Authors: Gemma K. Murray
Tags: #Paranormal Romance
Bowie was just getting ready to leave when I arrived. “You made it just in time, Luna,” he teased, “If I go home without these, Ana will be one cranky kitty.”
I smiled, “I’ve been busier than I could ever have imagined.”
Bowie patted my back, “You can’t complain about that though.”
“Not at all. Hey, Bo, did Adam leave already?” I asked.
“About an hour ago. Brady brought him in a mess of bluegill for supper. Callum came in early to relieve him, so I sent him home. Why? What’s up?”
I shook my head, “I just promised to bring over a box of caramels for him. Maybe I’ll run them out to his house.”
Bowie said, “Just be careful. He’s not on Pride land, but they monitor it pretty regularly. You know how they can be out there.”
“I’ll be alright. Besides, it can’t hurt to let him know he still has friends here.”
“It won’t hurt anything at all to let him know. He needs all the friends he can get, Luna. Just be careful. Adam’s got a lot going on in his head these days.”
“I’ll be careful, Bowie, I promise.”
I made my way back to the store. I debated over changing my clothes before going to Adam’s, but decided to go out in my work clothes. I loaded up a bag of goodies for him as well.
The drive out to the Pierce Pride’s land is beautiful. The trees form an arch over the road, almost completely blocking out the sky. Making the drive in the dark can be a little daunting since those same trees, which are so lovely by day, take on a more sinister look at night.
Adam’s trailer was set off the main road to the pride land in a little patch of trees. His pick-up truck was there. The lights were warm and welcoming. I wondered if Adam would be as welcoming. With that thought, dragonflies began to dance around my stomach, fluttering every so often to my throat.
I parked beside his truck and took a deep breath. “This is Adam. You know him as well as you know yourself.” Giving myself a pep talk seemed to help until a knock sounded on my window. I jumped and screamed.
Adam stood there in his jeans and flannel shirt. “You gonna sit out here talking to yourself or did you plan on coming inside?”
I opened the door. “I was planning on coming to the door. I was just checking to be sure I’d brought everything I meant to.”
He took the packages I’d brought. “Really? Because it sounded as if you were concerned I might bite,” he said with a smile.
“Damn shifter hearing,” I mumbled.
Adam laughed as he led me through the front door and into his home.
Knowing Luna as well as I used to, I had been watching for her. She never used to be one who would not deliver on a promise and I was glad to see that hadn’t changed.
“You didn’t have to bring these all the way out here tonight,” I said.
“Well, I did take them over to the sheriff’s department, but Bowie said you’d left for the night.”
I smiled, “Bowie let you out the door of the office with all of these?”
She chuckled, “No. I only had the caramels when I went to the office. I figured if I were coming out here, I should bring more than a box of caramels, a sort of house-warming present for you.”
I popped a chocolate covered raisin in my mouth. “I’m not complaining at all, Luna. I’m just saying you didn’t have to. I’m very glad you did.”
She smiled at me. Gods, I’d missed her smile. With one smile, she lit up the entire room.
“You picked a pretty spot, Adam. This is a really nice trailer.”
I shrugged. “I didn’t have much choice on the spot, but I do like it. As for this hunk of metal, I want to add a deck on the front so I can sit out there with a beer at night. I like listening to the wolves howling.”
She ducked her head with a blush on her face. “Well, I shouldn’t keep you, Adam. I probably should get back to town.”
My heart leapt into my throat. I didn’t want her to leave. “Why? Are you seeing someone?” I wanted to grab it back and shove it down my throat to prevent her from hearing it.
Her citrine eyes turned on me. “No, I’m not seeing anyone. I just don’t want to be in your way.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it the way it sounded, but you are hardly in my way. In fact, I have some bluegill fillets I’m getting ready to cook up. Aunt Alicia sent over some dried morels. I’ve had them sitting in water to plump back up. I was thinking of frying them up in a little butter and garlic. There’s a bag of salad I can dress up.”
She smiled at me again and I felt my heart flutter. “That sounds delicious. I’d love to stay. I hate eating alone every night. It would be nice to share a meal with an old friend.”
“Good. Would you like a glass of wine or maybe a beer?”
