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Jordan turned and saw the two most gorgeous men she'd ever seen in her life standing in her doorway.
I look like an idiot in front of hot clients. Double-crap.
The dark-haired one was obviously laughing at her. The wickedest smile she'd ever seen rested on a pair of full, sensual lips. Dark eyes danced as she slowly removed her fingers from her ears. He had a small gold nose ring marring an otherwise perfect nose. He was a full head taller than her in her heeled boots, and half a head taller than his companion, with broad shoulders encased in black leather. Ripped, dark blue jeans encased muscular legs, leading down to a pair of black sneakers. Rich, dark red hair tumbled around his head, making him look like he'd just crawled out of bed.
Bad boy alert.
Jordan was a sucker for bad boys. She could feel the saliva pooling in her mouth as her gaze traveled back up his legs, pausing at the impressive package outlined by his jeans, to that wide chest and back to his face. She felt her cheeks heat as he stared back with a hot, knowing look.
Embarrassed to be caught staring like a lusty teenager, she turned her direction to his companion.
Oh. My. God.
The blond next to him was ... was ... words failed her at the other vision of ultimate hotness standing before her. Long, pale blond hair cascaded down to just brush his shoulders. Blue eyes the color of forget-me-nots were wide open as he obviously fought off a laugh. His upper lip formed a perfect cupid's bow, something that should have looked feminine. On him, it just made her want to lick to see if he tasted as good as he looked. His full lower lip trembled with his efforts not to laugh. Hewas broad shouldered and muscular under his black suede coat. He, too, wore blue jeans and black sneakers, but where on the redhead they played up his dangerous looks, on the blond it was like wrapping paper on a present. She just wanted to rip into it and see what was underneath.
Apart, they were incredible. Together, they were enough to stun the most jaded of feminine eyes. She had the urge to stamp her name across each of their foreheads before anyone else got a look at them.
Angel and demon, eh?
A brief vision of her between the two of them, light and dark, yin and yang, flashed through her mind. She squished it before it could go too far and get her in trouble.
Make that double trouble. "Welcome to Guardian Investigations. Can I help you gentlemen?" She nearly sighed in relief at the professional, only slightly breathless tone she managed.
"We're here to see Jordan Grey."
Jordan held back a shiver as the deep voice of the redhead washed over her. He had a slight accent that slurred his es's a little bit. "I'm Jordan Grey."
The two men exchanged a look she couldn't decipher. "See? I told you she'd be perfect."
The blond rolled his eyes and turned back to her. "We need your help." The blond had the same accent.
Jordan sighed. Damn. Definitely clients. Which meant Demon Boy and Archangel were off-limits. Double damn. She waved them into her office, glad that the twins were already maneuvering to leave. "Pleased to meet you. Is there anything my staff can get you before we sit down and discuss your case?"
"Coffee, if you don't mind." The redhead sauntered in and sat on one of the chairs in front of her desk.
The blond followed, smiling at Jeff, who practically drooled all over him. The blond sat in the other chair and turned that devastating smile on Jamie. "Water, please, thank you."
His double-u sound was a cross between a double-u and a vee, and suddenly she placed the accent. After all, she heard it every day. She smiled. "Are you two Norwegian?"
They turned and looked at each other, then back at her. "Yes. How did you know?"
She smiled broadly as she sat behind her desk. "My father has the same accent."
"We--" the blond cut off as the redhead elbowed him, hard, "--need your help."
She nearly frowned at the obvious gesture. Blondie had meant to say something else. Something like, We know, perhaps?
"Logan Saeter." The redhead stood halfway, holding out his hand.
Jordan shook it briefly and turned to the blond, who stood completely. "Kiran Tait." That devastating smile was still on his lips, warm and inviting. "Call me Kir."
"Pleased to meet you. How can I help you gentlemen?"
They waited until Jamie brought in the coffee and water, shutting the door behind her, before Logan spoke. "We need to prove that Oliver Grimm attempted to murder Kir and frame me for it."
Jordan couldn't keep the shock out of her voice. "Excuse me?"
"He's telling the truth."
Jordan stared at Kir. Kir stared back. He looked like he was willing her to believe Logan. "Oliver Grimm, head of Grimm and Sons?"
