Bending 'til They Break
Mercy had been sure, as soon as she married Adam, that she was finished breaking the rules. Not that she was going to give in to every demand he made, but she’d decided that they’d discuss things like grown-up, married people were supposed to do. Of course, as soon as Mercy decided to act like a reasonable, responsible adult, a situation arose that made her default to her previous norm.
He was possibly the calmest werewolf Mercy had ever met, including Bran, and he practically oozed Alpha. Despite that, she didn’t feel the urge to follow him, probably because he didn’t want
her to follow him. He just wanted his old, slightly battered but obviously well-loved VW van to run. Not stepping out to call Adam, as the Alpha of the Columbia Park Basin pack, was stupid and possibly a little dangerous but Mercy was confident that she could have him back on the road before it became an issue.
“Mr. Osbourne, I should have it ready in a couple of hours, if you’d like to wait?” she said, hoping he’d take a seat and not move until she’d finished with his car.
Gabriel was giving her side-eye because she normally didn’t encourage customers to wait around, but she was afraid that if he left, he’d be injured or run out of town. The more exposure he got, the more likely Adam would find out he was here.
“Just Oz,” he said, a knowing, amused look on his face that reminded her of Bran at his most annoying. But he shrugged and went passively to the waiting area and sat, pulling out what looked to be a cross between an ipod and an ipad. She’d never seen the like but he confidently fiddled with the thing.
Mercy jerked her chin at Gabriel when the phone rang in her office and went to bury herself inside Mr. Oz’s van.
She’d barely gotten the hood up when Gabriel called, wary and controlled, “Mercy? Mr. Hauptman wants to speak to you.”
Mercy hesitated, then called back, “Bring me the phone,” before sticking her head under the hood, damning the pack bonds for giving her away.
The phone was thrust in front of her face and she’d barely gotten it to her ear before Adam was saying, “Mercy? Who’s that man? And why do you feel guilty?”
Mercy pulled the phone away from her ear and stuck her tongue out at it before returning it and saying, grudgingly, “Mr. Osbourne just needs me to fix his van. It’s fine.”
Adam was silent a moment, just breathing, then fairly growled, “Mercy…”
She scrubbed her hand over her face and said, “I’m pretty sure it isn’t Mac all over again.”
Adam stopped breathing, then she heard a dial tone.
Mercy twisted and tossed the phone to Gabriel, diving under the hood as she muttered, “Hurry, hurry, hurry…”
She wasn’t even halfway finished when she heard a car pull up outside. “Mr. Osbourne?” she called, turning to look at him.
“Yeah?” he said, looking up from his doohickey.
“You’re about to meet the local alpha. Who happens to be my husband,” she said, shrugging a little.
He shrugged back. “Okay.”
He shoved his doohickey back into his pocket as sunlight streamed in through door that’d been yanked nearly from the hinges. Mercy took a deep breath and nearly choked on the anger and possessiveness that rolled over her. She really needed to learn to stop breaking the rules.