Dev paused in the doorway of Sanctuary’s office. His stomach clenched as it always did whenever he walked in and saw his mother’s empty desk. No one had moved anything on it. They hadn’t had the heart. Even the last pen his mother had used was right where she’d laid it by the phone. It was so eerie and as long as it stayed that way, he kept expecting to see her there, looking at him over the rim of her glasses as she waited for him to say something.

He had such mixed emotions where she was concerned. He’d loved her more than anything and yet…

She hadn’t been all that lovable. A true mother bear in every sense of the word, she’d been fierce and stern. While she could show affection—especially toward those she favored, such as Griffe, Bastien, Kyle, and Aimee—it hadn’t been easy for her. She’d expected only the best out of them and she’d been real quick to let them know when they failed her. Most of all, she’d never refrained from severely punishing any of them, including her favorites, when she thought they’d screwed up or jeopardized the family.

But that wasn’t why he was here and he was in a hurry. The only thing that needed to be on his mind right now was Sam.

He’d come here seeking Aimee. She sat at her desk along the wall just like she did every day when she did the paperwork. Like their mother, she could be pretty nasty when crossed or interrupted, but there was an innate kindness to her that took the edge off even her worst moods.

“Hey, babe,” she said with a smile as she looked up and saw him. Somehow she’d always been able to tell him apart from his identical brothers. “How are you guys doing over at Club Charonte?”

“We were doing great until a demon broke in and snatched Sam out.”

She gasped.

“Have you seen Fang? I tried to call, but it keeps going straight to voice mail.” Which was what had brought him back to Sanctuary. They needed to get Fang on the demon’s trail as quickly as possible.

“He’s with Remi helping to unload a shipment into the freezer. You need me to help look for her?”

That explained the crappy phone reception. The steel of the freezer was so thick, not even a nuke would be able to penetrate it. “Thanks, but I’d rather you sit on the sidelines with this one. I don’t want to be pulling you out of another demon realm anytime soon and I’m pretty sure Fang feels the same way.”

She made a sound of petty annoyance.

As he started to leave, she stopped him. “Dev?”


“You okay?” He saw the concern on her face as she studied him. “You look…strange.”

Strange? He felt awful. He didn’t know why but he kept reliving the night his brothers had died. He was eaten up with that same helpless feeling and he hated it. He couldn’t stand the thought of someone he cared about being in harm’s way.

Sam’s nothing to you. Not really. They were barely more than strangers.

It didn’t feel that way. There was a part of her that lived inside of him even though he knew they could never be anything more than friends.

Maybe the occasional booty call.

Don’t go there. Especially not with his sister looking at him. That was just creepy as hell.

“I’m fine.” He’d never let Aimee know the truth. Then again, he never let anyone know his emotions. He hid them behind wisecracks and sarcasm.

It was safer that way.

Closing the door, he flashed himself to the freezer where Remi and Fang were stocking meat.

Hefting a box onto a shelf, Remi curled his lip at Dev’s unexpected appearance. “It figures you’d show up after all the hard work’s done. You always had an uncanny knack for that.”

Dev ignored him as he walked over to where Fang was standing on a stepladder. “Fang. I need your demon expertise.”

Fang pulled back from the steak boxes he was rearranging to look down at him. “For what?”

Dev gave him a “duh” stare. “Demons, obviously.”

Fang flipped him off as he came down the ladder. “Why do I live here with you people again?”

Remi snorted. “’Cause you love our sister and she won’t leave. Believe me, I know. I’ve been trying to run her off for years.”

Fang shook his head at him as he turned back to Dev. “What’s going on?”

“One of the empusae took Sam and we can’t find her. I need you to tell me where to look.”

Fang let out a low whistle. “An empusa isn’t an easy thing to track. Are you sure that’s what got her?”

“That’s what Chi said.”

“She would know.” Fang scratched his chin. “Damn. This isn’t good. Give me a minute to consult with my people and I’ll get back to you.”

“Could you kind of rush it? I have a bad feeling that the empusa who took her is the same one who came here disguised as Nick. If I’m right, then he’s working with Stryker, and if he is, you can bet Sam’s not being treated well at Hotel Daimon Central.”


Lazaros roared through Kalosis in his dragon form. Fury burned deep inside him as he used his powers to find Stryker, who was alone in his study in the main hall. He flew at the building’s wall without slowing. Right as he would have slammed into it, he used his powers to go through it.

