Author’s Note: “Intervention” is a short story set in the world of Royal Street, a new urban fantasy beginning April 2012 with Tor Books. This story is a prequel to Royal Street, and features two primary series characters, Alexander and Jacob Warin.
amily. He loved them, but what a pain in the ass they could be. His cousin was cooling his jets in a New Orleans jail. Again.
Ending the call with his mother, Alexander Warin massaged the residual throbbing in his temple and squinted through the slats of his living room blinds. His soon-to-be-ex girlfriend stalked around his car clutching a rumpled piece of paper. He recognized the “Dear Cindy” letter on FBI letterhead he’d slipped under her door after his early-morning jog.
It had been a chickenshit move, but lately she’d gotten clingy and possessive. He’d never promised hearts and flowers. If the woman wanted a lapdog, she needed to date an accountant, or a vet.
He clenched his jaw muscles as she tested the lock on the driver’s-side door of his black BMW, polished to its habitual gloss. If she as much as thought about scraping her car keys across his custom paint job, she would see how handcuffs felt when she was fully dressed.
Hands on her hips, she stared at the front of his condo a few long moments before sticking up the middle finger of each hand in the classic gesture for things they’d already done upside down and sideways. Then she climbed back in her sissy little SUV and left skid marks on his driveway.
He grinned and let the slats flap shut. Perfect.
Alex returned to his bedroom, throwing clothes in the suitcase he’d begun packing halfway through his mom’s call. Norma Warin was not a force to be denied, and if she said drive to New Orleans and get your cousin out of jail, well, he’d be spending his long weekend dealing with Jake.
After a quick recon to make sure the newly liberated Cindy wasn’t lying in wait, Alex took his black overnighter, put it in the Beemer’s trunk, and climbed in for the four-hour drive from Jackson to New Orleans. He punched the key into the ignition, paused, and pulled it back out.
Jake was in trouble, and Alex wouldn’t be a welcome sight. The cousins’ rivalry was legendary in their hometown of Picayune, Mississippi. Plus, New Orleans was a festering boil on the ass of crime—both human and preternatural. He needed weapons.