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Authors: Kathi S. Barton

Tags: #Paranormal

Luke: Emerson Wolves

BOOK: Luke: Emerson Wolves
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locations, organizations, or person, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

WCP

World Castle Publishing, LLC

Pensacola, Florida

Copyright © Kathi S. Barton 2014

Print ISBN: 9781629891682

eBook ISBN:  9781629891699

First Edition World Castle Publishing, LLC, November 7, 2014

http://www.worldcastlepublishing.com

Licensing Notes

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in articles and reviews.

Cover: Karen Fuller

Editor: Eric Johnston

Editor: Maxine Bringenberg

Chapter 1

 

Allen was in Luke’s office when Luke came into the room. He watched Allen for several seconds while he fussed with the new desk, then the chair. He looked up when Luke cleared his throat.

“If you sit in my chair before I do, Slone might be a little pissed. She has it in her head that I should use everything first.” Allen backed away from the chair like it was going to attack him. “I was kidding, Allen. If you sat in it, no one would care at all.”

“I would.” Allen moved back as Luke came fully into the room. He sat down and looked at the impressive desk that Slone and Hunter had purchased for him when he took the job as mayor. “It’s really nice. She has excellent taste.”

“She does at that. I wonder where you’d even get a desk this big. I mean, I thought they made them sort of streamline nowadays. This looks like something that might have come from an old estate or something.”

“It’s not new. I mean, I don’t think it is. The guys who brought it in said that they’d picked it up from a warehouse in Maine and brought it down. Along with a few other items for Mrs. Emerson. She must really like antiques. But one of them mentioned that it came from her own home. He said the place was filled with them.” Luke nodded and ran his hands over the smooth oak surface. “I have two appointments for you today, sir. I thought to ease you into this slowly. The first one is with the chief of police, Mr. Granger. He is…I don’t think he’s happy with the turn of events.”

“He can fuck the hell off.” Luke leaned back in his equally wonderful chair and asked Allen to have a seat. He sat down, but he didn’t look happy about it. “Tell me what you know about him. And so you know, I don’t want you to keep things from me. If you know something, anything that might help me make this a better town, I want to know.”

“I can do that.” He got up and went to the outer office, then returned with a thick notebook. “I have taken notes on everything when the other man was in office. I know that sounds paranoid, but in this business, it’s better to have your ass covered than not. I have this in my desk drawers as well as on a thumb drive if you ever want to look at it. I will give you a copy of it weekly if you would like.”

“I would. And so you know as well, we’ve had you investigated.” Allen paled before nodding. “I know that you were arrested about four years ago for not having a license or insurance. Also the little problems with the drugs and how that got you put into jail. But we can see that you’ve reinvented yourself, became a better man. I want you to know that while I want to know these things, I have no intentions of holding them against you. You paid for what you did and you have been an immaculate citizen since. But you fuck up again, and I will take you to the cleaners. Understood?”

“Yes, sir. I didn’t disclose it before because I knew that I’d be fired. Or worse yet, targeted by the former mayor. I had in here to tell you first thing.” Allen handed him an envelope and stood up. “I’ve lied to this office, and I know that the consequences for that is termination. There is my—”

“Sit down.” Allen sat, perched on the edge of his chair, and Luke pulled out the paper. Just as he’d thought, it was Allen’s resignation. Luke put it on the desk and looked at him. “Do you want to quit?”

“No, sir. But I did lie to you and all the others. I have been entrusted with this job to uphold the laws, and I know that breaking them is a terminable offense.” Allen stood again, and Luke pointed to the chair until he sat again. “You need to fire me, sir. If word gets out that you kept me on after this, there will be hell to pay from the others.”

“You let me worry about them. And you’re not leaving. No matter what.” Allen looked unsure, but Luke decided that Allen was definitely going to be a part of his team. “These meetings today, who else is coming in and what do I need to know about them?”

Luke picked up the resignation and tore it in half. Then he dropped it in the trash can. Allen sat there for several seconds before Luke said his name again. The poor man looked ready to cry, but pulled open his small computer and began to speak.

