Home > When He's Dark (The Olympus Pride #1)

When He's Dark (The Olympus Pride #1)
Author: Suzanne Wright



Doing the hangover walk of shame on her way to work was hell all by itself. But being waylaid by three shifters in the middle of the street was sucking Bree even further into an “I want to curl up and die” vortex. Car horns honked. Heels clacked on the sidewalk. Vehicles whooshed by. Every sound made her want to cry. God, she despised noise right now. And light. And people. And did the guy in front of her really have to talk so loudly?

Bree Dwyer sighed as the hyena prattled on and on, his smile warm and polite as he tried to seem like a good guy. She’d long ago learned that “nice” and “good” were two different things. There was nothing good about him. He oozed menace—and not in a sexy way. He had a dark, serpent look in his eyes that made her think of the very man he claimed to be searching for.

The three hyenas hadn’t stepped into her personal space, lost their relaxed posture, or dropped their amicable smiles even once. Smart. Because they had to have known that every store on both sides of this street was owned by her Alpha, Vinnie Devereaux. Also, most of her pride mates worked in said stores. If the hyenas made a misstep, it would be noticed, and they’d find themselves surrounded. Which would be fun for her but not so much for them.

As a rule, people tended to avoid her kind. Pallas cat shifters were disagreeable. Unpredictable. Moody. Brash.

They were also, pound for pound, one of the strongest breeds of shifter. Although her kind weren’t much bigger than a housecat when in their animal form and had the body of a harmless-looking ball of fur, they possessed an unparalleled ferocity that had been described by some as demonic.

Personally, Bree thought that was a little harsh.

It wasn’t as if they went on killing sprees for fun. They didn’t bother you so long as you didn’t both them. But if you pushed their buttons, they’d proceed to attack in a snarling, hissing, unholy display of pure fury—giving zero thought to whether their enemies were bigger, stronger, armed, or accompanied by backup. And what was wrong with that?

The chatty hyena sighed. He’d introduced himself as John Jones, but she wasn’t buying that was his real name. “You’re not listening to me, are you?” he asked, his steel-gray eyes gleaming with mild exasperation.

Bree frowned. Did she look like she was in a fit state to hold a conversation? Apparently so. Well, that was good. Maybe her coworkers wouldn’t notice she was dying inside.

“I was. At first,” she replied. “But then I got bored because you kept repeating questions I’ve already answered.” Plus, it was kind of hard to concentrate when her head felt like it was trapped in a vice. And she didn’t exactly care for the subject matter. Nor did her inner cat. The feline was pacing and lashing her bushy tail about.

“You didn’t answer my questions truthfully,” he said. “I’ve assured you that I mean Paxton no harm. Yet, you refuse to tell me where I can find him.”

“No, you refuse to hear what I’m saying: He. Is. Dead.”

“How can you be so sure when there’s no corpse to prove it?”

“Because there’s been no whisper of his existence for the last four years.” Before that, there had been a constant flow of stories about the twisted shit that Paxton had been up to since becoming a lone shifter. He’d mostly worked as an assassin, but not as a mere sniper. No, he’d brutalized his targets.

All pallas cats were ruthless, but Paxton? There’d been a cruel, sadistic quality to his bloodthirstiness. “People who enjoy killing generally don’t just stop.”

“True,” conceded John. “But I think he did. I think he gave up that lifestyle for the one thing on Earth that means anything to him. His true mate. You.”

A shard of pain lanced her chest. Finding your predestined mate was supposed to be something joyous, something to celebrate. You weren’t supposed to fear them. You weren’t supposed to feel relieved that they were dead. You weren’t supposed to be paired with someone so fucked up—someone who could never love you or be a point of safety for you.

“If I meant anything to him, he wouldn’t have left me,” she said. “Paxton cared for no one.”

“You were a child when he became a loner. Eleven-years-old. Far too young for him to claim. How old were you when you first sensed he was your mate?”

Barely five. The discovery had rattled both her and her cat. It really didn’t take an omega like Bree to sense the wrongness in him.

He, too, had known they were mates. Back then, she hadn’t understood how someone so cold and hollow could feel the presence of their true mate. But, as Vinnie later pointed out, Paxton wasn’t a person who experienced the sort of things that blocked the frequency of mating bonds, like fears, insecurities, or uncertainties.

“It must be hard for you to have a true mate who’s so dark inside,” John said when she didn’t answer his question.

Paxton hadn’t been dark inside. He’d been empty. Utterly. Empty. As an omega, she could read a person’s emotions through touch. All she’d felt from Paxton was a chilling apathy that made her skin crawl. And she often wondered what it said about her that the other half of her soul had been so devoid of emotion.

Maybe her deceased parents were right when they told Bree that his nature didn’t reflect on her; that he was just wired differently, or that his brain had suffered damage due to his difficult birth. But some of the people in her pride believed that Bree must share some of “his darkness” purely because she was his predestined mate. As such, she wasn’t close to many people, but those she cared for didn’t think that way—that was all that mattered to her.

“I assure you that I will not reveal his whereabouts to anyone,” said John. “You have no need to protect him from me. I just want to speak with him.”

“Then go hire a psychic—maybe they can help you commune with his ghost or something. Now, I have shit to do, so …” Tightening her grip on her purse, she walked right past them.

“Have a good day, Miss Dwyer,” John called out.

Bree didn’t glance over her shoulder as she replied, “Whatever.” Why he’d want to waste time searching for a dead man, she didn’t know. She also didn’t care.

Paxton Cage was dead. Dead.

If she repeated it to herself often enough, she might even fully believe it.

Standing behind the jewelry store counter, Bree talked with a male lion who wanted to buy a necklace for his mate. Over the past hour, he’d been torn between two. Whenever he seemed close to settling on one necklace, he’d then ask to touch the other again. Store policy was that only a single tray could be out of a display case at a time, so she’d had to repeatedly replace one with the other. Such fun.

Still feeling the effects of her hangover, she had no idea how she’d made it this long without falling asleep. She wondered if it would be so bad to take a nap in her locker—hey, she’d slept in more uncomfortable places. The moment it hit closing time she was so out of there.

She’d worked at Pot of Gold since she was eighteen. It was elegant and inviting with ambient lighting, crystal chandeliers, gold silk draperies, framed jewelry-art, and gleaming white walls with gold trim.

Diamonds, sapphires, rubies, opals, emeralds—there was bling everywhere twinkling under the bright lighting. The store sold all types of jewelry from bracelets, earrings, and rings to cuff links and watches. Some items were simple yet elegant. Some were cheap and cheerful. Others were flashy and expensive.

Hot Books
» House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1)
» A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire
» From Blood and Ash (Blood And Ash #1)
» A Million Kisses in Your Lifetime
» Deviant King (Royal Elite #1)
» Den of Vipers
» House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City #2)
» The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #
» Sweet Temptation
» The Sweetest Oblivion (Made #1)
» Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels #6)
» Wreck & Ruin
» Steel Princess (Royal Elite #2)
» Twisted Hate (Twisted #3)
» The Play (Briar U Book 3)