Home > Strange and Unusual (Battle Crows MC #6)

Strange and Unusual (Battle Crows MC #6)
Author: Lani Lynn Vale



The moment he divorced his ex-wife, Jeremiah decided two things.

One, he would never, ever get into that kind of situation again—i.e., marriage.

Two, he would spend more time doing what he loved—baking, riding motorcycles, spending time with the Battle Crows MC, and getting some quiet time for just himself. Pretty much doing the things he enjoyed, that his ex-wife could no longer ruin.

And, months after his divorce was final, he’s held strong.

He hasn’t gotten entangled with a woman. He’s opened his own bakery. And he’s never been closer to his club.

It has to be why he allowed them to have a massive club party at his place, which became the cause of Gracelynn Barry entering his life.

If he’d known Gracie was going to be his employee, he definitely wouldn’t have slept with her.

Yet, there he is, in the middle of an interview, finding out not only was the woman he slept with the most viable applicant for a job he very much needed filled, but that she’d recently broken up with the man he loathed. The second reason he’d divorced his ex-wife. Erich. His ex-stepson.

To say life is simple for Jeremiah would be a joke of epic proportions.

It’s time for him to buckle up.




I’m a whisk taker.

-Gracelynn’s secret thoughts


“And how much experience do you have in a commercial kitchen?” the woman doing my interview asked.

I resisted the urge to look at my watch—a habit that I had when things made me nervous. It was a ‘how much longer do I have to be here’ kind of thing, rather than an actual checking my watch for the time kind of thing.

“I have…” I listed off all my accolades, finishing with, “And that was before I spent nearly half my life in a kitchen before the age of sixteen. We made all of our own food from scratch, going so far as to only use our homemade items in every single recipe we used.”

The woman doing the interview looked impressed with that, but luckily, she didn’t ask me to go into more detail.

Giving any backstory on my life was a total downer, and something that I did not want to go into with a potential employer.

“That’s very interesting.” She started to stack her papers neatly. “I’m going to say this now. Jer is a really, really big pain in the ass. I’m only doing this interview for him because he hates doing this part of owning a business. But my brother will be your boss. I like you a lot… but let’s just say, he has final say in everything. He will have to meet you first, but I can give you a call back once he decides that he’ll take you on.”

I smiled.

That was understandable.

It was his business, after all.

“Whatever you need from me, I’ll do,” I assured her. “I’m really excited to find a job like this here.”

The woman smiled. “My brother will make you miserable. I hope that you feel the same way after you’re hired.”

After that parting comment, I couldn’t help but say, “I don’t think I’ll hate him at all. Not if we both love to bake.”

Famous last words.

• • •

An hour later, with the giddiness for life once again surging through my veins, I made one last stop before heading to my rental cottage on the lake.

That stop being the job that I’d landed after hitting town.

I rolled up to the restaurant and parked at the staff entrance, knowing that I was about to be confronted in a way I wasn’t comfortable with.

Erich, my boss, as well as other things that I wasn’t really interested in putting a label on, was the first person I saw and heard as I made my way through the back door.

“Listen,” Erich snarled to the small woman that was all but cowering standing in front of him. “I said ‘whipped.’ Not ‘buttercream.’ Get back there and fucking fix it.”

I gritted my teeth as I made my way inside.

“Oh, so you decided to show up after all?”

I blinked, surprised to hear Erich’s voice so close when just a few seconds ago he’d been across the room.

His hand went to my hip, and I barely checked the urge to throw his hand off.

“Actually, I showed up with one specific reason in mind,” I said as I took a look around the kitchen.

The kitchen at La Pearl, one of the only fancy restaurants, as well as one of the only four-star establishments in two counties, was run by Erich. It was owned by a private benefactor that Erich had never mentioned, but I assumed was his mother.

Though the food was good, because Erich really was amazing in the kitchen, the work environment at La Pearl was hostile.

Erich was a tyrant to work with, and his turnover rate was horrific.

But looking at how he treated his staff? How he treated me sometimes? It just wasn’t worth it.

Not for my sanity, and certainly not for my overall health.

A pan dropped, and Erich’s head whipped around, eyes locked on the poor, unfortunate soul that’d had the luck of dropping something in his kitchen.

The young man, all of twenty, looked like he was about to die.

He started to scoop up the bread rolls that’d hit the dirty floor, and I could practically see the steam rising off of Erich’s head.

I put my hand on Erich’s arm and stole his attention.

“I’m quitting.”

Erich’s head turned so slowly that it could’ve been a comedy act out of a rom-com TV show.

“I’m sorry, you what?” he asked, hoping he hadn’t heard me correctly.

“I’m quitting,” I repeated. “As of today, I will no longer be employed at this restaurant.”

And I hoped that I’d know by the end of the week that I had a job elsewhere. Otherwise, I was going to beg my friend Anisa’s dad to give me a job at one of his hotels.

“Please repeat that, but more slowly. I think I didn’t hear you correctly,” he ground out.

He’d heard me just fine. He was just hoping that I would take it back.

“I just don’t like baking,” I lied to Erich. “I’m sorry.”

Erich looked at me like he’d rather throttle me than accept my resignation.

“You’re supposed to give me two weeks’ notice,” he said calmly.

I shrugged. “I don’t really care.”

Sure, most people would give two weeks’ notice. But not here. Once you gave your notice, if you even gave it because some people didn’t even have the courage to do that, you never came back. Mostly because Erich would make your life a living hell if you did.

I’d seen him do it.

At first, I thought it was funny. I mean, who wouldn’t? He was pissed that he was losing a worker he’d trained to be exactly what he needed. And then they left as soon as they’d learned the trade.

At least, that’d been what I’d originally thought.

But over the course of the month and a half that I’d been there, getting my feet wet while also living out of the area and driving in every day, I’d noticed a few things.

And all of those things were bad.

He was hard and brash. He said such demeaning things that it was a wonder that people even spoke to him at all.

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