Read Between Dusk and Dawn Online

Authors: Lynn Emery

Tags: #mystery, #murder mystery, #paranormal, #female sleuth, #louisiana, #cajun, #loup garou, #louisiana creole

Between Dusk and Dawn

 

Between Dusk and
Dawn

 

 

Lynn Emery

 

 

 

All names, characters, stories, and incidents
featured in this novel are imaginary. They are not inspired by any
individual person, incidents or events known or unknown to the
author. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is
coincidental.

 

 

Copyright 2012 Margaret Emery Hubbard

ISBN: 978-0-9839309--2-1

 

 

 

Smashwords Edition

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of this author.

 

 

 

Read The First LaShaun Rousselle
Mystery:

A Darker Shade of
Midnight

 

 

 

 

www.lynnemery.com

Follow me on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/LEmeryWriter

 

 

More Books By Lynn:

 

Best Enemies

One Love

A Time To Love

After All

 

 

 

 


Contre la force y a pas de
résistance”

(Against strength there is
no resistance)

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

 

LaShaun sat on her back porch gazing
in fascination at the glowing dots. Tiny beams flickered against
the dark orange and blue sky as the day quickly faded into night.
Lightening bugs danced along the edge of the woods that started at
the end of her neatly manicured lawn. They seemed to be thanking
her for creating a habitat in which they could thrive. She got up
from the cane rocker and went down the back steps. Standing still,
LaShaun held out one hand and was rewarded. One of the little
flying beetles settled just above her wrist. Soon three more of her
sparkling friends decided to join the party. LaShaun smiled as they
blinked on and off like tiny flashlights.


I’m so glad you decided to
visit. Next time I’ll open a tiny bottle of vintage nectar just for
you.” She laughed as their little bodies lit up as if accepting her
invitation.

The peaceful night was a welcome
respite from the chaos of dealing with people. The residents of
Beau Chene still whispered that the Rousselle family practiced
voodoo, the same tale that had been passed on for over one hundred
and twenty years. In hushed tones they spoke of ghosts and goblins.
It was said that there were strange ritual gatherings in the woods
on their land. Like most Louisiana natives, they possessed a
mixture of fascination and fear when it came to the
supernatural.

But the same house and land that
inspired so many dark tales whispered in Vermillion Parish, and the
parish seat Beau Chene, brought tranquility and comfort to LaShaun.
The restored Creole style home first built by their ancestor Louis
Volant in 1830 had been lovingly restored at least twice. Her late
grandmother’s second husband had done the last renovation in 1950.
At Monmon Odette’s direction, her husband had kept the old Creole
nineteenth century look and charm intact.

LaShaun breathed in the cool air of
the October fall evening. She gazed at the house, once more
thanking her ancestors for their business acumen and love of the
land. She was about to go inside when a rustling in the brush
caught her attention. She faced the woods cloaked in shadows. The
wild, verdant growth stood in contrast to the neatly mowed lawn
that surrounded the house. Curious, LaShaun tilted her head to one
side and listened. Something untamed moved through the thick
leaves. She could feel the essence of the creature, savoring its
freedom of movement in the night. The creature didn’t fear LaShaun,
but sent out waves of equal curiosity at the strange upright being
in sight. It was cautious not to approach and felt secure hidden
among the vegetation that cloaked it. Then a high pitched keening
sound cut through the tranquil surroundings. LaShaun’s visitor went
from calm to tense in an instant. Seconds later it skittered deeper
into the woods away from the danger signal. Another keening wail
echoed sounding a little closer. The haunting sound brought
silence. Even the crickets and small frogs hushed. LaShaun took
three steps towards the woods to investigate, but stopped when
headlights swung down her driveway. The mystery in the woods
forgotten, she walked across the grass until she reached her
driveway made of crushed rocks.

The lights shut off, and seconds later
the door to the light gray F-10 Ford truck swung open. Deputy Chase
Broussard, dressed in civilian clothes, waved. “You out enjoyin’
this pretty evening? Thought you might want some
company.”

LaShaun walked up to the six foot two
handsome Cajun lawman. She tilted her head up and was rewarded with
a quick but sugar sweet kiss. “Hmm, you thought right Deputy. Come
on in the house. I’ll make us some supper. ”


Hope I’m not being
presumptuous coming out here. I tried to call, but you’re too busy
communing with nature to hear your phone.” Chase wrapped a muscular
arm around LaShaun’s waist as they walked down the driveway to the
back porch.


I do lose track of time
when I’m breathing in this sweet Louisiana fall air. You can’t
blame me. We only get nights like this twice a year.” LaShaun
looked up at the evening night sky. “I don’t miss Los Angeles
anymore. I thought I would at first, that I’d become used to the
excitement of a big city. There was always a cultural event to
attend, and nobody cares if you’re different. In fact, being
different is normal.”


Not like being in a small
town where different is seen as dangerous you mean,” Chase
said.

LaShaun shrugged. “Beau Chene is
different now, and so am I. Coming home is what I needed. Not to
mention I’ve made some nice new friends.”


You got that right, lady.”
Chase pulled her close and kissed her again, this time longer and
with more passion.

When they pulled apart LaShaun
smoothed back his dark brown wavy hair. “You hungry?”


