alexis morgan



Alexis Morgan
© 2022.

alexis morgan's going home part 1

Nothing good ever came from answering the phone on a bright, sunny morning. That was especially true for a vampire, one who should have been in bed long before the sun crested the horizon.

Normally, Logan McCaig would have let the call go to voicemail, but he'd been away from home for over a week helping a friend. Paperwork waited for no man or vampire, and he'd been playing catch up since he'd gotten back to his bar early yesterday afternoon. The plan was to finish up one more stack of papers and turn in for the day. Instead, in a moment of weakness, he'd picked up the call on the first ring.

"Logan here."

"You're needed."

Even with a sleep-deprived brain, he recognized the speaker and cursed himself for not checking the caller ID before answering. That didn't stop him from replying the only way he could. "No, I'm not. As I recall, I never was."

After disconnecting the call, he went back to paying bills. When the phone rang again, he ignored it. The third time, he did the same. There were a lot of reasons, all of them good ones, why he ran a bar three hundred miles from his family home. It had almost killed him to leave, and it would hurt just as much to go back. Besides, he was too busy, too tired, too darn everything to let himself get sucked into someone else's problems.

He'd already done that once recently, and it had ended up costing him his best bartender. To be fair, he'd always known Vivian was running from something in her past and that eventually it would catch up with her. When that happened, she would either go on the run again or else she would finally turn and face whatever had put that haunted look in her pretty eyes. Either way, she wouldn't have worked in his bar forever.

Even knowing that, he still wasn't happy to see her go. He made it a rule to never date an employee. But for Vivian, he would have made an exception.

A better man would be glad that she'd finally laid the demons from her past to rest. And he meant that literally, considering they'd buried the bastard who'd made her life a living hell. In the process, she'd found a fine mate in an alpha wolf named Declan Lyell. Now the two of them were working to rebuild the pack that Vivian's family had belonged to for generations. They definitely had their work cut out for them, but Logan had no doubt that they'd succeed.

To say he was mildly jealous would be a lie. In point of fact, he was a whole lot jealous of what they'd found together.

He signed the last invoice and tossed it on the pile. It was past time to top off his tank with a bottle of blood and then crawl into bed, sadly alone. The bar was closed for business on Mondays, so he could sleep through the day and well into the night if he wanted to.

He wandered out of his office and into the bar that had been the center of his life for the past decade. After warming a bottle of O Neg in the microwave, he headed down to the tunnel that ran under the parking lot all the way to his log cabin home on the other side. He'd had the tunnel dug right after he bought the bar. It offered him protection from the weather, the sun, and from anyone being able to track his movements. Maybe it made him seem secretive, but he figured he was entitled to his privacy.

Unfortunately, not everyone thought the way he did. As soon as he entered his house and locked the entrance to the tunnel behind him, he could hear a heavy fist pounding on his front door upstairs. He had little doubt it was the same idiot who'd called earlier. The two of them might not have crossed paths for years, but the jerk still knew a phone call was too easy to ignore and wouldn't get him whatever he thought he needed from Logan.

He eyed the couch against the far wall and thought about sacking out on it rather than heading upstairs where his unwanted company was probably circling the house to peek in all the windows. Fat lot of good that would do him. Another modern convenience Logan had installed right after he moved in were metal window shades that dropped down at sunrise and couldn't be opened until after sundown. They should be closing any second now.

He smiled when he heard the familiar click of the shades locking into place. It was finally safe to go upstairs. Besides, he wasn't the only one who needed to stay out of the sun. In another few minutes, his unwelcome visitor would need to go to ground, preferably somewhere far distant from Logan's home. For now, as long as Logan remained quiet, the guy wouldn't know for sure that he was inside.

How long had Cormac been lurking in the area? Maggy, the barmaid Logan had put in charge when he left town, hadn't mentioned anyone strange asking for him while he was gone. Was it just bad luck that the guy had shown up the minute Logan returned home or had Cormac been hanging around watching the bar for a while now?

Not that it mattered. Eventually Logan would have to listen to what the guy wanted to tell him. But not yet. Not when he was running on fumes or else in a moment of weakness he might actually give into his family's unreasonable demands. At least he assumed they'd been unreasonable. That's how they operated. It had taken everything he'd had to escape their clutches in the first place. Going back into that den of vipers would likely destroy him this time.

After a hot shower and one more bottle of blood, he crawled into bed and slept.


"Is he coming?"

Cormac pinched the bridge of his nose, praying for patience and wishing the vampire on the other end of the call was more like his brother Logan. It wasn't the first time he'd had that thought, and it wouldn't likely be the last. Cormac would deny with his dying breath that he actually respected Logan McCaig, but he did. That was more than he could say about Rory, Logan's older brother.

Rather than put up with all the crap his family had heaped on him, ten years ago Logan had pulled up stakes and set off to build himself a life somewhere else. From what Cormac could see, the man had done a fine job of doing exactly that. Granted, the surrounding town was barely a wide spot in the road. But from what Cormac had managed to learn from hanging out in the bar for a few evenings, Logan was well thought of in the community and had a reputation for offering a helping hand whenever one was needed. He treated his customers fairly and didn't tolerate troublemakers on the premises.

Logan's well-to-do family would no doubt sneer if they ever bothered to check the place out, but Cormac had a different opinion on the subject. Logan had friends, a business he obviously enjoyed, and the freedom to make his own rules. A vampire certainly could do worse for himself.

