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Shadow’s Edge

As Shadow and Gabe become more involved with the Orphic Guild, they find out that the occult world is full of intrigue and far more complicated than they realised.

Especially when it seems that someone wants the same thing that they do – The Trinity of the Seeker.

Cause for concern?

Absolutely not. If anything, Shadow is more committed than ever, and relishes pitting her wits against an unpredictable enemy.

And Gabe? When they find instructions that could enable him to speak to his father, he and the Nephilim are more than ready to fight.

Join Shadow, Gabe, and Harlan as they race against an occult organisation that is as underhand as they are.

If you love paranormal action-packed fiction with plenty of mystery and lots of fun, you’ll love the White Haven Hunters.

Chapter 1

Shadow looked at the house that blazed with light and the driveway filled with cars that spilled onto the road, and then stared at Harlan.

“Are you serious? They’re having a party!”

“I did say they were!”

“I presumed it was a small dinner party, not a huge one with hundreds of guests!”

Harlan shifted uncomfortably in the driver’s seat, having the grace to look sheepish. “I know this looks difficult, but it’s actually easier for you to break in this way. And besides, you’re exaggerating. There aren’t hundreds!”

“But there are a lot! I could get in trouble with Maggie Milne—again!”

“Of course you won’t! You’re fey, right? Which means you won’t get caught by anyone.”

Shadow narrowed her eyes and resisted the urge to wipe the smirk off Harlan’s face. She hated it when her own words were used against her. “I like to plan my own methods of breaking and entering, thank you. Methods that involve a little more stealth. I’m not invisible!”

Harlan gave her his most charming smile. “But you are very skilful.”

“And you are pushing your luck!”

“But not yours.”

Shadow took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, reminding herself that she liked Harlan—most of the time. It was Sunday night, and they were sitting in his rental car on a leafy road on the outskirts of Hope Cove in Devon. His own car was outside the farmhouse in White Haven, because it was so recognisable he hadn’t wanted to risk being spotted.

Harlan continued, “It might look like an ordinary house, but as I told you it has a very sophisticated alarm system. It would be a nightmare to disable. This way, we don’t have to.”

“We?” Shadow turned in her seat to stare at him. “And what are you going to do?”

“I’ll wait a little further down the street.”

“How nice for you.”

“You mean you want me to come with you?” Harlan angled himself towards her, but in the dark confines of the car, all Shadow could see was the hard line of his jaw and his lips curving into a smile.

“Absolutely not. Now remind me, where am I going?”

Harlan had picked her up from White Haven a couple of hours before, and they had talked about the night’s plan, as well as the more interesting matter of JD Mortlake, but with the house looking so full, she wanted to make sure she had got things right. She was prepared to fight her way out if necessary, but it would be so much easier not to.

“You need to enter through the back door, next to the kitchen, and if I know Henri, he’ll have brought in catering staff. The rear stairs are to the right of the door as you walk in, and they bring you out close to the library that overlooks the garden. The Map is rolled up and stored on a shelf with several other maps, but it will be obvious. He keeps it in a red leather tube-shaped case.”

Shadow nodded and gazed back at the house. The well-manicured gravel drive was edged with shrubs, trees, and low lighting, but close to the boundary wall, it was dark. “And you say I should keep to the left?”

“Yes. There’s a gate in the wall that leads around to the back of the house.”

“Any dogs?”

“A Pekinese called Walter.”

“Walter?”

“Henri is a fan of Sir Walter Raleigh. A big fan.” Harlan’s teeth flashed white in the darkness as he laughed. “At least you won’t have to worry about being attacked.”

“Great. It will just yap a lot and make me want to throw it over the hedge.”

“Walter leads a very cosseted life. I’m sure he will be inside on such a cold night.”

“Good.” She patted her pockets to make sure she had her tools at hand, and then opened the door, allowing cold air to rush inside. “I should be out within the hour.”

“I’ll be just down the lane. Good luck.”
Halfway out of the car, Shadow paused and asked, “What if the unthinkable happens and I do get caught?”

“You’re on your own. I know him, so I can’t afford to get involved. Or get The Orphic Guild dragged into it. But you won’t. I trust you.”

Resisting the urge to say something scathing, she shut the door softly, raced across the road, vaulted over the low wall, and ran beneath the trees. The sound of laughter and music reached the end of the drive, getting louder as she approached the house.

This was their first major job since they had met JD a few weeks before. Since then, Gabe had seen him a couple of times at his Mortlake Estate, telling her that he’d been questioned for hours about his life before the flood, and so far wasn’t sure what to make of him. Shadow had spent her time reading up on JD’s history. Harlan was right. He was a very famous historical figure with a colourful past, and Shadow didn’t know what to make of him, either.

Tonight she was retrieving an old map from a member of the Order of the Midnight Sun, but as yet, she had no idea why because Harlan had been so deliberately cagey. As she drew closer to the house, she saw the catering van that Harlan had predicted, but the driveway was devoid of people, and it was impossible to see into the house, as the curtains were drawn. She felt her way along the wall that provided security between the front and back garden, and quickly found the gate. She depressed the latch and came upon her first problem. The gate was locked.

