Home > Hexing with a Chance of Tornadoes (Grimm Cove #2)

Hexing with a Chance of Tornadoes (Grimm Cove #2)
Author: Mandy M. Roth

Blurb

A storm is brewing and so is a budding romance.

I've been told I'm a force to be reckoned with. That I blow onto the scene like a tornado. I've stopped caring if that's a compliment or a dig. Now I just wear it like a badge of honor. So when life threw me a curveball and I ended up going from a cushy job in New York City to the tiny Southern town of Grimm Cove, I thought I was ready for anything.

Ha! Not quite.

You see, Grimm Cove is teeming with supernaturals. And since I've known they exist for a hot minute, I'm still in a state of total shock. When I learn that I come from a long line of witches and demon slayers, the stakes (pun intended) get even higher and sharper.

These monsters aren't make-believe. They're out for blood.

I'm trying to decide if having the alpha of the local wolf-shifter pack nipping at my heels is an asset in this fight, or if he's one more person I need to watch my back around. I just wish he wasn't so sexy and didn't smell so good. He'd be a lot easier to resist. I have enough going on in my life as it is. I really do not have time for all this fated mate crap everyone keeps telling me about. My head and heart are at war and now isn't the time for distractions, especially since it’s painfully clear that something evil wants me dead.

One

Jeffrey

Grimm Cove, South Carolina, three months ago…

Jeffrey Farkas finished pouring a beer for one of his regulars, Gilbert Carol.

The bar, Wolf’s Moon Bar and Grill, was Jeffrey’s pride and joy. He owned and operated it. The place catered to a lot of shifters like Gilbert, which was no real surprise, seeing as how Jeffrey was a wolf-shifter himself.

Like attracted like.

That had always been the way of it when it came to supernaturals and always would be. It was comforting being around others who were like him. And there was something to be said for safety in numbers. Besides, other species had their own hangouts around town, and while they did get the occasional straggler, nearly all were welcome.

There were exceptions to that, as noted by the table full of slayers drinking up near the entrance of the bar. They were only there to start shit, and everyone knew it.

Two nights back, one of the younger wolf-pack males had gotten himself into a spot of trouble a town over. He’d tied on a few too many and ended up in a fight outside a bowling alley. The man he’d traded blows with happened to be a slayer, and he hadn’t taken kindly to getting his backside handed to him.

Jeffrey, on the other hand, found great amusement in it all. But he knew the second he’d gotten the call about it the slayers would be an issue. They weren’t exactly known for being the forgive-and-forget kind.

And here they were, making themselves known in his place of business. It wasn’t as if the town didn’t have plenty of other watering holes for them to choose from. Ones they’d be welcomed at, rather than stick out like sore thumbs. Hell, the slayers even had their own bar. One that catered to their kind and was run by a retired slayer, or hunter, depending on who you asked for clarification of their job description or life calling.

They weren’t at Jeffrey’s establishment to drink and relax. They were there to make a point and provoke an altercation.

Sitting in Wolf’s Moon Bar and Grill was the equivalent to them throwing down the gauntlet and issuing a direct challenge to Jeffrey—the pack alpha. Wasn’t the first time their leader, Elis Van Helsing, and he had gone head to head. And it wouldn’t be the last.

The two had a long-standing history of pissing off one another to the point fights broke out. It was sort of their thing. And it was why they often found themselves seated before the Council of Elders, getting a verbal lashing and being put on the supernatural version of probation.

By this point, Jeffrey had lost count of the number of times he’d had to go before the council because of run-ins with Elis and his people.

Worth it.

He’d gladly accept any punishment the Elders wanted to hand out if it meant he could go a few rounds with Elis or his bestie, Kellan Harker. Both were assholes extraordinaire. Where one went, the other was sure to follow.

It was a case of the asshole leading the asshole.

Such was the case now.

There was something about Kellan, in particular, that bothered Jeffrey. Part of it was how much the guy smelled like a wolf. That could be easily explained if he had dogs for pets. But still, there was something about him that always left Jeffrey’s wolf restless. It was as if his wolf was expecting to be challenged.

That was absurd. Kellan couldn’t challenge him for pack leader because the man wasn’t a shifter. He’d come onto the scene right before high school graduation and had been a thorn in Jeffrey’s side ever since.

Kellan currently sat next to Elis in a show of solidarity. He was tapping on the table while his leg shook, as if he had nervous energy he needed to burn.

As Jeffrey stared over at them, Kellan lifted his bottle of beer and his middle finger. He then grinned before taking a swig.

