Home > Force of Temptation (The Mercury Pack #2)(4)

Force of Temptation (The Mercury Pack #2)(4)
Author: Suzanne Wright

“All right, so she melts into a puddle of lust every time Jesse gets authoritative with her,” Ally conceded.

Jesse winced. He’d never thought of Kim that way. She was Bracken’s baby sister and had once been a friend of Jesse’s deceased true mate, so he was . . . well, not nice to her—Jesse wasn’t anyone’s definition of “nice”—but he was tolerant of her. Or, at least, he had been until she started doing irritating shit like sitting too close to him at every meal and, worse, constantly asking him for extra help with combat moves that required him to touch her. She also acted upset whenever Ally passed on any constructive criticism during training, looking to him for comfort.

Until now, Kim had never shown any interest in him. “It’s possible that she’s just trying to seduce her way into the pack by attaching herself to one of the males.” It wouldn’t be the first time a female had tried it. “I don’t mean to be disrespectful, Bracken. I just have to wonder about it.”

Bracken shrugged, unoffended. “I’d like to say she wouldn’t do something like that, but Kim lives by her own rules and I don’t know what they are. She also has it in her head that you and Ashley were once together.” Ashley was Bracken’s other sister.

Jesse jerked back. “That did not happen.” He would never fool around with his friend’s sister.

“I know that,” Bracken assured him. “Even Ashley told her that it wasn’t true. But Kim thinks it is, and she’s always been in some imaginary competition with Ashley. Even when they were kids, if Ashley had something, Kim wanted to have it too.”

“Whatever Kim’s reason is for behaving this way, I think it would be best if Eli took over for you, Jesse,” said Shaya. “Unless you think it might be best to cut Kim’s training short, Ally. It doesn’t seem important to her anyway.”

“Give her a formal warning,” Derren told Ally. “Make it clear what behaviors you find inappropriate and insist that she take the training seriously. If she wants the chance to prove herself by continuing the training, let her have it. But make her understand that she will not get another warning.”

Ally gave a slow nod. “That’s fair. And I’ll have Eli take over from Jesse.”

Sounded good to Jesse.

The sound of footsteps descending the stairs was quickly followed by Nick entering the den.

Marcus cocked his head as he studied the Alpha. “You look grumpier than usual. What’s wrong?”

Nick sat next to Shaya. “I just had a call from Hector Flynt.”

Shaya joined her hands in prayer. “Please tell me his plans for the hotel fell through.”

Nick twined one of her red curls around his finger. “I wish I could, baby. He called to repeat his offer, the stubborn bastard. If I’d known someone would swoop in and take that land, I’d have claimed it myself and we wouldn’t be in this situation.”

The neighboring pack had fallen apart after Nick killed their corrupt Alpha female for trying to wipe out the Mercury Pack. Hector Flynt—a half shifter who owned a chain of hotels and restaurants—stepped in and acquired the empty territory, where he planned to build a hotel resort. Naturally, none of the Mercury wolves were happy about it. They treasured their quiet and privacy. They didn’t want to listen to cheesy hotel cabaret every night or deal with tourists stumbling onto their territory, nosing around and taking pictures.

As it turned out, Hector didn’t want a pack next door to his hotel any more than they wanted the hotel there. He had come to Nick with a “solution” to their mutual problem: he’d offered to buy their territory . . . as if it were a mere stretch of land, not their home and sanctuary. He’d then reeled off a figure that made Jesse’s brows hit his hairline.

“Does anyone else have the feeling he doesn’t like shifters?” asked Jesse.

Eli frowned. “What makes you think that?”

“He could have bought land anywhere, but he went for shifter territory,” said Jesse. “He has a history of buying shifter territories.”

Nick’s mouth twisted. “It might be worth finding out so we know if this is something personal against shifters.”

Eli’s frown deepened. “But he’s half shifter.”

“That doesn’t mean he likes that half of him,” Nick pointed out.

Shaya squeezed her mate’s hand. “I think Hector’s scared of you, but I’m not sure he’ll drop this anytime soon. A person doesn’t become as successful as he is without having a serious amount of determination.”

Nick’s brow creased. “Nothing would make us sell.”

“We know that, but he doesn’t,” she said.

They all fell quiet as Nick’s mom came into the room with a freshly bathed Cassidy and Willow. “They’ve come to say good night,” Kathy announced.

Both kids were cute in their own way. Cassidy was angelic looking with her white-blonde hair, bright-blue eyes, and baby face. Willow’s corkscrew curls were also blonde, though a little darker. She had green eyes like her father and elfin features like her mother, complete with an impish smile.

Cassidy skipped over to Jesse and tilted her head. “Have you brought her here yet?”

“Who?” Jesse asked.

“The pretty lady.”

Jesse inwardly frowned. She’d said something similar a few times that day. “I’m not sure who you’re talking about, angel.”

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