Authors: Lynn Hagen
Brac Pack 15
Murphy Clover is in for the ride of his life. Maribel professes to be his number one fan when she finds out he secretly writes e-books. Murphy politely declines her attention, letting her know he’s gay. This only makes her more determined to have Murphy, and now she has escalated to violence.
Ludo Chernov was wrongly accused of giving a mate unwanted attention, and now he tries his best to stay away from them. The only problem with that plan is that he needs the help of one of them to find his mate.
Murphy knows Maribel is real. She’s hurt him twice already. When Ludo thinks she is a figment of his imagination, Murphy starts to question his own sanity. But there are a few mates who know he isn’t crazy, and they escape the estate to prove his innocence. Will the mates help Murphy in time, or will Ludo have him locked away?
Each book in Lynn Hagen's Brac Pack collection features a different romantic couple. Each title stands alone and can be read in any order. However, we recommend reading the series in sequential order.
Alternative (M/M or F/F), Paranormal, Vampires/Werewolves
Brac Pack 15
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK
IMPRINT: Everlasting Classic ManLove
Copyright © 2011 by Lynn Hagen
E-book ISBN: 1-61034-393-X
First E-book Publication: June 2011
Cover design by Jinger Heaston
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Brac Pack 15
Copyright © 2011
Murphy ran around the bookshelves, trying to escape the lunatic with the hammer. This was not one of his better days. “Now, Maribel, be reasonable.” He begged as he ran up one aisle and down another.
His heart was thundering behind his ribs as he tried to escape the nut job chasing him around his bookstore.
“Reasonable?” she shrieked. “You haven’t come out with a new book in a month, and you want me to be reasonable?” she tried to cut him off, but Murphy saw what she was doing and countered the move. This was insane!
“I’ve been busy, you know, living.” Murphy jumped over the stack of murder mysteries he had yet to put away. That would teach him to procrastinate. He ran down the aisle and around the sofa, wishing he had stayed in bed this morning.
He almost made it to the door when Maribel swung the hammer down, hitting his wrist with painful accuracy. “Damn it, Maribel.” Murphy howled as he instinctively pulled his arm to his chest, cradling it. She shifted from foot to foot, as if she were getting ready to pounce.
“I want that new book started or next time it will be your balls.” Her nostrils flared as she huffed then levered the hammer on her shoulder. “I mean it. No excuses.” She narrowed here eyes as she pointed her finger at him. “And I’ll know, I always know.”
Murphy watched as Cindernightmare stormed from his bookstore, slamming the door behind her crazy ass. Since when did e-book writers obtain a status worthy of a stalker? She didn’t have a few screws loose. They fell out, and the box holding her brain had collapsed.
Murphy ran across the store to lock the door, his hands shaking uncontrollably as the lock snicked into place.
He wasn’t sure if locked doors held crazy people back, but he wasn’t taking any chances. She was a nut job with a hammer after all. “Who the hell carries a damn hammer around!” he shouted in frustration as he ran to his office.
Rummaging through his desk drawer, he found the ace bandage under a pile of legal pads. He grabbed it from the drawer as he laid his arm on his desk and inspected the damage. It was red and swollen with a big bull’s-eye circle right above his hand from the hammer head.
“Now who’s going to pay the medical bill for this?” he muttered as he rolled the bandage around his injury. No one, because he couldn’t chance going to the Medical Center on the other side of town and them drawing blood.
He struggled to get the clasps to stay in place and then wiggled his fingers to make sure it wasn’t too tight. Murphy winced when pain shot up his arm. Maybe he shouldn’t have done that.
His head snapped up when he heard banging on the door. Murphy prayed she hadn’t come back to make good on her threat. His balls tried to crawl inside of him as he peeked around the corner. If it was her again, he’d…hell, probably run around the store like a wuss again.
His head slowly rounded the corner as he peeked at the front door. Thank god it wasn’t her. With a relieved breath he walked across the bookstore and unlocked the door, plastering a big smile on his face. “Hello, Oliver.”
He hid his injury behind his back as he stepped aside to allow the young man to enter.
“Hey, Murphy, why was the door locked?” His faithful customer came strolling in, looking around before settling his eyes on Murphy.
“Bathroom.” Murphy looked past Oliver to make sure Maribel wasn’t lurking around. He wouldn’t put it past her to do something like that.
One morning he opened the store to find love notes taped to his door. Another morning there were flowers in a vase sitting there waiting on him with a poem stuffed between the petals. The woman couldn’t write a poem to save her damn life. Not that he wanted her crazy ass to do it.
Telling her he was gay hadn’t swayed her to stop. In fact, it made her more determined.
It wasn’t flattering. It was creepy as hell.
He couldn’t understand what her interest in him was all about. At six one and one hundred and seventy pounds, he was all limbs and gangly. His hair was a mousy brown, and his eyes were a strange amber color. Geek city was where his body lived, so why the interest?
“I came to get some more books.” Oliver strolled off to the romance section. Murphy would never have guessed a Goth man would read something like that, but life did come in different packages. Who was he to judge?
He flexed his fingers as pain shot up his arm. Murphy bit his lip to stop the cry from leaving his mouth. The wicked witch of the west had damaged something. He prayed it was only sprained.
Murphy planned on putting an ice pack on it once Oliver was finished with his perusing and left. He was so tired of Maribel and her unwanted attention. It had slowly escalated to violence, and he was a peaceful person. What would she do next? Murphy shuddered. He really didn’t want to know.
Maybe it was time to relocate. He had done it once before when he lived in the city and a second-rate wannabe mobster was collecting protection money from the business owners. He slowly packed his store up, not enough to be obvious, and then one night he had disappeared, ending up in this small town. Had he known about Maribel, he would have relocated somewhere else. Like Alaska.
“What happened to your hand?” Oliver had caught him in thought. He quickly pulled his hand back again, smacking it against the counter.
“Damn it.” Murphy instinctively jerked the injured hand toward his chest as his eyes watered from the pain. “Nothing, I hurt it tying my shoe.” Murphy mentally slapped his forehead. He was never good at lying on the spot. He wasn’t good at lying period.
The guy cocked his head and stared at Murphy as if trying to figure him out. Oliver finally gave a shrug of indifference and then leaned against the counter. “If you say so.”
He was relieved that Oliver had bought his excuse. “Yep, have to buy Velcro now.” Murphy rang up Oliver’s books and shoved them in a bag. “I’ll add it to your tab.” He wanted to get Oliver out of there so he could lock up. A quick lunch at the diner then he was going to start packing. Enough was enough. The ice pack could wait, his sanity couldn’t.
“Thanks.” Oliver stared at him then down at his hand for a moment longer before turning around and walking out of his bookstore.
“That was close.” Murphy ran to the back, shut his computer down, and then grabbed the keys to the store. It was a shame he had to move again. This was a nice small town. Maybe he could get a restraining order against her. Murphy snorted,
yeah, and when she became violent again he could tape it to her forehead.
Twisting the sign around to “closed,” Murphy locked the door and walked down to the diner. He glanced around to make sure the nut job wasn’t anywhere in sight.
He opened the diner door and quickly scanned the place to make sure it was Maribel-free. The waiter waved a hand at him to tell Murphy to sit anywhere. He sat in a booth that kept him far away from the big window up front and anyone, like Maribel, who might see him. It bothered him deeply that he lived liked a coward, but what could he do? Chicken blood ran strong in his veins, and he highly doubted that would change anytime soon. He was surprised he didn’t pop out an egg when Maribel came near him.
“Hi, Murphy.” One of his other faithful customers greeted him with a pad and a pen at the ready. Murphy liked Tangee. The man had way too many tattoos, but he was extremely nice to Murphy every time he came into his bookstore. Yes, he was going to miss this small town.
Murphy picked up the menu, noticing his hands were shaking uncontrollably, so he laid it down, smoothing his hand over it, as he smile up at the waiter. “I’ll just start with an ice tea.”
“Gotcha.” Tangee went off to get his drink. It gave him a moment to try and still his trembling hands as he glanced around the diner.
No one should live like this. It wasn’t healthy for him to live in constant fear, and Murphy knew he had to do something about it soon.
It only cemented his resolve to move on.
* * * *
Ludo stretched his legs in front of him as he sat in his Alpha’s office listening to lunacy. He couldn’t believe that the rogue vampires and rogue wolves that had been attacking their town lately were doing so because of a little girl.
The wolf physician and the mate, Dr. Nicholas Sheehan, had met with Alpha Maverick after finding an anomaly in her blood. The little girl, Melonee, had been sick with chicken pox, and after an examination, Nicholas had seen something strange and drew her blood.
The blood was then given over to the wolf physician to be examined, and now Maverick was saying that Melonee was fey? Why would rogues want her? That was the question everyone was scrambling to figure out.
Her mother was in the Eastern pack healing from a car accident. Her brother Tangee worked at the diner and lived here. She was adopted as an infant according to Tangee.
Magical creatures such as the fey were elusive and rare. They were also very well guarded. So how did one of their offspring end up being adopted? That’s what Maverick really wanted to know.
Ludo ran his hand over his black goatee, scratching at it as he listened to Maverick explain how Melonee was to be under twenty-four-hour watch, never to be left alone. Ludo could understand that. She was small and defenseless, something he hated to see.
Defenseless people should be protected by those who were stronger, more able.
This is why Ludo was still not speaking to his pack mate and fellow warrior, Storm. When his mate, Kyoshi, showed up with his cousin Keata, Ludo had been accused of giving Keata’s backside unwanted attention when the young man fell and Ludo picked him up and brushed him off.
The warrior had accused Ludo’s hand of lingering too long, which was asinine to say the least. He had figured out in two seconds Cody was the young man’s mate.
Cody’s bugged-out eyes and instant stiffness when the two men entered the house was a dead giveaway.
Ludo came out of his thoughts. All eyes were on him, and his Alpha was speaking to him. “I’m sorry, could you repeat that?” he sat up straight as he listened to Maverick.
“I said, could you go down to the diner and relay this meeting to Keata’s mate, Cody?” Keata was the last person Ludo wanted to be around, but he wasn’t one to run away even when wrongly accused.
“No problem, Maverick.” Ludo shot a glare at Storm before looking back at his Alpha.
Storm used to lower his eyes in shame for the false accusation. Now he just rolled them. Ludo didn’t care. A thousand apologies couldn’t fix the damage Storm had done when he confronted Ludo in front of other warriors and mates.
They all had looked at him as a degenerate for a long while afterward. It hurt that they would look at him like that. He understood how protective all of the warriors were toward the mates. It wasn’t like he didn’t feel the same way, but they could have given him the benefit of the doubt.
What bothered him the most was the fact that now he doubted himself. That wasn’t something he was used to, and he didn’t like the feeling.
He still talked with the mates. He just kept a respectable distance. One false finger was enough to last him the next seven hundred and seventy-four years, which would be the rest of his life.
A very long time to be shunned by your own pack.
Ludo stepped out of Maverick’s office, heading down the hallway when the mate, Johnny, came up beside him.
“What happened to your accent?” Johnny asked as he followed Ludo down the hall.
“I lost it. Let me know when you find it, I would really appreciate it.” He actually did have a Russian accent, living as a pup in Moscow, the Central Federal District. His family immigrated here about one hundred years ago, so he was very good at dropping the dialect when he chose to.