Home > Midnight Moon (Rebel Wolf Book 1)

Midnight Moon (Rebel Wolf Book 1)
Author: Linsey Hall







* * *


“Please, Lyra, I’m begging you.” Desperation flashed in Meg’s eyes. “Take the end of my shift, and I’ll owe you forever.”

I stared at my friend, my stomach twisting. “Seriously, Meg? You know I can’t afford to lose this job. And I’m not even supposed to be on the top floor.”

Meg’s eyes dropped to the insignia on the ugly teal maid’s uniform I wore, a badge that indicated I was one of the lower-tier maids who worked the bottom floors of the Windracer Hotel.

“No one will notice your badge,” Meg said. "Let your hair down. It will cover it.”

I raised my hand to my dark hair, which was pulled back in a boring bun. “You know I can’t do that. Boris would have a fit.”

Our boss was notoriously picky and mean-spirited. He’d recently fired a girl for having a tattoo that peeked out of the sleeve of her shirt, and another employee for being late.

“Please. Tommy can only get this afternoon off, and I haven’t seen him in a week. You can be in and out of the penthouse in no time. He’s not even there.”

The penthouse.

I’d never been on the top floor of the hotel, much less inside the penthouse. But that wasn’t the part that got my heart racing—no, it was the mention of him.

Garreth Locke, the wealthiest and most dangerous man in Seattle. And handsome, so handsome he could grace the covers of magazines—if he’d ever lower himself to do something so plebeian.

He was young—only five years older than my twenty-four—but my father had spoken of him before he’d died eleven years ago. He’d said that Garreth was the son of another mob boss who ran an organization that rivaled the one my father was involved with. My father had seen Garreth kill a man in cold blood. Apparently, he’d broken the man’s neck for deceiving him.

Garreth had been only seventeen at the time. He’d disappeared from Seattle shortly after but returned a few years ago when his father had died.

I shivered at the memory of the story.

The first time he’d shown up at the hotel, I couldn’t believe my eyes. He’d never been caught for what he did. Not surprising. People with that kind of power were seldom punished. I’d caught a glimpse of him a few times as he strode across the lobby, followed by a small group of people nearly as good looking and scary as him. He was more than merely handsome. There was something about him that was otherworldly.

“It won’t take you any time at all,” Meg said.

I glared at her. This was one of the few decent jobs that paid under the table—thank fates Boris was cheap about paying employee taxes—and I really couldn’t afford to lose it. But it was rare she asked for anything, and I hated to say no. “Fine, but I'm going to make it quick. I'll do a pretty crappy job, but I’ll do it.”

“Oh, thank you!” Meg threw her arms around my shoulders and squealed in my ear.

I winced, my ears ringing. My hearing had always been freakishly good, and Meg had the pipes of a banshee.

She pulled back. “I’ll make it up to you.” She grimaced slightly. “Oh, one more thing. Boris said we’re not to be in the room when Garreth Locke is there—no matter what. So, get in and out.”

“What the hell?”

“Sorry, should have mentioned it earlier.”

“Should have mentioned that I was really risking my job by doing this for you?” And the last thing I wanted was to be caught by Garreth Locke.

She waved a hand dismissively. “You’ll be fine. He’s not supposed to be back for hours.”

“All right. But if he comes back while I’m in there, I might run for it and leave the housekeeping cart behind.”

“Fair enough.”

“Good. Now get out of here and go see your boyfriend.”

She grinned widely, then spun around and raced out of the breakroom on the bottom floor of the hotel. I sighed and looked up at the clock. I still had a few more rooms on the second floor to clean, but if Garreth Locke wasn’t in the penthouse right now, I should go now and get this over with.

Anyway, Boris was supposed to be out to a late lunch. I couldn’t afford for him to catch me on the wrong floor, or I risked another mark on my record. One more infraction, and I'd be out on my ass without a job.

Heart pounding, I grabbed Meg’s housekeeping cart and hurried to the staff elevator. As it whizzed toward the top floor of the historic hotel, I went over the tasks that I absolutely had to do in the penthouse. The bare minimum—that’s what I’d do.

When the elevator opened on the top floor, I peeked out into the entry hall.


Thank God.

I hurried toward the penthouse door, careful to keep my face turned away from the security camera. From the back, I looked enough like Meg that no one would think to check twice if they couldn’t see my face.

With faintly shaking hands, I used Meg’s key card to get into the room. As the door opened, a low chime sounded. Every room in the hotel was equipped with one so guests would know if their door had opened while they were in the bathroom or resting.

The room itself was silent as the grave, and my heart slowed its frantic beating.

“This will be fine,” I whispered to myself. "You can do this."

I didn’t believe it, but I ignored the warnings screaming at the back of my mind.

The penthouse was a good enough distraction, however. The main room I had entered was large, with enormous floor-to-ceiling windows. They were an older style, installed when the hotel had been built over a hundred years ago, but the long panes of glass still revealed a phenomenal view of Puget Sound and Mount Rainier. The dark water glittered under the light of a rare sun, the snow-capped mountain in the distance standing sentinel.

As quickly as I could, I made my way around the living room. The furniture was simple and luxurious—far nicer than the furnishings on the lower floors of the hotel. And that was saying something, considering those floors contained furniture about ten times nicer than the stuff that decorated my tiny studio in the shit part of town.

I ignored the fabulous view in favor of looking for clues about the life of someone as powerful and dangerous as Garreth Locke. There was nothing, of course. He was tidy as a monk, leaving no indication about his personality or lifestyle.

Most people thought of him as a slightly shady businessman, but I knew differently from my father’s stories. He was fully entrenched on the wrong side of the law, and he wouldn’t want people to know what he was capable of.

The bedroom was a bit different, the sheets tangled and mussed, as if he’d had awful nightmares. Or excellent sex.

“Get your mind out of the gutter,” I muttered, yanking the sheets off the king-size bed.

I remade the lake of smooth cotton as quickly as I could, my gaze snagging on a book that sat on the bedside table. It looked old, really old, and my heart raced.

I loved books, and I knew at a glance this one was special.

I arranged the decorative pillows at the head of the bed and picked up the book. I shouldn’t do it, but I couldn’t help myself.

Just one little peek.

The cover was embossed with flaking golden script—The History of the Wolves of North America.

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