Authors: E A Price
Tags: #Romance, #shifter, #Fantasy
Bears In Flight
(Book Four, Supernatural Bounty Hunter Romance Novellas)
By E A Price
Copyright ©2014 by Elizabeth Ann Price
All rights reserved. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author.
Thank you to Linda Garrison Gray for editing suggestions.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
All images used to create the front cover have been deemed to be in the public domain, and available for reuse and modification. No offense is meant in the use of them.
The palm tree wallpaper was found at
The male figure was found at
The handcuffs picture was authored by Evan-Amos, and was found on Wikimedia Commons at
Table of Contents
Six years ago
“Fucking hell, shit, damn, fuck! What were you thinking?!”
Logan ran his hands through his hair as his bear roared in fury.
She gave him her usual cocky grin; only this time there was a shadow of uncertainty in her eyes. “Baby, I did this for us. We can…”
Logan started pacing up and down. “You’re insane. You’ve lost it – you’ve officially lost it!”
She pouted and crossed her arms. “No, this is going to set us up for the rest of our lives. Think about it; no more begging and scrounging for scraps. We’ll never have to worry about money again.”
He glared at her in disbelief. “First of all, we could go to jail for this – not only for the hold-up but for being accessories to all… this. Secondly, we’ll be lucky if this guy doesn’t just hunt us down and kill us.”
Her stance softened a little, and she gave him a disarming smile. “So, you’re scared baby?”
“Damn fucking right I am!”
She sauntered over to him slowly and gave him a seductive smile. “Baby, we were careful. Everything’s going to be okay. Let momma bear handle this.”
She placed her fingers on his lips and let out a sultry growl. “I’ll handle this. The only person who is going to get hurt in all this is Merrick.”
Logan flinched at the name, and his bear snarled. “Those girls…”
She rolled her eyes. “They’ll be fine, baby. I’ll make sure they’re taken care of properly.”
She stroked his bicep. “Would just send them back to whatever hole Merrick dragged them out of; they’d be prey for some other asshole – probably worse than Merrick. I’ll make sure they end up somewhere better.”
“I don’t think there’s anyone worse than Merrick,” he muttered.
“Then he’s going to get what he deserves, isn’t he?”
Logan stared at her warily.
“Everything’s going to be fine,” she cooed. “Don’t you worry your pretty little head about it.”
She planted kisses over his neck. “Don’t worry; I’ll look after you.”
He sighed and allowed his body to soften and melt into her sensual onslaught. His animal huffed angrily, but Logan was too far-gone to care. Why did he always let her do this? Why did he always let her drag him down into the dirt?
Why was he such a weakling when it came to her?
Her fingers clutched at his shirt. “You love me, don’t you?” she asked breathily.
“Yes,” he murmured.
“Say it,” she crooned.
“I love you, Maya.”
Six months ago
Mia Blau pressed the ‘accept’ button on her phone. “Hi, Mom.”
“Oh, sweetheart! How was your first day of work? You’re driving right now, aren’t you? I knew you would be. You shouldn’t answer your phone when you’re driving.”
Mia rolled her eyes but smiled as she maneuvered her car round a Lexus. She could just imagine her mom’s pretty face creased with worry and her button nose twitching.
She was such a worrywart
. If it weren’t for the minute worry lines on her face, Mia was sure the two of them could have passed for sisters.
“Mom, if you knew I was driving, why did you call?”
Karen Blau sucked in a breath but didn’t say anything. Instead, she let out an adorable giggle. “You’re right; I guess I didn’t think that through.”
Mia forced herself not to laugh at her overprotective parent. Although, at least this overprotective parent generally just worried and quietly disapproved whenever she or her brothers did anything wrong. Her other overprotective parent was more of a ‘throw-things-across-the-room-shout and scream’ type.
She’d take the worrier any day of the week
Mia, like her mother, was a rabbit shifter. She was five-foot-two, slender and had an upturned nose that, like her mom’s, tended to twitch. Her dad and three brothers, on the other hand, were boa constrictor shifters. They were all tall, lean and downright fierce. While Mia wasn’t quite as docile as her mom, she wasn’t up to butting heads with either her siblings or her father.
“Who are you talking to?” asked a suspicious and cross voice in the background.
“Mia,” answered her mother, amiably.
Please don’t put him on, please don’t put him on.
She heard a slight shuffle and then blanched as her father’s strident voice echoed down the line. “Mia, where are you?”
“I’m just driving home…”
“On your own?”
No, dad, I picked up six hitchhikers on the way, they’re all axe murderers and we’re going to have an orgy.
“Well, yes,” she admitted, lamely.
