Lucifer (Brimstone Heat Book 1) (9 page)

BOOK: Lucifer (Brimstone Heat Book 1)
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“There’s no one here, but I can feel the anger.” Lucifer looked around the living room. “We need to check the rest of the house. Stay behind me, but stay close.”

Angie nodded her head and followed him.

The kitchen wasn’t much better than the living room. A couple of cabinet doors were barely hanging on their hinges. Broken plates and glassware littered the floor. Even the refrigerator had been moved.

“This is ridiculous,” whispered Angie. Her face was a little paler than normal.

They moved on to the bedroom. Lucifer stopped at the door. Anger filled him as he saw the destruction.  “I don’t think you really want to go in there.”

“It’s worse, isn’t it?” Angie’s bottom lip trembled.

“It’s completely trashed like the rest of the house.” Lucifer’s eyes were almost black.

“I have to see.”

“You don’t want to see, trust me,” said Lucifer.

“Move, or I will move you,” ordered Angie.

“Fine! Stubborn female. Don’t touch anything.” He pulled out his cellphone and called his office. “Get several of the guys over to 271 South March Street. I’m here with Angie Gunner. Someone broke into her house and completely trashed the place.” He didn’t wait for the person on the other end to reply. Lucifer just ended the call and put away the phone back into his pocket.

Angie pushed past Lucifer and stepped into her bedroom. She hand went up to her mouth as she slowly looked around the room. The remains of the dresser drawers were scatter around the room. Clothes were everywhere. Angie bent down and picked up a blouse. She held it up only to find it had been shredded. “Please tell me this is not the way it was when you and Gracie packed the hospital bag for me?”

“No, it wasn’t like this.” Lucifer took the blouse out of her hands and dropped it back to the floor. “I told you not to touch anything.”

“I doubt we are going to find any of my clothes that weren’t damage, are we?” Her eyes glistened with unshed tears. She took a deep breath and let it out.

Lucifer shook his head. “I don’t think we are.” The muscles in his jaw twitched. Anger flowed through his veins. He didn’t like the look on his lifemate’s face. And he definitely didn’t like the idea that someone was targeting her.

“I don’t see my laptop.” She looked around the room. “It was in here on the nightstand.”

“After the deputies collect what evidence they can, I’ll have them look for it.” He touched Angie’s arm. “Where are your papers and the mementos you wanted to take back to the house?”

Angie blinked several times. She really hated getting so upset that she wanted to cry. “The most important papers are in a safety deposit box at the bank. In the back of the closet is an old steamer trunk that belonged to my mom’s granddad. It has all my mementos and pictures in it, if it’s even still there.”

“I’ll look.” Lucifer walked into the small closet. In the very back, under a mound of blankets was the steamer trunk. “Found it,” he said as he pulled it out. “It doesn’t look like it’s been disturb.”

Angie started shaking. “Why is someone doing this? Is it funny to them to destroy someone’s stuff? The library, the shooting, and now this.” She looked at Lucifer.

“I will find whoever is doing this. I promise.” He walked over to her and pulled her into his arms. He felt her relax. “Don’t worry about anything. I will replace anything and everything that was destroyed.”

“You don’t have to do that?” whispered Angie.

“I know I don’t have to do it. I want to do it. Besides, you’ll have fun shopping for new clothes.” Lucifer rested his chin on the top of her head. While she was shopping, he was going to do some hunting and he was starting with Ted Whitley.

Angie laughed. “I really hate shopping.” The tears started rolling down her cheeks.

Lucifer picked her up. Cradling her against his chest, he carried her out of the house and put her into the SUV while they waited for the deputies to arrive.

Chapter 11

 

“I still can’t believe I let you talk me into doing this,” groaned Angie as she followed Gracie Hunter into yet another clothing store. “It would have so much easier to just order what I needed.” She hated going to stores and looking at the clothes on the racks. She hated trying everything on. Nothing ever fit right and the sizes always varied from store to store, and even brand to brand.