The Daimon lord arched a brow as Lazaros manifested in his true demon form in front of his ornately carved desk. But other than that, he had no real reaction.

Because Lazaros, like all of the empusae who were descended from the goddess Empusa, Lazaros only had one leg in his demon form. But one leg was all he needed to kick the ass of his enemies.

And right now he wanted to drive his foot straight up Stryker’s sphincter. “Why didn’t you tell me Nick Gautier was the Malachai?”

Stryker let out a long-suffering sigh as he cupped his head in his hands and leaned back in his padded black leather chair. “What is it with all of you pansies that that one word sends you to me with your tail tucked between your legs whining about how you pissed your pants because you saw him? Yes, he’s the Malachai, so la di fucking da what?”

Lazaros moved to blast him.

Stryker caught the blast and sent it back to him tenfold with a counterblast so powerful it pinned the demon to the wall above his marble fireplace. He squeezed the power down, letting the demon squirm in agony. “Gautier isn’t the only one with talents. You’d do well to remember that I, too, have the powers of a god. And I’m really not afraid to use them.”

Lazaros bellowed in rage.

“Oh shut up.” Stryker used his powers to muzzle him.

At least as much as he could. The demon still grunted and growled like a caged animal.

Stryker let out a frustrated breath as he lowered the demon to the floor. “I sent you to Gautier because I knew he’d be easy to manipulate right now. His powers are growing, but still nothing compared to ours. If you weren’t such an idiot, you’d have been able to possess him like I wanted and turn the others against him.”

He needed Nick on the run.

But that was the backup plan in case his primary one failed. Which it better not do.

And right now, he wanted Samia.

He glared at Lazaros. “If I release you, can you be an adult demon for five seconds?”

Lazaros returned the glare with an angry scowl.

“Didn’t think so, but I’m going to remove your gag anyway, ’cause that’s just the kind of guy I am. Don’t make me regret it. If you do, I won’t gag you next time. I’ll decapitate you.”

Lazaros took a step forward, then wisely checked his stupidity. “You’re such an asshole!”

“Goes with the whole King of the Badasses. Kind of hard to lead an army of the damned if I’m the King of Nice.”

Lazaros glowered at him.

“Oh, stop wasting my time with those pathetic looks. And speaking of, what cheesy excuse do I get for why Samia isn’t with you this time?”

“I was attacked on the street by something I’ve never seen before.”

Stryker scoffed. “They’re called mosquitoes. I know they’re rather large in New Orleans but—”

“Stop with the sarcasm. It was a demon mixed with the powers of a Dark-Hunter and a Daimon. What kind of Frankenmonster have you created?”

Stryker froze as that rang a very unfond bell. A bell that had managed to fall off the grid for quite a few years. Nice to know it’d finally resurfaced. “Cael?”

“Yeah. That’s what the other woman called him.”

“Sonofa…” Stryker paced his office as his mind whirled with the new information. Cael’s wife, Amaranda, had been an Apollite in Seattle. He still wasn’t sure how a clan of Apollites had come to not only house, but protect a Dark-Hunter, yet they had. A few years ago an attack on them had left Cael and his bride being converted to Daimons.

No one had heard anything from them since.

Why were they here? Why now? Had they discovered his trick with the demon blood? Or was something else keeping them alive? He couldn’t imagine a Dark-Hunter taking a human life even for pure survival reasons….

Perhaps the demon essence Lazaros had sensed inside them was the same trick he and his army were now using to empower their Daimon existence. What would that blood do to a Dark-Hunter?

It was a most intriguing possibility.

“Did he say anything to you?” Stryker asked him.

“Basically he told me to die quietly. Kind of like you.”

Stryker grimaced at the fear he heard in Lazaros’s tone. This couldn’t be good. Not for them. He refused to believe it was a coincidence. He didn’t believe in those.

Everything happened for a reason. Everything. Which made him wonder if Cael had known Stryker would send Lazaros for Samia. Or was Cael one of her protectors too?

He narrowed his speculative gaze on the demon. “Did you tell them anything?”

By the look on Lazaros’s face it was obvious the demon wanted to leave his guts on the floor. Too bad he lacked the skills or the courage to try. Stryker was always up for a good fight. “Of course not.”

