Home > Big, Bad Gruff (Big City Lycans #2)

Big, Bad Gruff (Big City Lycans #2)
Author: Eve Langlais




Years ago, when Billy was just a kid…


“Bitch, I’ll give you something to whine about!”

“Fuck you,” was the screamed reply.

Billy lay in his bed, listening as his parents fought. Again. He should have been used to it by now. After all, they’d been doing it as far back as he could remember, usually over stupid stuff.

For example, tonight Mom made meatloaf, which nobody liked, yet they got it at least once a week because when the ground beef went on sale, it was cheap as fuck to make—or so Mom claimed. To render it edible required a lot of ketchup, a shit-ton according to his dad, only when Billy’s dad went to squirt some on the dry-looking hunk, all he got was that farting noise and a little squirt of the red stuff.

Slamming it down, Dad snapped, “Get me a new bottle.”

Which led to Mom saying, “I ain’t got one. Ain’t doing groceries until next week.”

No ketchup? Billy eyed his portion of meat and inwardly cringed. Salt could only do so much.

“I can’t fucking eat this.” Dad shoved at the plate, a discontented set to his jaw.

“Don’t be such a fucking baby. I got some ketchup packets in the car. Billy, go grab them.”

Billy fled quickly to the rusted vehicle parked outside their mobile home. Duct tape held the rear passenger door closed. Strapping wound around the bumper to hold it in place. Mom had been told last time she got pulled over by the cops to junk it, but as she claimed, “It’s mine and I’ll drive it if I want to.” She ignored the tickets stuffed in her glove box.

Billy scrounged through the car, checking the glovebox, the console, even the floor, to find some ketchup packets. He found three vinegars, a ton of salt, some pepper, and two ketchup sachets of dubious age.

He brought them back in and dropped them onto the table. Dad snatched them and squirted them on the hunk of now-cold meat. Barely enough red stuff for two bites.

Dad eyed it with a grimace. “This is bullshit. How am I supposed to eat this garbage?”

Billy would have preferred not to as well, but that would just cause more trouble. Instead, he faked it, pretending to eat while dropping hunks on the floor for their fat pit bull, Buddy, who gobbled them up. What did it say that only the dog liked it?

“It’s not that bad.” Mom shoveled hers in and chewed open-mouthed to prove a point.

It didn’t go over well. Dad, hungry after working all day, was pissed. “Don’t you get an attitude with me, you lazy fucking cow. I go to work all day and get to come home to this crap.” The plate went flying off the table with a crash.

Mom shoved away from the table. “You asshole. You think I got time to make you gourmet fucking meals? I work too.”

“As a cashier.” Dad sneered.

“Which is harder than slugging garbage into a truck.”

“At least I bring home a good paycheck,” Dad countered, getting to his feet and glaring at Mom.

She snorted. “Which you drink away or gamble in those poker games. I’m the one paying most of the bills and making all the meals.”

“Because that’s a woman’s job.”

That would be the point Billy began oozing out of his chair carefully, quietly, lest they notice and drag him into the upcoming rumble.

His parents stood nose to nose.

“You’re a sexist pig!” Mom retorted.

“Says the woman who rarely vacuums.”

“Would it kill you fucking run it once in a while? I do everything around here.”

And so it went…

Billy hid in his room, a thing he did a lot, while his parents battled. It was hours of on-and-off screaming. Crashing. And then the most annoying part, the sex as they made up. Loud and boisterous, there was no way to muffle the noise.

No way to escape the hellhole of his family life. His parents, for all that they hated each other, just wouldn’t get divorced.

And the cycle of violence went on until the day they decided to fight while driving on the highway with Billy in the back. The fact he wore his seatbelt saved his life.

Alas, his parents didn’t walk away from that crash.

It could have been a terrible thing to happen to a teenager suddenly thrust into the foster care system. It turned out to be a blessing. With his foster family, Billy finally got three square meals a day—delicious meals—plus snacks. No more meatloaf. No more yelling or fighting. He even made friends with the boys living on the massive ranch nearby.

After graduating, he went on to become a cop, detective to be exact, which turned out to be a huge asset to his pack when Billy got bitten and became a werewolf.






“It’s so unfair,” Brandy muttered as yet one more internet search on how to become a werewolf let her down. Why was it only boys could become hairy on the full moon? Like seriously, anyone who’d seen Brandy’s legs and pits during shark week would have totally pegged her for being some kind of hairy shapeshifter. But no, she was just plain ol’ Brandy Herman, a nurse in her thirties, whose only exciting claims to fame were that she could belch the alphabet and make a mean meatloaf.

“How many more appointments left for the day?” Maeve asked, leaning against her desk. She gave a slight cough into her hand. Not the first one that day. Brandy’s best friend had begun looking unwell mid-afternoon.

Brandy’s lips pursed. “None because you’re going home.”

“I can’t. Mrs. Johnson is due for a refill.”

Brandy slid the requisition sheet to her. “Which I already printed, so just sign here.” She pointed. “Now, no more excuses. Get your ass to bed. We can’t have you sick for your own wedding.” Which was in less than a week and Brandy still didn’t have a date. Good thing there’d be a few single guys attending the reception. If only she hadn’t already placed most of them in the friend zone.

“I don’t know what’s wrong. It hit me so suddenly.” Maeve slumped.

“Probably some new corona mutation. I’ll reschedule tomorrow. That, along with the weekend, should give you time to recover.”

Maeve hesitated. “I don’t want to leave you alone.” Their receptionist, Marco, had gone on a vacation with his husband.

“I’ll be out of here before dinnertime. Just a few things to take care of. I’ll be fine.”

Maeve chewed her lower lip. “Are you sure?”

“Git before I call Griffin.”

“Don’t do that. He’ll try and carry me home.”

Brandy grinned. “Try? We both know the moment he finds out you’re sick he’s going to coddle the heck out of you.”

“He will.” Maeve reached for her coat with a smile.

About time she’d found herself a guy who melted her inside and out. Now, if only Brandy could have the same luck. Unfortunately for her, the guy who melted her panties had been staying far, far away.

“Text me when you get home,” Brandy demanded.

Maeve lived only a few blocks away, but since they’d both been kidnapped a few months ago by some douchebags who wanted some family heirloom, they’d gotten a little more safety conscious. Avoiding being abducted by psychos in the future seemed a good idea.

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