Authors: Angela Roquet
Tags: #vampires, #occult, #supernatural, #witches, #werewolves, #alpha, #rehab
A SPERO HEIGHTS
By Angela Roquet
Copyright 2015 by Angela Roquet
Smashwords Edition, License Notes
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Cover photography by Taria Reed/The Reed
Cover design by Angela Roquet
for my critique group
The Four Horsemen of the Bookocalypse
Kory M. Shrum
& Monica La Porta
by Angela Roquet
Death at First Sight (August 2016)
Lana Harvey, Reapers
Pocket Full of Posies
For the Birds
Hellfire and Brimstone (October
Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. short
Off the Beaten Path
Hair of the Hellhound
Badass and the Beast
(standalone holiday short story)
Dr. Delph sat cross-legged atop a Himalayan
salt slab in the center of his private sauna. Sweat seeped from his
every pore, coating his skin with a glossy, plastic shine. His
silver hair was pulled back in a tight knot, and it grazed his
spine as he tilted his head back to breathe in the humid air. When
his eyelids cracked open, the whites glowed starkly in the dim
room, spilling out a glimpse of the future saturating his mind.
So much blood.
The vision was the same as it had been the
day before, and the day before that. Deep creases marred his face,
and tears mingled with sweat as they ran down his cheeks. He was so
lost in his anguish that he didn’t hear the door open and close as
a pale, dark-haired man joined him.
The man tightened his towel around his hips
before seating himself on the salt ledge that circled the sauna. He
glanced up at the doctor and cleared his throat.
Trouble in paradise, I
Dr. Delph’s eyes resurfaced, a sullen gray
that always seemed to foretell the storms that followed. “The boy
cannot be saved, but his death will spell trouble for us just the
The pale man shrugged. “I’ll leave
You’ll still be too late.
The Fates are unbending on this matter.”
The man leaned forward, annoyance distorting
his face. “What good are your visions if they cannot be
Dr. Delph unfolded his legs and swung them
over the side of the salt slab. He picked up a folded towel from
the opposite ledge and patted his face dry. “Visions are seldom
meant to be changed. They’re warnings of things to come, so we can
be better prepared—and markers of relevant events, so we can handle
them more wisely.” He turned to pierce the man with an accusing
The man folded his arms, but his gaze slid
away. “Wise is such a relative term.”
Dr. Delph stood and covered himself with the
towel. “Not nearly as relative as you’d like to believe. It is very
distinct, for instance, from compassion or courage.”
What we do requires a
great deal of both compassion and courage—”
But without wisdom, no
amount of compassion or courage will maintain this fragile world of
ours.” He opened the sauna door, then looked back over his
shoulder. “Not everyone is meant to be saved, Graham. Remember that
on your trip.”
Dr. Delph waited until he was back in his
room before slumping on the edge of his bed and burying his face in
his hands. It was a difficult decision, sending Graham away. He
would be greatly missed in the coming days, but his destiny was
set. Keeping him close to home would spurn the Fates, and his
relationship with the divine was on the rocks, as it was.
He closed his eyes and lay
back on the bed, letting the cool silk soothe his skin. A million
scenarios rushed through his mind. A million terrible solutions to
the trouble that came for them now, this very moment.
bitterly. It was what bound him here. And it would be what brought
the whole place down on them all, if they were not very,
Just kill me,” the boy
rasped, spraying blood over the scarred oak table.
Shhh.” Zelda smoothed his
hair back and pressed a cool hand to his forehead, willing him to
His breath sounded like sandpaper, and his
skin was dewy and hot, slick with blood. After a few seconds, his
eyes rolled back in his head and he groaned into oblivion.
When Zelda was sure he was out, she rinsed
her hands in a bowl of water and unraveled the leather cord laced
up her forearm. She tied her dreadlocks back and went to work,
carefully stitching the skin of the boy’s shoulder back together.
She had already set the broken bones in his arm. He would be whole
again. Werewolves healed faster and cleaner than any human she had
ever worked on.
How’s he doin’, Doc?”
Violet crept into the kitchen to check on the latest
Zelda sat back on her stool and snatched up
a towel to wipe the blood from her hands. “He’ll live.”
Good.” Violet leaned
against the doorframe and ran a hand through her platinum tuffs of
hair. She looked like she could have been Billy Idol’s twin
When Zelda first arrived in Spero Heights,
she’d found Violet with a broken jaw and a fractured wrist,
squatting in the building that now served as her pub and makeshift
emergency room for werewolves. Violet had been Zelda’s first
patient. The boy sprawled out on the table in the pub’s kitchen was
her most recent. He’d shown up at the back door as a wolf with a
broken leg. It had taken a horse sedative to get him to return to
Zelda picked at the blood under her nails.