Angie hated shopping.

The only thing she hated more was shopping at the mall. The crowds were always ridiculous. Why did people want to stand around and stare at the stuff in the store windows was completely beyond her. At least it wasn’t Christmas time. The stores and crowds at that time of the year were even worse. People who never went to the mall suddenly descended upon it like ants. A shudder rippled through her at the thought of shopping at the mall.

And where did Gracie drag her to?

The mall in Temple.

Hell on earth, at least in Angie’s opinion

“Quit you moaning and groaning.” Gracie narrowed her eyes at her friend. “You need clothes now. You can’t wait days or even weeks for the stuff to be delivered, though the good sheriff probably wouldn’t mind you having nothing to wear.” She waggled her eyebrows at Angie, causing her to blush. “And then there is the downside of ordering online. If the clothing doesn’t fit, you have to go through the hassle of returning it, which means a trip to the post office. At least here, you can try the clothes on and get the right sizes without having to return it.” Only Gracie would see the positive in shopping.

“Says the woman who loves shopping.” Angie shuddered at the thought of all the clothes she had already tried on, and how much her friend would pull off the racks in this store.

“I know this is not how you want to spend your Saturday, but you need to…correction…you have to replace your wardrobe. You’re my best friend, and I love you to death. But I do not want to see you walking around naked. Friendship only goes so far.” Gracie smiled as she bumped her shoulder against Angie’s. “I’ll make a deal with you.”

Angie raised her eyebrows suspiciously at her friend. “I’m not sure about you and your deals, especially when malls and stores are somehow involved. You are kind of scary when you’re in a shopping mode.”

“I’m not that bad.” Gracie smiled at her.

“So says the woman who wanted to sneak into that club back when we were in high school just to see if we could do it. Does Quinn really know how one tracked minded scary you are when you decide you want to do something? Or what a shopaholic you are?”

“But we did have fun riding the mechanical bull.” Gracie’s eyes twinkled. “Remember how we stayed on longer than the cowboy wantta-be, who thought girls could not ride bulls. The look on his face was hilarious when we both beat his time.”

“Yeah, it was fun. Until the manager realized we were underage and threw us out.” Angie shook her head. They had been lucky the manager hadn’t called the cops on them.

“We used to have a lot of fun.” Gracie bumped her hip against Angie’s.

Angie slowly smiled. “Yeah, we did,” she reluctantly agreed. “So what’s your deal?”

“We buy several outfits and some sex, lacy lingerie from this store, and then we will stop by the food court for coffee and chocolate chip cookies. And don’t tell me you don’t need any sexy lingerie. Every female needs sexy lingerie, even if it’s just to make yourself feel better.” Gracie propped her hands on her hips. “And I remember a certain sheriff who was snooping in your lingerie drawer. We need to find something in red lace.”

“You actually caught him going through my lingerie?” asked Angie.

“Red handed. It was hilarious, because he didn’t seem to be one bit embarrassed.” Gracie laughed.

Angie shook her head. She honestly doubted there was very much that did embarrass Lucifer. It was probably because he had seen it all. “You promise.” Angie shook her finger at her friend. “This is the last clothing store that we go to today.”

“Fine, this is the last store we go to today.” Gracie raised her hand. “I solemnly promise that we will not go to any more stores, but when we get home, you are going to do some internet shopping, because you need a lot more than what we’ve bought so far. And then we have to go shopping for winter clothes in a few months.” She then held out her hand to her friend.

“That works for me,” said Angie as she shook her friend’s hand.

Wyatt took a step back as he stared at them with wide eyes. “Why do I get the feeling a deal with the devil was just made in front of my eyes?”

Angie looked at Wyatt Hunter, Quinn’s younger brother, and started laughing. “Don’t be so silly.”

“I wasn’t trying to be funny. You two together are scary.” Wyatt shook his body in an exaggerated shiver.

