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Jul 12, 2013

The Other Half by Elaina M Roberts

The Other Half
The Other Half
by Elaina M. Roberts
Revelations Book One

For Kristiana Latimer, the Fifth Annual Human-Other Summit creates more aggravation than hope for the future. As a security guard for the hosting hotel, her job requires that she remain civil and professional with the visiting dignitaries regardless of provocation. But the Summit has yet to address the many growing concerns of the nonhuman integration. And when Michael Zakhara, the mysterious Head Ambassador, requests that she serve as his human liaison, Kris’ civility and professionalism are tested to the limits.

Just as they acknowledge their growing attraction and begin to work together, Kris’ niece and nephew are kidnapped, along with a half-dozen other nonhuman children. Suspecting the head of the local hate group, the Human Purity League, and Kris’ former boss, the couple organizes a stunning array of humans and nonhumans alike to help search for the missing children.

As tensions rise, Michael and Kris succumb to their intense mutual attraction. Secrets are shared, and truths revealed. But the Summit only lasts a week. Will they have time to save the children, address the issues at hand, and accept that they have found their other half?

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: July 13, 2013
Publisher: Indie

Excerpt & More

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“Just who I wanted to see.” Kris burst into the suite, grabbed Walter by the arm, and pulled him over to the table. Shaela trailed behind her, growling. “Mr. A, can you pull up a list of all nonhuman attendees who have mates?”

“Yeah, why?” The balding man sat and began typing while glancing up at his employee. Once he found the right listing, he projected it onto the thick, white drapes that covered the bay windows.

“I know this is a stretch but does that tell which of the mates started life as humans?”

“I’m afraid not. What’s up, Kris?”

“Dammit! We need to have a meeting with them; all of the nonhumans with both mates and kids.” Kris turned to face Micipsa, and held his large hands in both hers. “The Leroux pack’s pups weren’t taken only for personal spite, Michael. There’ll be more and we need to know who so we can get the searches started as soon as possible. Hopefully, sooner than the abductors are expecting.”

“What did Ricardo tell you, mea vita?”

“Early this morning, the Colonel had made a comment along the lines of the Others ‘getting a taste of what he’s suffered.’ He blames nonhumans for taking everything he cared about. His son chose a vampire over him, his career was halted by the ceasefire, and his wife was about to leave him for a shifter. That comment, combined with his history, his unapologetic disgust at what he considers mixed-breed abominations, and the letter he left at my apartment leads me to believe he’s going after the children. Specifically, the children of mixed raced matings.”

“I see. What do you suggest?”

“Can you call an emergency meeting of all the mated pairs, especially those who brought their kids with them? They need to hear what’s going on, and check on their families. If everything’s fine, extra security needs to be put on them. If not, we need a time it all went to shit. Conference Room 5 should be large enough to hold everyone, and we can get answers faster than trying to explain the situation to each individually.”

Micipsa used his cellphone to call Congressman Mickelson. An honorable and trustworthy human, the congressman had enough staff to spread the news of the meeting. Their goal was to have everyone gathered in an hour or less in the large conference room. Just as he tossed his telephone onto the table, one of the landlines rang. Shaela growled as her keen ears picked up the conversation. The news wasn’t good. Andrews switched the call to the speaker so everyone could hear the report from the Leroux Alpha.

“We found Jenna’s car along the eastern perimeter. From the skid marks, it looks like she stopped in the middle of the road, and then pulled away quickly. Her car was off the road less than one hundred yards from her initial stop. She’s been shot and it looks like silver was used. We’re taking her to the pack hospital, now.”

“No!” Everyone turned to look at Kris in surprise. “I’m sorry. Yes, Jenna needs treatment, but do it here. It’s closer than the compound, anyway. If the pack healers leave now, you should arrive at about the same time. Oh… and don’t clean her up except for the wound.”

“What are you thinking, mea vita?” Micipsa’s voice rumbled in confusion.

“We already have two of the best Leroux trackers on site, and they have the scents of those who broke into my apartment. Once Jenna is here, they can see if the scents match. Until she wakes, that may help approximate a time of abduction so we can get to work on tracking their movements. Even if they don’t match, the scouts can return to the crowds to see if they can detect any of those scents on the protesters. We might get lucky enough that, if we don’t find the ones responsible, we might find someone close to them that can be questioned.”

“Sounds like a plan, KiKi.” Keith’s voice growled through the tinny speaker. “I’m rerouting Jenna to the hotel. The healers should arrive before us so get them a room ready to use as a clinic.”

“Thanks, Keith. It’ll be ready.”

When the Alpha disconnected from the line, Kris returned to her notepad to write more things on her to-do list. Micipsa looked on in pride at how efficiently she took control of the situation. Because of his close observation, he knew the minute she realized that room was silent. When she began to squirm at the attention, he covered his grin behind his coffee cup.

“What?” Kris darted a glance to each of them. Shaela, speaking with her scouts on her cellphone, was the only one not waiting for his lovely mate.

“We merely await your orders, Ms. Latimer.” Urúvion offered her a regal nod, growing respect placing an upward tilt to his full lips and a twinkle in his intensely green eyes.

