Trenton was the last of the brothers to find a mate. He saw his brothers’ happiness and wanted to experience that for himself.
Libby had moved in with her aunt to help her out. And when a crazy neighbor was plotting to poison their water to make them sell their property to her, the Marshalls stepped in to help.
From the moment Trenton figured out Libby was his mate, she suddenly possessed a great deal of magic. With the little people popping in and out and the house constantly changing, Libby thought she was on the brink of losing her sanity….
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Harrison Parker had no family and no ties. She was invisible to be traced. Her job with the government was top secret. So secret that she only reported to two people. Now, she was the target and she had to figure out who wanted her dead. Hurt, and laying low, she reached out to the only man she trusted, an old man she had befriended in the cemetery, Sheppard Marshall.
Sheppard Marshall had been grieving the loss of his Millie for the last fifteen years. He would sit by her grave every day. He was an old man of ninety, and he looked forward to the visits he received from the sassy woman, Harrison Parker. Over time he had grown very fond of her, and when he received the message that she needed his help, Sheppard would help her or die trying.
His grandson, Sheppard or Shep, wasn’t letting the old man go alone. If he got hurt, Shep wouldn’t be able to live with himself. Even though the Marshall men were jaguars, that didn’t mean the old man couldn’t get into a situation that got him hurt or possibly killed.
The bullet had gone clear through, but the poison it had been laced with left Harrison with a high fever and near death. Shep didn’t know what this woman was into, but he knew two things—she was dangerous, and she was his mate. What kind of mess had the old man gotten him into now?
Isabella Booth was tired of all the sexist crap handed to her on a daily basis. When her father wouldn’t even consider her as an heir to his lawn care business because she wasn’t a man, and left it to her brother Hunter instead, she had done the next logical thing. She opened her own lawn care business, and it thrived.
Dean Marshall was renovating his family home. As far as the landscaping was concerned, he was told to go big or go home. When Shep invited the owner of the landscaping company to his home for dinner, Dean wanted to be there to see about getting some things done for his place. He didn’t mean for his jaguar to knock the woman to the ground.
Bella was thoroughly pissed when the big cat ruined her jeans and favorite shoes, and when he announced that they were mates, Bella was seeing red. No way, no how, was she having another sexist, overbearing man in her life. Not if she could help it….
Lachlan Russell had been rushed into emergency surgery. Her boss’s daughter took exception to Lach, telling her no, and went ballistic, throwing anything and everything she could at Lach until Lach finally collapsed from her injuries. Lach was also pregnant at the time, tricked into being a surrogate to carry her sister’s child.
Harris Marshall, Shep’s wife, was called in on the case. Lach’s boss and daughter were now both in jail, but Lach’s family was another matter—they were worse. Harris would make sure this woman pulled through if she had to kill Lach’s family to see to it. Calling in reinforcements, her brother-in-law, Oakley, was the first to arrive at the hospital.
Oakley was thrilled to have found his mate. As far as he was concerned, Lach was perfect. But her sister and brother-in-law were both insane. Would he and his family be enough to protect her from their madness?
Rebel had been called to the US when she’d been informed that her brother was dying, but she arrived too late. He left behind a devastated wife, two small children, and a load of debt. Rebel stayed to help out as best she could, taking a job at the local hospital, but working conditions there were unbearable, and she had no choice but to quit or kill someone—namely the head nurse. And as a doctor, she had taken an oath to save lives, not take them.
Rodney ran a small practice. He handled the medical care for the local schools and worked at the hospital when needed for emergencies. And when a little boy came into his office to get stitched up from being ambushed by bullies, Rodney knew he had to get to the bottom of the problem. When the boy’s Aunt Rebel shows up and takes over, Rodney instantly knows who she is to him—his mate. Having to approach her with the subject had his cat curling up inside him. He had watched his brothers flounder around with their new mates, and he didn’t want to start off on the wrong foot.
It didn’t take but a minute for Rebel to assess the new situation, and she wasn’t sure how she felt about it. She also needed a job, not a handout. She was a doctor, damn it, and a good one. No man, especially one she didn’t know, was going to order her around. If he thought he could, she’d let him know fast that she was no pushover.
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Trenton wasn’t sure what he was going to do with such a large house, but he decided bigger was better in this family. Laughing to himself, he walked around the kitchen once more to try and figure out what he could dick around on the price. As he was thinking of making an offer, Harris contacted him. Don’t make an offer on it. I’d not even want the place after the things I’ve found out about it. He asked her what she’d found. Two things I’ve been able to find out about the house is that it has about ten grand of unpaid taxes on it. They’re going to try and make you be responsible for them. Also, the house, as you know, has been on the market for a while.
I just found out the reason for it. Apparently, at one time, there were about seventy bodies buried all over the land, and they believe some are still there. At some point—and I’d more than likely think the real estate office knows this—the government will go in and seize the house and lands to look around again. Perhaps even going so far as tearing the house down to look under the foundation. Aren’t they suppose to tell you that? She said they might hint at it, but she doubted they’d be that forthcoming. I see. So I’m walking away from it. I might take you up on the offer to having my house finished that I’ve been working on. At least it would be something I know all about. It’s been worked on now.
I knew as soon as I figured out the hidden things of the one you’re in now that you’d say that. And I agree. It’s better to know what you’re getting into rather than lose it all over some problems that come around all of a sudden. He thanked her. When you meet your mate, Trenton, things are going to go much smoother. I know that things have been for me and the rest of the family. Even your brothers are much calmer than they were before, I’ve been told. I’m hoping that’s the way things work out for me. I could use a little calmness in my life for a change. Not that I think I’ll have it when I meet her, but you never know. Besides, everyone has children or is going to have them, and I’m not going to take the chance of not having someplace for them all to live when they get here.
