Hell or High Water (The Four Horsemen MC Book 8)(9)

By: Sara Rayne

“The day the devil comes to town isn’t a good time to roll out your welcome mat. Hospitable or not.”

“Fine—brass tacks it is. Sign my inheritance back over to me and I’ll never darken the door of your hovel again.” His blue-green eyes glittered, and Voo glimpsed the man behind the unaffected façade of wealth.

His smirk tasted of malice. “Never gonna happen, man.”

Fate had been nearly as merciless a bitch to Apollo as it had to Voo. Apollo was fresh out of rehab when Artie first introduced them. After spending years as the black sheep of the Devine family, he’d wormed his way back into the family will right before the storm hit. Apollo had been granted half of the hotel—one week before the hurricane shut it down.

When Mr. Devine passed away, his time of death clocked in three minutes earlier than Artemis’s death. All of her parents’ wealth and half of the rights to their grand hotel and restaurant on Bourbon Street had passed to her for those 180 seconds. And when she’d left this world, her will transferred everything into Voo’s possession. Apollo had been left with a decade of gambling debt and half of a hollowed out, condemned shell of what had been his sister’s dream.

As Coyote would say, Sorry, bro—sucks to suck.

“You may want to listen to me. I’ve got what it takes to change your mind this time.”

“I sincerely doubt it.” Voo poured himself a cup of black coffee, pointedly ignoring the upturned mug in front of Apollo.

“How does two million dollars sound?”

“Like you’re talkin’ out your ass.” Voo rolled his eyes. “And even if you had that kind of bank, I still wouldn’t sell to you.”

“This is the real deal.” He adjusted his crisp suit jacket. “I have a financial backer for Mt. Olympus, and he’s anxious to move forward.”

“Try it and I’ll slap you with another injunction. Half mine means you can’t do squat without my permission.” Voo took a healthy swallow of his coffee. “What’s the name of this mysterious benefactor? And while you’re at it, what are his odds at the next derby?”

“Byron Beauregard.”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake!” The muffled shout came from the kitchen.

Voo agreed with Coyote’s assessment. The name Beauregard might as well be Southern for gangster, and Byron was the current poisonous thorn in the Horsemen’s collective backside. How had he weaseled his double-crossing fingers into this pie? Was nothing sacred?

“You runnin’ with the Dixie Mafia now?”

“I assure you all of my business dealings are above board. Mr. Beauregard told me not to mention his name, but seein’ as how his investment is a matter of public record, I didn’t see the point in keepin’ it a secret. I know how you value honesty, Simon. Or is it Voodoo? What did your friend Boone call you? Rafe Crocker. Must be exhausting keeping all your identities straight.”

Boone—Voo hadn’t thought about the bastard in years.

He’d done a lot of shady things in his formative years. Everything from hustling Three Card Monte on Bourbon Street to running full-blown con operations on the gullible nouveau riche. Nearly all of it had been pulled off in the company of his former best friend, Boone Brulé.

They’d been working a catering con when Voo had met Artie. Money had been tight in the bayou, and his grand-mére’s assurances the loa would provide hadn’t eased his worry. Honest work was hard to come by and didn’t pay as well. He’d never told Artie the truth.

Even when he’d proposed to her.

Lying to her had offered him a chance at a fancy life with a respectable job as head chef at Ambrosia, Mt. Olympus’ restaurant. Boone had called him a fool, accused him of turning his back on his roots. Voo had told him to shut his arrogant mouth and go back to his full pantry and roof that didn’t leak. Principles didn’t put food in a man’s belly—dishonesty always did.

They’d been like brothers once, but jealousy had grown like a bitter seed in Voo’s heart, choking their friendship. Boone’s family bordered on upper middle class, but to someone as dirt-poor as Voo, they might as well have been millionaires.