More Than Skin Deep
New York Times bestselling author Margo Bond Collins
A Shifter Shield Book
★☆★Shifting’s more than skin deep. And terror goes to the bone.★☆★
Having eliminated the shifter community’s stalker and agreed to care for a pile of new baby lamias, child counselor and weresnake Lindi Parker believes she’ll be able to settle into her newly domestic life with her mongoose-shifter boyfriend, Kade Nevala.
But she didn’t count on being on duty at her new job as a Shifter Shield when a hyena-shifter shows up requesting asylum—along with his girlfriend. She’s a Hunter from a hereditary clan of monster trackers, and a semi-mythical figure of dread among shifters. Worse, they have an entire werewolf pack after them, howling for their blood.
Now they’re after Lindi, too.
Get weresnake Lindi Parker’s latest adventure in this bestselling series that “…takes shifter fantasy to a new and exciting realm” ~Amazon reviewer
The door of the Fort Worth, Texas, Shifter Shield office slammed open, hitting the wall behind it so hard I was afraid it would leave a dent. A couple dashed in and shut the door behind them. The man threw the bolt locks and scanned the rest of our limited additional security. While he did this, the small woman strode up to the desk and purposefully placed both hands flat on the surface. She leaned forward, almost into my personal space, and said, “We need to see the lamia.”
I assumed she meant me—since I was the only adult snake-shifter in the area, and perhaps in existence, she almost had to. However, the enormous ax sticking up over her head from between her shoulder blades suggested that perhaps I didn’t need to see them—not without getting a sense of who they were and why they were invading my workspace.
I work with frantic people for a living, though, both in my job as a counselor and as a type of police officer for the Shields. I pulled on my counselor face—smooth, bland, and only mildly interested in whatever it was that had gotten my clients (or in this case, the ax-wielding blonde and her boyfriend) stirred up.
I leaned back in the office chair and tented my fingers in front of me. “Why do you need to see her?”
“She is the only one we will talk to,” the woman ground out from between clenched teeth. Her eyes were the pale, almost-white blue of a Siberian Husky’s, and they glared at me with a cold fire, barely banked.
I raised one eyebrow and waited. It was a technique I found I used as much as a Shield as I did in my other job as a children’s counselor. People want to fill silences. In the meantime, I used the few seconds of quiet as an opportunity to study the pair.
In terms of appearance, they were exact opposites. She was leggy, but tiny, with incredibly pale skin and long hair so blonde it was almost white. He was taller, a light-skinned black man with luminous brown eyes.
Pulling in a breath across the half-shifted Jacobson’s organ in the roof of my mouth, I parsed out what I could of their scents. They were obviously lovers, their individual scents interwoven so completely that it was difficult to differentiate them.
Difficult, but not impossible.
He was some kind of shifter—something I’d never smelled before—and she was… Well, she was baseline human. There was something else there that I had never encountered before, though. To my weresnake senses, it smelled wild, but didn’t taste like anything shifter or animal. But it carried that fizz along the edge, like a lightly carbonated drink, that suggested its owner belonged to the world of the paranormal.
Yeah—whatever she was, she was definitely supernatural.
“Maybe I can help you?” I asked.
They exchanged a look full of information that I couldn’t interpret, and then the man stepped up. “We must speak to the lamia. She is, we believe, the only one who might believe us—might trust us.” His voice was musical, the words spoken in the accent of some African country.
I chewed on the inside of my bottom lip as I considered the couple in front of me. I inhaled another breath, trying to taste intentions in the molecules of air. All my senses were telling me that they were nervous, but not actively hiding anything. They weren’t lying. They definitely thought I would be able to help them.
After a long moment, I nodded and sat up straight. “I’m Lindi Parker. I’m the one you’re looking for.”
The Shifter Shield Series
She’s lucky he’s a charmer. He’s lucky she doesn’t bite. Much.
Lindi thought she was the only shapeshifter left. Then she fell for the man whose clan wiped hers out.
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