The hard thing about Night Shift is when you realize werewolves are bad news, but people can be worse.
After Night Shift officer Kit Marlow solved the murder of child star Haley Jenkins, he figured he was due a little down time. Maybe even a dinner date with Cade Deacon, the sarcastic security consultant, very good kisser, and werewolf who’d helped with the investigation.
That was before someone in a Night Shift uniform drove them both off the road. With the full moon up the only dinner date Cade is interested in…has Marlow served up on a plate. And not in a sexy way.
It’s the second time that corrupt Night Shift officers have tried to kill Marlow. If he has his way, it will be the last. Problem is he only has twenty-eight days before the next full moon. If he hasn’t identified who wants him dead by then, he’ll have to take to werewolf filled streets with a team at his back he can’t trust.
First things first, though. Get through the next twelve hours alive and uneaten, and hope that if a second date is still on the cards it’s less eventful.
Title: Split Shift
Publisher: Rogue Firebird Press
Release: April 19
First of all, thank you so much for having me! I’m thrilled to be here with my new release, Split Shift by TA Moore, the second novella in the Night Shift series.
For the blog tour I’ve written a short story set in the Night Shift world. I hope you enjoy!
Still no text from Brian.
From the icon positioned next to it he had read it, but that was it. Marlow leaned against the back wall of the briefing room and stared at the screen as he tried to work out where he stood.
He started to type and got as far as the second ‘r’ in sorry when he stopped, deleted it, and started again.
I’ll make it up to you?
Or use a full stop and make it a promise. That projected a lot more confidence than he had right now.
He held his thumb over the send button as he debated whether to hit it or not. The rest of the team’s arrival interrupted the debate. He closed the app down.
“Phones away, Marlow,” Bailey said as she headed to the front of the room. “If you make me take it off you, then you won’t get it back till the end of shift.”
A few chuckles circled around the room as everyone took their seats. Piper gave Marlow a glance as he came in, an eyebrow raised to suggest a question. Presumably about the earlier conversation.
Marlow nodded as he tucked his phone into his back pocket.
“OK, Last night went well. No-one died while we were around, so I’m calling it a win,” Bailey said. “We did have an accusation of unnecessary force brought by some bleeding heart from St Michael’s–”
Bennett raised her hand and pointed at herself.”
“–against Bennett,” Bailey confirmed. “So IA is all over that, but I’ve reviewed the files and, unless and until new information comes up, they’re happy to let me keep you on duty. Like I said, no-one died.”
Bennett leaned back in her chair, balanced on just the two rear legs, and crossed her arms over her chest.
“Damnit,” she said. “I thought I’d get a night off.”
Everyone laughed. Even Bailey gave an amused snort. “You wish,” she said. “OK. We have a VIP in town, big time lawyer slumming it down here for a client. They can’t get out to the Reserve and make court tomorrow, so dawn hits check the Crate for this guy.”
She held up a photo. The trim, grey-haired man in it didn’t look like someone who’d get tossed in the crate, but the wolf wasn’t the man.
Bailey ran through the rest of the briefing. A wolf in the Gaslamp District with a fixation on someone’s house, drug runners in Encinitas that had used the full moon as a distraction, and pack activity in Mesa Verde that needed broken up. Wolves were mostly solitary, meetings usually lead to fights, but sometimes they weren’t. No one knew why–plenty of people had theories about ‘natural alphas’ or population pressure, but they couldn’t back them up–but everyone agreed it wasn’t something to encourage.
It was supposed to be a pack of wolves that kicked off the French Revolution, when they broke into the Royal Preserve and slaughtered rings around them. Nothing that dramatic had ever happened in San Diego, but even small groups of wolves could be dangerous and destructive. It was best to nip it in the bud.
“Last on the agenda, but not least,” Bailey said as she flipped the folder closed. She waved her hand to the front of the room, where Franklin had taken up residence at one of the desks. “We have a new Night Shift officer on deck. Officer Franklin passed his PFQ with flying colors, and we’re glad to have him here. Keep an eye on him, show him the ropes, and make sure he doesn’t break that other hip.”
Franklin stood up and held his arms out. “I’ve already given one hip to the city,” he said. “I’m here to put the other on the line.”
Someone threw a balled up bit of paper at his head. He caught it before it hit his face and tucked it in his pocket.
“Love notes already,” he said. “I’m touched.”
“Settle down!” Bailey barked. “You are one night in, two nights to go. You’ve held the silver line so far, don’t slip up now. Get out there.”
