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“This is it?” Gauge scowled up at King before flinging the handful of papers he held across his desk.  “I could’ve found more on Google!”


“Doubtful,” King scoffed.  “I ran a full check, Gauge.  She’s an awfully flighty little thing.”  Sitting on one corner of Gauge’s desk, King leaned across to pull one of the papers to the top of the pile and pointed at it.  “She’s moved nearly a dozen times in the past five years.”


“I don’t want her flight history, I want some damn facts.”


King sat back and crossed his arms over his broad chest, “Well, she graduated from the University of Northern…”


“Christ!” Gauge shoved back from his desk and plowed a hand through his hair.  “Why does everyone keep trying to give me her resume’?  I’ve read it!”


“Why don’t you tell me what it is exactly that you’re looking for,” King’s tone was laced with amusement.  “Maybe if I knew what you wanted, I’d know where to look.”


Gauge didn’t want to explain himself.  How could he tell the Chief of Security that he had suspicions about his assistant simply because he’d heard her talking to herself?  “What do you know of the child’s father?”


King shrugged his massive shoulders.  “Nothing.  I can’t find any birth records.  For all intents and purposes, Ms. Garret is not on record anywhere as ever having given birth to a child.”


“How old is the kid?”


“She’s five,” King replied. 


“Where was Ms. Garret five years ago?”


King frowned. “The closest records to that time-frame we can find show Ella in D.C. five years ago, but no birth records for Ella or for her child, Alysa.”


“Could she have had the child elsewhere and fled shortly after the child was born?”


“Possibly,” King’s eyes narrowed.  “Is there something I need to know? If you’ve got valid concerns about the woman, I should be informed.  Have you scented any deceit?”


“Perfume,” Gauge growled, not willing to divulge too much.  He wanted information, but not at the cost of StoneCrow’s Chief of Security hounding Ella. 


“Tell her you’re allergic,” King suggested.  It was a common lie used by Walkers, especially those who worked closely with humans.


“I did.  She keeps wearing the damn perfume.”


“Hmm,” King rubbed his jaw.  “Sounds like she either doesn’t value her job, doesn’t give a shit about your reaction, or…,” he let the sentence die off.


Shit!  Gauge had thought the same thing and put voice to King’s suspicions, “Or she knows about our heightened senses and is attempting to disguise herself.”


“But that’d mean,” King dropped his hand to pin suspicious eyes on Gauge.


“That she knows about us,” Gauge finished for him.  “And don’t look at me like that because I have done nothing to arouse suspicion.”


“You sure?” King crossed thick arms over his solid chest with a smirk.  “According to Crow, you have no qualms about arousal where your staff is concerned.”


“That was in the past.” Gauge stood with a growl.  “Things have changed.  I have changed.  I haven’t laid one finger on Ella.”


“It’s been two days.  Give it a minute,” King teased. 


A growl was the only response Gauge made. 


“Ella?” King’s brows hiked as his smirk broadened into an outright smile, “Suddenly so informal.”


“Drop it, King.” Gauge reached for his suit jacket, jamming his arms into the sleeves. 


“Hey,” King threw his hands up in mock surrender, “no way in hell am I judging your penchant for secretaries.”  His smile broadened as he winked, “Got a thing for one myself.”


Gauge gave King a bored look.  He might be new to StoneCrow, but even he was aware that King was mated to Monroe StoneCrow’s personal assistant, Lilly.  “I don’t have a penchant for secretaries,” he ground out as he cleared his desk and locked his drawers.  “I don’t have a thing for human women at all.”  He stood tall and straightened his collar and buttoned his jacket.  “They’re too weak, too needy, too…unadventurous.” 


“Unadventurous?” King snorted, the implication not lost on him.  “Clearly, you haven’t met the right woman.  Perhaps Ella will…”


“No,” Gauge cut him off, his temper beginning to flare, “She won’t.  I’m looking for a Walker mate.  Not a widowed human with baggage who also happens to be my subordinate.”  He stalked toward the door as if that would end the conversation.

Gauge: Skin Walkers book 8

SKU: 9781495432750
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