Shadow stepped back and looked up. The top of the wall was several feet above her head, but it was rustic enough for her to get hand and footholds, so she scrambled up and peered over it, seeing an unlit path running alongside the house. She swung over and dropped to the path. Immediately, a security light went on, and she dived into the borders on the left, flattening herself under shrubs.

Heart hammering in her chest, Shadow waited, feeling the damp, cold earth beneath her, and the tickle of leaves against her cheek. It was early May, and although the days were warmer, the nights were still cold. After several seconds of waiting, no one came running out, so keeping to the boundary wall again, Shadow headed deeper into the garden until she could see the entire back of the house.

At the far side there was a large, paved patio area filled with tables and chairs, and thanks to some outside mood lighting, and the light from the room behind, she saw a few hardy people smoking and chatting, their voices only a low murmur. But this end of the house was quiet.

Half a dozen people moved around in what looked to be the kitchen; the back door was a short distance from it, and above it was another security light.

Shadow contemplated her options and decided the best way to enter was to round the corner of the house as if she were part of the catering staff. If anyone looked over from the patio area, they wouldn’t question it. She edged back to the house, stepped onto the path that lit up straight away, walked confidently around the corner, and opened the back door without hesitating. She slipped inside and shut it softly behind her.

She found herself in a broad passageway in nearly total darkness. A chink of light escaped through the partially open kitchen door to her left, allowing her to see a line of outdoor shoes, boots, and coats hanging on the wall in front of her. A hallway ran deeper into the house, but to her right was the staircase. Shadow ran up it, pausing halfway to listen for any voices, but it was silent, except for the distant thump of music and laughter, and she continued, only stopping when she reached the landing.

The hall was dim, lit by a lamp on a small table placed under a narrow side window. To her left the passage ran a short distance before turning right into the centre of the house. She followed it past an open doorway, the room beyond in complete darkness. She pushed the door open further, letting her eyes adjust to the light. It was a spare bedroom by the look of it.

A bag was on the floor, and the bed was made, so maybe a guest was staying here.
Remembering Harlan’s instructions, she hurried onwards, following the corridor until she reached a doorway on her left, and she peered inside the lamp-lit room. Bingo. The study was lined with shelves that were packed with books and files, and a desk sat under a long window that was covered in thick curtains. Shadow shut the door behind her and turned slowly, shaking her head.

The room reminded her of William Chadwick’s house. It was stuffed with occult curiosities, a variety of astrolabes, a huge globe of the world, and things she quite honestly didn’t recognise. Henri was a member of the Order of the Midnight Sun, so she presumed he’d be some kind of lover of alchemy, science, math, or astronomy—or all of them. But now was not the time to linger.

She scanned the bookshelves looking for the red leather case, but although there were plenty of rolled up scrolls, there was nothing of that description. Damn Herne’s hairy balls, and damn Harlan. There were a few cupboards and glass cabinets and she searched them too, again finding nothing, and she turned back to the desk, just spotting the case peeking out from under a jumble of paperwork. Excellent. That must be it. She had just placed her hand on it when she heard the unmistakable sound of the handle turning and the door opening. There was only one place to hide—behind the thick velvet curtains.

Shadow squashed behind them, her back pressed to the cold window, and heard the pad of footsteps across the floor. She peered through a narrow gap in the curtains, seeing a young, petite woman with short, spiky black hair and wearing a catering jacket look around the room. She walked quickly to the table, picked up the red leather case that Shadow had just exposed, and slid the map out to examine it. Seemingly satisfied, she rolled it back up and slid it into a cardboard tube, similar to the one Shadow had strung across her back.

Shadow had a moment of indecision. Should she step out now, overpower the thief, and claim the map, or follow her? She was pretty sure she would win in a fight, but she’d give herself away. And any noise would attract attention. She needed to be patient, and clenching her hands, she waited.

The woman headed to the door again, paused to listen, and then left. Within seconds, Shadow darted after her, following her silently, before coming to a sudden halt partway down the stairs. This time there was no easy exit. The catering staff were packing up their equipment and chatting loudly, and a stack of plastic boxes sat by the open back door. The thief placed the map onto the top of one of the large containers, picked it up, and shouted as she headed outside, “I’ll start packing the van.”

For a moment Shadow hung back at the bottom of the steps, and when it was clear no one was about to follow her, she cloaked herself in her fey magic and sprinted into the shrubbery.

She worked her way to the drive, just in time to see the woman put the box into the back of the van. She froze, back to the wall, relieved to see the mystery woman return to the house, the security light illuminating her short, slim figure. Who are you?

Barely waiting for her to be out of sight, Shadow wrenched the back door of the van open and clambered in, fumbling through the jumble of objects until her fingers closed on the cardboard tube. She grabbed it, swapping it for her own empty one, and then leapt out, just as she heard the front door open and the sound of voices approaching. Shadow didn’t hesitate. She ran to the boundary wall and retreated the way she had come, only pausing when she was safely sheltered in the dark corner of the garden next to the footpath.

Harlan was nowhere in sight, but she trusted the fact that he’d be alongside the road somewhere. Taking one last look behind her, she vaulted the wall, and spotting the car idling further along, sauntered to it as if she hadn’t got a care in the world.

When she slid inside, the warm air wrapped around her, and Harlan looked at her expectantly. “Got it?”

“Eventually. Go—now.”