Arcanum: What Evils Lurk in the Hearts of Men
by Mychael Black
Detectives Jonah and Riley Pierce are back in another case for Arcanum, the US government's paranormal police agency. This time, however, they're headed to Berlin when a series of murders points to the enigmatic leader of a research institute. Things turn personal very quickly, though, and they find themselves in a race to stop a psychopathic mortal hellbent on finding the daywalker gene.
United States, December 2009
Riley's voice crackled over the walkie talkie. "He's heading down 5th."
"Good. Keep on him, but out of sight." Jonah motioned to the team. Two groups of three men each took off toward Riley. "On our way."
"Roger that," Riley whispered. "Going silent."
Jonah forced himself to ignore the brief twist in his gut. This was the part he hated--when Riley went into 'vamp mode' to track someone. This particular quarry had been a pain in the ass, leading them on a wild goose chase all over the fucking town. They'd been after him for nearly six months and Riley couldn't track him. After countless arguments, Jonah had finally agreed to let his brother taste the guy's blood. It hadn't been easy to get, but it worked.
In the dead of night, most normal people slept. Not Jonah, and certainly not Riley. He often wondered if Riley even did sleep, but then he'd spent a few nights just watching his brother. The absence of breath still unnerved him.
Jonah joined up with the second team and both groups flanked Riley's position. Jonah spotted Riley on a rooftop, black clothing blending in seamlessly with the shadows. Below him, their target stood talking to someone, occasionally glancing in either direction down the street. Jonah waited with his group while the others moved in closer.
"Now!" The shout came out of nowhere.
Jonah bolted out of his hiding place, his men behind him. "Riley!"
Riley dropped to the ground, landing on his feet with surprising grace, but before Jonah and the teams reached him, four others grabbed him. Riley hissed and fought, snapping one neck before slashing another's torso open from shoulder to waist with his knife. Blades kill; bullets don't. It's what Riley swore by, but watching one of those motherfuckers draw a gun and aim it at Riley's head didn't help matters. Jonah slammed into the attacker and team one took down the other. When Jonah looked up after cuffing the cursing man under him, he found Riley farther down the alleyway.
His brother, for all his youth and sweetness, scared the shit out of him sometimes.