Kir nodded. Logan looked amused.
Jordan stood. "I'm sorry, gentlemen, but I don't think I can help you."
Logan snorted. He turned to Kir and grinned. "She thinks she can't help us."
Kir frowned at Logan. "Shush." He turned back to Jordan and smiled that angel's smile. "We know Grimm is like your grandfather. It's why we wanted to work with you. If we can get you to believe us, perhaps we have a chance of proving it to the rest of the world."
She stared at him like he'd just grown another perfect head on those perfect shoulders. "Are you freakin' insane?"
He blinked, looking startled as her voice went from cultured smoothness to a rough Philly accent in two seconds flat. Logan snickered, his expression delighted as Jordan lit into them with both barrels.
"He's my grandfather."
"Doesn't matter! Hello? Conflict of interest here!"
"That's the whole point. If someone with your ethics believes us, and can prove it, we'll be able to see to it that Grimm is punished for what he's done."
She looked back and forth between the two of them, angel and demon, and wondered if they were actually telling the truth. Logan had a smirk on his face, but he still managed to look viciously determined. Kir looked ... hopeful. Like his fate rested in her hands. Add in that Oliver Grimm was a cold son-of-a-bitch who scared the bejesus out of her, and...
Fuck. Kir blinked, the wistful hope on his face tugging at her heart. Puppy dog eyes. I'm screwed. She was a total sucker, and she knew it. She sighed and sat down. "Tell me your story." Man, I am so gonna regret this...
Kir grinned. Yes! They'd gotten her to hear them out. Now, if he could curb Logan's natural instinct to yank people's chains, they might get her to agree to help them.
"I have an ... unusual tale to tell. Do you like mythology, Ms. Grey?"
The look on Logan's face was priceless. One brow rose as he turned to Kir with a What the hell are you doing?!? expression. They'd talked strategy in the car on their way over to Jordan's office, and this wasn't what they'd discussed.
Fuck it. She'd learn the truth sooner or later. To his mind, it was better to lay their cards on the table before things went too far.
And if that didn't work, there was always Logan's back-up plan. Tying her up and carting her off, whether she liked it or not, held a certain appeal. He tamped down his urge to do just that, explanations be damned.
What is wrong with me? He'd never, in all their long years together, even been attracted to anyone other than Logan, but the small, curvy woman seated behind her desk drew like no other being had since ... well, since Logan.
The slow way she drawled it, sitting back in her seat with a blank look, said it all. She had her voice back under control, too, the smooth, anchorman, androgynous accent back in place. Odds were good that, after his story, they'd be falling back on Plan B. He held back a shiver of lust with difficulty, keeping his gaze off Logan. There was nothing he wanted more than Logan's happiness, and it would kill Logan if he saw desire for another person on Kir's face. "Yes, Ms. Grey. Mythology. Norse mythology in particular."
Her gaze darted to Logan and back to him. Those wide, dark brown eyes were carefully blanked. He viewed that with regret. They'd been lovely filled with her laughter. He wondered briefly what they would look like full of passion, or languorous with sated lust. "Okay, I'll bite. What bit of Norse mythology should I become acquainted with?"
"The bit where Loki was directly responsible for the death of Baldur."
"I'm familiar with that myth, yes."
The careful way she was wording her responses wasn't encouraging. "I thought so." He leaned forward, hands clasped between his knees. "I want you to think about the myth, if you don't mind."
"Baldur was invulnerable to all substances, save mistletoe, which was, at the time, too young a plant to give its word not to harm him. Loki supposedly discovered this, handed the blind god Hodr a dart or arrow tipped in mistletoe, and guided his hand. Baldur died as the mistletoe pierced his heart. Loki fled as the gods killed Hodr for Baldur's death.
"Hel claimed she was willing to release Baldur back into the world if every living being cried, mourning him. But the gods found one holdout, a witch named Pokk, who was supposedly Loki in disguise. Pokk refused to weep. Hel held Baldur in her grasp and refused to let him go. When the gods realized they'd been tricked they returned to the cave, determined to exact revenge. Pokk fled into the back of the cave, turned into a raven, and flew off into the night. Eventually the gods tracked Loki down, tied him to a mountain with the entrails of his own son, there to writhe in torment until Ragnarok." He turned to Logan. "Did I miss anything?"