“Good.” He didn’t have to kill the bastard after all. “Now be an obedient little demon. Go away and let me think.”

Lazaros stepped toward the door, then stopped. “I’m not done with her, Stryker. She killed my family and now that you’ve freed me, I won’t rest until I hold her heart in my fist.”

That was why Stryker had descended into his granduncle Hades’s domain. Once he’d investigated Samia’s past, he’d uncovered the origins of her sister’s pact and the demon she’d made it with. Stupid Samia had assumed it was Daimons who’d killed her husband and child.

It wasn’t.

Daimons couldn’t make deals of that nature. Only the gods and demigods could, and Samia was lucky Artemis had covered for her after Sam had slaughtered Lazaros’s brother. But for that one rare act of altruism on Artemis’s part, Samia would have been killed immediately. Instead, Artemis had locked Lazaros in Tartarus to keep him away from her pet Amazon warrior.

Now Stryker held the key to the demon demigod’s existence.

“Fine. Just make sure you pull her to me before you kill her. My needs take precedence over yours and if you fail me in this, I swear what I do to you will make Prometheus’s punishment look like a joyride at the beach.”

Samia was his key to killing his father and owning the world. Nothing was going to stop him this time.


Fang flashed them into a wickedly dark corridor. But for Dev’s honed vision, he’d be blind. He put his hand on Dev’s shoulder to keep him from walking on. “Remember, Bear, let me do the talking. You don’t speak unless Thorn asks you something.”

Dev shrugged his touch away. He didn’t know who Thorn was—Fang had refused to elaborate. Honestly, he didn’t care. All that mattered was the fact that this…person had pulled Sam into custody and that alone warranted his death. “I don’t play this cryptic shit, Wolf.”

“And I don’t want to clean up your entrails. Nor do I want to tell Aimee her beloved older brother was splintered on the floor. Comprende?”

“Got it.”

“I don’t think you do. Thorn is evil incarnate. Think Savitar on steroids.”

That managed to give Dev pause. Savitar oversaw the Omegrion council that all Were-Hunters answered to. No one knew who or what he was. Only that he was about as close to omnipotent as a being could get and anyone who crossed him didn’t live long enough to regret it.

In fact, Savitar had extinguished one entire Were-Hunter species when they’d dabbled in something that irritated him. Since then, everyone tried to give him a wide berth.

“Got it. Thorn rules here. Keep my mouth shut.”

Inclining his head to him, Fang stepped away to lead him down that dark, eerie hallway that seemed to stretch on forever. There was no light at all. Yet Fang navigated the hall like a pro. It wasn’t until they approached a door that Dev could see the firelight dancing through the crack at the bottom.

Dev still wasn’t sure where here was. One minute they’d been in the freezer while Fang “talked” to his people, and the next Fang had teleported him into some lightless void that reminded him of the Nether Realm.

Or a bad Night Gallery episode.

Yet it wasn’t that either. This was almost like a vacuum…like space without stars.

Pulling him to a stop, Fang knocked on the door. The sound echoed around them. A heartbeat later, a light came out of the ceiling to illuminate the door so that Dev could see the medieval construction that even had rivets around the outer side of the door. The steel at eye level swirled and formed the face of a demon woman complete with fangs and blazing red eyes.

She scanned them before she spoke. “The master is busy.”

Fang didn’t hesitate. “I need to see him.”

She hissed, baring her fangs.

“Let me pass, Shara. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t important.”

She tsked at him. “You’re brave, Wolf. Very brave. Or perhaps stupid is a better term. Of all beings who serve here, you should know better.” She melted back into the door.

“Who is she?” Dev asked Fang.

Before he could answer, the door opened slowly on a well-oiled hinge that made not even a whisper of a sound.

Light spilled into the hall, hurting his eyes until they adjusted.

The demon was now a beautiful, slender woman around the age of twenty-two. With pointed ears and short black hair, she was dressed in a sheer red sheath that left every part of her body exposed to them.

Licking her lips, she gave Dev a hot once-over that left him strangely cold. He wasn’t interested in any woman right now, except a certain Amazon.

She closed the door and led them from the small spartan antechamber into a dark room where ancient weapons hung as decoration on the walls. Swords, axes, spears…Some others that Dev couldn’t identify. There was a huge, ornately carved desk in one corner with an overstuffed chair. The carvings were so intricate that it looked like the gargoyles on it would come to life any second and attack.