Hmm, but we can eat a
little food first,” Chase replied with a wink.

She gave him a playful push and darted
up the porch steps. “That moon is bringing out the beast in
you.”

Chase followed her into the house and
locked the back door. “No, a beautiful woman with the taste of
honey and cinnamon brings out the beast in me. Be careful, cause I
just might bite.”

LaShaun laughed as she entered the
kitchen. “Then I definitely better feed you, and fast.”


That won’t stop me from
nibbling on you later, girl.”

Chase gave her butt a playful swat
then ducked when she tried to hit him back. He turned on the radio
to a local station playing Zydeco and Cajun music. LaShaun hummed
along with a lively tune as she took shrimp from the freezer.
Already cleaned, she set them under cold running water while she
mixed up a tomato roux. She had fresh loaves of French bread from a
local bakery. She would make shrimp and sausage in a Creole sauce
over rice. Without asking, Chase pitched in. He filled the rice
cooker and set it. Then he spread garlic butter on the bread and
put it in the oven to warm. LaShaun savored the cooking smells and
the cozy feel of their togetherness.

For most of her life she’d felt
separated from other people. The exception of course had been her
relationship with her grandmother, Monmon Odette. They were both
socially apart from the locals who whispered about the Rousselle
family voodoo legend. The Rousselle extended family was large, but
contentious with battling factions. Monmon Odette, the matriarch at
the center of this feuding brood, kept them in line. But with her
death ten months ago, and the fight over her estate, the fragile
ties had frayed even more. LaShaun kept in touch with a few
cousins, but they weren’t close. The legacy and resentment of
LaShaun being Monmon Odette’s favorite meant that she wasn’t close
to her family. When LaShaun inherited the bulk of her grandmother’s
estate, those delicate ties were strained even more. So to have
Chase in her life meant she wasn’t isolated anymore. She’d even
managed to make friends with Savannah Honoré and Deputy Myrtle
Arceneaux. LaShaun was still getting used to not being on her
own.

Chase gathered salad fixings from the
refrigerator. “I hope your day was better than mine.”


Being Chief of Detectives
not as fun as you thought it would be, huh?” LaShaun
asked.


Fun isn’t anything close
to the words I wanna use to describe work these days. But it’s
better than the Army,” Chase said.


I’ll bet.” LaShaun didn’t
say more. Chase had only recently told her he was in the Army, and
had been in Afghanistan. But he didn’t like to talk about it, so
she didn’t push. He’d tell her when he was ready.

So what have you been up to?” Chase
seemed content to get steeped in domestic chores.


I’m still untangling
Monmon Odette’s business interests and getting a crash course in
mineral rights, timber rights, stocks and bonds. I knew she was
sharp, but I didn’t have a clue she was such a whiz at being a
tycoon. Thank goodness she hired an accountant and lawyer I can
trust.”


Your grandmother looked
out for you in every detail, honey. That’s real love,” Chase said
as he sliced Creole tomatoes into the big wooden bowl of salad and
carrots.


I miss her so much,”
LaShaun said softly. She added shrimp to the roux and stirred the
simmering mixture in her grandmother’s favorite deep cast iron
skillet.


I know, but she’s resting
in peace knowing you’re well taken care of.” He finished the salad
and wiped his hands on a towel. Then he joined her at the stove,
pushed aside her thick braid and kissed the back of her
neck.


Yeah, but sometimes I can
feel her spirit.” LaShaun smiled at the thought of her beloved
grandmère hovering nearby.


Oui, cher,” Chase said
quietly. “My mama swore that the spirit of her grandmother
protected her all through her childhood after her mama died. Miss
Odette was a strong life-force on this earth. Wouldn’t be surprised
if she carried that after passing to the other side.”

LaShaun sighed as she covered the
skillet and lowered the flame under it. She turned to face him.
“Oh, I’m convinced she did.”


You had some sign?” Chase
no longer questioned LaShaun’s “gift” of being in tune to the
supernatural.


Not really, just a
feeling.” She smiled at him and playfully tapped the end of his
nose with a fingertip. “She’s glad that I’m happy.”


Hmm, can I claim some
credit for that?” Chase smiled back.


Mais oui,” she replied
with a wink. “Now let’s have some supper.”

LaShaun pushed aside talk of sadness
and spirits as they filled their plates and sat down to eat in the
kitchen. After saying grace, they exchanged small town talk about
the weather and local news. Chase had LaShaun laughing as he
described his latest family news. A younger cousin had become a
local high school football hero, and had gotten a little too
friendly with more than one cheerleader. His account about the
teenager’s conservative mother’s embarrassment had LaShaun in
tears.


Glenda hoping he’d be a
priest,” Chase said in between chuckles. “Guess she can scratch
that.”

LaShaun put away leftovers as Chase
stacked the dishwasher. “Back to your day. I take it you had a
rough one?” she asked.

Chase grunted. “The usual
knuckle-headed nonsense. I had to chase down some fool who
shoplifted a crate of cigarettes from the Stop-N-Go on Oak Road. A
couple of drunks got into a fight.”


That’s what you signed on
for when you became a lawman,” LaShaun teased.


That I can handle, but
dealing with dead livestock is definitely not my favorite thing.”
Chase pushed the button to start the dishwasher then leaned against
the counter watching LaShaun.

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