Read Natural Born Enemies (Cedar River Series) Online

Authors: Gemma K. Murray

Tags: #Paranormal Romance

Natural Born Enemies (Cedar River Series) (8 page)

Adam smiled, “Yeah, he might. Besides, we got some investigating to do today and people may be more likely to let us search if I show up in a uniform with a badge and gun.”

I knew exactly what he was thinking, “You’d prefer to just show up with a gun, wouldn’t you?”

“That’s why I’ve always loved you, babe. You know exactly what I’m thinking.”

I shook my head as I finished my coffee. I was pulling my hair up when I asked, “Will you be back tonight?”

Adam almost choked on his coffee. “Uhm, I don’t know. Do you
want
me to come back tonight?”

“Well, good grief, Adam, of course I want you here tonight. I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t want you here.” Sometimes the man could be extremely dense.

“Then, I’ll be back tonight. Any chance there would be any more of these croissants?”

I laughed, “They’re in the refrigerator. It only takes about 30 seconds to heat up so be careful. I’m going to work.” I kissed his chocolate flavored lips. “I’ll see you tonight. Be careful out there. Someone wants you dead and I’d prefer that you come back tonight with all the pieces you leave with.”

Adam kissed me again, “I promise.”

“That’s good because I wouldn’t want to have to go hunting. Oh, and bring a few things to keep here. You know, for the nights you stay.”

He got that arrogant, smug, ‘I’m so proud of my manliness’ look on his face and I couldn’t bear to watch his ego grow any bigger.

 

***

 

My chocolate was begging to be made into delicious treats and I was ready to please it. I made up some whipped cherry filling with a hint of amaretto in it. I had the dark chocolate molds chilled and waiting when Adam came down the back stairs.

“You’ve been busy,” he said as he kissed me.

“Well, one of us doesn’t get to sit behind a desk all day long,” I teased.

He grinned. “No, instead the other of us gets to sample delicious chocolate all day long.”

“I never said this was a hard job,” I said, piping the filling into the chocolate molds.

Adam grabbed a plastic spoon from my counter and snatched a bite of cherry whip. “Can you have a few of these waiting tonight when I get here? I think I want to smear this on you and spend all night licking it off.”

I felt my cheeks heat with blush. “Go home, get changed, and go to work. You are a bad influence on me.”

Adam kissed me again. “Oh, and those croissants are gone,” he said as he walked out the back door.

I shook my head and smiled as I finished making the candy for the day.

   

Chapter Fourteen- Adam

 

 

I left Luna’s and went to visit with my doctor. I needed to deal with my issues before I did more damage than I had done already.

I felt battered and bruised when I got finished with the psychologist. I called Bowie to tell him I wouldn’t be in today. I needed to sleep the rest of the day away.

Luna would not be happy, but I needed to stay away from her for a couple of days. When I figured I could deal with this shit, I’d tell her more. For now, this was all mine to carry.

I spent the next two weeks driving back and forth to my V.A. doctor’s office and Cedar River. Bowie understood the necessity, and I think, Luna got it, she just didn’t like it very much.

“Are you really okay?” she would ask when I called her every night.

“I’m fine, honey,” I reassured her.

“I miss you,” she said.

“I miss you, too, baby. We’ll go out this weekend okay?”

“I have to make candy for a big wedding next weekend. I’ll see what I can do though. I need to be with you, Adam.”

“Let’s see what we can do.”

When I showed up to work Friday morning, Bowie was waiting for me when I arrived. “I’ve got an idea,” he said.

Let me just say, when Bowie starts off my day with the phrase, “I’ve got an idea,” I can be sure nothing good is about to happen. Bowie has gotten me into more than my share of trouble with that particular phrase. Of course, the fact that I would follow him into the fires of hell is most of the problem.

“I’ll bite. What’s the brilliant idea you have?” I asked.

Bowie laughed, “I never said it was brilliant. I just said it was an idea.”

It was my turn to laugh.

“I’m thinking we need to get on certain properties with a minimum of resistance. I can’t shift and walk onto anyone’s land because, well, let’s face it, a dragon is not inconspicuous. A black puma on the other hand can blend into the shadows.”

The investigation into who took a shot at Luna and me wasn’t going anywhere. Bowie was upping the ante.

