Rachel Daniels was in over her head, and it didn’t take a genius to see it either. Her niece and nephew had been through a lot, and it was up to her to take over where their mother had failed them. Now finding out that she was Sean Crosby’s mate had her head spinning. She was just getting used to the idea of being a mother. Taking on the role of being a mate to a vampire was another daunting matter.
Sean Crosby had always been considered a loner. Now finding himself with a readymade family, Sean couldn’t be happier.
Sandy Farley didn’t really want her kids back. She only wanted the benefits of having the kids gave her. And if it took ruining Rachel’s good name to make things go her way, she was all for that too. What did it matter if her lies sent Rachel to jail? She killed Rachel’s brother. She would kill her too.
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Spencer Graham had been trying to get a hold of Jason Crosby for weeks, but he didn’t seem to answer emails, mail or the telephone. She had an idea that would make them a great deal of money, but she needed him to invest in her project before it was too late. So, barging into his home at 4 a. m. was the only solution as far as she was concerned. She didn’t, however, expect him to answer the door naked and proposition her as soon as she walked in the door. Spencer did the only thing that came natural to her, she knocked him on his ass….
Jason Crosby was nearly two thousand years old, and in all his days as a vampire, he’d never seen anyone quite like her, not that he thought that was a good thing. He didn’t. She was his mate, and he was only going the tolerate her because he had to….
Chase Crosby didn’t know what he wanted right now. He was trying to get a grip on who his new mate was. He was told she was an ice dragon, but that wasn’t right either, she was a protector of the ice dragons. He had so many questions, and all he could do was sit there while she was locked away in his freezer to recover from her injuries.
Emerald was a warrior, and she had no idea what she was going to do with a mate. Even though the vampire appealed to her, she was worried the people chasing her would hurt him or his family to get to her, and she couldn’t allow that.
A Homeland Security Agent had gone rogue and he was after Emerald. He didn’t know exactly who or what she was, but he was going to prove she’d been around for centuries, and it didn’t matter who he had to go through to get to her.
Elliot knew the little boy, Cody, was in trouble. When he found the boy hiding out in his greenhouse, he could see that he was starving and battered. The boy’s little dog didn’t look like he was faring any better. When the boy’s father, Duncan, busted down the door of the greenhouse, Elliot had had enough.
Hannah didn’t have much use for her idiot brother, Duncan. And when she heard her brother had murdered his wife, and her nephew Cody was on the run from his father, she wasn’t surprised. She was surprised, however, and elated to find out her sister, Julia, was alive. Julia’s slimy ex-husband, Nathan, had Hannah believing Julia was dead.
Elliot was sent to bring Hannah back. Nathan had learned that Julia had left town and taking Hannah would be his leverage to make Julia do as he wanted. Elliot knew Nathan was on his way, and they had to hurry to keep Nathan from finding her. What he wasn’t expecting to find was his mate.
Hannah had had enough of men telling her what to do and finding out Elliot was a vampire didn’t make the situation any easier. He would take it slow and tread softly, or she would stake him, simple as that.
Finding out Nathan and Duncan had banned together spelled trouble for everyone. Even though Hannah was now immortal, Elliot still worried about her because she could still be hurt, and no one touched his mate if they wanted to live.
Misty Quartermain met Sean Crosby in college. One night, before they’d met, he’d saved her from a vicious vampire attack and after that they become close friends. He’d shared his family secrets with her and took a little of her blood so that they’d always share a connection. Sean knew Misty wasn’t his mate, but he’d always felt protective of her. A few years later, when Misty and her family were in trouble and on the run, Sean enlisted his family to come to their aid.
Grayson Crosby had always been somewhat of a loner. He mostly kept to himself but was there for the family when they needed him. Sean said he needed help to keep his college friend safe so Grayson was there for him, maybe not enthusiastically, but there. He heard Sean making the family introductions and came out of the kitchen. His beast suddenly had the poor woman backed into the wall.
“You said that she knows all about us?” Sean said that she did and that he was terrifying her. “Yeah, I know, but my beast, he won’t let me go enough to help her.”
“Well, let me help you then. I’m sick of men running over me.” Misty doubled up her fist and hit Grayson square in the nose. Then, when he was going back, she swung her leg around and did a roundhouse slap with her foot to his head. He went to the floor in a thud, breaking the end table behind him.
Melody Harmony had had a rough start. Mel had lost her parents young, and she fell in love hard and fast only to lose both her new husband and her unborn child to a drunk driver. As a result, Mel didn’t have much use for many people.
Mel loved kayaking on the river. On her morning run, she found a floater and called it into her friend at the sheriff’s office. The mayor showed up instead and cut the body loose and proceeded to fire her and her friend for their troubles.
Ryan Crosby was one of the two remaining Crosby brothers who hadn’t found their mates. When good friend and family, Jamie Nash, told Ryan his friend Mel was in need of a good attorney, Ryan was more than happy to help.
But when Mel showed up for the meeting, expecting to get things underway with the attorney, she was floored when his handshake nearly took her to her knees. The man uttered several times that they were mates. She wasn’t entirely sure what that entailed, but she was sure she wanted no part of it.