Jeffrey’s wolf stirred within him, wanting to be allowed out to play a fun game of eat-the-asshole-slayer and his equally assholey buddy.

He tempered the wolf down. It took some inner coaxing, but it finally paid off. The urge to shift forms and eat the men subsided, at least for now.

If Maria, the head of the Council of Elders, could see him now. She might just be proud of him. She was always harping on how he had to hold himself to a higher standard. He had to set an example. It was up to him to follow the very rules he was expected to enforce.

Blah, blah, suck-all-the-fun-out-of-the-room talk if you asked him.

But he got her drift.

Grimm Cove was a different kind of town. It was one where supernaturals and anything non-human seemed to congregate. Jeffrey wasn’t sure of the hows or whys. It had simply always been that way. And while supernaturals were everywhere, Grimm Cove seemed to have an abnormally high ratio of them.

When Jeffrey had been in the military, he’d seen the world, going to places he’d never dreamed of going. While a number of the locations were spots that he never again wanted to have to visit, some had been nice. They’d even had groupings of supernaturals. But none had been like home.

Like Grimm Cove.

He’d been born and raised in the South Carolina town. His father had been the local wolf-pack alpha, and when he’d stepped down, that title and responsibility had passed to Jeffrey. The men in his family had an age-old tradition of doing what was expected of them.

As pack alpha, Jeffrey was the man in charge, at least in matters concerning wolf-shifters. They far outnumbered the other kinds of shifters in the area. His pack was the largest in the state, which was a source of pride for them. Jeffrey was the alpha in the state the others turned to when something major came up that needed to be handled, or when crap hit the fan.

It also meant he had to deal with assholes like the slayers.

“Order up,” said Robbie Helens, the bar’s current short-order cook, keeping Jeffrey from spiraling more over the slayers in his bar.

Robbie’s brother Ryan picked then to enter the bar, and he gave a small wave in the direction of Robbie. Ryan’s hair was wet, and he smelled heavy of soap, even from a distance, indicating he’d just showered and come straight over to the bar.

Stella, one of the bar’s waitresses, headed for the kitchen pass-through window just as Robbie rang the small bell on the metal counter. She groaned. “You totally saw me coming already.”

Robbie peered through the pass-through, grinning. “I did. But I know the bell annoys you.” He then proceeded to ding the bell several more times, laughing as he did.

Stella grunted as she loaded the order of burgers and fries onto a serving tray. “One of these days I’m gonna shove that bell where the sun don’t shine.”

“Looking forward to it,” teased Robbie. “But when you’re done, can I shove something up your—”

“Hey now,” warned Jeffrey.

Stella lifted a hand. “I’ve got this.”

Ryan chuckled as he took a seat at the bar. “Careful, brother, she’s likely to take a chunk out of your hide.”

True story, considering Stella was also a wolf-shifter. She was capable of doing a partial shift and it just so happened she could do so with her hands. Never fun to have a woman coming at you with dagger-sharp nails.

“Damn straight,” she added and then growled lightly.

“Carry on,” said Jeffrey, knowing better than to get in her path when she was in a mood.

“Got a feeling she’d be worth the trouble,” added Robbie loudly from the kitchen. “So, about me shoving something up your backside?”

The look she shot Robbie was one that threatened vital parts of his anatomy without saying a word.

He put his hands up. “What? Honest question.”

“Get your mind out of the gutter, Robbie,” she said, this time smiling. “And if you’re a good enough boy, maybe.”

Jeffrey just shook his head at their antics. It was like he was privy to some bizarre mating ritual. One minute he was worried Stella might throw a beer bottle at Robbie and the next he was concerned he might have to usher everyone out of the bar to give the pair alone time.

Such had been the way of it since Robbie had been hired on as a cook. Jeffrey would be stunned if they weren’t a hot item by the end of spring. The sexual tension between them was thick enough to choke on. There was a pool going on when they’d finally do the deed.

Jeffrey had a few bucks tied up in it all.

“What month did you pick for them to finally do the horizontal bop?” asked Gilbert, who was camped at the end of the bar on “his” stool. For his birthday the year prior, Jeffrey and some of his close friends had gotten Gilbert a shiny gold nameplate for it and everything. He lifted his beer, glancing in Stella’s direction as she carried the tray of food to the table up near the front.

Jeffrey snorted and set about pouring Ryan a beer, already knowing what the man wanted. “Next month. You?”

“This one,” said Gilbert.

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