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Kat & Mouse: Black Kat, #2

Kat & Mouse: Black Kat, #2

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Kat & Mouse: Black Kat, #2

ratings:
5/5 (1 rating)
Length:
284 pages
4 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Sep 15, 2018
ISBN:
9781624540240
Format:
Book

Description

The Fugitive, with superheroes...

Bounty Hunter Katherine Carter hunts dangerous men for a living, and the latest is worth a fortune. He also happens to be a world-famous escape artist with unusual abilities, a cunning intellect, and a smile that could charm the panties off of any woman, including her.

 

Let the chase begin...

Women have been nothing but trouble for illusionist Hugh Harrison. Poisoned by a jealous one, hexed by another, and wrongfully accused of murder, Hugh finds himself on the run from a beautifully distracting but lethal bounty hunter who resembles his dead lover.


Will she drag him back to prison to claim the reward on his head—or claim him instead?

Find out in Book II of Black Kat, an action comedy series with superheroes, spanning urban fantasy and fantasy genres.

 

Catch all of the Black Kat books: 

Black Kat I: Unlucky Charm

Black Kat II: Kat & Mouse

Black Kat III: God Save the Queen

Black Kat IV: Playing with Fire

Black Kat V: Kat-A-Strophic
 

And many more to come! 

Publisher:
Released:
Sep 15, 2018
ISBN:
9781624540240
Format:
Book

About the author

To learn more about Kimberly Gordon and her books visit www.5dmedia.org.Kimberly Gordon is an author and mixed media artist from New York City. She was first recognized for her work when she received the National Gold Key Art Award in Washington DC for a Mixed media collage Self Portrait. The piece was also on display at the Smithsonian Art Museum.Kimberly later received the Maya Angelou award for Academic Excellence for her written and documentary film work in Africana studies at Simmons College in Boston, MA. Since then she has published various works that entertain, educate, inform and enlighten across cultures, groups & mindsets.


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Kat & Mouse - Kimberly Gordon

Prologue

To Jacob and Jared and anyone else who will bloody well listen,


I am writing to urge you once again: DO NOT BREAK ME OUT OF PRISON.

You’ve stirred up enough trouble at my trial, whether you meant to or not. Let everyone assume it was all my doing. Let me take the blame. AND STAY AWAY FROM THE COLORADO STATE PENITENTIARY.

It’s a maze of buildings, surrounded by at least six other detention centers and locked down tight. But you miscreants already know that. I’ve sensed at least one of you skulking around here. Which one, I can never tell.

Rest assured that my final days will not be without amusement. I have fans here, even in this dreary place. Perhaps one last magic show is in order—if I can summon the strength.

In the meantime, your talents are better used to find Dale and to protect the community we worked so hard to build. The others will need you now more than ever.

Stay strong, and whatever you do: DO NOT—I REPEAT—DO NOT BREAK ME OUT OF JAIL!


Yours always,

Hugh Harrison


P.S. Try not to kill each other. Please.

1

December 14, 1999

Chicago, Illinois


Justice never sleeps.

Katherine Carter padded into her bedroom and slid her suitcase out of the closet, pondering her midnight mission.

She rifled through her belongings under the light that streamed in from the hallway, trying not to waken the hunky, Latino cop snoozing in her boudoir.

Come back to bed, Valdez murmured and reached for her.

She bent down and ran her fingers through his wavy hair. Sorry, Antonio. I’ve gotta leave soon.

He rubbed the sleep from his eyes and sat up. But you just got back.

They’d had an amazing week together, and she hated to see it end, but duty called.

Perps don’t catch themselves. You know that.

I wish they did. Then we could spend more time catching each other.

I’ll take a rain check for when I get back, Kat smiled. Watch your eyes.

She flicked on the light and rifled through her closet, tossing several outfits onto the bed beside him.

Valdez squinted. How long will you be gone?

I’m not sure. She turned and gazed at him for a moment, enjoying the view. Could you watch my cats? I don’t have time to find a sitter.

Kat stood on tiptoe to snatch her gun case from the top shelf of her closet, then set it on the dresser and opened it, inspecting her Glock 19.

Good to go.