“I’ll take a beer,” she said as she began to poke around in the kitchen. “I want to help with dinner. What can I do?”
I handed her a beer and led her around the counter to the stools there. “You sit down and relax. Let me take care of dinner. You’ve been on your feet since four this morning.”
She had lifted the beer to her lips and stopped. “Wait, how do you know I’ve been on my feet since four in the morning?”
I was chopping up garlic and stopped in mid-chop, “This is my town. It’s my job to know people’s routines.”
She sipped her beer, her eyes dancing with laughter. “What time does Samson start his routine?”
I put my head down and continued to chop the garlic. “Five or so.”
“Wrong,” she said, “you’ve been watching out for me, haven’t you, Adam Thomas?”
I took a long draw from the beer sitting beside my chopping block. “Nope. Just been watching you.”
The next thing I knew she had removed the knife from my hand and had her lips on mine. I could do nothing except wrap my arms around her and hold her tight. My mouth had a mind of its own as it returned the passion in her kiss. I teased her lips open with my tongue. When she opened to me, I slid my tongue inside the warmth of her mouth, the yeasty taste of beer greeting me. Without pulling away from her, I put my hands on her waist and lifted her onto the counter, bringing her up to my height. In an automatic movement, her legs locked around me, holding me to her. The moment was one I’d dreamed of when I was living in the hell of war. Her warm, lush body against mine, and the dampness of her mouth was all the sweetness that made up Luna. I ran my hands under her shirt to the bare skin of her back. She arched into me and moaned deeply. My erection was straining to be released from my jeans when my phone rang. I rested my forehead against hers and attempted to catch my breath.
“Do you really have to answer that?” she asked.
I looked at the number. Dammit! “Yes, it’s Bowie.” I hit the talk button, “Adam.”
“Hey, did Luna make it out there alright?” he asked.
“Yeah, we’re getting ready to have dinner.”
My best friend chuckled, “Really? Luring the wolf to the puma den?”
“Nope, I’m just having dinner with an old friend.”
“Ooh, did I interrupt something? I’m sensing a little tension in your voice, buddy.”
“Bite me, flyboy,” I growled. Luna laughed.
“Just tell her to be careful when she heads back to town. There’s a storm moving in and I want her to be careful on the roads. Of course, that only applies if she actually goes home tonight.”
Smug bastard. “Thanks for your concern, but I’ll take care of things out this way.”
I heard Ana’s voice in the background, telling Bowie to leave us alone. “Listen to your wife. Besides, shouldn’t you have better things to worry about?”
Bowie was laughing as he hung up.
Luna was three shades of red, but laughing hysterically. “How
our lovely sheriff tonight?”
I took a deep breath. “He’s worse than the old women in town. He can’t keep his big old snout out of anyone’s private business.”
Luna took my hand and pulled me to her. “He loves you, Adam. It’s sweet. I consider myself very lucky to have Bowie and Ana as friends. They’re closer to me than my own pack. Bowie really helped me get my shop up and running. He rounded up a bunch of people to help me clean and paint.”
I kissed her again and pulled away. “I’m very lucky to have the Goldens and Ana. I didn’t exactly get a warm welcome from the pride when I came home. I wasn’t sure if you and I would ever be friends again.”
Tears flooded her eyes. “After everything we’ve shared Adam? Really? I will always be your friend. Always. Even when you make me angry, I’ll be there for you. I’d like for us to be much more than friends, Adam. I’ve missed you,” she whispered.
“Let’s start with really good friends and see where it leads. Friends can still kiss and cuddle, right?” I asked with a hint of teasing.
“Of course. There’s a thing called ‘friends with benefits’ now, too. Though I think there is already too much emotion and feeling between us.”
I helped her off the counter, savoring the way her body slid down mine. “As far as I’m concerned, there will never be enough feeling between us.”
She swatted me and giggled.
We finally sat down to dinner. It was a little later than I had intended, but the delay had certainly been worth it.
It was after ten o’clock before Luna got up to leave. I didn’t want her to leave at all, but neither one of us were ready for jumping in feet first to a relationship again. I walked her to her car and hopped in my truck to follow her back to town. If Bowie said there was a storm moving in and the roads could get bad, then I wasn’t taking a chance with Luna. I’d just gotten her back. I wasn’t going to lose her now.