“Mr. Osborne will be coming in after lunch. He is the contractor that owns the city contracts to do repairs. I have enclosed in his file a list of the projects he’s working on. Or at least ones that he’s supposed to be working on. Most of them are unfinished and have been for a long time.”

Luke pulled them out and looked them over for a few minutes. “Can you find out the start date of each of these projects and the amount of work that is complete to date?” Allen said he could. “Good. And can you get them to me—not all, because it looks like there are more than a dozen of them, but at least the most current ones—by the time he gets here?”

“I can. Most of the work is incomplete, as I’ve said before. I walk by two of the projects he’s been working on daily and to be honest, I’ve never seen a single man working. They’re there, but they seem to be enjoying the outdoors and their meals much more than they seem to be working. Not to be pointing fingers either, but most of them are drinking on the job. That is a violation of the rules of the contract as well.” Allen flushed. “But then, I don’t know a great deal about construction sites.”

“You know more than you think. And I want you to stop undermining yourself as well. When you have an opinion, it’s fine. I might not have the same one, but that doesn’t mean it’s not valued.” Luke looked over three more of the contracts for business and then at Allen. “Can you get my brother Ellis on the phone for me? I think he has his cell, but I left mine at the house. It was dead anyway. ”

“Of course.” He left and returned in less than a minute. “He’s on line two. And he said that he has your phone and is bringing it to you. Would you like for me to set up a conference room for you two to talk?”

“Please.” Luke picked up the phone and hit the button. Before he spoke to Ellis, he finished with Allen. “Also, I need for you to get me all you can find out about Osborne and his construction company. Personal as well. See if you can find out when the man comes to work—if he does—and when he leaves for the day. I think Slone mentioned there was a workmen clause in his contract with her.”

Allen left the room, and Luke turned to the phone. Ellis was laughing when he said his name. It took Ellis a good two minutes to be able to tell him what was so fucking funny. The man was going to make him beat the shit out of him if he kept this up.

“You. Big bad mayor is ordering people around like he knows what the fuck he’s doing. I suppose next thing, you’re going to be trying to order me around. Won’t work, in case you’re wondering. I know your deepest secrets.” And Luke knew his. “I have your phone. I charged it on my way in.”

“Thank you very much and right now, I hate you.” Luke laughed before getting to the point. “Can you do me a favor? There’s a building on Main that has been under construction for nearly nine months. I have an address, and if it’s the one that I think it is, it should be a good deal further along than it is. I saw trucks there once in all the time we’ve been here, and there is some concrete poured, but little else.” He gave him the address, but Ellis told him he already knew the place.

“I can see it now. I’m parked in front of it. And you’re right. Walls should be up, and there should be some windows in place. All they have is a footer poured and some beams lying about. Does it say how big this place is supposed to be?” Luke looked over the contract and told him. “The form isn’t nearly big enough for those dimensions…not nearly so. Not unless they’re planning to build it about fifty stories high to accommodate the square footage. As it stands now, this thing is smaller than Slone’s shed. The bigger one.”

Luke looked over the rest of the contract and his brother laughed suddenly. He was almost afraid to find out. “What’s going on now? Please tell me that someone has finally showed up to work and is right now doing something to the thing.”

“Nope. But a guy with Osborne Construction printed on the side of his truck has just pulled up and he’s coming toward me. Could be he wants my advice on how to get this thing started, but I don’t think it’s going to be that simple. He looks a little high if you ask me. Wait. Yeah, he’s high. I can smell it on him. Hang on.”

As Luke waited he stood up and looked out his front window. It happened to look out over the main street, and he could just make out his brother’s truck. The sign blazing across it was a gift from Slone last night, and it proclaimed Emerson Construction as the best in the state. He doubted that was true, but it certainly looked like it in comparison to the other crew in this town.

The guy from Osborne’s stepped back from Ellis’s truck when the door opened. His brother was getting out, it seemed.

It was over almost as soon as it began. The guy took a swing at Ellis, and Ellis ducked. When he came back up, the other man was sailing across the road and hit his parked truck with his body. The truck was one of those nice big suckers, but it didn’t stand a chance against a powerful wolf like his brother was. Luke shouted for Allen to call the police. In seconds, less time than he thought it should have taken, the cruiser pulled up and they shoved Ellis against his truck. Luke left his office to go to his brother.