“I’m sorry you got stuck being chauffer and body guard.” Angie patted Wyatt on the shoulder. “And I’m sorry you got stuck shopping with a couple of females too.”

“Guarding you two is not that bad. But your mates are a completely different story. I haven’t decided which of your mates was scarier this morning. I thought Quinn was overprotective of Gracie, but I think Sheriff Fitch has him beat by miles when it comes to you.” Wyatt shook his head and shuddered. “I know when Quinn is threatening me. But Sheriff Fitch is a lot scarier, because you have no idea to what extent his threat goes or if he is really threatening you.  He just smiles at you the whole time he is talking to you. His smile is creepier than Hell.”

Angie bit her bottom lip to keep from laughing. She knew exactly which look Wyatt was talking about. She had seen that look a few times, and was grateful she hadn’t been on the receiving end.

“Okay, let’s get the shopping done.” Gracie wrapped her arm around Angie’s and gave her a really huge smile. “And then coffee and chocolate chip cookies.”

Angie sighed. The sooner this was over and done with, the sooner she could get some much needed coffee boost and she could go home. “Lead the way,” she gestured toward the store.

Gracie looped her arm in Angie’s. “It won’t be that bad.”

“Right,” she grumbled. She felt as if she was walking into a torture chamber, except instead of being filled with knives and whips, this one filled with sales clerks and clothes she had to try on.

Gracie ignored the grumbles and pulled Angie into the store. “Look at this.” She stopped at a rack of sleeveless blouses and held up a white one. “This is cute. What do you think?” she asked Angie.

“I guess,” said Angie. She shrugged her shoulders. She wasn’t sure what look her friend was going for. All she was sure about was that the blouse wasn’t exactly something she would have even looked at.

Gracie turned and looked at Wyatt. “What do think about this blouse?” She held it up for him to see.

Wyatt shook his head. “I don’t think that would look very good on me. White is not my color, and the cut is all wrong for my figure.”

“You goofball!” Gracie shook her head. “I was asking what you thought about this for Angie, not for you.”

“Next time, you need to be more specific. ‘Hey Wyatt, how do you think this will look on Angie?’ Or something like that.” Wyatt rolled his eyes at her. “Now, if you’re getting that for Angie, you need the sky blue one. That will make her eyes appear even bluer.” He pointed to a different section of the clothes rack.

“You’re absolutely right. It is just the perfect color for her.” Gracie held up the blue blouse. “Let’s grab a pair of denim leggings and then off to the dressing room.”

Angie glanced at Wyatt, who just shrugged his shoulders. She shook her head. She wasn’t going to get much help from him. Angie sighed and went after Gracie. By the time she found her, the little shopping whirlwind had several more articles of clothing in her arms. The woman was fast when it came to grabbing clothes off the racks.

“Take these and go to the dressing room.” Gracie shoved the huge stack of clothes into Angie’s arms. “If you need to a different size or color, let me know.”

“Yes mom!” grumbled Angie as she walked into the dressing room. This shopping trip could be over soon enough.

 

*****

 

A couple of hours later, Angie, Gracie, and Wyatt finally made their way to the food court.  Gracie kept stopping in front of various stores, but each time Angie reminded her of the deal they had made, and was rewarded with either a huff or a glare.

Tired from trying on clothes and arguing with Gracie over styles, Angie dropped all the bags she was carrying at an empty table as soon as they walking into the food court and plopped down into the chair. “Go get what you want, I’m not moving from this spot until I have to, and then it’s only to go to the car.” Angie waved at them with her hands. She really wanted some coffee, but she was just too tired to get up and go get it.

“Gracie, why don’t you stay here too? I’ll go get us coffee and cookies.”  Wyatt put down the bags he was carrying, and walked over to one of the food stands before she could answer him.

“Are you okay?” asked Gracie as she sat down next to Angie.

