Authors: Lola Kidd
Copyright July 2014 by Lola Kidd
All rights reserved.
This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is entirely coincidental. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents are the product of the authors imagination or used fictitiously.
“We’re still doing this?” Aurora Silver asked, picking the hundred dollar bill up off the table before grabbing all the empty plates.
“We sure are. And we’re gonna keep doing it until you agree to go out with me,” the dark haired young man at the table answered.
“I hope you’re a rich man,” she said before walking away. She took the plates into the kitchen so they could be cleaned. Rory checked to make sure she didn’t have any new tables before going to find her mom downstairs. Magda Silver had owned the Silver Café since before Rory was born. Her father had passed the business down to her when he had retired. Magda hoped to one day do the same.
“Those werewolves still here?”
“Yeah. They’re the only customers left and I just bussed most of their table. They’re still nursing cups of coffee and pie
, but they’ll be gone soon,” Rory told her mother.
Magda said, scowling. “I’d refuse to serve them if I could. Those boys should know not to be coming to a witch establishment.”
sighed as her mother went on about the nerve of the young bikers coming to her café. It was true. Usually, werewolves and vampires avoided anything to do with witches on principle alone. It wasn’t a rule or anything though. Rory knew for a fact that her mother had vampire friends she called on when she needed information or hard to come by ingredients for a potion. Magda was just being difficult. The boys hadn’t ever caused any trouble when they came to eat. Well, aside from the dark-haired one repeatedly asking Rory out, not that Magda knew anything about that.
It had started two weeks ago. The two friends had been coming to the
café for almost six months. Sometimes they brought other wolves with them, but they always were polite and kept to themselves. Rory had noticed them right away, not because they were wolves though. The dark-haired one was pretty hard to miss. All the ladies in the café liked when he came in. He was tall and muscular and his arms were covered in tattoos. He had the bluest eyes and the biggest dimples when he smiled. With his square jaw and broad shoulders, he looked like he should be on a New York City runway not in a diner in Cleary, Missouri.
didn’t want to like him, but she just couldn’t help it. He was so polite and handsome. He always thanked her when she took the order for the table and always left her a great tip. Even if he was a werewolf, that didn’t mean she couldn’t admire his beauty from afar. She was only doing what nature intended, she reasoned. Why would a man so attractive be alive if not for women to gawk at? Clearly his beauty was meant to draw women in and make them want to breed with him. It was like Aurora’s large rack and ample bottom, a show of fertility for the opposite sex. At least, that’s what Rory told herself when she fantasized about riding off with the biker on his motorcycle for the nearest motel.
One day when
Rory bussed their table after they had left, she noticed he had left a hundred dollar bill on the table. She had rushed outside before he had left.
“Excuse me, sir!” she called running outside. “You forgot your change!”
He turned his blue eyes on her. “I don’t think I did. I believe you mean your tip.”
“You left me a hundred dollars,”
Rory said dumbfounded. “I know I’m good waitress, but I’m not that good.”
“I think you deserve some compensation for having to put up with us. I get to stare at you while I eat,” he said
, straddling his bike. “I think that’s reason enough to give you a great tip. I wouldn’t want my favorite waitress leaving for greener pastures.”
He revved the motor and sped off with his friend before
Rory could even answer. She managed to wait until she was back in the diner before she started grinning.
The next night he had left her another hundred and the night after that too. By the fifth night,
Rory was starting to get annoyed. It was starting to feel dirty. Did he think she was a prostitute or something? Lots of men hit on her while she was waiting tables, but none of them were leaving her hundred dollar tips.
“You need to stop leaving me these tips. It’s too much,” she told her before taking their plates on the sixth night.
As always, the pair were the only customers left in the restaurant.
“Fine,” he said
, looking at her. “I’ll stop leaving you obscene tips if you go out with me.”
’s mouth dropped open. “I don’t even know you!”
“I’ve been coming here for more than six months now. I know your name is
Aurora Silver and you’re the daughter of the owner. My name is Cross Hemlock and I’m a nice guy who rides a motorcycle,” he smiled at her. “See now you know me. So what time should I pick you up Friday?”
“Just because you tell me you’re a nice guy doesn’t mean you’re a nice guy,”
Rory said. “In fact, whenever a guy says he’s a nice guy, he’s usually the exact opposite.”
, that’s not fair! Oswald, back me up!” he told his blond-haired friend.
“Leave me out of this,” Ozzy said
, putting his hands up. “I only come here for the food. I’m getting banned over your love-sick ass.”
smiled a little at the love-sick part. “Look, Cross is it? I’m sure you’re a nice guy and all, but you know very well why I can’t go on a date with you.”
“I know you don’t buy into that whole ‘no mixing’ thing. There hasn’t been a war between wolves and witches in decades. In fact, I’m not even sure my pack has ever had a beef with your clan before. That’s all in the past. You need to live in the present
It was hard when he turned those baby blues on her
, but Rory resisted. “Thanks for the advice, but I’m still going to have to pass. I appreciate the compliment, but please stop leaving me this money.”
“I’ll stop leaving the money when you go on a date with me,” he vowed before leaving for the night.
Rory had made $1200 in tips since he started his dating campaign and it didn’t look he’d be stopping any time soon.
