They say I'm their princess! Who are they kidding? I'm just Silver Springs Resident Orphan.
Even in Silver Springs, a town full of paranormal abnormalities, Lupine, the town's resident orphan has never felt like she belonged.
Overworked, stressed, hair flying everywhere, Lupine is constantly on the move working with the unique children in the Silver Spring's Orphanage. The Silver Springs human population regularly grumble to her about their parenting challenges.
They have no idea! They should try being responsible for twenty or so paranormal children. The orphanage is pure mayhem. The witches are hiding Lupine's keys, the half-angels keep levitating up to the roof and the shifters are running rogue.
When the mafia come to town, will she finally find her home among the wolves?
Lupine is a paranormal mafia royalty reverse harem romance from USA Today Bestselling Author, Hanleigh Bradley. It's part of the Silver Springs shared universe.
Why the hell didn’t I listen to the creepy twins?
The one time I don’t listen to them and suddenly there’s an angel sitting on the roof of the orphanage. Yup—Should have listened.
What’s worse is that they’re both wearing matching smirks, the words ‘I told you so’ on the tip of their tongues.
I wanted two minutes to myself. Just two minutes. It shouldn’t be that hard to get a few minutes’ peace. It’s not like I’m the only person who works here. There are several members of staff, who should have been watching the children, but nope, apparently not.
Goodness only knows where they are. Expelling a deep, irritated breath, I try to assess the situation.
“Sorry Lupine!” Jacqueline comes running out of the orphanage. “I was on the phone with Stone Hill High School.”
“What’s he done now?” I ask, craning my neck to see Evangeline’s legs dangling over the guttering.
“Amon was taunting the humans again,” she tells me. “Playing bloody Mary in the toilets.”
If it wasn’t for the fact that Amon is on the verge of getting expelled, I’d almost find it funny. When I was a child at the orphanage, I wasn’t exactly any better behaved. In fact, I may well have been worse.
I actually was expelled from the local high school.
Fortunately, the lady who had run the orphanage at that time had had a bit of a soft spot for me and had managed to get me a place at the Paranormal Academy, a little way out of town. She was the closest thing I had to family and so when she’d retired, I’d found myself feeling compelled to take her place at the orphanage.
It’s not like I had anything better to do. I’d never been one for mapping out my future. Maybe it’s an orphan thing—Aspirational poverty or something.
Now though, with Amon about to be expelled, Evangeline on the roof and Edmond running away almost daily, I’m not so sure it was my best idea.
“How are we going to get her down?” Jacqueline asks uncertainly.
“I could get her down.” A smug voice comes from behind us.
Pivoting abruptly, I struggle not to growl. Amon has the nerve to stand there, leaning against the big oak tree out front, his arms folded leisurely, seemingly unaffected by the fact that his little sister is currently sitting on the roof.
“And why would you do that?” I ask, knowing full well that he will expect to negotiate. He never does anything unless it’s in his own interests, even when it involves his sister.
“She’s my sister,” he says with a shrug.
I don’t know if I should believe him. In fact, I know I shouldn’t. But as a wolf shifter, there’s no way that I can levitate up to the roof and get her down myself. I could scale the building, but then we’d need even more maintenance work doing. Something the orphanage really can’t afford right now.
“EVANGELINE!” I shout up to the nine-year-old girl currently singing at the top of her lungs for all of Silver Springs to hear. “Come down this instant!”
Of course, she ignores me, singing even louder if that’s even possible. Fortunately, her voice is angelic, unlike her tendency towards disobedience, otherwise I’m pretty sure the neighbors would complain. In fact, I know they would. They complain about everything else—Except Evangeline’s singing.
“Piny, I’m telling you, I can get her down.”
I bristle at the use of that nickname. I don’t understand why the children insist on using it. It’s not even funny. Not really. I could think of far better nicknames they could use. The kids I grew up with called me Loopy—I didn’t like that one either but at least it was humorous.
“Me too! Me too!” Artemus says, holding his little hands up towards Evangeline.
“I can help you up,” Castalia says, lifting her hand.
The toddler begins to levitate slightly as I rush forward to stop his ascension to the roof.
“CASTALIA! Inside! NOW!” I shout furiously.
The twelve-year-old girl gives me a sardonic look, holding her position.
“Everyone inside,” I demand, passing off Artemus to Jacqueline. “Take them in. Lewis should have dinner ready shortly.”
“No problem,” Jacqueline agrees before trying to herd the children back into the orphanage.
“Do you need my help or not?” Amon asks unhurriedly.
Looking around, I try to think up another option. The last thing I want is to accept Amon’s help. The simple fact that he’s offering to help, tells me he is up to something. Hell, I wouldn’t put it past him that he might have even talked his little sister into going up there in the first place.
“Fine,” I retort. Struggling to keep my cool, I mentally count to ten.
Getting up from where he is leaning against the oak, he comes to stand directly in front of me. Here it comes. He’s about to lay out his demands.
With a sigh, I raise my eyebrow expectantly.
“If I bring her down—” he says, his eyes more serious than I’ve ever seen them before. They’re actually bright with excitement about something and I’m eager to know what, although with a healthy dose of trepidation.
“Yes?” I ask, waiting for him to divulge what he wants.
“Can I transfer schools?”
“You want to transfer?” I don’t bother to tell him that he might not have much choice, seeing as how Stone Hill don’t seem to want him anymore.
“Yeah, I want to go to the academy you went to.”
“You were screwing around on purpose?” I ask, flabbergasted. “You were trying to get expelled?”
He shrugs his shoulder, not bothering to even try and deny it.
“Do we have a deal?”
Looking up to the roof, I’m not exactly in a position to refuse.
“Fine,” I retort irritably. “We’ll talk properly about it once your sister is safely on the ground.”
“No. You have to agree.”
“I didn’t say you couldn’t,” I tell him with a sigh. “Only that I’d like to talk about it.”
“Everyone knows that means you’ll say no,” he argues back.
“Amon, goodness sake. I’ve already said yes. I just want to know more about why you’re making this decision. That’s all. If you actually want to go to school, I’m hardly going to stop you. Now, will you please get your sister down?”
Amon nods his head once before levitating up to the roof. He grabs his sister by the waist, completely ignoring her protests as he forces her to come back down to earth.
“I don’t want to come down!” she complains as her feet hit the ground, and within seconds she’s kicking off again, trying to make her way back up to the roof, only being held back by her brother’s grip on her ponytail.
I should tell him off for that. He’s practically pulling his sister’s hair, but I can’t bring myself to say it, when it’s the only thing keeping the child grounded.
“Enough Evangeline,” I say irritably. “Inside now.”
“I don’t want to,” the pretentious child tells me, her eyes full of disdain.
“NOW!” I say between gritted teeth. “It’s dinnertime. Go in and wash your hands.”
Scrunching up her face, Evangeline walks inside with a grace that suggests she’s walking on air. She might be an angel, but she’s hell spawn in my opinion.
“Thank you, Amon.”
He falls into step beside me. “Don’t forget what you promised.”
“I won’t,” I tell him emphatically, “but I really do want to talk to you about it.”
“Later… I’m heading out with my friends.”
“Have some dinner first.”
“Nah… I’ll get something while I’m out.”
“Be back by nine?”
He shrugs his shoulders and I know full well he won’t be back until ten. I should be stricter—Mrs Mackney will be rolling in her grave. I was an idiot to think I could do her job.