"Of course, Querida, but— He eyed her weapon and placed his hand over his heart, his dark eyes full of anguish. I worry about you. Some of the convicts you’re chasing make the streets of Chicago look tame. Like that sharpshooter. Or the serial rapist. Or the four-hundred-pound arsonist."

She wrinkled her nose at the memory of Bull. That one had smelled to the high heavens. I’m a bounty hunter. I’m not catching dogs.

Well, I wish you were. I worry that I’ve gotten you into something even more dangerous than the police force.

Nonsense, she shrugged and continued to pack. It fires me up. I love it.

Chasing bad guys and getting paid big bucks to do it, what was there not to love? She’d made more in a week of bounty hunting than she did all last year on the CPD. She’d also missed Thanksgiving with her adoptive mother. Though she considered that a bonus, there’d be hell to pay if she missed another holiday.

Valdez folded his arms across his broad chest. Seems like you’re taking most of the risks and Martin’s using you as bait. It isn’t safe.

No one’s safe while those nut jobs are running loose.

Kat refrained from adding that her new assignment was alarming and intriguing. And urgent.

She retrieved her travel pack of toiletries from the medicine chest in the bathroom, then returned to the bedroom and perused the contents of her suitcase.

Something was missing.

Costume, she thought and searched her closet for her skimpy leather cat suit. She whisked it off the hanger and stuffed it into her luggage.

Valdez’s mouth dropped open. I thought that was for the bedroom.

You can attract more flies with honey than vinegar. She winked.

She hated the damned thing, but it got the job done.

I don’t like other men looking at you the way I do, Valdez confessed. You’re wearing clothes when you’re out on these missions, right?

Yes. Mostly.

She snatched the luggage from the bed along with her gun case and headed toward the door, eager to avoid having their first argument.

Valdez followed behind. Mostly?

She turned and gave him an appreciative glance. He was stark naked and gorgeous. Everywhere.

I’m joking. Of course, I am.

Kat gazed out the window at the lights of the waiting cab in the street below. She didn’t have time to argue. She had to get to Denver. Fast.

She bent down and petted three of her cats goodbye, unsure where the other two were hiding.

The cab honked, reminding her that time was of the essence.

She grabbed her cases and started toward the door, but Valdez quickly blocked her way.

He gazed at her intensely. "I want you to meet my family, Querida. It would mean a lot to me."

Kat stiffened.

His family? Already? They’d only been dating a few weeks.

Weren’t you the one that wanted to take things slow?

He slipped his hands around her waist and kissed her neck. She could feel the warmth of his body—and other things—pressing into her. Not anymore.

Why not?

Because I love you, Kat. I don’t need more time to know that.

She stared up at Valdez, unsure how to respond.

His liquid brown eyes drew her in, making it hard to say no.

Part of her wasn’t ready for holidays and family and certainly not the L word. She might trust him with her cats, but she was a long way from trusting him with her heart.

But why? She questioned herself, shocked by her dueling emotions. She’d wanted this man for a long time, and now that she had him, she felt…lost.

Was it fear, or something else?

The sound of the cab’s horn broke the spell.

Kat blinked at him for a second, then gave him a quick kiss on the lips and slipped from his grasp, making a beeline for the door. I’ve…gotta go.

So is that a yes or a no? he said from behind her.

I’m late. We can talk about this later.

She cast one last glance at her cats, then hurried down to the honking cab below and the labyrinth of Chicago O’Hare International Airport that awaited her.

ID, please, said an older female ticket agent in a singsong voice.

There was a slight southern twang to it. She was unusually cheery for this hour and wore a name tag that said Delilah.

Kat dug her official billfold out of her long leather jacket and handed it to her.

Delilah’s eyes widened. You’re a U.S. Marshal?

Something like that.

At least, that was the cover. The agency she worked for didn’t officially exist.

But you’re so… the agent searched for the word.

Small? Yeah, I get that a lot.

She was barely five feet tall, and much smaller than the people she tracked down. But she was also much stronger. There was power in being underestimated, and she used it to her advantage.

Kat placed her gun case on the counter. It’s unloaded and secured.

The agent checked the case, then opened a logbook and began writing in it.