She had to give him credit. It was a very creative way to start a conversation. There was no way she couldn’t notice the money.
She wondered how long it would go on. At some point, it would begin to get ridiculous. Rory was starting to like the hot wolf. He was brass and wouldn’t take no for an answer. It didn’t seem like that big a deal if they went on one silly date. But she knew what would happen if her mother or the Cleary Coven found out she had went on a date with a werewolf. Rory shuddered at the thought.
If her mother was bad, the other six members of her cove
n were worse. Rory wasn’t even a member of the coven, but she was definitely a potential member and all the women had known her since birth. They were more like aunts than family friends. Two were old enough to remember the last time werewolves and witches fought. The last time, it had been because the wolf pack was running drugs into town. The witches didn’t appreciate it and told the pack that if they didn’t stop, there would be consequences.
The pack had beaten up one of the witches’ husbands pretty badly. At that point, the Cleary Coven didn’t give any warning
, but cast a spell that killed the alpha and omega of the pack. The rest of the pack had scattered once their leaders were dead, but the witches lived in fear the next few years. They were sure that a new pack would show up and would punish them for what they had done. It wasn’t a light thing for a witch to use magic to take a life, but there had been no choice.
That lesson had been passed down to each new member so they understood the full responsibility of being part of the coven.
When the Moon Brothers Motorcycle Club had set up shop just outside of town, the coven had been weary. In the twenty years since the bikers had rolled into town, there hadn’t been one incident. Still, the head witch, Elena, and the coven historian, Jamie, were weary of the bikers.
If there were wolves in town, the two women said, trouble was soon to follow. Magda’s distrust didn’t end at wolves. She was mistrustful of any creature of a supernatural leaning. She thought they were all out to get them. Even follow witches if the price was right. There was no way she would ever approve of
Rory dating a wolf. Even one as hot as Cross.
, why did you call me down here?” Rory asked stopping her mom’s anti-werewolf tirade.
“Oh, I need you to close up the shop yourself tonight. I wouldn’t ask
, but Elena called an emergency meeting.”
, any idea what it’s about?”
“No clue,” Magda said
, shaking her head. “She sounded pretty freaked out on the phone. As soon as you’re done here, I want you to come to her house too. I have a feeling.”
nodded. “I’ll be fine. I’ve been closing the store alone since I was seventeen, Mom.”
“I know you think since you’re 22 that you’re all grown up now,” Magda said
, coming around the desk. “But to me you’re always going to be my baby girl.”
made a face as her mom kissed her on the forehead. “Mom! You’re embarrassing me!”
“How can you be embarrassed
, there’s nobody here to see?!”
“I can see
, Mom. I can see and I am embarrassed for me. Stop being all sentimental and get out of here.”
Magda picked up her purse and keys. “I’ll make sure everyone is out before I go. All you need to do…”
“Is vacuum and take out the trash before locking up. I know, Mom,” Rory said, rolling her eyes. She had been doing this for years. Magda counted down the cash register and locked away all the money before leaving. All Rory had to do was spend ten minutes vacuuming and she was done. She didn’t even know why her Mom let her close if that was all it took.
turned on her iPod and pulled out the vacuum after locking her Mom out. She sang along to it as she pushed the old machine around the room. She finished quickly and set the trash next to the door. Rory checked the whole room to make sure there were no customers hiding in the bathroom or something and then turned out all the lights. She whistled as she tossed the trash into the giant dumpster out back.
She put on her helmet and got on her
moped. It wasn’t the most glamorous vehicle, but it was more than enough in the warm climate. Even in the rain, her moped did its job. Cleary wasn’t so big that she couldn’t easily get from one side of town to the other in less than forty minutes. And that was in traffic. Magda despised the “little scooter” and harped on to Rory weekly to just take a car.
Magda had been trying to buy
Rory a car since her sixteenth birthday. Even when all of her friends told her she was insane, Rory adamantly refused the gift. She wanted something she could buy with her own money. An avid frugal shopper, she realized just how much would go into repairing and upkeep on a car. It was way more than she wanted to be spending at that stage in her life. She had instead opted for the nicest moped she could buy and had never regretted the decision.
She turned sharply onto the dirt path on her way home. Elena didn’t
live close to the café and Rory didn’t feel like taking the long way around. There was a walking path that ended a few blocks from Elena’s house and cut fifteen minutes off her drive. One of the perks of having a moped. Rory wouldn’t take the path during the day, but she knew there wouldn’t be anyone walking at night.
When she got three-quarters of the way through the woods, the hairs on the back of her neck stood up and she felt queasy.
She was being followed and whoever it was didn’t have good intentions. Rory suspected whoever was following her had something to do with Elena’s urgent meeting.
She was close to the edge of the path. She stepped on the gas and gave it all she had. The end of the path was in her sights when she heard someone running on the path behind her. She turned to look over her shoulder and saw four wolves hot on her heels.
“Fuck,” she cursed, leaning over the handle bars. There was no time to pull out her phone so she said a spell to write on a surface near her mom. “I’m in the woods! Wolves! Help!”
She couldn’t write much more
, but she knew her Mom would understand. As the fastest wolf snapped at her back tire, she hoped she could hold them off until the coven arrived.