Fang led him to a single chair…or throne would be a more appropriate term. Like the desk, it was huge and carved with the heads of dragons. As they drew nearer, the carvings opened their eyes to show yellow and red pupils that focused on them with interest.

One of the dragons let loose a belch of fire, stopping Fang from getting any closer.

Dev frowned at the man who sat there. Impeccably dressed in a black silk and wool suit, he’d left the top button of his black shirt open. Dev saw a hint of a scar that ran across his collarbone where it appeared someone had once tried to cut his throat.

His features were so perfect, he would have looked feminine but for the lethal aura of I’m-planning-on-picking-my-teeth-with-your-spine. He narrowed a cold dark stare on Fang, then shifted it to Dev. “You can’t have her.”

“Excuse me?” Dev asked in an offended tone.

He swept a dismissive gaze over Dev. “If I let you have Samia, Lazaros will kill her. Painfully. Believe me, I’m doing both of you a favor by keeping her here.”

Dev shook his head. “I can protect her.”

“And you’re doing such an admirable job of it too. If I were Samia, I’d be tickled pink by your care.” That tone was so patronizing that it took all of Dev’s control not to go for his throat.

Thorn ignored Dev’s anger as he continued speaking. “Arrogance…how I love the sound of rampant stupidity after a long, dreary day.” He held his goblet up and the female demon came forward to fill it with something that looked more like blood than wine. “Tell your bear, Wolf, that he’s not equipped to deal with our enemies.”

“I tried, Thorn. He won’t listen.”

“Pity they never do. At least not until it’s too late to do anything more than scrape up their remains.” Thorn sipped his drink as his eyes changed from a freakish luminescent green to a bright yellow which matched some of the dragon eyes that continued to stare at them. “You know the problem with seeing the future?”

“You run out of enough banks to hold all your lottery winnings?”

Thorn gave a short, dry laugh at Dev’s sarcasm even as Fang sucked his breath in sharply and gave him a warning glare. “You can’t circumvent free will. That is the curse of your existence.”

Dev put his hands on his hips. “Funny, I always thought of free will as a gift.”

You would. Just goes to show exactly how naive you are.”

Naive maybe, but right now this asshole was really starting to piss him off with his B-grade movie theatrics and warnings. It was all he could do not to leap at his throat.

As if sensing his intent, Fang put a hand on his shoulder to remind him that reserve was the key to getting what he wanted out of Thorn. If he was like Savitar, overt aggression might get Sam killed.

For her and her alone, he’d corral his temper.

Fang cleared his throat. “You once told me that there’s more than one kind of death.”

Thorn savored a deep draught before he answered. “There is indeed.”

“Then what kind of death will they have?”

One corner of Thorn’s mouth quirked up. “You know I can’t answer that, Wolf. Well…I could, but it might change things and that might suck. Might not, but who am I to tamper with such odds?” He looked over his shoulder. “Shara? Be a dear and fetch our latest two guests here at the Hotel California.”

“You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave….” The reference to the old seventies Eagles song wasn’t lost on Dev.

What is his deal? Dev mouthed to Fang.

Fang’s eyes widened in warning for him to behave—something that was virtually impossible for someone who lived to irritate others.

Thorn rose to his feet.

Dev stepped back, not out of fear, but awe. There was a solid aura about him that was ancient and lethal. Something that said, in spite of his impeccable manners and speech, he was much more at home slashing throats than chatting. And for some reason, Dev had an image of him engulfed by flames.

Thorn glanced to Dev. “Forgive my rudeness. I’d offer you both something to drink, but trust me, you don’t want any of what I have. Ever.”

Okay…Nice boss, Fang. This guy was not Acheron. He was spooky as shit and definitely out to lunch. Dev had never thought he’d ever meet someone who could make Savitar or Ash appear normal, but Thorn…

Gods help them if the two of them ever combined forces.

And it made him wonder what Thorn might have done with Sam. Was she safe?

I haven’t harmed her. Scout’s honor.

He tensed at the sound of Thorn’s voice in his head. He locked gazes to find a knowing look on Thorn’s face.

Yes, Bear, I hear all, and Sam is quite safe.

Dev ground his teeth, reminding himself to keep his thoughts on the weather and not the freaky power of Thorn.

