Authors: Gemma K. Murray
Tags: #Paranormal Romance
I could just imagine what happened when the Alphas realized they’d been left. “I did. I’ve got a little more respect for both of them.”
“Me, too, but Bowie had to give Rock and Uncle Roman a ride back home. He was cursing all the way to the car. He made them both ride in the back as if they were criminals.”
I laughed. “They deserve it.”
Adam smiled that seldom seen smile, “Yeah, they did. On a different note, I saw a peek of something in the meeting which worried me a little.” I looked at him in confusion. “When’s the last time you shifted, angel?” he asked.
I shrugged, “I don’t know.” That’s when it really hit me. I hadn’t shifted in
months. “I need to run, but I can hold out until Friday.”
Adam opened his arms. “Come here then. I’ve already called Mrs. G to let him know we’d be out Friday.”
I stepped into the circle and allowed Adam to wrap me in his strength. The comfort I had been seeking was there.
“Mrs. G has been making pasties and rumor has it our picnic basket will have a few plus the brown gravy you like so well,” Adam teased.
Mrs. Golden’s pasties were the best. My mouth began to water at the thought of a warm beef and rutabaga pasty fresh from the oven. Friday couldn’t come soon enough for this wolf.
Chapter Ten- Adam
The week went as slow as it could. The wolves and pumas were crossing the streets to avoid one another when they were in town. It was ridiculous. We had to report to more than one call of a tussle or an argument. Funny thing was the women seemed to supporting each other through this. It was the men and the children who couldn’t get along. Every time the phone rang, Bowie and I both cringed. Our peaceful town was in the midst of a war between the pack and the pride. It seemed Luna and I had started World War III by simply dating.
Friday afternoon, I went home to shower and change. My pulse was racing at the thought of spending time alone with Luna. We used to shift and run together when we were kids, but we hadn’t done it since before I left for the Middle East. My puma was aching to get out and run with her wolf again. I think he missed her as much as I had missed Luna.
Luna was waiting for me when I arrived. I know she had missed me and couldn’t wait to run, but eating one of Mama G.’s pasties ranked higher with Luna.
I felt like we were in high school again as I watched her race down the stairs to my truck as I pulled in. She used to race to meet me when we were dating. She climbed into the passenger seat and kissed me.
“Hi, honey,” I said.
Luna was full of energy as we drove out to the Golden’s. She’d had a big week. I’ve always thought she needed to stand up to her parents but I never thought it would happen. It was good to see her find her voice. Her curvy little body kept bouncing with the music.
“You’d better stop that or you aren’t going to get any pasties!” I warned her.
Her citrine eyes turned to me and her eyelids lowered just enough. Her lush lips formed a pout, begging to be kissed. “You don’t like it when I bounce?” she asked with a sultry hint in her voice.
I took her hand and pulled her to my side. “I love it when you bounce,” I said, “I just think I’d rather take you back to my house for other activities instead of going for a run.”
The little hussy slid her hand up my thigh and tickled her fingers across my growing erection. “Oh, Deputy Thomas, you may have to make time for all the activities you have in mind. Play your cards right and you could be a very lucky man tonight.” She gave a gentle squeeze through my jeans.
I swallowed hard and began to think of anything except what she was suggesting. Baseball statistics, the Miranda rights, Rock McIntyre, anything to deter my erection from bursting the seams of my jeans.
She laughed as she pulled my arm around her. “You’re blushing, Adam.”
I smiled, “Well, if you could see what I’m thinking right now, you’d be blushing, too.”
Pulling into the Golden’s drive, I noticed the entire crew was present. Brady’s truck sat next to the garage. Colin’s car was parked in front of the house next to Callum’s truck. Ana and Bowie were in the garage monkeying with Bowie’s prized Camaro.
Ana came out of the garage to greet us. “Hey, Adam,” she said as she hugged Luna. “Going for a run?”
Luna smiled, “I had a pretty rough week.”
Ana laughed, “I heard something about that. Knocked the Alphas down a few pegs from what I understand.”
Luna shrugged, “I like to think I took my life back.”
The two women walked arm in arm to the edge of the woods.
Bowie was wiping the grease off his hands with an old rag. “Luna is looking a little wild around the edges,” he said to me.
