Home > Lure of Oblivion (The Mercury Pack #3)(3)

Lure of Oblivion (The Mercury Pack #3)(3)
Author: Suzanne Wright


Not all were believers, though. Some had complained that it wasn’t as haunted as they’d hoped—one even whined that it didn’t smell haunted. If by that he’d meant it didn’t smell dusty and moldy, he was right. The place smelled like fragrant oils, wood polish, and lavender air freshener. She was happy for it to stay that way.

Humming to himself, her foster brother came striding down the hall with a mug of hot chocolate topped with whipped cream. Marlon cocked his head, nose wrinkling. “What’s with the bat?”

She headed up the stairs as she replied, “It’s Brandt’s. He, Rowan, and Mack were going to vandalize my truck. I wasn’t down with that.”

“They came again?” Marlon followed her, listening as she gave him a quick rundown of what had happened. “They’ll be back. Brandt’s too used to his father buying his way out of trouble to care if he takes it too far.”

“Yep,” agreed Gwen, reaching the second floor. “It’s probably why Brandt doesn’t have any sense of right and wrong.” She walked straight to her room and went inside, leaned the bat against the wall, and—passing her cluttered dresser, overfull laundry basket, and half-open closet—sank onto her unmade bed.

Gwen rolled her shoulders, sighing. Noticing the angry flush on Marlon’s dark skin, she decided to change the subject. “I like the shirt.” He always looked like he’d just come back from a photo shoot. He was also as camp as Christmas, much like his boyfriend. “In fact, I like the whole outfit. It’s not fair that you can so effortlessly look cool and stylish.”

He smiled, pleased. “It’s all about accessorizing and color coordination. I’m good at it, for someone who’s color-blind.”

She sighed. “You are not color-blind.” But he insisted on claiming to be simply to annoy her for his own amusement.

“How would you know?”

Looking away, she waved a hand. “Forget it.”

“Yes, forget it, because we’re not finished with Brandt. Are you going to call Colt and tell him what happened?” he asked.

“What’s the point? He’s firmly lodged up Ezra Moore’s rectum. He won’t help. Besides, a nightly visit from the sheriff wouldn’t exactly look good on the B&B’s reviews. And, you know, it’s not such a bad thing that Brandt’s acting like an ass.”

Marlon’s brows snapped together. “How do you figure that?”

“Each time the little bastard does something dumb or hostile, I have more tales to share with the shifter council that prove he’s dangerous and not worth shit.”

In the beginning, Brandt had done stupid crap like throw eggs at her truck, make prank calls, and toilet-paper the yard. The pranks had gotten worse, but she still hadn’t reacted. Then he’d stepped it up by putting ads in the paper for BDSM parties, subscribing her to kinky magazines, and posting bogus awful reviews on the B&B’s website.

When that hadn’t worked, the cyber shit had started. She doubted Brandt could have done that, so she was guessing his father had hired someone to do it. Ezra was just as bad as Brandt when it came to bullying people to get what he wanted.

Marlon sipped his hot chocolate and then licked some whipped cream from his lip. “I still don’t like any of it. You know, I think part of the sheriff’s problem with you is that you rejected his son.”

“That was two years ago. Randy’s married to some woman in Idaho now. Besides, he wasn’t exactly heartbroken—he was using me to get to Julie.” Something many guys had tried over the years. Her foster sister was beyond beautiful, both inside and out; she was tall and shapely, with gorgeous thick dark hair. Gwen was not tall or shapely or beautiful. She didn’t think of herself as ugly, but she wasn’t pretty either—kind of average, really.

She didn’t envy her sister, though. Didn’t envy that all people saw when they looked at Julie was her looks, didn’t envy that Julie was ogled and heckled wherever she went, didn’t envy that she was often surrounded by shallow people who wanted to use her as arm candy. Now that Julie was engaged, the attention had eased somewhat.

“Nah, I think Randy actually liked you, but it doesn’t matter. He’s not what you need. What you need is someone who isn’t put off by your ‘Don’t get too close’ vibe. Hey, don’t give me that innocent look. You don’t try to get to know people, and you don’t let them know you. What you don’t seem to realize is that your aloofness comes across as a challenge.”

“Yeah? I don’t see a bunch of guys taking up any such challenge.”

“Oh, they try. You just don’t notice.”

“I like being on my own.”

“But you’re not happy. Julie and I want better for you. We want you to find contentment. Peace.”

“I am content. And I’m all about peace.”

He lifted a brow. “Peace? Really? You just bludgeoned someone with their own bat.”

“‘Bludgeoned’ is a strong word.”

“And that’s not conducive to living a peaceful life.”

“And yet, I feel great after clocking Brandt right on the jaw.”

He chuckled. “You would.”

“And if he’s dumb enough to come back, I’ll be able to do it again.” Positively cheered by that idea, she smiled. Marlon just laughed.

 

“What about a bookstore?”

“No.”

“A coffeehouse?”

“No.”

“A diner?”

“Fuck, Shay, you’ve got your motel—be happy with that.”

As his Alphas continued to argue, Zander Devlin exchanged an amused look with his fellow enforcer, Bracken, and slung their duffels in the trunk of the SUV. The other members of the pack who’d come to wave them off looked just as amused by the Alphas’ byplay.

Zander wasn’t sure whether Shaya genuinely wanted to open more businesses or whether she just kept making suggestions to annoy her mate for fun. If it was the first, Zander suspected that she’d eventually get her way. Nick hated disappointing his mate . . . which was why the pack now officially owned two businesses.

The motel was still a work in progress and not yet open, but their other business had been open for a while. It was a club managed by their only nonwolf pack mate, Harley, who was mated to one of Zander’s closest friends, Jesse. She also regularly performed at the club, playing her electric violin alongside DJs and other artists.

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