“I’m just tired,” said Angie. She looked at all the bags surrounding them. She could hear her credit card wheezing from the workout it just had. In fact, it probably needed to be put on life support.

She thought about the credit card Lucifer had handed her that morning. He was probably going to be upset with her for not using it. Maybe he would understand when she explained about the online orders she wanted to do, based on the information she had written down about various brands and sizes she had seen at some of the stores. And then there was the laptop she needed to replace. That definitely wasn’t going to be cheap.

“And?” Gracie raised her eyebrows.

Angie stared at her friend for a few seconds as she gathered her thoughts. “I’m the target…not the library. I just don’t know who or why someone would be targeting me?” Angie crossed her arms over her chest. “There’s a lack of real clues, no fingerprints, or even any scents that stand out other than a whole lot of anger. The destruction of my stuff is personal. When you step back and look at everything, it all points to me being the target. But it doesn’t make sense.” She looked at Gracie. “The only person I can think of with that much hatred toward me is locked away in a maximum security prison.” Her shoulders slumped. “I just don’t know.” She leaned back in the chair.

“I got three black coffees, but here is sugar and cream.” Wyatt set down a tray on the table. “And a dozen chocolate chip cookies.” He sat down and looked from Gracie to Angie. “I didn’t interrupt anything?” he asked.

“I’m sure you heard everything we said.” Gracie rolled her eyes.

Wyatt shrugged. “My mom said to always let the female tell me what was wrong instead of jumping in head first.”

“Good advice,” said Gracie.

“So what’s wrong?” asked Wyatt.

“Wyatt!” Gracie raised her eyebrows as she glared at him.

“You didn’t interrupt anything. I was just talking off the top of my head. I sometimes ramble when I’m tired.” Angie took a deep breath. The rich aroma of the coffee called to her. She couldn’t resist any longer. “Come here you big, beautiful cup of coffee.”  She reached for one of the coffees, and grabbed several of the sugar packets and containers of cream.

Gracie grabbed one of the remaining coffees.

Wyatt held his hands up out of the way. “Is it safe for me to pick up that coffee?” He looked from Angie to Gracie.

“Did you say something about cookies?” asked Angie. She smiled at him, hoping he would forget about anything he had heard. She didn’t want to talk about the monster from her past.

Wyatt slowly opened the cookie box and slid it into the middle of the table as quickly as he could. “Here they are. Have as many as you want. If these aren’t enough, I can buy more.”

“These are still warm.” Gracie grabbed one out of the box and bit into it. Her eyes lit up. “And they are really good.”

Angie grabbed one out of the box and bit into it. A look of pure bliss crossed her face. “These are good.” She looked at Wyatt. “Aren’t you going to get one?”

“I’m just waiting until it’s safe to put my hand. You two are more than just a little scary.” He stared at them with wide eyes. “Maybe I should have bought each of you your own box of cookies.”

“We are not that bad.” Gracie rolled her eyes. She popped the rest of the cookie she was eating into her mouth. “And we do know how to share…at least, sometimes, but only with certain things.”

Between the three, the cookies disappeared in a matter of minutes. Wyatt gathered the trash and disposed of it. “Are you ready to go?” he asked.

“I am.” Angie stood up and started gathering the bags. “I’ve had enough shopping for one day.”

“What about the rest of the stuff you need?” Gracie asked as she picked up several bags with each of her hands.

Angie shook her head at how quickly Gracie had forgotten their deal. “I’m going to go online and order a few things.” She held up her cell phone. “I made notes on several things I liked so I can look them up later.”

“Make sure you get a couple of pair of boots to go with the leggings, and maybe some sandals too,” suggested Gracie. “If you want me to come over and help, just let me know.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll call you if I need any help,” said Angie. She stood up and stretched before she picked up several shopping bags. “I need to talk to Lucifer about using his computer until I can get a new laptop.

BOOK: Lucifer (Brimstone Heat Book 1)
13.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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