A few seconds later, Shara returned with…Dev wasn’t sure what the two of them were. On first impression, they appeared to be Daimons, but he was picking up on something else. Another layer of powers that made no sense whatsoever.

Thorn indicated them with his goblet. “Amaranda. Cael. Meet Fang, who is one of your colleagues, and his brother-in-law Dev.”

Amaranda was a stunning creature. In a pale pink summer dress, her tawny skin belied her nocturnal race. And with a feral aura that would give Thorn’s a run for his money, Cael was dressed in a black vest with no shirt underneath and a pair of ragged jeans.

Dev’s gaze went straight to the bow-and-arrow mark on Cael’s exposed hip. “You’re a Dark-Hunter?”

Cael flashed him a fanged grin. “Sort of.”

Uh-huh…Dev narrowed his gaze on him as all of his defenses ran into high gear. “What’s sort of a Dark-Hunter?”

Thorn gave an evil laugh before he explained. “A Dark-Hunter who foolishly falls in love with an Apollite who turns him into a Daimon to save his life.” He turned to Fang. “See why I tried to tell you love is far more sinister than anything I could ever do? I’m convinced it’s why Acheron’s wedding ring is black with skulls and crossbones on it.” He paused to give Fang a pointed stare. “But you didn’t listen to me either.” He indicated Amaranda and Cael with a jerk of his chin. “I couldn’t stand to see such warriors wasted so I took them under my wing.”

Dev had a feeling that being taken under Thorn’s wing was only slightly better than being run down by a Mack truck. And then backed up over just for good measure. “How so?”

“He saved us,” Amaranda said. “We were on the run from my people and Cael’s.”

Dev gave her a droll stare. “Ya think? You live on human souls and people tend to get a little pissed off about it. Damn rotten bastards. Can’t imagine why that would be a bad thing.”

Cael tensed as if he wanted to slug Dev for daring to use sarcasm against his woman. “Actually we don’t touch humans and never have. We feed on corrupt demons. They’re much more palatable to all involved. Less calories. More filling.”

Oh…now he felt stupid. Cael was right. No one could fault him for that meal.

“So they’re Hellchasers like me?” Fang asked Thorn.

Thorn saluted him with his goblet before he handed it over to Shara to dispose of.

Fang exchanged a puzzled frown with Dev. “But why are they here?”

Thorn tsked. “You’re asking things that are above your pay grade, Wolf. Stand down and don’t worry about it. All you need to know is that they’re your playmates. Share the sandbox or get spanked for it.”

Yeah, there was an image Dev could have done without. Where was a gallon of eye bleach when you needed it?

But that still left Dev completely confused. “How can Cael serve both Artemis and you?”

Thorn scoffed. “Artemis doesn’t care one way or another, especially now.”

Dev was surprised by his cavalier attitude. The goddess could be extremely ruthless when crossed. “What do you mean?”

Thorn patted him on the shoulder. “Do you want to continue discussing them or would you rather talk about your girlfriend and her future well-being?”

“Sam’s not my girlfriend.”

“My mistake then.” Thorn stepped back. “I will release her into your custody since it’s what the two of you want. I think you’re effing idiots. But it’s your choice. God forbid I ever interfere with your free will.”

Instead of relief, a tremor of apprehension went through Dev. “It’s that easy?”

Thorn laughed. “Nothing is ever that easy, Bear. Stryker wants your honey so he can destroy the world as we know it. You arrogantly claim that you can protect her better than I can even though I command an army and live in a place they can’t reach. I say we should put it to the test. Best beast wins and all that.”

Dev’s hackles raised as his suspicions mounted. This had to be a trick. He didn’t trust Thorn enough to even blink with him in the same room—the weasel was that crafty.

Wait for it…. There was definitely a trick coming.

“What do you have in mind?” Dev asked.

Thorn snapped his fingers and a portal opened in the wall. “I have a task for you, Bear. Have you ever heard of Hippolyte’s Girdle?”

“The one Hercules had to fight the Amazons to get?”

Thorn inclined his head to him almost respectfully. “An expected oversimplification, but yes. It’s the one Hercules had to fight to claim. And I don’t know if you realize this or not, but Samia just so happens to be Stryker’s cousin.”

Now there was an intriguing off-topic tidbit Dev really wasn’t expecting to hear, and it was one he wasn’t sure he hadn’t misunderstood. “What’s that?”