He grunted. “I told your mother to ask one of your brothers to take you to work and collect you,” he growled.
“It’s fine, Daddy!” she said quickly,
please don’t blame mom
. “They have lives too; I don’t want to be a bother. This is why you bought me my own car.”
He grunted again, only not quite so forcefully. If there was one thing he liked, it was being called ‘daddy’ by his daughter. She was his youngest, and his only girl, and his only rabbit shifter. He went easier on her than he did her snake shifter brothers.
Not by much, though.
“Cars can be given and they can be taken away, baby girl. You’re going to be late for dinner,” he grumbled. “I knew allowing you to work for my idiot brother was a mistake.”
Yes, god forbid, she miss the soup course!
“Daddy, you know I’m going out with my friend tonight.”
She imagined him stiffening, and his handsome yet sometimes unbearably cold face twisting into a look of annoyance. “What friend?”
“Julia,” she replied promptly.
It was actually Julian, but only her mom knew that tidbit.
He huffed and puffed down the line. “I have a friend coming over, can’t you cancel?”
She knew what ‘a friend’ meant. It meant some young man from a local snake Den that he deemed as good husband material. Her dad was determined to arrange a marriage for her to someone he considered suitable.
Barf to that.
His idea of suitability meant someone cut from the same terrifying cloth as him.
So far, she’d managed to rebuff six potential suitors, most of them without even trying.
She was on a roll
. Four of them rejected her out of hand because she was a rabbit shifter – and therefore might give birth to fluffy, rabbit babies. Given that her father was the imposing Matthew Blau, King of the Blau snake Den, they’d assumed she’d take after him. Obviously, she didn’t. Number five tried to proposition her and was duly kicked out on his ass by her dad and brothers.
Come to think of it, she hadn’t seen that guy around lately… oh, dear.
Number six had a thing for older women – and her dad took against him immediately when he tried to squeeze her mom’s ass.
Hmmm, he hadn’t been seen around lately either…
“I can’t cancel, Daddy, we arranged this three weeks ago.”
She put a pouty nuance into her voice and almost whooped when her dad sighed and gave in.
“Fine,” he ground out, “I’ll reschedule for another night.”
“Thank you, Daddy,” she cooed.
She knew she was only delaying the inevitable, but it felt like a victory at that moment.
“What time will you be back at your apartment?” he demanded roughly.
“Ummm, by midnight?”
She was met by deafening silence, and took that to mean that her answer was unacceptable.
She tried again. “By eleven?”
Still, no go.
“By ten?” she asked in exasperation.
He grunted and relented. “Fine, ten. But don’t you dare drink and drive!”
“I won’t, Daddy.”
“I love you, baby girl.”
“I know, Daddy. I love you, too.”
He hung up and Mia let out a long breath. He was all at once scary, charming, stern, loving, and above all, exhausting.
She was 24-years-old for heaven’s sake! She had a job and her own apartment now and yet he still acted like she was living at home. As if he’d know what time she got to her apartment… or would he? He didn’t like her living away from him, on her own, one bit. He still expected her to come to the family home for dinner every night and it was getting to be a bit much. He was still trying to control her every action, at least until she got married and her husband controlled her. She had been expected to graduate from being a good daughter straight into a good wife.
Mia hardly considered herself to be overly brave, but there was no way she was being railroaded into a marriage she didn’t want to be in. Darn it! It wasn’t fair, for one thing. Against all the advice of his Den, her dad had married her mom. They said that she was prey and not good enough to be part of the Den. But he had shot down, well, beat down, anyone who dared stand in his way when it came to claiming his true mate, and then raced across the country to New York to sweep her off her feet. Her family had sent her as far away from the scary snake shifter as possible in the hopes that they wouldn’t get together.
It didn’t work
. It was actually a really romantic story, and her mom recited it whenever Mia was down in the dumps.
To all intents and purposes, her dad was the same person even back when he was 23 and he first met her 19-year-old mom - he was bossy and unbearable even then. But to her mom, he was the most wonderful and most romantic man in the world. And that’s what Mia wanted.
She wanted head-over-hells, unconditional, blind-as-a-bat, over-the-top love.
However, it seemed increasingly unlikely that she was ever going to get it. She doubted she would find that with the parade of men her dad was dragging into her life.
Instead, she was carefully trying to eke out her own place in the world. Admittedly, she had found it difficult to find a job. Her Dad had intimidated anyone who even dared ask her to attend an interview. Thankfully, there was one man in Playa Lunar not afraid of him.
Her favorite uncle, Marcus, had offered her a job at his bail bond agency. It wasn’t exactly her dream job, but she was grateful for what she could get. Marcus and her dad had a falling out years ago after Marcus refused to submit to an arranged marriage.
