him, in female form. Now the dog and the plants are talking too, and he thinks he might be losing his mind. Or maybe, he's just Super.

Fiona and her sister are on the run from a dangerous Rogue. Life isn't easy for a fire shifter, especially one with Aislinn’s special…“needs.” The fact that they may have accidentally burnt down the Denver safe house isn’t helping either. Can a handsome stranger help them out?

And oh where, oh where, has Hugh gone? The Supers are in turmoil as their leader goes missing and they’re forced to bury a fake, dead Hugh. Kat struggles with his whereabouts as she searches for her long lost sibling.

This is Book #4 in the Black Kat series, available for pre-order now!

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Prologue

 

March 14, 2000
King’s Chapel Church, Boston, MA

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It was Tuesday, and the entire world was putting the late great Hugh Harrison to rest.
Or so they thought.
Mourners streamed past the imposing pillars of Boston’s oldest church to peer into the open casket where the escape artist lay dressed in his trademark stage attire: a white silk shirt, black dress pants, a black vest, and a long, sweeping cape.
But even that was an illusion.
Katherine Carter glanced at the energy shifter next to her. We’re in deep shit if that super suit flakes out.
Jacob Jackson placed his gloved hand over hers. It won’t.
Kat wasn’t so sure. The entire thing was cockeyed, but they had to go through with this farce. The government thought Hugh was dead. So did everyone else. News crews from around the world carried the service, which was expected to be the most watched broadcast ever, rivaling his murder trial.
“People either love me or hate me,” he had told her once.
It was clear from today’s turnout that more people loved him. So did she.
A twinge of pain rose in her chest as she gazed at the packed gallery. The world’s rich and famous decked themselves out in their finest to say goodbye. Hell, even royalty showed up, including several members of the British monarchy. Hugh had forgotten to mention that the queen had knighted him. The most notable magicians on the planet delivered the eulogies—Copperfield, Henning, Burton, Blaine, Angel. Sigfried and Roy were also present.
Thank God they didn’t bring their animals, Jacob said to her in thought. It’s already a circus in here.
The flowers and decor were over the top. So was the elegant, black enameled coffin. It had cost a small fortune, along with the elaborate double headstone to replace the one Nightshade had defaced in a fit of jealous rage.
A funeral fit for a king, she thought to herself. The Fake Hugh was getting one helluva send off.
His brother Dale was absent from the event. The fake one anyhow. No one knew where the real one was. Or the real Hugh.
Kat sighed, her heart heavy with grief.
For a moment he had been her mate, her love. Joined by the Bond, inseparable. But everything had gone terribly wrong, and though their bond remained unbroken, Hugh had been missing ever since. No warning, no messages, nothing. He had simply disappeared, like the escape artist he was.
She could feel him, but she couldn’t find him. Anywhere. Had he slipped away on purpose, or was it an accident? She wasn’t sure.
The shock of losing him had begun to wear off, and she found her emotions careening between sorrow, rage, worry, and longing as the service dragged on and on.
The last eulogy finally ended, they sang some churchy song, and the lid on Hugh’s casket was closed.
At least it wasn’t Jared in there, she thought. He remained in the deep healing sleep of their kind, along with Sneaky Pete and Sybil. They all fared better than Seth, the dead Rogue who lay in the coffin, disguised as Hugh. They had traded one illusionist for another, and it had been no simple task.
Neither was killing him.
You know, you really are a good shot, Jacob teased, his blue eyes bloodshot from the round-the-clock demands of his patients, and his new role as leader of the safe houses.
She narrowed her eyes at him. Don’t make this any weirder than it already is.
She still wasn’t sure how they’d pulled the whole scam off. Karma’s luck and Kang’s mental powers hadn’t hurt.
The only way it would be weirder is if the government gave you the reward for turning in a fake Hugh. Jacob smirked. Oh wait. They did.
Kat gave him the evil eye. He was in a mood today. I swear I will kick your ass if you make me laugh during this thing.
Knock it off, you two, Kang warned from behind them. Or you might mistake yourselves for barnyard animals for an hour or two.
She bit back her amusement. It was easier to laugh than cry at the moment, and totally inappropriate, but it was the only thing keeping her together. She was teetering on the edge of losing it, and the rest of them weren’t faring much better.
The safe houses were in an uproar over Hugh’s sudden absence. They had just seen him at The Games two weeks ago. How could he be missing?
It didn’t help that Jacob had asked her to be his partner in leading their people. Nasty rumors swirled that perhaps she’d shot Hugh to be with Jacob, which made no sense. She and Hugh were bound together. Killing him would kill her, too.
She sighed. People were upset and wanted someone to blame. Now she knew how Hugh had felt when he was accused of his brother’s murder.
Now both Harrisons had disappeared. Who would be next?
Bagpipes drew her attention back to the ceremony.
“Amazing Grace” rang out as Hugh’s ornate coffin was slowly lifted into the hearse for the trip to Forest Hills Cemetery.
Kat’s chest tightened and she blinked back the tangle of emotions threatening to erupt from her eyes.
Where was that bastard?

COLLAPSE

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