With the mayor harassing her daily, and a new mate sniffing around, Mel had some decisions to make fast. The only problem was, it might be too late to do anything about either one of them….
The Sons of Crosby Series
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Sandy waited to talk with her attorney. He didn’t cost anything, and her experience on that seemed to be a person got what they paid for. But he seemed to have his shit together, for which she was very glad. Of course, he didn’t know the whole truth about anything that she’d done. Especially when it came to her past and the life she’d had with her children. Sandy didn’t think that Rachel would say anything different, not if it kept her from going to jail again. “You told me that your sister forged your name to legal documents, correct?” Another lie she’d told him, but he believed her. “You’d think that someone that works for the government would know better than to do something like that. I mean, that’s serious jail time for her.” Sandy felt a little guilt for that, but let it go. Again, Rachel would want her to be with her kids, wouldn’t she? That’s all she ever talked about was how they needed their mom out of prison. Not that she wanted to hang around them much either, but it was either Rachel claimed that she was a wonderful mom or Sandy would end up in jail forever.
The third time, she knew, was not a charm. “Did you go and talk to her about it?” He said that no one was home. “It’s Wednesday, right? That’s pizza night at the house. That’s probably where they are.” “I don’t think so. According to the landlord, Rachel had him pick up her mail for a week and to make sure that no one got into their place. She even said not to allow you in. What’s she hiding from you?” Rachel had taken her kids on a trip? Sandy wondered if there would be gifts for her when they returned. Then she remembered that she’d turned her kids over to Rachel. “Do you know where she might have taken them? I mean, if she forged your name to those documents, then she isn’t allowed to take someone else’s children across state lines. Did you know that?” “No, I didn’t.” She didn’t either. But now that Sandy thought on it, it would be like her sister to take the kids someplace special, to probably break the news of what she’d done. “You think she would have told them about the paperwork? I mean, not that she forged my name, but that she believes what she did is right?”
“If she did forge your name to those papers, then she’d be in trouble more if she took them across the state lines. We can attach kidnapping to what she’s doing.” Nodding, Sandy wondered if her sister would ever forgive her for this and decided that she would. Rachel had a soft heart. A soft head too, but it was her heart that she was playing around with. “I’ll have someone check the airports for a ticket in their name. Maybe she’s only taking them to an amusement park or something. But what we have to work on now is this shoplifting charge against you.” “I was so depressed about not seeing my kids.” The attorney nodded. Sandy supposed that it helped her, too, that the man was a new dad. “I knew as soon as I did it that it was wrong, but you have no idea how it feels when you’re not able to get a hug when you can.”
Hugs. Sandy hated hugs more than she did nasty noses and dirty diapers. Her kids were well past that now, of course, and had been for some time. That was why she’d moved in with Rachel and the kids again because she figured that she’d be able to handle all their shit now. But it had been one thing after another with them. Always with their hands out for something they needed for school. They needed a coat or boots before winter. Finally, she told them to see Rachel for that shit, cutting out the middle man, so to speak. Not that she didn’t have the money, Sandy thought. Rachel had all kinds of money. Sandy had tried her best to figure out how to take cash from her sister’s accounts, or even to get a check to write out to cash. But Rachel was very careful of that, never leaving anything out where she could find it. Sandy was sure that Rachel was well aware that she’d been looking. Rachel had always been stingy with her money. It was always like she was saving for something big. So far as Sandy could see, she’d not spent any of her money on anything bigger than a car, and even that was older than dirt. It didn’t even have air conditioning. “Did you hear me?” Apparently, she’d been daydreaming again and told the attorney that she was sorry, just thinking about her children.
“I’m sorry, Mrs. Farley. We’ll get them back for you. But, we just found out that Rachel has gone to Ohio. Do you know anyone there?” “No, I don’t think so. But her job, they send her all over the place when they need her.” He asked her what she did for the FBI. “I don’t really know, to be honest. I know that she’s been doing her job since she was just out of college.” “Well, it won’t get her anywhere for much longer. I have someone from this office going there now to see what is what. If you hear from her, not that I think you will, being in jail right now, you give her my name and tell her that I wish to speak to her.” It was then that Sandy realized that she didn’t know the man’s name. Not even a hint of it. Then he laid his card in front of her. “That’s my direct number. You have one of the officers call me no matter when you hear from your sister.” “Is it important for you to know that she’s not really my sister?
Rachel is my sister-in-law by my dead husband.” He said that it was important. “I knew Rachel long before I met her brother. Jonathon and I were married for about a year when he was killed.” “I’ll make a note of that.” Sandy nodded and was glad that he’d not asked her how Jonathon had been killed. She’d done it while stoned out of her mind one night. Sandy didn’t even know what the argument had been about. That was when her children had been taken from her the first time. Rachel had gotten them just before they’d been put in the system because she’d been put in jail for his murder. Not that anyone believed that she would actually kill her own loving husband. Rachel had helped her out with that as well. When she was taken back to her cell, Sandy laid down on her cot. It wasn’t as bad as everyone made it out to be when in jail. She kind of loved it. Three meals a day that she didn’t have to cook or clean up after. A nice cozy bed that had as many pillows and covers as she wanted.
