Children of Sun – Excerpt 3

warning: the following contains strong language

Excerpt from book one of Oracle’s Legacy

Atlanta, Georgia

Granger looked at the sea of half-naked bodies gyrating and pumping to the beat of the music. His office was two stories above the dance floor, hidden behind a wall of one-way mirrors. He had to see everything in his club, and his perch allowed just that. Business was as good tonight as every night, so the only thing that bothered him was security. There were a lot of college guys down there, which held possibilities for aggression. Though the bouncers were ready, he just wanted a nice, quiet night. He could sense in the club that only two of the people outside of his staff had seals. All others were normal humans, seal-less. The seal-less were unaware of the world around them, for good reason: the world had enough bigotry and hate. And the Structure had enough problems as it was.

Five hours of travel from airport to airport had drained him. But there was tension in the area, and he needed to put out the fuse before it lit. He wouldn’t have complications going down in his operation, no matter what was rustling under the surface. And damn if it wasn’t rustling fast.

Sitting back in the chair, he stared up at the motion lighting as it changed colors, illuminating the club. Letting his mind rest for a few moments before he started making phone calls would help him stay sharp. Why had he given Allison the night off? Why was he in that club, knowing good and well that his manager could handle things here? Something had pulled him to the club, and he didn’t like it.

A beep from his phone brought him to his feet, and he reached into his back pocket for the cell. He looked down at the bar, where the bartender had a phone in hand.

Flipping it open, he put his ear to the receiver and said, “Yeah.”

“Someone is here to see you.” The bartender nodded to the other end of the bar, where he saw Troy, drink in hand. Good ol’ Troy. But how did the brother know he was here? And why the visit? That wasn’t his style. Respect was high on Troy’s to-do list, and he had a “call first” mentality. Strictly appointment only. So that meant one of two things: either he was here with someone who wanted Granger’s attention, or some clash was going down that needed his immediate attention.

Granger’s chest tightened as he scoped out the whole club. His eyes stretched the whole span of the place until he saw it, or rather her. Ollie. Both scenarios were now a possibility.

She was a bad omen. Looking at her wild, curly hair and her big, brown baby-doll eyes, it wasn’t obvious, but she was trouble. Trouble he didn’t need. Several of the clientele were already eyeing her, scoping her out as she danced. She wasn’t dressed for the club scene. But even without the flash, she was still catching eyes. And her height made it more so. Damn it, why was she here?

Leaving his office, he rounded the hallway, still scoping the club. As he slowly descended the stairs, he saw no sign of the twin. Maybe that was why Troy had come, to keep the twin at bay. Ellis was cool, but he didn’t like anyone getting close to his sister. Which was fine with Granger, because his sister was hellfire—causing nothing but pain. His best friend could attest to that. Joc had never been the same after they split up. And Granger was in pain from hearing about it constantly. Whoever said time heals all wounds needed to spend a year with Joc.

He came through the mirror door behind the bar. Picking up a cognac flask, he walked over to Troy, who was staring into his glass. Granger topped it off. The guy looked up and nodded.

“Anyone who has to baby-sit deserves it, on the house.” The look on Troy’s grateful face turned into a knowing smile. Even the family knew she was untamed.

“How ya been?” Troy’s rough southern drawl sounded raw, as if he had started early on the stuff.

“Fair. What’s up?” He didn’t want this to drag on. The quicker they were through, the faster she would be out of his club.

“It’s Ollie who wanted to speak with you.” Troy turned to the dance floor and waved his arm.

Granger cursed. He was hoping…

She rocked to the music as she made her way over to him. Her eyes locked on him. There was that look. The unnerving focus, as if all of her actions, even the crazy ones, were deliberate.

“Bring her up to my office,” Granger told the thirty-year-old, then he turned to leave. Whatever she had to say wasn’t for the public. He told the bartender to let them up.

As he made his way up the steps, they weren’t far behind him. He stepped just inside the door, allowing them to pass into the office, and Ollie shut the door behind them. He caught a whiff of peppermint. Refreshing and clean. She still smelled of peppermint, a complete contradiction to her menace.

“Good to see you, Granger,” she said, out of respect more than anything.

“Too bad I can’t say the same.” His tone was flat, and she laughed. The laughter of a seductress and a smile of pure sin. Completely menacing.

“Are you still holding resentment toward me?” She remained standing as Troy went to the glass and looked out on the dance floor, removing himself from the conversation.

“You broke my best friend’s heart. And I should be happy to see you?”

“You should’ve warned your boy to stop screwing Tracy, Stacy, and Lacey, and we might still be somewhere.” Her voice was warm and weighty. Hypnotic. It was laced with light wisdom and clear knowledge and silk, warming over Granger’s skin even though her language seemed to contrast its warmth.

Actually, he had warned Joc. “Her name was Miranda, but I see your point.” And she was the only one that had a name. But he was loyal to Joc, and Joc truly loved Ollie, in his own way. Then again, if Ollie had not broken up with him, Joc would be dead, because one of her brothers, if not all, would’ve killed him. So it was all for the best. “Seat?” He went over to his desk and sat down.

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