Home > Shades of Gray (KGI #6)(13)

Shades of Gray (KGI #6)(13)
Author: Maya Banks

It looked like a hunter’s paradise. And, well, Steele was essentially the biggest badass hunter there was. He just happened to hunt men along with what other big game he hunted.

To her surprise, when they entered the living room, Donovan Kelly was seated with Baker and Renshaw on one of the far couches.

Van, as he was called by those close to him, ran KGI with his brothers Sam and Garrett. More recently their younger brothers, Ethan, Nathan and Joe, had joined their ranks, but the three older Kellys essentially ran the show.

Donovan was the computer geek, and while some people would look at him compared to his hulking Neanderthals for brothers and immediately think nerd, Donovan was a badass through and through. P.J. had a lot of respect for him.

He was quiet. Didn’t need to be loud to get his point across. Plus he was smart, and for P.J. there was nothing sexier than a smart man. And if he happened to be a complete badass too? The perfect package.

“Hey, there they are,” Baker called out as he scrambled off the couch.

There was a moment of fist bumping and grasping of hands as the team reunited. One would think they’d been separated forever instead of just three days. But they also knew that in their line of work, there was always the possibility that one of them wouldn’t come back from a mission.

It was a reality they lived with, and it made them closer. While P.J. might cringe at the thought of having people close to her, this was essentially her family. A whole bunch of big brothers. Well, except for Cole. She’d pretty much axed any chance she’d ever look at him as a sibling. Not that she ever had anyway.

Steele and Donovan were both looking at her oddly, and she couldn’t shake the sensation that somehow everything she and Cole had done the night before was on her face for the world to see.

Donovan moved to her side, gave her a greeting, but it seemed grim. Alarm prickled up her spine. This had nothing to do with any silly self-consciousness she was feeling. Donovan wouldn’t be here at all if this weren’t a pretty damn important mission.

“Have a seat,” Steele told everyone.

He and Donovan both remained standing as the others slouched on the couch and in the chairs. P.J. made sure to grab the only available spot left on the couch next to Baker and Renshaw, forcing Cole to take one of the unoccupied armchairs across from the sofa.

Steele took a deep breath. P.J. honed in on his mood with pinpoint accuracy. He was hesitant, which flabbergasted her, because he wasn’t the hesitating type. Steele was nothing if not to the point.

“I apologize for calling all of you up after you were promised time off. Something came up, though. Something big.”

P.J. and the others leaned forward. Everyone had gone completely still at his announcement, because, indeed, it would have to be big to elicit this kind of reaction.

Steele turned to Donovan, who stepped forward, his expression one of utter seriousness.

“Carter Brumley is one of the largest traffickers of children in the world. He likes them young, preferably in the range of eight to twelve, and he deals exclusively in females.”

The hatred in Donovan’s voice was evident to all, and now it made perfect sense to P.J. why he was here and why the team had been called up. Above all things, Donovan had a soft spot for children. Women and children, but particularly kids.

He had a hand in every single mission that dealt with children, whether they were missing, exploited or kidnapped.

“He’s public enemy number one in a number of countries. Many agencies have gotten close, but no one has been able to take him down. He’s smart, but he’s also lucky and he has more lives than a cat.”

“We going after him?” Dolphin asked.

Steele silenced him with a look.

“In a manner of speaking, yes,” Donovan said grimly. “An opportunity has presented itself that we can’t pass up. But in order to get close to him, we’re going to have to use unorthodox means.”

P.J.’s brow went up at that.

That was when both Steele and Donovan looked directly at her.

“Brumley’s right-hand man has a predilection for petite brunettes with killer legs. He likes them toned, small busted. Not too small, but not overly endowed.”

P.J. had the sudden urge to cover her chest with both arms as she stared at the men in mortification. They were all but assessing her charms in front of God and everyone.

Her lips curled in disgust. She was being such a goddamn girl. Here, she was one of the guys. Not a one of them would be so much as blinking an eye if they were talking about each other’s dick size.

“He also has a big mouth,” Donovan continued on. “We got a tip from a prostitute he had an association with that he’s a talker. With enough alcohol and encouragement, he’ll air damn near anything.”

P.J. was starting to get a very bad feeling about this.

“Rumor is he’s delivering girls to a buyer in Europe. American girls. The specific order is for blondes. Eight to ten years old. Blue eyes. Long hair. The buyer was very exacting.”

“Jesus,” Cole said in disgust.

“So how do we stop him?” P.J. asked evenly.

Donovan took a deep breath. “We know where he’s going to be in three nights’ time. There’s a party he’s attending in Vienna. Arthur Stromberg, one of Europe’s biggest arms dealers, is hosting a soiree, and he and Brumley are good friends. And where Brumley goes, Gregory Nelson goes. That’s where you come in, P.J.”

Cole sat straight forward, a dark scowl savaging his face. “What do you mean that’s where she comes in? What exactly are we talking here?”

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