Rory wasn't done being a jerk. "Need I remind you that I asked you a question. Answer it."

Cormac rolled his eyes. It was tempting to remind Rory that Cormac didn't work for him, but he didn't bother.

"Logan said no, but I haven't actually talked to him other than a brief phone conversation."

With an emphasis on brief, considering Logan had hung up on him and wouldn't answer the phone again no matter how many times Cormac had tried to call him.

"He has no choice."

It was hard not to laugh at that. Had the idiot not learned a thing about his brother ten years before? Both Rory and his father had laid down the law when Logan announced that he was walking away from the clan. Look how that had turned out for all concerned. Up until this latest crisis, they'd still been waiting for Logan to come crawling back.

It was time to point out some hard truths. "Rory, you have to know that he has no reason to feel that way. The actions of you and your father all but drove him out of the clan ten years back, and neither of you have ever made any effort to mend fences since then."

"We weren't the ones who walked away." Rory's outrage was all too clear. "Logan is the one who needs to beg for forgiveness."

Yeah, like that was going to happen anytime soon. "I'll let you know what he has to say when I finally corner him."

"What's taking so long? You've been there over a week."

Cormac sighed. "Like I already told your father, Logan was gone when I got here. Evidently he'd just left on a trip. No one seemed to know where he went or how long he'd be gone. As far as I can tell, he just got back in town yesterday or maybe the day before."

"And you should have been standing on his doorstep when he got there."

"I was. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a job to do."

Although lately, he was questioning whether or not it was a job he actually wanted to keep.


The pounding started up again as soon as the sun went down. Logan had been expecting it, so he was up and dressed long before he really wanted to be. He let the interloper pound away for another half hour before finally opening the door.

He stared out at Cormac, one of the few vampires who served his father that Logan actually respected. Or at least he used to. He'd changed over the ten years he'd been gone. Maybe Cormac had as well. Regardless, Logan's anger had never been aimed at him. "I gave you my answer. It hasn't changed since yesterday."

He considered slamming the door shut to emphasize the point but rejected the idea. The pounding would only start again, and he wasn't in the mood to listen to it. Maybe if he fed the vampire, he'd leave.

"I'm about to make breakfast. You can join me if you promise not to mention my family or whatever idiot reason they sent you to track me down until afterward."

Cormac didn't hesitate. "I usually like my eggs scrambled, but I'm not picky."

Logan nodded and stood back to let him in. Once inside, Cormac stopped to look around with an odd look on his face. He stared up at the open-beamed ceiling and then at the natural stone fireplace that took up most of one wall. Logan's already bad mood got worse. "What's wrong? Is a log cabin beneath your dignity?"

The other man shrugged. "Not at all. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but your place is really nice. I can see why you would like it."

The compliment was unexpected, but for some reason that last remark rubbed Logan wrong. "Don't pretend that you still know me well enough to have any idea what I like, Cormac."

"Fine, let me rephrase that. I can see why anyone would like it. It's designed to be comfortable, a place where people can relax and be themselves."

Logan's laugh had nothing to do with humor. "In other words, it's the direct opposite of that temple to ostentation that my family calls home."

Cormac chuckled. "Pretty much. Now, how about that breakfast you promised? Nobody in this town serves breakfast at sundown. I've been making do with hamburgers through the drive-up out on the highway."

That didn't surprise Logan. The area was mostly populated by humans, and most businesses in the area catered to their needs and schedules. "The kitchen's this way."

Logan let Cormac get settled on one of the high stools at the counter while he started cutting up bell peppers, green onions, and mushrooms for omelets while he kept an eye on the bacon already sizzling in the skillet.

"Coffee is done brewing. Mugs are in the cabinet over there."

Cormac silently poured each of them a cup, adding sugar and cream to both. The quiet was starting to get on Logan's nerves. "When I said I didn't want to hear about why you're here, I didn't mean you couldn't talk at all."

"Your grandmother is doing well."

Logan was pretty sure that no one in the family knew that he and his grandmother had remained in touch over the years. The old gal had a mind of her own and didn't care for her son trying to order her around. When Logan's father announced to one and all that his son Logan was dead to him if he left the clan's enclave, Grandma Coleen hadn't argued. She just ignored the edict and continued to reach out to Logan whenever the mood struck.

Keeping his focus on the omelet he just poured into the pan, he said, "I'm glad to hear that. She was always the best of the lot."

"No arguments here. I've always had a lot of respect for her."

The conversation ended there. It wasn't surprising. Like him, Cormac had never been much for idle chitchat. Logan plated up their breakfasts and set them on the counter, taking a seat on the opposite side from Cormac. They ate in silence.

When Cormac ate the last piece of bacon, he pushed his plate aside. "Thanks. That really hit the spot."

Logan continued to take his time, determined to enjoy the last minutes of peace before they got down to business. After finishing his meal, he picked up their plates and set them in the sink. Cleanup could wait. After topping off their coffee, he sat back down.

"Let's get this over with. Then you can go back and tell them that at least you tried."

Cormac took an envelope out of his pocket and slid it across the counter. Logan's name was on the front, and the elegant handwriting sent a chill right up his spine. No wonder Cormac had mentioned Logan's grandmother. The bastard knew full well that Logan wouldn't answer a summons from either his father or his brother Rory.

But Grandma Coleen was the one person Logan wouldn't, couldn't refuse. Even knowing he was about to get dragged back into his worst nightmare, he picked up the envelope and opened it.