Kir winced. "Right. The goddess Nanna, on hearing of her spouse's death and the failure of the gods to bring him back to life, committed suicide." And it galled him to say the lie. There was no way Nanna would have killed herself. Grimm had murdered her to protect his secrets, and whatever she'd known had died with her. And going to Hel and trying to speak to the dead was an exercise in futility.
"Right. So, now that our cultural anthropology lesson is done, what does this have to do with my grandfather?"
He ignored Logan, who was shaking his head in disbelief. That sardonic look was back on his face. From the relaxed way he sat, hands crossed over his stomach, Kir knew his lover was ready for anything. Logan always looked the most relaxed just before he sprang into action. "Have you ever wondered how much truth there was in the old myths?"
She leaned forward in her chair. Her elbow landed on the desk as she rested her chin in her palm. "Not particularly, no."
"All right. Think like a detective, then."
She smiled. "Yes, that will be so difficult for me."
Her sarcastic drawl had his eyes narrowing. Damn, she's asking for it.
Part of him wanted to give it to her, too. He eyed Logan sideways, not surprised to see his lover's eyes narrowed on him. He turned his attention back to the woman seated behind the desk and ordered his cock to stand down.
"If you're familiar with Loki then you're familiar with his ability to shift shape, right?"
"Are you familiar with the fact that the only form Loki couldn't shift into was a bird?"
She looked thoughtful. "No."
"He had to borrow Frejya's cloak to do it." He nodded towards her computer. "If you like, I'll wait a moment while you verify that."
She shook her head, frowning. "No, that's okay. I believe you." It was obvious she had no idea where he was going, or how all of this tied into Grimm.
"So if Loki couldn't turn into a bird without Frejya's cloak, how did he, as Pokk, turn into a raven in the back of the cavern and fly away from the gods?"
She opened her mouth and then closed it, clearly stunned. "I ... don't know."
"And whose bird is the raven?"
"Odin, of course." She blinked, a frown crossing her face. "Wait. Are you saying Odin framed Loki?"
Kir shrugged. "Odin is a shapeshifter. He's always been associated with lies and trickery."
She tilted her head, her gaze narrowing on him. "Is?"
She's sharp. Good. He nodded. Now for the difficult part; convincing her that myth and reality are a lot more closely related than she thinks. "Is."
She sat back, her hand flopping down onto the top of her desk with a thunk. "You think you're Baldur?"
"No." He smiled when her shoulders sagged in relief. "I am Baldur." Or was. As far as he was concerned, Baldur died that day, staring down at a bleeding man, filled with the knowledge that his father wanted him dead. Had, in fact, succeeded in killing his brother.
She closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose. "Let me guess." She waved her hand blindly in Logan's direction. "And he's Loki, right?"
She opened her eyes and glared at them both. "Very funny. Ha ha." She stood and pointed to the door. "Get out."
Logan stood and stuck his hands in his pocket. "Plan B, blondie?"
"Not yet." Kir stood as well, watching Jordan carefully. "We can prove it, you know."
Logan grimaced. "Uh-oh. Is she done enough for Plan A1?"
He ignored Logan's mutter and concentrated on the woman in front of him. "Would you like us to prove it?"
She put her hands on her hips and grinned, full of cocky assurance, that accent of hers bleeding through the sophisticated façade. "Sure, go ahead. Prove he's a fire giant and you're an invulnerable god, and I'll work for you. Hell, I'll do it for free."
Logan's grin was full of demonic delight. "Bargain made." He winked at Kir, waiting for him to make the first move.
Kir shrugged. "Okay." He picked up her dagger-like letter opener, put his hand on her desk, and stabbed as hard as he could at his hand. The metal bent sideways with an audible screech, refusing to touch his skin.
That made her gasp. Logan's trick, however, made her scream. After all, it wasn't every day you watched a man made out of fire clean his fingernails with a bent letter opener.
Her shriek brought her coworkers running, nearly knocking a quickly human Logan onto his ass. Kir held up the bent, blackened blade of the dagger-like letter opener. "Believe us now?"