“Orders?” Kris blushed and chewed her lip. “I’m sorry. Mr. A, Michael. I didn’t mean to…”

“Stow it, Latimer.” Micipsa glared at his Guardian’s gruff interruption. “You’ve obviously got a head for planning, and a firm understanding of what we’re up against. Don’t apologize; just tell us what we need to do.”

“Well…” Micipsa caught her gaze and her hand, bringing it to his lips in silent encouragement. Kris took a deep, calming breath and checked her scribbled notes. “If it’s okay, we need either a guest room or, maybe, Conference Room 9 for the healers to treat Jenna. It’s the smallest one we have, and pretty useless for most of the meetings, anyway.” Andrews nodded, and put in a call to the front desk.

“Shae… if you can get the scouts into the building without them drawing suspicion from the protesters, that’d be great. I don’t know if they have someone watching the entrances but… wait! If we can get one of the shifter Ambassadors to leave for a while, even just for half an hour, the scouts can shift into full wolf form, and escort him back into the hotel.”

“On it, sis.” Shae dialed up one of the neighboring pack’s alphas.

“Michael, how is the notification going?”

“Unless the congressman calls earlier, we should be ready in another twenty minutes.” Micipsa smiled as she marked through a point in her list.

“Ms. Latimer, my people are at your disposal. What can the Council of Kings do to aid you in retrieving the young ones?”

Kris paled at the slender man’s words, shooting a desperate look at a very smug Micipsa Zakhara. He could have warned her! Council of Kings? Dammit, she knew she should have found out who he was before she started yelling at everyone. If he’s one of the Kings, he could demand her head for her lack of respect. The golden circlet caught the light, twinkling as if mocking her. She groaned.

“M-my apologies, sir. I failed to recognize, I mean…”

“Kristiana, you don’t mind if I call you that do you? The mark of a good ruler is to know when to step aside for one who has the skills needed for the job. You show a fine understanding of this unique situation. Do not let titles get in the way of that. As the mate of my dearest friend, you need only call me Urúvion.”

Kris gulped audibly. A hermit living atop Mount Everest knew the elven Arbiter. Also called the King of Kings, Urúvion of Kedaunnor ruled the largest elven kingdom in the Fae Lands. He acted as a liaison between the human realm and his own, as well as an arbiter of disputes within the Conclave. If the abduction of her niece and nephew didn’t give her an ulcer, the thought of ordering around a powerful elven shaman and ruler just cinched it.

“Um, as you wish, Your Majesty. I mean, Urúvion.” Rubbing her head, Kris tried to remember what she knew of the elves. She wasn’t about to insult a king by refusing his generous offer. “Sir? Is it true that you can read residual life energies as well as commune with the flora and fauna of an area?”

“To some degree. What is important to a blade of grass may not be important to an elf; the reverse is also true. As for energies, again, it depends on the individual, but I’m well trained in the practice.”

“What he means, mea vita, is he’s the best of his kind. Don’t attempt modesty now, muindor nîn.” Micipsa smacked the elf on the back of his head, sending his pristine white hair flying into his eyes. Kris just knew her mouth was hanging open. It didn’t help when the elf responded with a vulgar gesture.

“Um, wow. Okay, children.” She glared at Micipsa, who winked. “Once we have the location of Jenna’s car, check out the area and see if there’s anything useful we can learn from it. Is that okay?”

“It shall be so, Kristiana.” Urúvion smiled, raising his still-steaming cup of coffee in salute.

“Kris, the meeting is set for Con5 in twenty minutes.” Andrews closed his phone with a snap. “The security detail will be tripled. I’ve pulled in all shifts as well as solicited some help from unaffected Ambassadors in order to lock the hotel down as tight as possible and still function.”

“Alpha Moreau will escort our Scouts into the building, sis.” Shaela tilted her head, and some of the tension eased from her shoulders. “Keith is close. Is there anything you need from him before he arrives?”

“Yeah, Shae. See if you can find out exactly where they forced Jenna’s car off the road. There’s a map over there.” She waved towards the wall while digging around in a box of pushpins. “Put this as close as possible. That way, His Maj… er, Urúvion and his team can get a head start.”

With everyone moving, Kris marked off a few items from her list, and began writing new ones. Warm, strong arms wrapped around her and pulled her back against a firm chest. Sighing, she relaxed against her mate, and wondered again just how she ended up in charge. She had expected Shaela to organize everything, or at least Micipsa or Urúvion. Now she prayed she didn’t botch the entire thing and cause further harm to her family. Micipsa pried the notepad from her fingers, and turned her to face him. Kris stared into his amazing brown eyes, swirling with amber fire, as his lips approached. Too slow! She pressed against him to close the remaining distance, and captured his lips in a tender, but searing kiss.

She forgot everything and everyone in the room, reveling in the feel of his hot tongue caressing hers, his strong hands pressing against her back, his unnatural warmth. Her arms snaked around his neck as he pulled her closer. She tangled her fingers in his silky hair, keeping him close as he tried to pull away. His chuckle rumbled through his broad chest when he finally raised his head. Kris released a soft whimper of pure bliss.

“Feel better, mea vita?” Micipsa brushed his lips over her forehead as she nodded. “You’re doing a wonderful job. Be strong; we will find your sister’s pups.”
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