Kat glanced at her watch and yawned, wondering why Martin always seemed to summon her at some ungodly hour of the night.

Delilah closed the gun case, then handed back her ID and a boarding pass. Have a good flight.

Kat nodded and made her way through the endless maze of tunnels, twists, and turns toward her gate. She was good at finding her way through anything, but O’Hare was challenging, even for her.

Kat reached her gate and boarded the almost empty plane. She found her way back to her seat and settled in for the long flight. She shivered and pulled her jacket closed.

Her lids grew heavy as exhaustion overtook her, and she slipped into her dreams again.

About him.

The one she was looking for.

The Glowing Man’s face hovered above hers, framed by a mane of reddish blond curls. There was something ethereal yet familiar about his features that mesmerized her.

Who are you? he asked, the air crackling between them.

Who are you? she countered, unwilling to reveal herself so easily, even in her sleep.

His blue eyes twinkled. A friend.

Images flashed through her mind of the incident in Cabrini-Green.

He had saved her from a group of thugs, blasting everyone around them with a wave of energy. The explosion had knocked her out. When she came to, he had accidentally zapped her and then disappeared once the police sirens began blaring in the distance.

I left before I could introduce myself. He smiled shyly and seemed to glow even brighter, his words rolling over her in waves. Not everyone understands our kind.

Our kind? She stared up at him, spellbound as he leaned closer, his gaze dropping to her lips.

You don’t know, do you?

Her entire being pulsated with energy at his nearness, and she found it hard to breathe. Know what?

He reached out and touched her face, like he had the night they met.

A surge of electricity shot through her.

Kat’s eyes flew open, and she bolted upright.

Damn it.

It always ended just as it was getting interesting. And she never got his name.

She didn’t even think he was real until he showed up again at Hugh Harrison’s trial, wielding those same strange powers with light and energy. Now he was wanted for questioning, along with the others who were with him. It was her job to track them down.

No one was sure who they were, or even what they were. All she knew was that he was real, and possibly dangerous. And he needed to get the hell out of her dreams.

Kat buried her face in her hands. Why couldn’t she dream about Valdez?

The man was an exceptional lover, possibly the best she’d ever had. He seemed to anticipate what she wanted and gave it to her with enthusiasm. While her body was satisfied, some part of her longed for something more. Some part of her was screaming inside, asking Is that all there is?

She lifted her head and stared out the airplane window. What on earth could be missing from a man like that?

The plane landed, and she turned her phone back on. It buzzed with unread messages from her partner Martin, her adoptive mother, and Valdez.

She skimmed them quickly, her heart contracting at the last one.

I love you, Kat, Valdez wrote. "More than anything. Stay safe."

She closed her eyes and tried to breathe against a tightness in her chest that she didn’t understand.

What was wrong with her?

Kat took a deep cleansing breath, attempting to calm herself.

She was in unchartered territory. Catching men was her specialty. Not keeping them. She wasn’t sure what came next.

2

Kat exited the gate at Denver International Airport, her senses tingling.

Something felt very off here. The place gave off a weird vibe that matched the bizarre rumors swirling around since its construction; about networks of underground bunkers, unusual accidents, and strange symbols embedded in its masonry and murals. Every week there seemed to be an alternative conspiracy theory about what the airport’s five billion dollar price tag was really spent on.

Kat had no clue. It looked like a modern airport to her. A big one for sure, but not that much different from others she’d been in.

She followed the signs to a subway that carried her to the main concourse, then searched for her partner amidst the early morning business travelers, many sporting cowboy hats.

She smiled. Only one wore a battered brown fedora.

Martin Winslow smiled back, looking like a craggy, older Indiana Jones as he strode toward her. Or at least a wannabe.

Long time no see, he teased, giving her a light punch in the shoulder.

What? Like an entire week?

Seems longer. He winked and nodded toward the entryway. Come on. They sent a car for us.

Wow, we must be special.

We are. He waved her toward a black 4x4 with tinted windows.

A large, tight-lipped man nodded from behind the wheel. The guy looked like a goon.

They climbed in, hauling their suitcases with them.

Kat’s grip on her gun case tightened. It made her feel safer knowing she had it, and that Martin was packing too.