The best part was she didn’t have her kids around whining about this or that. And no sister nagging at her to get a fucking job, either. ~*~ Sean got off the phone with Ben Shore and looked across his desk to Rachel. She’d not said much since they moved into his home. It had made him laugh when she asked for a key to the room she was in. While he could have broken down any door that she put between them, he had Conner, his butler, call someone to put the lock on her door. She didn’t seem to be any happier about that than she was anything else. “Do you want it easy or hard? I can do either one for you.” She told him that she wanted him to never lie to her. “I would never do that. Besides, I can’t anyway. However, I can be gentle about the information that I have if you’d like.” “How is that not lying?” He told her that he’d tell her the truth but be nice and ease her into things. “I’m not my niece and nephew. Just tell me what you’ve found out.” “Your sister is in jail for shoplifting. To play on the sympathy of the courts, she’s telling them that you forged her name to the documents you filed. Also, you took them out of the state without her permission.” She asked him how that would have been gentler. “I might have started off saying that your sister is full of shit and that if she touches one of those kids or you, that she’ll live to regret it.” “I don’t think you fully understand the meaning of gentle.”
Sean laughed and saw her smile too. “What happens now? I mean, I’m sure that someone somewhere is going to want to speak to me about my side. If they do, what happens to Becky and Jon? I don’t want anything else to happen to them.” “I don’t either. I’m going to talk with my brother, Ryan. He’s an attorney and has been one for a long time. Longer than any sitting judge has. He’ll have answers. Between him and Misty, my sister-in-law, they’ll have something that we can work with.” Rachel got up and started walking around his office. He didn’t say anything to her, letting her roam around while she thought. They were having dinner with his entire family tomorrow night, and he was sure she wasn’t too thrilled about that either. “Those men that hurt Becky have you found them yet?” He nodded when she looked at him. “And they’ve been dealt with? Legally?” “No. Not legally, no. But they won’t hurt anyone ever again.” She just nodded, and he let out a long breath. “You’ll meet Emerald tomorrow night. She’s sort of our go-to person in finding people. When she caught up with them, they were doing the same thing. But this time, they didn’t get far enough to hurt the young girl. She was eight. Emerald made them suffer a bit before—” “I want you to tell me things gently from now on. Or better yet, I’d rather you said to me, ‘You don’t want to know.’ I will know then that I really fucking don’t want to know.” He said that he could do that for her. “I don’t know what’s going on here with you and I. I know that you’re not going to hurt me. I have a friend that I spoke to when we got here. She told me that you were one of the nicest men that she knew. Your whole family was people that could be depended on when the shit hit the fan.”
“That’s very true.” Rachel sat back down in the chair. “Do you have questions? Or too many to ask?” “Both. You said that you were old and powerful—what does that mean exactly?” Sean wanted to tell her that she didn’t want to know but thought that perhaps she did need to know just what she had at her beck and call. “I’m thousands of years old. My family was powerful before we were given the gifts from Killian. With what she gave us, we were more than likely the most powerful beings in the world, with the exception of the queen. But since then, we’ve merged with a great many other creatures. Emerald is the queen of dragons. Protector of them, too, with the help of my brother.” Rachel asked him if there really were dragons. “There are. Unicorns, as well as a few other creatures that people think aren’t real. I can introduce you to them when this is all done if you’d like.” “I don’t know. What else is in our corner?” He told her. “So there are faeries and brownies that we can call on, as well as an army of wolves. You do know that this is a lot for me to take in, don’t you?”
“I do. But you’re doing just fine so far.” She got up to pace again. “I wanted to make you aware of something that your friend might not have known if she’s not a vampire. I can no longer drink from anyone else but you. Ever again. In an emergency, I can drink from my brothers, but no one else.” “No, she didn’t mention that.” Sean nodded but didn’t say anything more, waiting for Rachel to ask whatever she wanted. “You’re wealthy, she told me. Beyond any wealth that anyone has ever been able to calculate.” “That’s partly true. You’re very wealthy too, now that you’re my mate. The children too are wealthy, and I will do whatever you wish regarding them.” She asked him what he meant. “If you’d marry me, which is no big deal to think about now, then everything that I own will be put in your name. That’s to keep people, mostly people that aren’t aware of what we are, from becoming suspicious of us being around so long. Then after a while, it will come back to my name. But I will forever think that whatever I have is yours, and whatever is yours is yours.
In several lifetimes, Rachel, you could not spend all the money we have so that we’d have nothing. There is always money to be had. Legally.” “I need to think about this.” He told her that he had no doubt that she did. “Where do I go when I have questions? To you? I don’t want to take up your time.” “You can come to me whenever you wish. Or to any member of my family. They’ll answer everything and anything you wish. But, like me, you’ll have to tell them how you want your information. Also, the women in this family are very strong, like you are. And they’ll be almost too much. But I have no doubt at all that you can stand up to them.” When she left to see to the children, he leaned back in his chair. He was nervous as fuck around her, and he thought she might know it. Sean was as excited as he’d ever been about having anyone in his life. He just hoped that he didn’t have to kill anyone around her to keep her safe.