“Yeah, I thought so, too. I wanted her to come out running with me Tuesday night, but she insisted on waiting until tonight. Of course, I also promised her a picnic of pasties and brown gravy. I called your mom and asked her to make me a picnic. Mama G. convinced me to spend some time with the family. Luna doesn’t know we are having dinner with the family. I don’t think it will matter though. She loves your mom’s pasties.”
Bowie chuckled. “The little wolf has always liked to eat.”
I took one look at her ample backside in her snug jeans and smiled, wolfishly, “Yes, she has.”
Bowie smacked me on the back, smiled, and called to Ana, who came running to him.
Luna was in the cover of the trees and half-naked by the time I got to her. My mouth began to water. Her body was beautiful and always had been. Her creamy skin glistened in the dying sunlight. “Are you ready to run?” she asked as I approached her.
“I’m ready. Just keep up,” I teased her as I began to strip down.
Her shift was slower than normal and looked more than a little painful. It’s what happens if a shifter waits too long between shifts. I folded my jeans and set them on the rock with Luna’s clothing.
In her wolf form, Luna is just as beautiful as when she’s in her human form. Her black fur glistened and her eyes really stood out against her fur. I shifted as quickly as I could. Luna stood and watched me. My fur rippled in the light breeze as I leapt into the air and ran. I could hear Luna behind me as I dodged the trees. She let out a couple of happy yips as she chased me. I slowed down slightly, letting her catch me. She got me by the back leg and I took a tumble through the dried pine needles. I rolled her onto her back and nipped her chin. We were simply in the moment when I felt something whiz by my head. I sprawled on top of her and nipped her again. The look in her eyes told me that she knew something was wrong. I sniffed the air and caught the scent of something which wasn’t a familiar element in this particular forest.
I stood up and nudged Luna up. I put myself between her and the danger. I waited until she had a head start and backed out of the clearing. Luna was getting dressed when I returned to the edge of the woods. Tears were streaming down her face. I shifted and pulled on my jeans. “What’s wrong, baby?”
She clung to me. “I was so afraid, Adam. I haven’t been that scared in a long time. What is going on in this town?”
I held her tight. “I don’t know, but, between the Goldens and I, we will figure it out. I can promise you.” I pulled on my shirt, and, taking her hand, carried our shoes to the porch of the big white farmhouse.
I opened the front door and walked in just as I had for years. This was my home. This was my family. The place where I was able to be myself, share my day, my fears and not be ashamed of anything. “Ah, the prodigal son has returned,” Bernie called from the living room.
I laughed, “Hey, Pops. Who’s winning?” I knew there was some sporting event on the television. Tonight was hockey. How Lorelai ever survived in the house with all those men, I never could figure out. I guess Ana really was the daughter she’d always needed.
“Detroit, of course,” Bernie said. “Hey, Luna! How are you today?”
“Good, Mr. G,” she replied attempting to hide the shaking in her voice.
The Golden’s twin sons, Colin and Callum, came thundering down the stairs. “Adam, I thought I smelled a little pus-,” Callum said, stopping short when he saw Luna standing beside me. “Luna, nice to see you,” he smoothly corrected.
“I’m going to see if Mrs. G needs some help with dinner,” Luna said, a mischievous glint in her eye.
I watched her walk away before grabbing Callum in a headlock. “I’ll show you who’s a pussy, firebreather.”
Colin came to aid his twin, which led to Brady jumping into help me. The commotion got Lorelai’s attention. “What in hell is going on in here?” she said. “Oh, Adam, it’s just you.”
I held one of her younger sons in a full Nelson hold as I kissed her cheek. “Run away with me, Mama G.,” I asked her.
“If the day comes when I leave Bernard, Adam, you’ll be the first to know,” she said. Looking at Callum, she said, “Are you bothering Adam?”
“No, ma’am,” Callum answered, grinning.
With a wink, she walked back into the kitchen.
“Let’s go watch the game,” Brady said as he dropped his younger brother to the floor.
“Alright,” I said as I let Callum go, “I want to talk to you anyway. There is someone in your woods.”
Brady looked concerned. “Let me call Bowie in and we’ll take this into Dad’s office.” He opened the front door and called out for Bowie, “Family meeting, Bo!”
