Chapter One Training sucked. Especially when the main aim of that training was to make me something I'd once vowed never to becomea guardian for the Directorate of Other Races. Becoming a guardian might have been inevitable, and I might have accepted it on some levels, but that didn't mean I had to be happy about the whole process. Guardians were far more than just the specialized cops most humans thought them to bethey were judge, jury, and executioners. None of this legal crap the human cops were forced to put up with. Of course, the people in front of a guardian's metaphoric bullet were generally out-of-control psychos who totallydeservedto die, but stalking the night with the aim of ending their undead lives still wasn't something that had reached my "to-do" list. Even if my wolf soul sometimes hungered to hunt more than I might wish to acknowledge. But if there was one thing worse than going through all the training that was involved in becoming a guardian, then it was training with my brother. I couldn't con him. Couldn't flirt or flash a bit of flesh to make him forget his train of thought. Couldn't moan that I'd had enough and that I couldn't go on, because he wasn't just my brother, but my twin. He knewexactlywhat I could and couldn't do, because he could feel it. We mightn't share the telepathy of twins, but we knew when the other was hurting or in trouble. And right now, Rhoan was fully aware of the fact that I was trying to pike. And he knew why. I had a hot date with an even hotter werewolf. In precisely one hour. If I left now, I could get home and clean up before Kellenthe hot date in questioncame by to pick me up. Any later, and he'd see me as the beaten-up scruff I usually was these days. "Isn't Liander cooking you a roast this evening?" I said, casually waving the wooden baton I'd been given but had yet to use. Mainly because I didn't want to hit my brother. He, however, didn't have the same problem, and the bruises littering my body proved it. But then, he didn't really want me to be doing this. Didn't want me on the mission drawing inexorably closer. "Yes." He continued to circle me, his pace as casual as his expression. I wasn't fooled. Couldn't be, when I could feel the tension in his body almost as well as I could feel it in mine. "But he has no intention of putting it on until I phone and tell him I'm on my way to his place." "It's his birthday. You should be there to celebrate it with him rather than putting me through the wringer." He shifted suddenly, stepping forward, the baton a pale blur as he lashed out at me. I ignored the step and the blow, holding still as the breeze of the baton's passing caressed the fingers of my left hand. He was only playing, and we both knew it. I wouldn't even see his real move. He grinned. "I'll be there as soon as this is over. And he did invite you along, remember." "And spoil the private party you have planned?" My voice was dry. "I don't think so. Besides,I'drather party with Kellen." "Meaning Quinn is still out of the picture?" "Not entirely." I shifted a little, keeping him in sight as he continued to circle. The padded green mats that covered the Directorate's sublevel training arena squeaked in protest under my bare feet. "Your sweat is causing that," he commented. "But there's not nearly enough of it." "Jesus, Rhoan, have a heart. I haven't seen Kellen for nearly a week. I want to play withhim, not you." He raised an eyebrow, a devilish glint in his silver eyes. "You get me on the mat, and I'll let you go." "It's notyouI want on the mat!"Arthur, Keri is the author of 'Tempting Evil ', published 2007 under ISBN 9780553588477 and ISBN 0553588478.