Thorn spoke more slowly, again in that patronizing tone that made Dev want to bury his fist straight in the man’s jaw. “Hippolyte—Samia’s grandmother—the fabled Amazon queen? Her father was the god of war, Ares. Since Ares is Samia’s great-grandfather, it makes her and Stryker cousins, as it were.”

That explained a whole lot about Sam’s fighting skills. “Does Sam know this?”

“I should hope she knows who her great-grandfather is. Not like that was ever a secret. Hippolyte was quite proud of the fact she was a demigod.”

Dev couldn’t blame her for that. He’d spread it around too if he could claim such, but none of that was pertinent to what was going on right now. “What has this to do with me?”

“Nothing really, except that after Hercules stole the girdle, it fell into human hands for a time because they believed it would imbue the wearer with certain powers.”

“Does it?”

Thorn’s eyes turned a deep red. “Yes and no. It seems a vital piece of the tale was never recounted.”

“And that would be?”

“That the wearer must be a descendant of Hippolyte for it to work.” Thorn’s tone changed from the refined gentleman to a deep demon baritone. “You want Sam back…get her that girdle so that it can protect her and I’ll let her go with you.”

Oh yeah, this mission was going to be a doozie to rival the one his sister had asked him for when she’d wanted to pull Fang out of demon hell. “And where is this girdle?” No doubt someplace that stank, was hot, and more lethal than a cobra venom farm.

Thorn let out a sound of profound aggravation. “What? You want me to draw a map for you? Take you there and point it out like a bird dog?” He snapped his fingers. The wall to his left shimmered before a giant black resin clock appeared. Its face was that of a dragon with vibrant red eyes that oddly matched Thorn’s. Its hands were the dragon’s wings.

Dev’s prickly host pointed to it. “You have one day, Bear. Twenty-four hours from this very second. Return with the girdle or Sam stays here…and so do you.” He paused before he added the last condition. “Forever.”

That was a long time to stay anywhere and Dev had a feeling that Thorn was not going to make his stay here a day at Disney World—unless one counted the torture part of the Pirates of the Ca rib be an. “If I refuse to play this game?”

His expression was stone-cold evil. “You’re already playing it. You stop now and I throw you out and Sam stays here until hell freezes over. Maybe even a day or two after that.”

Dev didn’t like the proposed terms and he wanted to take Thorn down a notch. He knew he didn’t scare the demon lord, but he knew one person who might. “Acheron will most likely have something to say about that.”

Thorn arched one regal brow. “Are you going to cry to him like a baby with a broken toy and ask him to fix it?”

Dev took a step forward and would have attacked him for that comment had Fang not caught him and stopped his suicidal charge.

“Don’t,” Fang whispered.

Don’t, my ass….

But it did click his common sense back into play. Dead, he couldn’t help her at all. Couldn’t do much for himself either.

And that common sense begged him to tell Thorn to shove it up a part of his body he was sure Thorn kept clenched tight enough to form a diamond.

His mind flashed on an image of Sam’s beautiful face. She didn’t like being around unfamiliar things. Most of all, she wouldn’t want to be locked in a cage no matter how gilded the bars were, any more than he would.

“So what’s it to be, Bear?”

Dev lifted his leg and gave a sarcastic slap to his thigh. “By golly, I’ll take Door Number Two, Bob. You know the one that calls for straight suicide with a side of mutilation and pain? Sign my hairy ass up for that and don’t be late.”

Fang cursed while Cael laughed.

Cael attempted to sober, but couldn’t. “Damn shame you’re going to die, Bear. I really think we could have been friends.”

There was amusement in Thorn’s eyes, but the rest of him didn’t so much as quirk a muscle. “You have four clues to find the location and—” He glanced to the clock. “—the hands are ticking.”

“You going to give the clues, hoss? Or do I have to guess?”

Thorn patted him on the cheek like a teacher with an errant child. “In plain sight on the banks of the Champs-Élysées, the girdle lies hidden away. At the brink of the darkest night, the location fills your sight. To see what can never be found, look for the circle round. To reclaim that which the gods rescind, you must face mightiest Whirlwind.”

Dev had a sudden urge to punch that smugness right out of him. “You know, the migraine from all of that really isn’t going to help me locate it.”

“You have your clues, Bear. Good luck.”