Her partner glanced out the window and laughed. I love this airport.

Why?

The teepees on the roof look like a closetful of Madonna’s brassieres. A man could die happy lookin’ at that.

She shook her head. It was tacky as hell.

A man probably designed it.

The driver pulled out from the terminal, drove a few hundred yards, then turned and parked in a hanger.

Kat looked at Martin, confused. I expected this ride to be a bit longer.

So did I.

She glanced out the window. They were still at the airport. Why would the meeting be here?

They exited the vehicle with their luggage in tow.

What exactly are we getting ourselves into? she asked in a low voice.

Martin extended the handle on his carry-on and rolled it past her. "In the words of our president, Don’t ask, don’t tell."

They approached two beefy security guards, produced their badges, and were led underground to a room buzzing with activity.

Massive monitors filled the walls, lit with dots, while people talked excitedly. They appeared to be tracking something. Whatever it was, it looked important.

She gazed at Martin and whispered, This is bigger than they’re letting on, isn’t it?

So was the airport, actually.

Martin just shrugged as they were escorted into a meeting room.

Welcome Agent Carter, Agent Winslow, said an older man in a black suit and tie. He motioned for them to sit down but did not give them his name. Instead, he passed them each a thick manila folder while several other men and woman in black suits joined them. He motioned toward a projector which an assistant turned on. You’re probably wondering why you’re here.

Kat waved the folder at him. To exchange cookie recipes? It is baking season, you know.

Martin snickered, as did a few of the others.

The man just stared at her. They warned me about your sense of humor.

Apparently, the government had forgotten to issue him one. Though she wondered why hers needed a warning label.

He began the briefing. On December eleventh of this year, the suspects disrupted the trial of Hugh Harrison, a well-known entertainer, accused of murdering his brother Dale. You may have seen the televised footage.

Kat sighed. Only about a hundred times.

You’ve been briefed already?

No, I TIVO’d the entire thing. I’ve been following it whenever I can. She felt her face flush. She’d been a fan of the Harrison brothers’ for ages. Something about their stage presence and their witty banter captivated her.

So, you’re familiar with the case.

We both are, interjected Martin. At least what’s known publicly. Though I don’t have one of those fancy TIVOs. He folded his enormous hands and leaned forward, a glint in his eye. So some prissy Brit illusionist offed his brother, and a bunch of fans disrupted his trial. So what? They’re only wanted for questioning. Why get us involved? Can’t you guys handle a bunch of magical groupies? And why do you need all this fancy new fan-dangled equipment to catch them?

Because we think we’re dealing with something far more dangerous than a disruption at a murder trial, said a wiry blond man with thick glasses from the doorway.

He entered the room and sat down in an empty seat directly across from them.

Meadows, Martin growled. I thought you moved over to Crypto or Linguistics or somethin’.

The blond man glared back. "I thought you had retired."

Martin crossed his arms, defiant. Gonna take a bullet to make that happen.

Like your partner? the man shot back.

Kat glanced between them, surprised. You two know each other?

Martin set his jaw. "We’ve had the…pleasure of working together in the past, yes."

Oh, she said. They looked like they hated each other.

Bert Meadows is one of our senior analysts, the older agent interrupted. And has helped us trace the more unusual activities of the suspects in question.

Kat raised a brow at him. Such as?

There’s been a flurry of unauthorized access attempts into older government databases. Someone is breaching the system, searching for something.

Martin rolled his eyes. How on earth is that connected to the magic guy?

The files in question pertain to him, and his missing brother, Bert stated.

Kat straightened in her seat. Wait. The government has files on them? Why?

I’m afraid that’s classified, Agent Carter, said the older man, who was obviously in charge. But Meadows can tell you how it applies to this case.

We think Hugh Harrison is the leader of a terrorist group, Bert continued. And they were trying to help him escape.

Kat burst out laughing. A magician leading a bunch of terrorists? You’ve got to be joking. Is that before or after he pulls the rabbit out of his hat?

Bert bit back a smile and looked down at his papers, shuffling them. "I know it sounds crazy. But we’re dealing with a group of people who seem organized and technologically savvy, with strange…talents."

Like what? Martin groused. The rabbit thing?

"There seems to

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