By the time he was outside, Ellis was being cuffed. The other man was being helped up and someone was treating his wounds. Luke stood in front of the cruiser door and asked them what the hell they were doing. They’d either answer him or stand there all day for all he cared.

“He assaulted this man, and in case you didn’t know it, that’s a crime here abouts. There was no cause for it, as Danny here was just walking down the sidewalk and Emerson here attacked him. What kind of pervert does shit like that? Your kind I guess.” Luke looked at the injured man, then at the cop who continued talking to him in the same, I’m-better-than-you sort of tone. “You might want to stand back there, Mayor, before I have to arrest you too for obstructing justice.”

“I have no idea what you mean by my kind, but I’ll have to assume you mean upstanding citizens. But I want you to also know that I saw the whole thing. That man was the first person to swing. My brother was just defending himself.” The cop just chuckled. “You think this is funny? You do know that I can have you arrested for false imprisonment, don’t you?”

“I’ve not put him in prison as yet. I’m only taking him downtown to cool off in one of the cells. If you want to come and bail him out, you be my guest. But I have to tell you now, you’ll need to bring a lot of cash. Your kind…well, we don’t take checks from animals.”

Luke felt his wolf run along his skin. The cop must have felt it too because he took a step back before he crossed his arms over his chest and glared. Luke turned to his brother, and when he nodded, Luke turned back. He had a sudden idea.

“You’re fired.” The man threw back his head and laughed. “I’m not kidding you. I want you to turn over your gun and badge now, and then we’ll go in and file the paperwork. I’ll call your—”

“What the fucking blue blazes is going on here?” Luke turned to see who the newcomer was and saw Allen coming out of his building. He mouthed the word “chief,” and Luke turned to the man.

“I’ve just relieved your officer of his duties. And then I’m going to take his gun and badge until we can get a replacement for him.” Like the officer, the chief laughed too. “You know, it would be nice if one of you would let me in on the big joke. I could certainly use a good laugh about now.”

“You’re the joke, you dumb shit. You think you can come in here and just fire my men? That’s not going to happen. You might want to rethink that bit of stupidity for a minute there. Who the hell do you think would keep the peace? Your kind? I think not.” He reached over for Ellis, but Luke put his hand out to stop him. “You might want to think real hard on that one a bit, buddy. I have a gun and the law on my side. You fuck with me and my men and I will make your life a living hell. Might anyway just for you breathing the same air as real people.”

Luke felt his temper rise, and his wolf wanted blood. Not just enough to scare the man, but enough to kill. Every time his wolf snarled at him, Luke had to fight really hard to keep him at bay. It wasn’t working as well as he needed it to. Trying his best to talk slowly so the idiot would understand how pissed he was, Luke spoke to the cop.

“Let him go or so help me I will rain a terror down on you that will make you hide in a corner and beg for your mommy while you suck your thumb.” Luke had spoken softly, but he could see by the look on the cop’s face that he’d heard. “Let my brother go. Right. Fucking. Now.”

Granger let him go, but he didn’t move back. The anger boiling off the man was secondary only to his own. Luke was working extra hard to calm his wolf, but he was having trouble because he wanted to kill the man. Not only had he threatened him and his family, but he’d also made it perfectly clear that he wasn’t going to respect his title. When he finally moved back from Ellis, Luke took a step back as well. As both the cop and the chief moved away, the Osborne employee said he’d find him, like that was supposed to scare Luke. That’s when Hunter touched his mind.

Are you all right?
Luke didn’t answer him because he wasn’t sure what to say
. Luke, either tell me or I’m coming down there. Slone can feel it too, and she’s looking for a gun right now.

I’m okay. Not fine but okay. There was an altercation and things didn’t go well. Still not going well. I’m in trouble here that I might be shot for. But tell Slone that I’m fine and that I’ll explain later.
Hunter told him he’d try
. Granger, the fucking police chief, just threatened me. Said he was going to make our lives hell. I’m with Ellis now. I don’t think he’s any happier than I am right now.

BOOK: Luke: Emerson Wolves
3.9Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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