Bowie came running with Ana tossed over his shoulder, giggling with delight. “What’s up, Brady?”
“Adam says there is someone in the woods.”
“Whoever it was had a gun and took a shot at me,” I said.
Bowie flipped Ana over to her feet. “You smelled anything out there lately?” he asked his wife.
“I haven’t seen anything out of the ordinary. It’s too early in the season to have some gun-happy tourist up here.”
With a smack on her backside, Bowie shooed Ana into the kitchen with the other women. I followed the Goldens into the living room and through to Bernard’s office. Maps of the area covered the wall. Bernard brought up the rear of the group and closed the door behind him.
“What’s up, son?” he asked.
“Someone took a shot at Adam and Luna,” Brady answered.
Bernard looked to me, “Tonight?”
“Yes, sir, we were taking a run and hit the clearing. While we were there, I felt something fly by my head. There was no sound whatsoever. Whoever took the shot meant business. They were out to kill.”
Bernard put his arm around me. “I’m sorry, son. Bowie, what are your thoughts?”
Bowie shrugged, “I really don’t know, Dad. I can’t imagine Rock trespassing in our woods. I mean he hates Adam, but I wouldn’t think he’d want him dead.”
Brady was studying the map of the woods surrounding the Goldens’ land. He was tracing his fingers over the various lines. “When you and Luna came in, did you notice a vehicle of any sort sitting alongside the road?”
“I didn’t see anything, Brady.” I turned to Bowie, “Are we heading for another massacre attempt?”
“I fuckin’ hope not,” Bowie replied. “We can’t handle this again.”
The twins stood against the wall with looks of silent terror on their faces. They jumped when Lorelai knocked on the office door.
“Come and eat, boys. You can strategize after dinner,” she said.
We each stopped to kiss her soft cheek as we passed by. Bernard put his arm around her and followed us to the kitchen.
In this place where I felt the most comfortable, I took Luna in my arms and kissed her soundly. She melted against me. “Are you okay?” I asked.
“Hmmmm, I’m better than okay now,” she replied.
We pulled up chairs to the huge oak kitchen table and felt the arms of acceptance wrap around us. This would always be a place where the love we shared wouldn’t be judged.
Chapter Eleven- Luna
An evening with the Goldens is one you will never forget. There is such love within this family and it just sucks you right in. I have never felt that accepted, even in my own pack. Adam became the man I remembered him to be. He was relaxed and laughing with the Goldens. The food was amazing. Mrs. G’s pasties are flaky and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. I actually moaned in ecstasy when the first bite hit my tongue. Adam’s eyes grew wide with each moan, but lit up with humor as he watched me eat.
After dinner, the men went out to search the clearing where someone had shot at Adam and me. Tire tracks showed whoever it was had come in on an ATV. Bowie was going to run the tracks to see if he could come up with a brand of either tire or ATV. If he could narrow down the make and model, he was hoping to have a suspect. They couldn’t find the bullet, but they did spot the mark on a birch tree where it hit. Mr. G was not happy at all about the fact that his family couldn’t feel safe in his woods.
On the way back to my apartment, Adam told me his suspicions. “I think it’s either Roman or your father. Probably not them personally, but I figure it has to be someone acting on their behalf. I want you to be extra careful, babe. We don’t know which one of us they’re after and until we figure it out, we are both targets.”
I snuggled in under his arm and drew comfort from him. This was the one place I felt safest…near Adam.
When we arrived at my apartment, I knew how I wanted this night to end, but I was afraid Adam had too much on his mind. He walked me to my door and unlocked it for me. “Do you want to come in? I could put on a pot of coffee,” I asked. For some reason, the dragonflies were dancing in my tummy. This was Adam. One of my dearest friends and the only lover I had ever had. He knew me better than I knew myself.
Adam leaned against the doorframe with his hands in his pockets. “Luna, if I come inside, I want you to understand I have no intention of leaving tonight.” His eyes grew dark and his eyelids heavy.
I could feel the blush creep into my cheeks. “Coffee or not, I have no intention of
you to leave tonight.”
His eyes darkened as I took his hand and drew him inside. His hand tightened on mine and I felt his pulse quicken. “Luna,” he whispered huskily.
I smiled at him and said, “It’s alright, Adam. We’re going to take it slow. How about a cup of coffee?”