Wolf Creek Ghosts (Texas Pack 3) (Wolf Creek Werewolf Shifters) (2 page)

BOOK: Wolf Creek Ghosts (Texas Pack 3) (Wolf Creek Werewolf Shifters)
10.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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Devlin stood with his hands on his hips as they walked away. “I’ll be back with your things as soon as I drop your car off.”

Olivia turned to wave and mouthed a thank you from where she stood on the bottom step of the stairs.

She was charmed with the small room, waiting until Hank closed the door on his way out to drop to the daybed in delight. The exposed brick reminded her of a loft she’d seen in downtown Dallas. The apartments kitchenette was built into a corner with a small butcher-block island sitting out in the middle of the kitchen. Rising, she walked across the wooden floors to a pocket door and slid it open. She was happy to see a copper claw foot tub on one end and a tiled shower with a small bench at the other end, with toilet and vanity situated along the wall between the two. The long but narrow space screamed feminine participation in the design with both ends being plumbed.

She giggled to herself. “Girls to the left, boys to the right.” She assumed the apartment was designed to please whichever sex occupied the apartment.

Moving back to the daybed, she stacked two of the decorative pillows under her head and stretched out across the bedspread. She would sweep the dust bunnies up and wipe the countertops off later, she decided.

“I like this place.”

Olivia squealed when her travelling companion appeared in the recliner across from the daybed. “Damn it Jack, stop doing that. From now on, knock before you appear.” She scowled at him.

Brows raised, he made a fist and knocked three times in the air. She heard a faint tap with each motion of his wrists.
“I thought you were used to us by now.”

“No one ever gets used to that. Where have you been anyway?”

Jack smiled and practically glowed, almost lifelike.
“You’ll never believe it. Remember me telling you how I felt drawn here? Well, there’s this pond outside of town I found. I swear, I think it’s some magic doorway or somethin’. The magic sort of filled me up, gave me more energy than I had when I was alive.”

She sadly smiled his way. “Is this why we came here then? You’ll be staying here when I leave?”

Jack rose and sat next to her on the bed. She felt the air chill as usual
. “I don’t know yet. This whole area pulls at me. This bar? I like it, but I don’t understand what’s going on. As far as I can remember, I’ve never been here. But something called me here, and I’m gonna stay until I figure it out. I’d tell you to move on, but I don’t believe you should. You’re here with me for a reason; we just ain’t figured it out yet.”

Olivia had her index finger between her teeth before she realized it and jerked it out, not wanting to fall back on her old habit of biting her nails. “I guess I’ll be staying too while we work this out. Um, Jack? Did you happen to meet anyone downstairs? Like, uh, other ghosts?”

He grinned.
“Yeah, some cowboys invited me to join their poker game. I really do like it here, bein’ with my own kind and all.”

Olivia stood when she heard a knock on her door and whispered to him, “See if you can find out why you’re here from your new friends.” Jack disappeared as soon as she grasped the doorknob.

Devlin was standing in the hallway with her bags. “Who were you talking to?” He looked around the room, ready to attack.

Olivia knew there was no way he could have heard her through the door, as quietly as she had spoken to Jack. “No one, maybe you heard someone in one of the other rooms.”

Devlin sniffed the air but only picked up her scent. He knew what he’d heard, but he couldn’t come right out and call her a liar. There was something going on, and he intended to find out what she was hiding. “Rooms are all empty since they still need some work.” He looked at her steadily, deciding to drop it for the moment. “I brought your bags.” He waited for her to step back so he could pass.

Opening the door wider, she waved him in and waited while he put the bags on her bed. “Thank you.”

“We towed your car to my place, and one of my guys will start on it tomorrow. Have you eaten? There’s a café here in town I’d like to take you to. Afterward, we can come back here and have a drink.” He had an indescribable urge to take care of her needs, but he needed to talk to his brother Rafe about mates. He definitely wanted her, but there was something he couldn’t wrap his mind around. He’d never met anyone whose scent could change on a dime.

Olivia hesitated; she was hungry, but she had wanted to go down to the bar and get a feel for the place. Hank had told her she would start tomorrow and had invited her to hang around and see how they ran the place. She nodded her head. “That sounds good. Hank suggested I see how he runs this place so by the time we’re finished eating the bar should be picking up.”

