Nature Abhors a Vacuum HTML version

“You can't expect me to...” Buchanan stammered, peering incredulously at the
rough-looking group. “I mean, my reputation would be ruined if the lot of you were to
show up.” Sensing the failure of diplomacy, Pacian stepped forward.
“It's in your best interest to help us out here,” he said, keeping his voice low and
casting his gaze around, as if to check for who might be listening. “Some information we
recently received implicates you and the mayor of Bracksford in some, shall we say,
highly illegal activities with the North Shore Trading Company. Does the name Merin
ring a bell? Help us out here, and that information will almost certainly be tragically lost
somehow. Otherwise, well, these things have a way of getting o ut, if you know what I
“You wouldn't,” Buchanan said under his breath, turning bright red and breaking out
in a sweat.
“What goes around, comes around,” Colt growled, playing along. “You should be
thankful we haven't turned your fat arse in to the authorities already.” Buchanan glanced
over at his assistant, whose had buried his head in a pile of papers on the desk, working
feverishly so he didn't have to face his boss.
“As it happens, I would be more than willing to aid your efforts in assisting my
extremely competent woman - I mean sergeant of the guard,” Buchanan relented. “Here,
take this key,” he added, fishing a small silver chain out of his waistcoat and handing it to
Aiden. “That will allow you access to the club. I expect that returned promptly, sir.”
“Your dedication to the safety of this town has been noted, mayor,” Aiden replied
dryly, taking the key and placing it in his pocket. “Good day to you sir.”
Buchanan nodded and mopped his forehead with a handkerchief, as Aiden led the
others back out through the hallway again, ignoring the black looks from the waiting
“I don't recall seeing Buchanan's name on that document we took from Merin,”
Aiden asked Pacian when they were safely outside of the echoing hallway. “How did you
know the mayor was in on it?”
“I didn't,” Pacian shrugged, trying to keep his face free of a smug smile that
threatened to take it over. “It was a gamble, but it paid off better than I could have hoped.
I didn't even have to work for that result, the man just burst out in a nervous sweat
straight away. If you ask me, I reckon their whole shady deal has gone belly- up, and
that's what has him so worried.”
“You just got lucky,” Colt grunted.
“What was the worst thing that could happen?” Pacian asked the big ranger. “He'd
kick us out of his office maybe?”
“It might have been grounds to have us locked up,” Aiden mused. “Making an
accusation like that, straight to the face of a powerful man like Buchanan rarely ends
well. Colt's right, you just got lucky.”
“Told ya,” Colt growled. Pacian merely shrugged.
“I don't understand any of this,” Sayana muttered, sounding lost.
“Don't worry, sweetness,” Pacian consoled her. “The men have things under control,
you just stand there and look pretty.” Sayana gave him a solid punch to his left arm
without even turning to look. Aiden grinned, seeing yet again a demonstration of how
dangerous speaking before one thinks can be.