There was only lime-and-lemon Gatorade left in the cooler stashed under the seat in the back of the Bearcat.
“Sorry,” Franklin said with mock-contrition as he finished his swig on the blue liquid. He wiped his mouth on his sleeve. “I guess I took the last cherry Gatorade. Is that your favorite?”
Marlow grabbed a green bottle and dropped back into his seat. “No, it’s fine,” he said as he twisted the lid off. “I don’t care.”
It was the truth. He didn’t even like cherry flavor. Even if he’d been parched and that was all he was allowed to drink, he’d not have taken Franklin’s bait. If it turned out that they couldn’t work together, Marlow wasn’t going to take the blame for it.
Franklin stared at him and then sniffed to himself as he twisted the lid back on the bottle. Next to him Bennett paused mid-check on her gun to laugh.
“C’mon, Marlow,” she said. “Throw the guy a bone and be pissy about something. It’s his first night.”
Marlow took a drink of the tart, over-sugared energy drink. It cleared the taste of smoke and blood from the back of his throat. There had been a fire in an apartment building. The fire department had handled that, but it had been Night Shift’s job to keep the place clear until it did. “There’s nothing to be pissy about,” he said. “As long as he does his job and I can do mine.”
“Oh yeah?” Bennett jabbed her elbow into Franklin’s ribs, hard enough to make him grunt. “Want to see how it’s done, rookie?”
He gave her a dour look. “You know I’ve been Night Shift before, right?” he said. “Back in Frisco?”
“Didn’t ask and don’t care,” Bennett said. “You want to see how a real San Diego Night Shift officer gets under Marlow’s skin?”
Franklin put the bottle between his knees and crossed his arms. He grinned slowly. “Go on then.”
Great. They’d teamed up. Marlow watched them both grimly as he left the bottle to his lips again.
“That firefighter was checking you out,” Bennett said. She waggled her eyebrows at him. “The hot one.”
“With the hair?” Franklin asked. “The redhead?”
Bennett’s grin widened. “Not his type. No, the Korean guy with the tats.”
“Oh,” Franklin said. He thought about it for a minute and then nodded. “Okay, I can see what you mean. I mean, I think he checked my ass first but who can blame him.
The tips of Marlow’s ears were hot. He tried to pretend they weren’t as he swallowed and put the cap back on his bottle.
“I was too busy doing my job to notice,” he lied. Senior Firefighter West was not someone who went unnoticed, even by someone who had a boyfriend. At least, they did until said boyfriend got around to dumping them. “And I’m sure he was too.”
Bennett rocked back in her seat and slapped her knee. “Please!” she said. “He was ‘thank you for your service’ and bedroom eyes at you. You could have absolutely closed that deal if you’d made a move, Kitty.”
The back of Marlow’s neck stung and he glared at Bennett. “If I–”
He was interrupted by the static of the radio and the clipped urgency of Dispatch’s voice.
“–we have a 19-03c at Bishop and 9th,” Dispatch conveyed. “Can you respond, David-10?”
“On it,” Piper told them. He glanced over his shoulder into the back. “Hold on.”
The Bear-cat took a hard left and peeled through the intersection. There was, for once, no one else on the roads. A stray wolf shot over the tarmac after something and went under the wheels. Marlow felt the bump of it as it rolled under them. Years of injunctions to be a good driver made him feel guilty, even though the wolf would be back on its feet in a minute.
“19-03,” Franklin said. “That’s a wolf-fight, yeah?”
Marlow drew his gun.
“Just a question,” Franklin said with a smirk.
“19-03c,” Marlow corrected him as he checked the action of the gun and holstered it again. “Wolf-fight with children in the area.”
Bennett pulled her helmet on and tightened the strap under her chin. She ran her finger under it to uncrease her ears.
“Or as they like to call them,” she joked grimly. “Hors d’oeuvres.’
TA Moore is a Northern Irish writer of romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and contemporary romance novels. A childhood in a rural, seaside town fostered in her a suspicious nature, a love of mystery, and a streak of black humour a mile wide. As her grandmother always said, ‘she’d laugh at a bad thing that one’, mind you, that was the pot calling the kettle black. TA Moore studied History, Irish mythology, English at University, mostly because she has always loved a good story. She has worked as a journalist, a finance manager, and in the arts sectors before she finally gave in to a lifelong desire to write.
Coffee, Doc Marten boots, and good friends are the essential things in life. Spiders, mayo, and heels are to be avoided.