Home > Haven (Relentless #5)(8)

Haven (Relentless #5)(8)
Author: Karen Lynch

I laid a hand on the Mustang’s roof. “Tell him my girl is not for sale.”

Paul leaned against the building. “He doesn’t want to buy her. He just got his hands on a nineteen seventy Chevelle. Frame’s solid but the car needs a ton of work. He normally works on his own cars, but he’s getting married and his fiancée doesn’t like him spending all his free time in the garage. He asked me if I could restore her for him.”

“You have time for that?”

Paul only had himself and another guy working here full-time, and they were pretty busy. He’d been talking for a while about expanding and hiring another mechanic, but he didn’t have enough saved yet to do it.

“Actually, I was thinking you might want to take on the Chevelle.”

I stared at him. “You serious? I’m not a mechanic.”

“Yeah. Evan knows that, but he loves the work you did on the Mustang. I told him that was all you, and that I just helped out.” Paul waved me over. “I’ll supply the space and tools and help wherever you need it, and you do most of the work. We’ll split the profits. I haven’t worked out the numbers with him yet, because I wanted to talk to you first. But it’ll be good money.”

It was a tempting offer; more than tempting. I made good pay at the lumberyard, but it was just a job and not nearly as satisfying as working on the Mustang. While I’d enjoyed my hours here at the garage, I’d never thought it could be more than a hobby. The idea that I could make money doing something I actually liked sparked excitement inside me.

Working on the Mustang had gotten me thinking about taking some auto classes, and now I wondered if that might not be a bad idea. I hadn’t applied for college because I wasn’t sure at first if I would even graduate from high school this year. Maybe it wasn’t too late to sign up for a few classes at the community college in Portland. If I could go to school part-time and keep a part-time job, I might be able to make it work.

“Can I have a few days to think about it? I’ll have to cut back on my hours at the yard in order to work here, too.”

Paul grinned. “I can already see it on your face that you’re going to do it. I’ll talk to Evan and figure out the details.”

A red Jeep pulled in behind my car, and two blonde girls got out. Faith Perry had been in my senior class, and I’d never liked her, mainly because she’d always been a bitch to Sara. Sara had never let Faith bully her, but that didn’t soften my feelings for the other girl.

Faith’s cousin Angela was a different story. Tall and curvy with legs a mile long, Angela was a year older than us and a freshman at USM. We’d never hung out, but I’d seen her at plenty of parties in town before she started college. She’d had a boyfriend the last few years, which put her off-limits. Didn’t mean a guy couldn’t look, though.

Paul straightened away from the building. “Great timing, Angela. I just finished your oil change.”

“Wonderful.” She beamed at him and looked in my direction. “Roland Greene, I almost didn’t recognize you.”

“I recognized you right away.”

She walked over to me, boldly eyeing me from head to toe. “You’ve been working out a lot since the last time I saw you. Whatever you’re doing, keep it up.”

Faith made a small huffing sound, which her cousin and I ignored. Male werewolves usually filled out when we hit maturity, and I had been working out hard since I got home in January. Between Maxwell’s training and working at the lumberyard, I knew I’d built up some extra muscle. But my male ego still liked being stroked by a beautiful girl.

I smiled to let her know I liked what I saw, too. “Looking pretty good, yourself. I bet Aaron spends all his time chasing away the other guys on campus.”

She made a face. “Aaron and I broke up in March.”

“Sorry to hear that.”

“I’m not.” She toyed with her hair, which was pulled back in a ponytail.

“So, you home for the summer?” I asked her.

“Yes.” She gave me a meaningful smile. “I thought it was going to be dull, but now I think I might have been wrong.”

I leaned against the door of the Mustang. “Lots of fun to be had in New Hastings if you know where to look.”

Her lashes lowered. “Is that an offer to show me where the fun is?”

“Yeah.” Hell, yeah. As if I’d turn down a chance to go out with her. Half the guys in town, myself included, had lusted after Angela until she graduated. She was hot and she knew it, but she’d never been uppity like Faith and some of the other girls.

She smiled suggestively. “How about tonight?”

Damn, she didn’t waste any time. There was nothing I’d like better than to go out with her tonight, but Brendan had ordered me to his place this evening. Probably Beta business. And tomorrow night I was on patrol.

“Can’t tonight. How about Wednesday?”

“Wednesday is perfect.” She pulled out her phone. “What’s your number? I’ll send you mine so you can call me.”

I gave her my number, and she texted me to give me hers. Then she went to pay Paul and get her yellow Volkswagen Beetle.

“See you Wednesday,” she called as she drove away, followed by Faith in the Jeep.

“I guess your dry spell is over,” Paul joked when he came out of the garage. “I think she’s gotten even hotter since she went to college.”

I grinned at him, feeling pretty happy with myself. “You noticed that too, huh?”

“Hard not to. Too bad she’s human. Wouldn’t mind imprinting on her.”

Paul was twenty-five and still single. Lucky bastard. Most males imprinted before that age because their wolves were driven to mate. Paul wanted a mate, but he hadn’t found the right one yet. Unlike me, he was looking forward to the gathering.

“Her being human is exactly what makes her so attractive,” I said, earning a knowing laugh from my cousin. My feelings on the subject of mating weren’t exactly a secret.

I knew it would happen eventually, but the last thing I wanted now was a mate. I’d just finished high school, and I wanted to have some freedom for a few years. It was the reason I only dated human girls and I avoided unmated female wolves like the plague. Thank God wolves didn’t imprint on humans or I’d be a bloody monk.

I got into the Mustang. “I’ll let you know about the Chevelle job. I want to do it, but you know how Maxwell has been riding my ass about responsibility since I came home. I’ll need to talk to him about cutting back my hours at the yard.”

As much as I wanted to work on the car, I needed a job, too. The Chevelle job would give me a nice little profit, but it couldn’t replace a full-time income. I needed the lumberyard job until I could get a job that paid enough to live off. My mother had been saving for years for my college fund, so at least I didn’t need to worry about tuition and books if I did go to college. And I’d be staying here instead of Portland, so that would save on rent. I’d have to ask for one of the new houses since Sara’s apartment was out of the question with Emma there.

I thought about Sara’s cousin, who had occupied my mind more than once this weekend. Why had Sara never told me she had a cousin or that Emma was coming to stay at the apartment? Why had Emma not wanted anyone to know she was there? And what kind of nightmares made her scream like that?

Emma had been terrified of us, and even after she knew who we were, she’d clearly been afraid. No one had ever been afraid of me before, at least no human, and it bothered me. It was instinct for me to want to protect a human, especially Sara’s family, and I’d been reluctant to leave Emma alone at the apartment Friday night. Hopefully, she was okay now that she’d had a few days to get used to the place.

I had to be at Brendan’s by six-thirty, so I went there directly. The driveway close to the house was full of cars when I got there, and I recognized Pete’s white Escort. I parked and got out, walking to the backyard where a bunch of men stood around talking. Pete, Francis, Kyle, and Shawn were there, along with Cody Mays, Tim Church, and Richard and Mark Bender. Except for Pete and me, everyone was in their twenties.

   
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