This was sounding like a big plan, but not a good outcome. “Gee whiz, Bo, wherever will we find a black puma?” I asked sarcastically. “What are you thinking? A black puma in broad daylight? There are no other black pumas around here. Are you trying to get me killed?”

Bowie smiled, “I’m thinking more of a nighttime investigation.” He used that annoying air quotes gesture around “investigation”.

“So, I’m just supposed to shift and stroll onto pack lands?”

Bowie grimaced, “That’s the snag I’ve hit. I don’t suppose Luna would want to help?”

Immediately, my alert went up. “You
will not
ask Luna to help! I won’t have her in danger for an investigation.”

Bowie ran his hands through his hair, “I was afraid you’d say that. Ana is going onto puma land with you. I don’t want you out there alone. I think I’m going to hit pack lands today. Maybe Rock will be cooperative.”

I snorted as I grabbed my hat.

“You’re not going, Adam. I can’t take the chance. Rock and the McIntyre pack despise you. I won’t put you or myself in danger that way. I want you to stay here and keep an eye on the town for me. I’ve got Colin and Callum going out to the McIntyres with me. It will just be safer that way.”

I hated to let Bowie go without my back-up, but he did have a really good point. My presence would only make matters worse. I nodded, “Stay in touch with me then. I want to know what you know as soon as you know it.”

Bowie slapped me on the back, “You will. I’ll be sending any pictures to Ana and you. This way there won’t be an ‘accident’.”

Knowing how things disappeared easily when you were on pack or pride lands, I said, “I’ll be waiting for them.”

After Bowie and his brothers left, I had nothing to do except roam around the town. I stopped into see Pete at The Lighthouse before moving onto Samson’s diner where he was waiting with a cup of coffee, a fresh doughnut, and a little town gossip.

I was determined to avoid Full Moon Sweets this morning. I stopped to chat with Doc Goodman at Smith’s Apothecary. Doc was a wolf-shifter from the MacIntosh pack. They stayed neutral on things between the McIntyre pack and the Pierce pride.

“Rumor has it Luna McIntyre took her daddy down a peg while back,” Doc said.

“Well, they had words, Doc. I won’t say anything more about it,” I replied.

“I’m hearing rumors, Adam. Just watch your back,” he said before walking away.

Doc confirmed my suspicions. Rock and his pack were looking for revenge. Of course, if I knew my uncle, the pride would be on the prowl as well. It changed my mind about stopping into Full Moon Sweets.

Ana Golden was walking out of the candy shop as I reached the door. “Well, well, well, if it isn’t Deputy Thomas. What
ever
would you be here for?”

I smiled. I loved this little puma. She was like a little sister to me. “Good morning, Ana,” I said, tipping my hat to her. “Your husband didn’t think it would be a good idea for me to go with him on his investigation this morning so I thought I’d take a walk through town to see how the citizens of Cedar River are doing today.”

Ana raised an eyebrow, “Bowie out on pack lands today?”

Uh-oh, I thought. “He didn’t tell you, did he?”

Ana smiled, “No, but I’m assuming he took along some back-up.”

“Yeah, the twins went with him. If you want to stop by the station later, we can set up a plan for tonight.”

“Bring the chocolate, Adam. Luna’s got some fantastic dark chocolate cherry whips today.”

I smiled, “Really? Maybe I can beg some from her.”

Ana cocked her eyebrow at me and smiled.

I laid my hand on Ana’s  slightly rounded stomach. “How is Junior today?”


She’s
craving chocolate like crazy.”

“I don’t know, Annie. Bowie swears it’s a boy.”

“Yeah, well, Bowie isn’t carrying this little demon around. I say it’s a girl.”

I kissed her cheek. “You’d better go put your feet up or Bowie isn’t going to let you go hunting with me tonight.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Ana said as she walked away with a wave.

 

***

 

The delicious chocolate smell washed over me as I entered. The decadent scent of Luna was underlying, and it was that scent that made my mouth water.

Luna was behind the counter, helping Mr. Fisher with a box of chocolate. “I’ll be with you in moment,” she said without looking to the door.

I wandered around the shop, taking in the new window display that she had put up. All sorts of delicious goodies were showcased.

“I need a bag of those roasted mixed nuts, too, sweetie,” Mr. Fisher said.

Did he really just say “sweetie”? Mr. Fisher lives in the woods between the pack and pride lands. He can be decent when he’s in the mood, but for the most part he’s one of the grumpiest men a person will ever come across.