“You already close up the bar, Vi?”
Door’s locked, but I
ain’t cleaned up yet.”
Good. I need a
Violet grinned. “Tequila?”
Tequila.” Zelda nodded
and followed her back into the pub.
Charlie, another survivor Zelda had patched
up and subsequently employed, was busy running a mop over the dance
floor. His bald head shone in time with the blinking white lights
wrapped around every pole and banister, and even though Christmas
was long over, he whistled Jingle Bells as he worked up a sweat in
his Hawaiian shirt.
Zelda pulled up a stool
and folded her arms over the bar, stretching her neck from side to
side with a yawn. Between managing the pub and playing Doctor Quinn
with her pack of reject wolves, she found herself running on fumes
But it was worth
, she thought, taking a proud look
The pub was smaller than the clubs she’d
frequented in California. It had a cozy feel, with a gypsy touch to
it. The wall behind the bar and the raised booths around the dance
floor were painted a sunny yellow to offset the dark cherry floors
and trim, and giant framed prints of ballerinas and belly dancers
hung from the brick exterior walls.
Not much had been done to
the outside of the building, which had been a theatre once upon a
time. The brickwork was worn in places, and the bulbs on the rusted
marquee sign flickered occasionally from the ancient wiring. Zelda
used the mismatched letters and poster boxes to advertise the
budding garage bands that played on the weekends. The only thing
she had added was a neon sign above the marquee. The bright red
cursive spelled out
a fitting name her two-natured staff
Violet tipped a bottle of top-shelf tequila
over two shot glasses and filled them to the brim. She took one of
the glasses and pushed it against the other, scooting it across the
bar toward Zelda.
Zelda threw the shot back with a shudder,
letting its warmth coil around her insides. She slid the glass back
to Violet and nodded when the bartender held up the bottle of
tequila for a second round. A nightcap was just what she needed.
Her bed waited for her upstairs, in one of the projection rooms
that she had remodeled and converted into a studio apartment.
Are you the owner of this
dump?” a deep voice grumbled behind her.
Zelda spun around on the barstool, her hand
instinctively going to her charm necklace.
Three abnormally large men stood in the
center of the dance floor, looking around the pub like they’d just
checked into a roach motel. They each wore a cut-off tee shirt and
sported hairstyles that made mullets look respectable. Chain-link
tattoos consumed each of their left arms. A black wolf paw topped
the design on their exposed shoulders, with the R and M logo of the
Raymore Clan from Kansas City stamped in the center.
Charlie?” Zelda stood and
gripped the bar behind her.
It’s all right, Doc.” The
lock on the front door clicked back into place before Charlie
circled the men and held his hands up. “They came here for
Zelda bit her tongue and tried not to recoil
as she looked the men over again, checking for any signs of injury.
Her eyes stopped on the center man who sneered at her, like he was
trying to decide if this was all a big mistake. Zelda was almost
sure of it. The only thing that looked damaged on any of them was
their pride for being there in the first place.
Finally, the men parted and a girl inched
forward. She couldn’t have been but twenty. Her stomach was swollen
with child, and when she found the courage to look up, Zelda could
see that wasn’t the only place she was swollen. A purple bruise
spread from her left temple down to her jawline. The girl’s chin
trembled, but she held Zelda’s gaze—at least with the eye she could
Make up a bed, Violet,”
Zelda said, her eyes never leaving the girl.
One of the men leaned into the leader of the
pack and whispered loud enough for the world to hear. “This ain’t
right, man. This’ll be the first place he looks.”
The men tensed at her question, and the
leader resumed glaring at her.
She crossed arms. “If I’m stepping on toes
to help out your girl here, I at least deserve to know who I’m
The room grew still as they exchanged looks,
and Zelda felt the alcohol turn to bile in her stomach before the
name was even said aloud.
Devin Raymore hadn’t been alpha of the
Raymore Clan for a full year yet, and he was already running the
pack into the ground. From what Zelda had heard—and seen—he was a
real bastard from hell, asserting his authority through violence
and drug dependency. Most of those who survived his wrath found
their way to the Crimson Moon, after word spread about Violet.
Devin Raymore’s latest victim was hesitant
to let Zelda examine her. She burrowed herself under the covers of
the guest bed, but not so quickly that Zelda didn’t notice the
mound of scars tucked in the bend of her elbow.
How long have you been
clean?” Zelda asked, shining a light in the girl’s good eye and
cradling her chin with her other hand.