I’m not saying it will happen, but I’m more of a be prepared sort of person. She laughed with him. To be honest, I’m excited about having a mate. Someone to be able to share a life with. It is a wonderful feeling. He told the realtor that he didn’t want the house and left her standing there, trying to convince him that this was the perfect house for him. Trenton got into his car and left her standing there begging him, really begging him, to purchase it at a lower price. All right. I’ll let you get back to being the only bachelor in the family. Instead of going back to his home to see what was going on, Trenton made his way to the schoolhouse that was going up. It was a huge project they were all doing, and he was happy there would be a place for the kids to have a safe environment. After having a look around there, he made his way to the old schoolhouse to see how the renovations were going there.
The classrooms were being fitted with a bathroom and shower. There would be two women per room unless they had other children. Then the family would share the room. He also liked that they were putting a kitchen in the rooms. While only a refrigerator and a microwave, it was going to be nice for a person to have a small snack or two when they wished it. “Hello, Mr. Marshall. Have you come by to see what we’re doing?” He told Mr. Kyle that he was just being nosy. “Not a bad thing. Come on, let me show you what we’ve done with the kitchen and dining areas. I think your grandda had a good idea when he suggested the few things we’ve done. Makes it seem less sterile if you ask me.” He was happy too. Instead of having long tables, as had been in the room for eating, there were small tables scattered all around the room. He could see them with tablecloths on them.
A nice little candle. It was almost romantic, Trenton thought. There were larger tables, Kyle told him. Mostly, he’d bet, for a family. Even as he was being shown the kitchen area, Trenton knew his grandda had had a hand in designing this space as well. “He said there should be a couple of open fridges for the people coming in late. The kitchen will be open for the three meals, of course. This way, anyone can come in and get them something to eat without having to go out.” There were large places for drinks and such as well, he was told. “That there wall will have windows that show a garden. Anyone that wants to work in them—I’m told it’s a nice stress reliever—can do that too. That grandda of yours, he sure is a smart fella. I hope you guys know that.” “I did know that, but I think we still underestimate him a little. I love all these ideas.” There were others too. Things that would make the place look less and less like a refuge and give it more of a homey setting.
“I think this will be a good safe place for women in trouble, don’t you think?” “Yes, sir. I do. I knew this girl once—that’s all she was too, a child. She got herself in a family way, and her parents kicked her to the side of the road. No help from them, nothing to do with her. About six months into her being in that delicate condition, someone killed her while she was living in a box under the bridge. A car did it—came right up on the curb and ran her over. Killed them both. You know what? Those parents of hers, they didn’t even show up at the funeral. Said she’d made her bed.” Trenton asked if they’d done it.
“Not really, but they might as well have with them tossing her out. Poor thing. If she’d had a place like this, both of them would be all right today. Sad world we live in if you ask me.” He agreed with him. As they toured the rest of the place, he was shown what the plans were for the outbuildings. There were three of them—not huge, but big enough to use as a classroom, a skills-building, and a place to do laundry and such. There was also going to be a heavy-duty fence around the entire compound that would keep most anyone out. Those that made it over the fence would meet up with the pack that would be roaming the lands both night and day. Trenton made his way back to his place just as he realized he was getting hungry. Stopping by the deli, he got him a thick sub, as well as a cold drink. Sitting out in the unusually warm day, he was enjoying the day a great deal better than he thought he might have when he woke up this morning.
He’d had some terrible dreams. Few of his family knew he’d suffered from night terrors for his entire life. None of them, during the day, were anything he thought should have bothered him. But at night, he’d wake up with a scream coming out of his mouth and his entire body drenched in sweat. Trenton wondered what a mate would think about that. Heath joined him at the table he was sitting at with his own sandwich and drink. “I thought I saw you. I was going to take this home to eat, but if you don’t mind, I’ll stick it out with you.” Trenton told him he was already joining him. They both laughed. “I’ve two games finished up. The one I was working on for dementia patients is ready for testing, and the other, a children’s game to help with counting money, is going on the market soon.
If I don’t have another buyer wanting first dibs. The sucker has only just been finished, and I have people fighting over it.” “Well, that’s not a bad thing, is it?” They talked about everything, but not really anything at all. He did tell him of the ideas that Grandda had on the building they were working on and how much he loved them. “Also, my house is being finished up. Might as well be prepared, don’t you think?” “Yes. I’d say so.” They were finished eating, and he asked him where Paige was. “She’s working on something for Harris. I stay out of those conversations as much as I can. They’re not at all nice to each other, and I don’t want to get in the middle of anything. I think Shep does the same thing when they’re together.
I noticed he wasn’t home either when I dropped Paige off.” “They are a little intense.” Boy, was that an understatement. “I was thinking about the holidays last night. This will be our first without Mom. I don’t know how to feel about it. I think I’m going to miss her ten times as much. She loved the holidays so much.” “She did. But I have a feeling she’s going to be right there with us.” Trenton nodded, too emotional to speak. “I love you, Trenton. Very much. I think I need to say that to all of you more often.” He agreed, and when they stood up to go their separate ways, they hugged tightly and for a long time. Trenton needed that. More than he’d come to realize, he needed to feel arms around him. He, too, was going to do it more often. Yes, he thought, he was going to hug more often, even if it was just a quick one.