“Sure thing, Mr. Fisher. I roasted them fresh this morning. Would you like the salted or unsalted variety?” Luna asked.

“I think I’d prefer the unsalted. Doc Goodman will have a fit if my blood pressure goes up another point.”

I smiled as I thought about quiet Doc Goodman ripping into ornery Murray Fisher. A laugh escaped me and Mr. Fisher heard it.

“What are you laughing about, Puma? You think being elderly and in poor health is funny?”

“No, sir. I’ve known you since I came to Cedar River. I can’t imagine you being elderly or in poor health. I was laughing at the thought of Doc Goodman daring to get after you about anything.”

“Yeah, well, that young pup can get away with a little more than most.”

I smiled. Only Murray Fisher would think of the wolf-shifter doctor as a young pup. When I looked at Luna, her yellow eyes were alight with laughter.

She set the packages up on the counter. “Can I get you anything else, honey?”

Mr. Fisher turned a slight pink color. “No, Miss Luna, I think that is about it.” He fumbled with his wallet and pulled out the bills to pay Luna. “My mother used to make honey candy when I was a boy. I don’t suppose you might be persuaded to attempt that, would you?”

Luna smiled broadly. “I happen to have a recipe for honey candy that was my grandmother’s. I wonder how similar it is to your mother’s.”

“It may be one and the same. I just really miss that candy.”

“I’ll pull out the recipe book and see if I can make a batch for you. I think it’s called ‘Uri’s Honey Candy’.”

Old Man Fisher’s brown eyes teared up a bit. “That was my mother’s name, Uri.”

Luna’s eyes lit up. “I’ll make it up and bring it to you for your approval. It may take me a couple of days.”

Mr. Fisher patted her hand, “Whenever you can get to it.” He cleared his throat, “I know this young kitten has been sniffing around lately.”

It has been years since I was considered a kitten.

“Yeah, he has been around a lot lately,” Luna said. “You don’t think he’s after my candy?”

Mr. Fisher snorted. “He’s after something sweet, but I don’t think it’s your chocolate.”

Luna was laughing when the old man turned around and looked at me. “You better be good to her. She’s a special one.”

I held back my laughter. “Yes, she is. She is one of a kind, Mr. Fisher.”

The bell over the door rang as it closed behind him.

Luna came around the counter and kissed me. I drew her tight against me. “The old man is right. I need to be good to you.” I knew the light bruises would be gone, but I wanted to look for myself. She tried to pull away from me.

“I’m fine, Adam. Please stop worrying about me.”

I kissed her wrist. “I am sorry. I should have warned you. We’ll sit down and have a talk about things later, okay?”

She nodded. “Are you going to be over tonight?”

I hung my head, “Bowie and I are going on an investigation tonight. I will be late when we’re done, so I’ll just head home from there.”

“Okay, I was just going to fix you some dinner.”

“If you feel up to it, you could go to the trailer. It’s unlocked. You could spend the night with me,” I said with hope.

Luna smiled up at me. “It will give me time to try the honey candy recipe Mr. Fisher wants. I’ll run them out to him and meet you at your place. Anything special you’d like to eat?”

I had a wicked smile on my face, “A bowl of that cherry fluff and you.”

Luna swatted me, “Go to work. You are an evil, wicked man.”

I kissed her nose and left to continue my journey through the town.

   

Chapter Fifteen- Luna

 

Business was usually slow in the morning, so I went into the kitchen to find the recipe book. It looked simple enough to make. Cream, sugar, and honey were the only ingredients I needed. I pulled out my copper pot and began to mix the ingredients together. It smelled heavenly as it cooked. I added a bit of salt and vanilla to it. I poured it into a buttered pan and let it begin to cool before I could pull it and shape it into little balls of honeyed goodness.

Samson, the diner owner, walked through the door as I rolled the last ball into its waxed paper package. “Luna, my darling, what is that delicious smell?”

I smiled. Samson was a bear-shifter and his nose was able to pick up the subtlest of scents.

“I just made a batch of honey candy for Murray Fisher. He made the request. If it meets his approval, I will add it to the candy case.”

“I don’t suppose you could spare one piece for an old bear, could you?”

I grinned and retrieved a couple of pieces for him. “Tell me what you think.”

Samson popped a piece into his mouth. “Miss Luna, will you marry me?” he teased.

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