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She hopped in her car and took off, leaving Frederica to her coitus interruptus. No doubt Nadine or Sofia would inform her that Toni had been there looking for their missing guest.

Did Frederica have some place she could have stashed Sydney? If Toni remembered right, Frigg had her own palace in Asgard, but that might put Sydney too close to Grimm. If Grimm even wanted Sydney.

Gah. She’d stop off for a latte on the way home. She could use the shot of caffeine before her brain exploded.

Once she was away from the suburbs where Frederica lived she pulled over. She stared in her rear-view mirror. “Nik.”


“Nik, I know you can hear me.”

Still nothing.

“Don’t make me find a rent-boy to get my bow-wow on with.”

“Don’t threaten me, Toni.”

She smiled smugly as silver eyes filled her rear-view mirror. “You answered, didn’t you?”

The silver eyes started to fade. 

“Sydney wasn’t there.”

For a moment nothing more happened. “Come home. We’ll discuss strategy when you get here.” Then the eyes disappeared.

“I’m getting a latte first!” She yelled before pulling back onto the road. She headed for the highway that would take her back to Center City, stopping at a Starbucks along the way because, hello, Starbucks! Mocha frappuccino for the win!

A drink and a muffin later and she was ready to face the world again. Of course, she’d had her frappuccino refilled before she left, so she was sipping happily as she drove on the highway when her phone rang. She popped the earpiece she kept in her passenger side cup holder into her ear and pressed the button. “Mancinelli.”


Crap. It was her boss. “Sir.”

“I understand you’re still on babysitting duty for Yardley-Rudiger.”

“Yes, sir.” Huh? Hadn’t he signed off on it? Travis had called in some favors to get her assigned to him for whatever the hell she’d been assigned for. No one had bothered to tell her, so she’d assumed it was to guard Sydney.

“How’s that going?” 

This was...odd. Her boss never called her to check on a case. He always spoke to them in-office. “You’re not the boss of me.”


“Answer a question. What’s my mother’s name?”


“Try harder next time, Grimm.” She hung up and tugged out the earpiece. “Fuck.” 

“Get home now.” Nik’s angry voice came from the speakers of her car, almost making her swerve.

She pulled off the highway. Not much longer until she was at the condos. “Stop possessing my car, Christine.”

He laughed, the sound somewhat tinny thanks to the speakers. “Smart ass.”

“Uh-huh.” She glanced behind her at the silver sedan one car behind her. “That car’s been following me since I left Starbucks.”

He growled. “You couldn’t have mentioned this earlier?” Before she could respond to his grumbled words he spoke again. “It’s Adam Grey.”

Adam Grey, Adam Grey. Which one was he again?


Wow. Nik sounded pissed. “I gather he’s dangerous.”

“He’s off the juice and working for Odin willingly. You tell me.”

Shit and shineola. “I’m almost there. If I have to I’ll hit the sirens.”

“You do that.” 

Toni took the corner so fast she wasn’t certain all her wheels were on the road. She kept an eye on the silver sedan on her bumper. Adam Grey wasn’t letting her get away.

That was all right. She had resources he didn’t.

Toni let go, activating her powers and praying to everyone she could think of, including Nik, that she’d survive this. Everything around her slowed, including the man behind her. God, she was like one of the brothers in the General Lee running from Roscoe P. Coltrane. 

She barely managed not to hit a pedestrian, three poodles in rhinestone collars and a double-parked Humvee before she got to the parking garage. She let the energy go, totally drained as she pulled into her parking spot. Apparently using it twice in a row for that long a time was tiring.

It took a few sips of frappuccino and a quiet freak-out before she could get out of the car, because holy shit she’d just outrun a fucking god.

Of course, another angry god was waiting for her upstairs. His rage practically vibrated through her entire body. Nik was going to hand her ass to her on a silver platter for leaving the safety of the condos.

She didn’t care. She now had information she hadn’t before. Somehow Sydney had been moved from Frederica’s home to another location without their knowledge. She was almost certain that Frederica was the one who’d done it, but until she explored all avenues she wouldn’t be certain. With Adam on her tail it was possible that Grimm had Sydney and was hiding her somewhere where Nik couldn’t find her.

She took the elevator to the magic floor, the one no other residents could get to. In fact, the elevator stopped at no other floors, allowing her a direct ride to her doom. She stepped off the elevator, clutching her Starbucks cup in front of her like a shield.

Nik was on the other side of the elevator doors with his arms crossed over his chest and a pissed look on his face. She flicked her straw at him, getting frappuccino drops on his dress shirt. “I rebuke thee, Satan.”

His lips twitched, but that was the only hint of humor on his face. “Get to my condo, Toni.”

There was no way in hell she was going to tell him that the commanding tone of voice made her panties wet. She strode past him, her head held high, straw in one hand and melting frappuccino in the other.

Nik reached around her to open the condo door. The moment she was through he grabbed hold of her. Ready to attack, she held up the straw.

Only to have him kiss her stupid.

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