Cindy Spencer Pape - [Guardian Investigations 01]

BOOK: Cindy Spencer Pape - [Guardian Investigations 01]
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Heart of the Bear

ISBN # 978-1-906590-69-7

ŠCopyright Cindy Spencer Pape 2008

Cover Art by April Martinez ŠCopyright July 2008

Edited by Michele Paulin

Total-e-bound books

This is a work of fiction. All characters,
places and events are from the author’s imagination and should not be confused
with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is
purely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this
publication may be reproduced in any material form, whether by printing,
photocopying, scanning or otherwise without the written permission of the
publisher, Total-e-bound eBooks.

Applications should be addressed in the
first instance, in writing, to Total-e-bound eBooks. Unauthorised or restricted
acts in relation to this publication may result in civil proceedings and/or
criminal prosecution.

The author and illustrator have asserted
their respective rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Acts 1988 (as
amended) to be identified as the author of this book and illustrator of the
artwork.

Published in 2008 by Total-e-bound eBooks
1 The Corner,
Faldingworth Road
,
Spridlington, Market Rasen,
Lincolnshire
,
LN8 2DE
,
UK
.

Warning:
 
This book contains sexually explicit
content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story has been rated
Total-e-burning
.

 

Guardian Investigations

HEART OF THE BEAR

Cindy Spencer Pape

 

Dedication

This one
is for the writer friends who seduced me over to Total-E-Bound so I wouldn’t be
left out of the fun: Desirée Holt, Bronwyn Green, Brynn Paulin, Lacey Thorn,
and Carol Lynne, and for Claire Siemaszkiewicz, who made her company look so
good I had to be a part of it.

Trademarks Acknowledgement

The author acknowledges the trademarked
status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work
of fiction:

Klingon:
  Paramount Pictures Corporation

Google Earth:
  Google, Inc.

Jeep:
   Chrysler,
LLC

Kevlar:
  E. I du Pont de Nemours and Company
Corporation

 

Chapter One

There was something in the air that night.
I sat in my grandparent’s
Simi Valley
backyard and tried to meditate, but I couldn’t relax. My whole body tingled and
twitched, like a storm was coming, though
Southern
California
was in the middle of a drought. I’d come up here for
advice, but all I’d gotten was more questions. I had three days left to make a
decision about my future, and all I knew so far was that something was in the
air. I felt it coming just like most people heard a freight train roaring towards
them down the track. I couldn’t tell what was looming, but I was pretty sure it
was going to hit me just as hard as the damn steam engine.

“You going to stay out here all night?”

I jumped at the voice, then I smiled. Not
many people in this world can sneak up on me, even when I’m moping. My
grandfather is one of them. Even at eighty-eight, he still has the stealth and
psychic power that made him one of the most successful Navajo intelligence
operatives in World War II. He put his arm around my waist, and I leaned into
his shoulder, just like I’d done since I was a kid.

“No, Granddad. No answers in the wind
tonight. I think I’m going to head up to the cabin for the weekend. Maybe the
spirits will have more to say to me up there.” My grandfather had moved to LA
to be a cop after the war, but he’d always needed to spend some time away from
the city, so he’d built a cabin up in the Sierra Madres. Any of the family was
welcome to use the place when we needed a retreat. And I needed one right
now—big time.

Granddad nodded. “You be careful up there.
Something—someone—is coming. I’d go with you if I could, little one, but you
need to face this challenge alone. Call once in a while, and let your
grandmother know you’re alive.”

I nodded. We both knew it wasn’t necessary.
Nana was a Romany Gypsy. During the war, Granddad had rescued her from a German
death squad who’d planned to burn her as a witch. Her psychic touch hadn’t
faded in all these years. But calling to check in was only polite, and Nana
would expect it.

“Listen to the winds, girl. Listen with
your heart as well as your ears.” With that cryptic bit of advice, Granddad
turned and walked back towards the house, whistling a tune. Damn, if it didn’t
sound like Aerosmith. The old man never failed to surprise me.

* * * *

The next afternoon, I kissed Granddad and Nana
goodbye and headed up into the mountains. It was Friday, and on Monday, I had
to meet with my captain at the San Diego Police Department and let him know if
I wanted my job back. I’d been on a three-month administrative leave since
right before Christmas, and in all that time, I still hadn’t come to a
decision.

Being a cop is hard. Being psychic isn’t
always easy. The two together had just about gotten me killed. My main power is
psychometry, the ability to connect with another person through touching object
they’d touched. I got that from Nana, along with her green Gypsy eyes. It had
come in handy from time to time in the job, but it was tricky. My boss wasn’t
the type to ignore my “hunches”, so he let me use my abilities as long as we
could come up with a rational—in his words—explanation. Last December, my
captain was on vacation when I’d worked with the local FBI unit on a kidnapping
case. I’d tried to tell my temporary superiors and the FBI agents where the
child was, and when they wouldn’t listen, I’d taken off on my own—
after
I’d told the lieutenant and the special agent in charge to go fuck themselves. I’d
been so linked with the abducted child that when his captors had killed him,
I’d blacked out and driven my department vehicle off the road. Needless to say
my three-month vacation had been without pay.

So here I was on a twisty mountain road,
lost in my thoughts. You’d think, being psychic, that I’d have known what was
going to happen. Even though my precognitive abilities are minimal, you’d think
that Granddad or my brother might have warned me. In retrospect that strikes me
as funny, but at the time, I was too busy swearing to see any humour in the
situation.

A spring storm had blown up out of nowhere,
but by itself that wouldn’t have been a problem. I actually like watching
Mother Nature throw her weight around most of the time. It was the combination
of the deer and the mudslide that did me in.

If I hadn’t swerved to miss the deer, I
wouldn’t have gone off onto the shoulder of the mountain road. If I hadn’t hit
the shoulder, I would have been out of the path of the minor mudslide that
buried my tiny hybrid car up to the bumpers. And yeah, if I had been paying
more attention to the road, I probably wouldn’t have had to swerve to avoid the
doe and her fawn when they’d bounded across the road in front of me.

But I had swerved, my car was thoroughly
stuck, rain was coming down in buckets, and it was getting dark. A quick check
of my cell phone proved my next fear correct—no service. Oh well. No point in
whining about it now. The good news was that the cabin was only a mile or so up
the road, and it had a phone line, so I could call the auto club from there. I
left on the flashers then climbed out on the passenger side, where the mud was
only calf-deep. Still cursing my own idiocy with every step, I hoisted my
backpack from the rear seat, strapped it on and started to walk.

The rain and wind chilled my face and hands
quickly, even penetrating my thin windbreaker and hooded sweatshirt as well as
my jeans and hiking boots. By the time I trudged up to the door of my
grandfather’s cabin, I was soaked, frozen and out of breath from the uphill
hike. I fumbled with my key in the lock and pretty much fell through the doorway
before I noticed that something was wrong. There shouldn’t have been a light on
in the hallway.

And the bathroom door at the end of the
short hallway shouldn’t have opened to reveal a cloud of steam and a very wet, very
large, very naked man.

I’m not proud of what I did next, but it
seemed logical at the time. Instead of stopping to appreciate the work of art
in front of me or sending a snap kick at his face, I screamed, dropped my
backpack onto the porch and ran like hell into the woods.

I don’t think I ran very far, but the
adrenaline surging through my system made it impossible to keep track. I heard
someone crashing through the underbrush yelling at me to stop. Yeah, like that
was going to happen. I ran faster.

Eventually, of course, I tripped. I sprawled
face-first onto a thick bed of pine needles that lined the forest floor. The
rain continued to lash my skin as I inhaled the pungent scent of crushed wet
evergreen and pushed myself up with my arms. My hands were scraped, but I
breathed a sigh of relief to find that all the bones and muscles seemed to be
in working order.

That’s when the bear showed up.

I guess it was just my night to be screwed
with by the forces of nature. I heard the growl and looked up into the dark
eyes of a very pissed-off black bear. Her lips were drawn back, exposing big,
pointy yellow teeth. She was close enough for me to get a whiff of some really
serious halitosis.

I heard another noise behind me and tilted
my head just a fraction. Fabulous. The sight of the two roly-poly bundles was
disgustingly cute and yet utterly terrifying. I’d landed smack in between a
mother bear and her twin cubs. There was no way I could get to my feet and run
before mom ripped my head off. I was toast.

Just when I was about to say my last
goodbyes, another roar, deeper and even louder, split the night. The black
bear’s eyes widened, and she chuffled at her cubs. All three spun and fled into
the brush to my left. With a sick pool of dread roiling in my stomach, I slowly
turned my head to the right.

There was the biggest damned grizzly I’d
ever seen.

He was less than five feet away, reared up
on his hind feet. Looking up from where I knelt on the ground, I could see every
silver-tipped brown hair. I could even tell it was most definitely a male.

At that point, my overloaded nervous system
just decided to quit. With a pathetic whimper, I collapsed back into the pine
mulch and passed out.

Chapter Two

I awoke with my cheek pressed against
something warm and fuzzy. It felt nice, so I snuggled into it. I was shivering
like crazy and none of my limbs seemed to be working, but I could tell I was
moving. After a second, the fog cleared and I realised I was being carried. The
pleasant warmth came from a broad and hairy male chest.

By the time my eyes opened, we were up the
wooden steps and at the cabin door. I’d like to think it was common sense that
kept me from fighting him when I realised I was being carried back to shelter
by the same naked man I’d run from in the first place. I could even blame my
psychometry, since I got no sense of threat emanating from the places where we
touched—just warmth and security. To be honest, though, I think I just held on
because he felt and smelled incredible. My body simply overruled my fear.

Once inside, he set me down in front of the
fireplace. My legs wobbled a little, but without too much help from his strong
arms, they managed to hold me upright. I looked up at his ruggedly handsome
face. High cheekbones and strong chin were framed by medium brown hair that was
sun-bleached or frosted at the ends and fell in sort of a straight shag cut.
His eyes were a deep rich brown.

“Wh-wh-who are y-you?” I asked through
chattering teeth.

“My name is Evan Maddox.” His voice was a
deep bass rumble as his big hands moved to the zipper of my jacket and began to
peel off layers of wet clothing. “Anything else you want to know, I’ll tell you
after we get you warm.”

Even to my fuddled brain, that made sense.
I lifted my arms over my head to allow him to pull off my hoodie and the soaked
t-shirt under it.

Had I imagined the little groan I thought I
heard? I looked down to where his hands were undoing my jeans and realised two
things. One, he was built like a god, and two, he was thoroughly aroused. His
thick cock jutted long and hard from its nest of silver-tipped brown hair to
brush against my stomach. My mouth went dry, and it was all I could do to
resist the urge to see how far I could wrap my fingers around him.

My panties had been the one garment not
soaked by the rain, but now even they were wet. This time it was me who groaned
as he pushed the scrap of lace down along with my jeans and bent to unlace my
hiking boots. The movement put his head level with my now aching pussy. He
inhaled deeply then bit his full lower lip and got back to work undressing me.

“Lift.” He pulled off one boot and sock
when I obediently raised my foot. A few seconds later he did the same with the
other foot, then tugged my jeans and panties away as well.

Now what? We were both naked, both
obviously interested. Again, I got very little from him in the way of psychic
sensation, but what I did get was admiration and desire. My rock-hard nipples
might be attributed to the cold, but I could smell my own musk as more moisture
seeped from my slit.

Evan grabbed an old Navajo blanket from the
back of the ancient sofa and wrapped it around both of us like a cocoon. Before
he pulled it tight, he made sure my waist-length wet hair was outside the
blanket, and he combed his fingers through the tangled black mess, fluffing it
to help it dry.

Somewhere along the way, he manoeuvred us
closer to the crackling fire and drew me with him down to the braided wool rug.
Then he tucked the ends of the blanket under us and held me close.

My icy body was smashed flat against his
massive chest. Heat soaked into my skin from the contact. Even though he’d been
outside too, warmth poured off of him in waves. His hands stroked up and down
my spine beneath the blanket, warming me there as well.

I’m five-eight and sturdy, no dainty little
thing, but he was damn near a foot taller. The top of my head tucked right
under his chin felt awfully nice. