Rabb is an alpha shifter, a werewolf, who likes to defy both the odds and authority. He prefers the city lights over the open spaces most shifters enjoy.
Brant is a politician with a secret that’s becoming harder and harder to contain. As mayor of Bright City, he’s determined to keep the city free of shifters to protect his secret.
The two men share a fair amount of distrust, along with a smoldering history that threatens to drag them under again. But when shifters begin to die in Bright City, Rabb and Brant need to find a way to work together again. Especially when one of them inadvertently steps right into the murderer’s deadly path.
Brant South walked through the door as if he belonged there, his icy gaze sliding unerringly toward Rabb. Their gazes met and clashed, filled with heat and possibilities that they’d tried to deny for years.
Rabb’s heart beat harder under the power of that gaze. His body tightened. For a moment he forgot to speak. Tamma straightened away from him, clearing her throat, and it jostled him out of his trance. Rabb extended a hand toward the mayor. “Welcome to City Lights, Mayor South. Can I offer you a Scotch?”
Brant’s perfect lips curved upward as he took Rabb’s hand, the icy gaze darkening to turquoise. “If that’s the best you have to offer.”
Rabb’s thumb caressed the pale, smooth flesh of Brant’s hand. Pulling his hand from Rabb’s the mayor looked around the bar, taking note of the customers watching them. His smile slid away. “A Scotch is fine. Thank you… I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name.”
So that’s how they were gonna play it. Rabb smiled, knowing it would annoy the other man. “Rabb Miller. I’m pleased you decided to stop by. The mayor of Bright City is always welcome at City Lights.”
South headed toward the back, sliding gracefully into a booth.
Rabb’s gaze slid to Marvel.
The old shifter was grinning. “You might as well drag out your best. You won’t be in business long enough to use it otherwise.” With that, he turned and left the bar, returning to the limo to wait.
Rabb nodded toward Mica and headed across the bar, fully intending to get a few things off his chest. He slid into the booth on the other side, fixing Brant with a glare. “Now that it’s just you and me, mayor, let’s clear the air shall we?”
Brant’s smile was indulgent, predatory. “Let’s. You can’t stay here.”
“I bought this place legally and put a lot of time, money, and effort into making it the best it can be. I’ll fight to the death to stay here and keep it open. Are we clear on that?”
Brant lifted a perfect, golden eyebrow. “To the death, Rabb? Isn’t that a bit dramatic?”
“Not in my world.”
Mica settled a crystal glass of Scotch in front of each of them and left. The bartender seemed relaxed but Rabb knew from the way his broad, sharply chiseled jaw flexed as he glanced at the mayor that he was anything but. He also knew that, if trouble needed to make an appearance, Mica would be more than willing to take it on and extinguish it. No questions asked.
The thought made Rabb relax a bit. He was surrounded by loyal friends and pack, while Brant South was all alone. By necessity and design. The closest thing South had to family or friends was that old man out in the limo. Rabb almost felt sorry for the guy. But then he’d made his own choices in life. One would have to say he deserved what he got.
“You always did like wading in dirty pools, Rabb.”
He snorted. “Is that what you call life, Brant? Life is dirty. It’s unkempt and unfair. The challenge is finding the good among the bad. Your problem is that you only see the bad, even when the good bites down on that perfect ass and chews.”
Brant’s gaze sharpened. He lifted the glass to his lips and sipped, letting the rich amber liquid slide down his throat in a warm, soothing wash. “You’re wrong, wolf. I see plenty of good in life. But unlike you I understand that it’s beyond my grasp.” He slammed the crystal glass down onto the table and stood as it shattered over the wood, sending shards flying toward both of them.
Rabb felt the sting as a splinter of the crystal lodged in the back of his hand and looked down, carefully pulling the tiny sliver free and laying it on the table in front of Brant. “For later. In case you want to remember the good you could have had, if only you had the balls to grasp it.”