Chapter Seven- Luna
Adam pulled around to the alley and parked behind me. It was so late and we both had an early morning, but he still walked me to the door.
“You didn’t have to follow me home, Adam.”
“Yes, I did. It is the right thing to do.”
I stood on my tiptoes and kissed him. His arms reached around me to pull me closer. My fingers dug into his shoulders. Gods, this man’s mouth was amazing. I thought I’d imagined his kisses being better than they were. Not at all. Instead, it was as if my daydreams were merely shadows of the real thing.
Adam pulled away first. “I’ve got to get home, Luna. We’re going to take things slowly, I promise.”
I nipped his chin. “Gods, I hope not, Adam.”
He chuckled all the way back to his truck.
Sleep didn’t come easy. Adam’s kisses haunted me. I took a shower and it certainly didn’t ease the ache. I really didn’t want to ease the ache in any other way. It seemed like a very cold way to take care of my needs for a very warm-blooded man. Instead, I tossed and turned until sleep found me.
My alarm clock woke me the following morning. I hadn’t slept well, but some sleep was better than none. The chocolate downstairs was calling me. It was determined to be something extra special today.
I put on a pot of coffee and began the process of making candy. I chopped and melted dark chocolate as I listened to its desire to be wrapped around an orange cream center. But the orange center should be especially orangey today. I played with the center until I was satisfied. The shells went into the chiller to await their luscious filling.
As I stood daydreaming or rather remembering the night before in Adam’s kitchen, a thought popped into my head. Chili peppers. I could add some chili pepper to my dark chocolate and I even had a name: Kisses at Midnight. Sweet, hot, spicy, everything Adam’s kiss is. In fact, I was lost in thought about those kisses when I heard an “Ahem” from behind me. Dammit! My mom had snuck in without me hearing her.
“Good morning, Mom. You’re up bright and early,” I said as I added some chili essence to the chocolate.
“I had to be up early, darling. Your father has an appointment with Dr. Goodman and I wanted to stop in to see you before you got too busy,” my mother answered.
“Daddy’s okay, right?”
“Of course, it’s just time for his annual physical. So what have you been up to? We haven’t seen you for a few days.”
“I’ve been busy, Mom. I’ve got the shop and orders are coming in like mad.”
“Well, it seems you had time to go out and visit with Adam Thomas last night.”
I dropped my wooden spoon on the floor. I took a deep breath. “Yes, I did. He placed an order earlier in the day and I got so busy I didn’t get a chance to run it to the sheriff’s office before Adam left for the night.”
“Do you provide that type of service for all of your customers or only for ex-lovers?” my mom asked accusatorially.
“Are you implying something, Mother? Because if you’re going to accuse me of something you need to remember that I moved out of your house long ago. I no longer reside in pack territory. Pack law doesn’t apply here.”
“I’m not implying anything, Luna. We were informed you were at Adam’s last night and you stayed a tad too late for it to be a mere delivery of chocolate.”
“Good gods, Mom! He asked me to stay for dinner. Since I’m sure he gets as tired of eating alone as I do, I stayed. We had bluegill and morels in butter and garlic. Is there anything else you’d like to know?” I was so pissed off. I should not have to be explaining myself to my mother.
“You don’t have to eat alone, Luna. Your father and I would love to have you eat with us. You simply refuse to come for dinner.”
“I wonder why, Mom.” I tasted my new mixture. Maybe a little more heat would be good. I tossed in a little bit of red pepper flake. A thought popped into my mind, “Mom, where’s Daddy?”
My mom turned a little red. “Uhm, your father had some business at the sheriff’s department to deal with.”
I reeled around to face her, “This is absurd. You two just cannot butt out of my life, can you? Have you ever once asked me why I haven’t dated anyone else? No, because you both are so concerned with your own agenda. Here’s my answer whether you want it or not: I’ve loved Adam for years. No one will ever take his place. No matter what you and Daddy do. No matter how many dates you attempt to set me up on. My heart belongs to Adam Thomas and always will.”