Argeneau 12, The Renegade Hunter (Rogue Hunter 3) Page 0,2

followed the trail he suspected the rogue had taken, heading straight toward the house on the hill.

"Oh brother," Jo muttered.

"What?" Alex asked, lowering her glass and raising an eyebrow.

"More arrivals." Jo nodded toward the doorway where their sister, Sam, and her fiancé, Mortimer, were greeting a newcomer. It was yet another tall, well-built hunk in leather. Every male here appeared to be wearing leather of some description or other, either leather pants, a leather jacket, a leather vest, or some combination of the items. One or two were even wearing the whole deal. It was like a biker convention without the tats. That was the one thing Jo had noticed; while all the men looked mean and gruff, and several even had long hair, not a single one had a tattoo or piercing of any kind. They were the most clean-cut bikers she'd ever seen.

If they were bikers, she thought. Maybe they were all in rock bands like Mortimer and his friends Bricker and Decker. If that was the case, then it made them the most clean-cut rockers she'd ever seen.

"Come on, it isn't that bad," Alex said with amusement.

"Isn't it?" Jo asked dryly.

"No," Alex assured her. "I mean look around. We are presently in a room full of really good-looking men. I haven't seen this much eye candy in one place in a long, long time."

"Eye candy?" Jo asked.

"Yes, eye candy. Look around you, Jo, every single guy here is built. They all have muscly chests and narrow waists." She shook her head, her marveling eyes sliding over the men gathered in small groups that were dotted throughout the room. "There isn't a paunch, a set of crooked teeth, or a knobby knee to be seen."

"Yeah, and if they weren't treating us like lepers it might be nice," Jo said.

"They aren't treating us like lepers," Alex said with a laugh.

"Are you kidding me? Are we at the same party or are you just not paying attention?" Jo asked with amazement. "Alex, they come in, Sam and Mortimer greet and have a little huddle with them, and then they bring them over to us, and the men all—every last one—stare at us with this weird intense look for a minute, saying absolutely nothing. They then glance to Mortimer, shake their head, and move off. Some even just turn around and leave right away. The rest just stand around talking to each other and ignoring us," she pointed out, and then asked, "And you don't think this is strange?"

"Well, when you put it that way," Alex said wryly and shrugged. "It is kind of weird."

"Yes, it is," Jo said firmly. "And it isn't the only weird thing here. What about the security on this place? That's a bit over the top, don't you think?"

"Yeah, but Sam explained that Mortimer and the boys are having trouble with a stalker fan," Alex reminded her.

"Right," Jo snorted. "A stalker fan for a band who hasn't even agreed on a name yet."

"I thought they were going with Morty and the Muppets," Alex said with a frown.

"Alex," Jo said. "Even if they have a name now and a stalker from some Podunk little town they've played, where the heck did they get the money for this place and all its security? For God's sake, they're tricked out here like a third world dictator or big-wheel drug dealer. I doubt even the president of the U.S. or the prime minster here in Canada have twenty feet of barbed wire between them and the world."

Alex grinned and said, "I have a theory about that."

"Oh?" Jo asked. "And what is that?"

"That Mortimer isn't really in a band. That the story was all just some cover to hide the fact that he's really some big-deal rich guy. Like Gates maybe."

Jo raised her eyebrows. "Gates is a skinny old dude with glasses and graying hair. Mortimer is not Bill Gates."

"Well, his son or some other rich guy then," Alex said with exasperation. "The point is, he just pretended to be some poor schmuck in a band so that Sam wouldn't fall for his money rather than him."

"Right," Jo said doubtfully, although, really, it made more sense than that Mortimer, Decker, and Bricker were in some little band and having trouble with a stalker fan. She supposed Sam probably knew the truth of the situation by now, and would eventually clue them in. In the meantime, Sam and Mortimer had finished their little huddle and were now leading over the latest arrival