Mid Week Tease: Bully Boys #MWTease #MidWeekTease
Happy Wednesday! Today’s teaser is a not-so-sexy but important section from my short story “Bully Boys.” In it, we finally get to see Gunner the Alpha in action with pack trouble and summoned with his new mate to see London’s Seer. Welcome to your new world, Arthur.
Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!
Arthur jumped when Gunner let out a curse worthy of the saltiest tar who ever sailed. “Both of us?” he growled. “You sure?”
“You think I’d get one of ‘er messages wrong?” came the offended reply. “Both of you, as soon as possible, if you please.”
Gunner pounded his fist against the door frame, but with no real heat. He came back to the bed and started pulling on his discarded clothes, glaring at Arthur as he did so.
“Seer?” Arthur asked.
Gunner opened his mouth, then shut it again. Fishing in his trousers, he pulled out a pocket knife. Arthur stiffened in sudden fear, then relaxed when it cut through the ropes binding him to the bed.
Gunner paused for a moment, running a hand through Arthur’s sandy hair. “You need to get up and dressed,” he said gruffly.
Arthur sat up, comfortable now in his nudity, and gave the room a pointed look. “And my clothes are where?”
The great dark head shook at him. “You can’t wear those fancy togs where we’re going,” Gunner said, going to the armoire and rummaging through it. “Here, these should fit you.”
He tossed a shirt, an old but serviceable jacket, and somewhat ragged wool trousers to Arthur, who was still boggled at the description of his inexpensive suit as “fancy togs.” The solicitor held up the clothing. Damn his beautiful blue eyes, Gunner had judged the sizes well. “Where are we going?”
“To see the Seer in a bit. First, though, I’ve got pack business to handle.” Gunner grimaced. “You may as well sit in on it.”
Arthur found out what pack business meant when he saw the woman waiting downstairs in what must have been the brothel’s parlor. Thin and washed-out, her eyes were reddened and dried tear tracks could still be seen on her cheeks. A young boy clung to her dark skirts, giving Arthur a fearful look.
The woman bobbed a wobbly curtsey as Gunner walked in, keeping her gaze submissively on the floorboards. “Alpha, I come here beggin’ your help,” she said formally after a gulp.
Gunner took a seat on one of the brocade chairs. “Is it Jimmy, then?”
The woman steeled herself and nodded. “He’s been drinking these last few weeks, worse than I ever seen before. And then today he comes home reekin’ of gin and tells me he…he sold my Maggie.” She sobbed once, the sound harsh in the parlor. “Said she was old enough to earn her keep, and it would be one less mouth to feed!”
Arthur saw a grim expression cross Gunner’s face. “Where did he sell her, Lizzie?”
A fresh gout of tears coursed down the woman’s sallow cheeks. “To Mr. Day, down the goblin market. And you know what he does with his girls!”
From Gunner’s reaction and the furious look on Willie’s face, Arthur assumed that Mr. Grey didn’t simply hire girls for employment. “He didn’t have leave from you to do this, did he?” Gunner said.
Lizzie shook her head, lank hair flying into a halo. “We may be poor as church mice, but I’d never sell me own blood to Mr. Day!” she cried.
As quickly as it appeared, the high emotion retreated into despair. “Please, Alpha, help her. I’ll pay what I can, whatever you want—”
Gunner held up one large hand, cutting her off. “No one sells one of the pack to Day. I’ll get your Maggie back for you,” he said quietly. “But as of tonight, you’ll be a widow. That’s the price.”
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