Shades of Steele:Mercury Rising 2(2)

By: Shades of Steele


Fuck, man. Why couldn’t he have been born a LaSalle?

What scared Nick most about himself was the fact he could kill without a second thought, and without remorse, at the life he'd taken. No, that was a lie. When Nick was alone, every demon that’d ever haunted him broke the surface of the turbulent sea churning inside him. At times he woke in the middle of the night screaming, soaked in sweat, trembling, tears streaming down his face, scared out of his mind. Everything that had ever been done to him made him who he was.

A jacked-in-the-head monster.

A blight on humanity.

A kill warrant waiting to happen.

It didn't matter how long ago the abuse had taken place. To Nick, it always felt like yesterday. He breathed slowly, in and out, ready to get up and walk away. His leg bounced harder as his fingers curled tighter. His body gave a violent shiver before he felt eyes on him. Nick looked up to see Lucian watching him.

Nick curled his lip before looking away.

"It’s been two weeks and I still haven’t been able to contact anyone at Council Hall," Matt was saying when Nick finally paid attention.

Ever since the night of the fight with the Master Vampire, no one had seen or heard from Colton, a pack member and the brother of the man the wolves had fought to free. He was also the closest thing to a friend Nick had and he missed the guy like crazy. If he’d been there that night, could he have stopped the Consiglio from taking Colton? Could he have saved his friend’s life? He would never know because Nick hadn’t been allowed to join the fight.

He’d been relegated to babysitting duty. Matt’s mate had been kidnapped by a demon, who had used him as leverage. Matt had rescued Jason, but was afraid Bael would take his pregnant mate again. So he had wanted Jason protected while the pack went after the vampires who had taken Colton’s brother.

His thoughts shifted to the secretary at the agency. Stuart was…Nick wasn’t sure what to think of him.

He flirted with Stuart at work and joked with the guys about how the human was playing hard to get, but he knew he didn’t have a shot in hell with Stuart. He no more belonged in Stuart’s world than Stuart belonged in his.

That didn’t stop Nick from thinking about the male. Stuart was the light to Nick’s darkness. He was innocence, purity, and shyness all rolled into one. He was unattainable and that, more than anything, drew Nick to him.

He was everything Nick was not and would never be.

He also dug the hell out of Stuart’s quick-witted humor. Yeah, he had it bad for Stuart Mackey.

"I’ve had the same problem," Alistair said. "I tried to set up a meeting with High Councilman Stephan Kingsley, but I’ve yet to receive a reply. That isn’t like him."

Because you expect everyone to heel at your command, you pompous prick.

Alistair sat in his chair as though it was a throne. His back was rigid, his shoulders straight. His blond hair flowed over his shoulders and down his back like a mane. The contempt in his green eyes said every person in the room was nothing more than shit under his shoe.

If Nick didn’t hate the guy so much, he might admit that Alistair did look kinda like a king.

"Have you had any warrants?" Vane asked.

"That’s just it," Matt replied as he rubbed at his jaw. "No warrants have come through in the past two weeks."

What Matt didn’t tell the men was that Mercury Rising hadn’t gotten paid for this month’s billable warrants. That had never happened in all the years Matt owned the agency. It was as though the Consiglio had hung a Closed sign on the door, and flipped everyone off before hightailing it out of Council Hall. It didn’t make any sense.

"Justice must be preserved," Lucian finally said. His voice was smooth, dark, and flowed like fine wine. It was the kind of voice that would lure a victim willingly to their death. All vampires had that hypnotic voice, but Lucian’s was the best Nick had ever heard.

Something about the vampire disturbed Nick—aside from the fact that he was one of the men Nick hated.

It wasn’t just that.

Nick sensed he was hiding something.

"What are you suggesting?" Matt asked. Nick’s alpha rested his arms on the long wooden table, clasping his hands together. The slight curl to his lip as he spoke said he didn’t trust Lucian, either. Lucian waved his hand to encompass the men at the table. "We have the leaders of Mercury sitting in this very room. It is Mercury we protect. We don’t need an outside force to tell us how to run our town."