Devlin grinned. “I can introduce you to the locals while we have a drink.” What he didn’t say was that he would be staking his claim and warning others off.

“Okay, scoot. Give me an hour to shower, and I’ll meet you downstairs.” She gave him a little push to the door.

Devlin was still grinning as he looked over his shoulder. “I’ll be waiting, darlin’.”

Olivia leaned against the closed door and tapped the back of her head against the wood. This guy was too good looking, too sure of himself. She decided then and there she would try and distance herself. A man like him probably went through women like water through the drain. Grabbing her things, she turned right in the bathroom for a quick shower, not wanting to keep him waiting too long. Tempting as that tub was, she was in a hurry to get downstairs before some teeny, tiny woman tried to hit on him. Yeah, she thought, I’m totally secure with my amazon height and big boobs. Shaking her head, she stepped into the shower.

* * *

Devlin thanked Hank for his beer and went to sit at a corner table by himself, shaking off the chill in the air as he sat down. There was that damn smell again, but she wasn’t around. He blew out his breath in frustration.

She had been talking to someone, but there hadn’t been anyone there, not even a recent scent. Only hers, wrapping around his body and making him want to lie down and roll around in it.

Maybe she was one of those people that held entire conversations with themselves. He shook his head, trying to come to terms with the conclusion he wanted to deny. She was nuts. She talked to people who weren’t there. And then there was that other scent. Devlin dropped his head on the table, smacking his forehead against the solid oak table and groaning. Could she have multiple personalities that manifested themselves with their own scents?

No, he decided, he was the one who was nuts. He was making a mountain out of a molehill. He straightened, having an epiphany. Maybe she was magical. There were so many different realms and beings she could be anything. Well, except Fae. He would have known that. Just as he didn’t go around telling everyone he was a wolf shifter, she was probably used to being cautious.

Sensing her, he looked up and saw her at the bottom of the stairs. He pushed his chair back and stood in awe. She was beautiful with her hair flowing down over her shoulders. He was admiring her long, tan legs in her cute black shorts when she smiled and walked his way. The light colored material of her sleeveless top was almost see-through. He was sure she felt his eyes boring into her chest as he stared at the row of tiny black bows running down her torso, pretending to be buttons.

Olivia!

She heard her name called in greeting from the corner where Devlin now stood. Ignoring her new acquaintances, she kept her smile glued to her face.

Devlin saw her flinch slightly before she regained her composure. Her smile now seemed to be forced. He looked around the bar thinking he’d heard voices call her name, but no one was there.

“Everything alright?” He kept glancing around, searching for a threat.

Olivia hooked her arm through his, urging him toward the doors. “Why wouldn’t it be? Come on, I’m ready to see the café you told me about.”

Devlin let her pull him along, looking forward to learning about her over dinner.

* * *

“So, you don’t have a destination in mind?” Devlin was happy to know she had no plans to leave soon. He paused with a lump of mashed potatoes dangling precariously on his fork.

“Not really. I look for a job wherever I end up and save my money for when I move on. I’m doing the ‘See America’ trip on a budget.” She figured she wasn’t really lying to him as she was taking in all the historical places she found interesting while helping lost souls.

“I’m not in any hurry either, sometimes I’ve stayed for several months in one place.” Olivia blushed in embarrassment. “Not that I plan on staying here that long, I leave whenever my ‘muse’ tells me to.” Great, if she stayed any length of time here, he’d think she was chasing him.

Devlin reached across the table and took her hand. “I hope you’ll stay here and get to know me and this town. It’s a great place to live.”

Olivia tugged her hand from his grasp and reached for her iced tea, gathering her thoughts while taking a sip. “I’ll be blunt. You’re an extremely good-looking man.” Olivia’s expression hardened when he slowly smiled and leaned back in the booth. “And arrogant.”

Devlin gave a small laugh and tried to look contrite. “There’s a fine line between arrogance and confidence.”

“And which side do you think you fall on?”

“I’ll let you decide once you know me better.”

He picked up his knife and cut a small piece of his chicken fried steak. “Wouldn’t you feel more secure if you worked for your Dad?”

Olivia had mentioned her parents, and how she had left their family business to work on her own.