At this point, Marcus was becoming sort of a role model for Mia.
It had taken a lot of persuasion, and a lot of ego stroking by her mom, but eventually her dad had relented and allowed her to work at the agency. Marcus was probably the main reason for that. Although her uncle and her dad didn’t see eye to eye, her dad knew that Marcus would look out for her.
Now, she was trying to work on getting the family dinners cut down to two a week and also getting rid of the insane idea of an arranged marriage.
She wasn’t getting very far with that endeavor.
Still, Julian was some consolation. They’d been friends since they met at University. And apart from a drunken kiss, they’d stayed friends. Although, she got the feeling that Julian wanted more. For now, she was just content with just doing the friend thing. Sure, he was witty, bright and knee-tremblingly handsome, but she hadn’t felt an immediate spark with him. Also, he was a wolf shifter, and she was more than a little hesitant about jumping into bed with such a fierce species. But, who knows? Maybe they could warm up to a more serious relationship.
She rubbed her eyes and felt an immediate sting from her contact lens. She should really take those out.
It dawned on her - she left her glasses back at the office. She took them out of her purse earlier and put them in her office drawer for quick access in case she needed to take out the contacts.
Could she last all night wearing her contacts? They were kind of new and she was having a little trouble adjusting to them. Hmmm, probably not.
She did a U-turn and trundled back to the office. Everyone would probably be gone, but, thankfully, Marcus had entrusted her with a key.
It would add an extra half hour onto her journey, but she’d still be in time to meet Julian.
“Jacks, you are a complete asshole!”
Alma rolled her eyes as a furious Logan burst through the door, followed by a smirking Jackson. She immediately gagged. “What the hell is that smell?” she cried.
“Well, it’s not me,” guffawed Jackson.
Logan seethed at his friend.
Or rather, former friend
. “The jackass over there sent me down into the sewer chasing a lion shifter.”
“I thought he was fleeing into the sewer!”
Logan muscles quivered as he fought the impulse to shift into his bear and rip the wolf shifter to shreds. Logan was a seven-foot bear shifter, and, although generally mild mannered, he could be pretty damn fierce when he wanted to be, and had no doubt he could take down the six-foot-two wolf shifter stood in front of him,
if he were so inclined…
“First of all, it wasn’t even him. Second of all, the guy you had me chasing works for the sewer department!”
Logan started pulling out tissues from the caddy on the new girl’s desk and started dabbing at his filth-encrusted skin. He figured she wouldn’t mind, if she did, he was sure he could sweet-talk her.
Alma stared at them both with loathing as she pinched her nose.
Jackson folded his arms. “How was I supposed to know?”
Logan snarled at him in disbelief, “The jumpsuit he was wearing that said Playa Lunar Sewer Department didn’t give him away, hmmm?”
The wolf shifter shrugged. “I only got a brief look at him.”
Logan’s face turned purple in anger but was cut off from a response by Alma.
“I don’t care what happened,” she snapped. She pointed a purple lacquered nail at Jackson, “You, get out of here before I zap you out on your ass.”
Logan snorted but quieted when she turned to glare at him. “And you, take a freaking shower before I turn you into a fucking pussy cat. Don’t think that I won’t!”
Alma waved a menacing looking finger at them until they relented. Alma Flores was the office manager, and a cranky witch to boot. She didn’t dole out idle threats.
If she said she could turn you into a pussy cat – she could turn you into a pussy cat.
Jackson mumbled a goodbye and cast another smirk in Logan’s direction before hightailing it out the door.
With less grumbling, Logan trudged toward the shower, a leftover remnant from when the shop front used to be home to a bakery.
“There’re towels in the back, and feel free to look for some clothes amongst the dregs,” called Alma. “Marcus has already left and I have a date, so make sure the door is locked and the alarm is set on your way out.”
He waved his hand in assent and, after peeling his clothes from his body – and wrapping them up in several trash bags, he was relieved to find himself stood under the scorching water. He, thankfully, found a t-shirt and a pair of sweatpants in the dregs, the remnants of stuff that people had used to pay their bonds, which might just fit him, as long as he didn’t breathe too much.
They’d worked together at the Blau Bail Bond Agency for over a year as bounty hunters, and were pretty good friends. But, every so often, Jackson did something that just made Logan want to punch him in the face.
Logan sighed and leaned against the shower wall as the soothing water cascaded down his body. Okay, maybe it wasn’t all Jackson’s fault that he was so worked up.
. He’d been feeling pretty tense recently and didn’t understand why, and his growling bear was no damn help.