Shrugging. “Sure, I could have continued working for my Dad, but I need to make it on my own.” What she did not say was how useless she felt as the owner’s daughter. Add to the fact that her parents were uncomfortable with her ‘abilities,’ and she felt she needed to move on and stand on her own two feet. “Don’t get me wrong, my parents are wonderful. If they knew I needed money, I’d have it as soon as I called them. I’m twenty-five years old and have been on the gravy train all my life. My parents understand that I need my independence.”

Olivia was tired of the other employees thinking she was too pretty to be able to think beyond having her hair, and nails done. Yes, she enjoyed having manicures and nice clothes, but she wanted to be more than the boss’s daughter. “Enough about me, what do you do besides trolling the highways for damsels?” She teased him.

Devlin smiled at their waitress absently when she dropped their ticket on the table and slid from the booth. Reaching for her hand, he pulled Olivia up, grinning when she bumped against him and gave an annoyed grunt. “I do a little bit of everything, but my official job is basically accounting. I take care of my family’s books.”

“You’re a CPA?” Olivia asked, amazed.

He snorted as he dropped some money on the checkered tablecloth. “No, I simply enjoy playing around with numbers.” Taking her elbow, he escorted her back to Charlie’s.

Arriving at the bar, Olivia looked over her shoulder, saying thanks as Devlin reached over her shoulder and pushed the swinging door. Seeing his eyes widen, she gasped as he lifted her bodily out of the way when a man came flying and landed on the pavement beside them.

Devlin wrapped his arms around her stomach, pulling her up against his body as he looked down to growl at the man on the ground. “Niall?” He could not believe someone had gotten the jump on the fae warrior. “What the hell happened?”

Niall jumped up and pulled Devlin, along with Olivia to stand against the brick wall, away from the saloon doors. “I dinna ken. Someone or something shoved me through the door. But Devlin, it dinna feel right.” Niall shoved a hand through his long hair, pushing the black strands away from his face in frustration. “The energy was wrong.”

Olivia stood with her mouth hanging open, staring at the huge, beautiful man. He was the biggest cowboy she had ever seen. With his worn out Wranglers and scuffed boots, he was the quintessential cowboy. His button down shirt was tucked into his jeans with an enormous belt buckle showing a man on a bucking bronco. She barely heard the conversation flowing around her, too entranced by the oxymoron before her. His Scottish accent screamed highlander while his wardrobe said good old Texas boy. She started paying attention when Devlin pulled her towards his pickup, saying she was coming home with him.

“Excuse me?” He kept moving until she used a sharp fingernail to poke him in the ribs. “I am not going home with you. Some guy gets thrown out of the bar, and you freak out? How many bars have you been in? You got me this job, and I appreciate it, but I’m not going to quit because of a fight.”

Ignoring Devlin, she turned to speak with Niall. “Are you all right?”

Raising his eyebrows at Devlin, he turned to speak with Olivia. “I’m fine, lass. Just a wee misunderstanding.” He knew not to say more when Devlin gave a small shake of his head.

“Olivia, this is my friend, Niall.” Devlin was trying to figure out how he could keep her from going inside without raising any suspicions.

“Pleasure meeting you, now, if you two will excuse me, I’m going to have a drink.” Olivia walked off before either man could stop her and entered the bar.

Olivia!

She groaned as she turned to paste a smile on her face and wave at her ghostly friends sitting in the corner. Only they weren’t smiling back at her. A moment later, Jack appeared directly in front of her.

“Olivia, there was some bad mojo in this place earlier. He’s gone now, but you need to be aware in case he shows up again.”

Jack stared at his feet a moment before glancing at her again.
“I didn’t get a good look at him, but I think he followed me here. There was a guy named Willie that used to hang around the rodeo pretending to be a cowboy to pick up women. I think he followed the rodeo when he was alive, popping up in different states and abducting his next victim from the locals.”

Olivia felt tears welling up in her eyes, knowing the outcome before Jack finished his story. Knowing these young women had suffered before their deaths made her sick to her stomach. She had seen the news about this serial killer and knew it had ended with the psycho’s death in a crazy report about being clawed to death.

BOOK: Wolf Creek Ghosts (Texas Pack 3) (Wolf Creek Werewolf Shifters)
10.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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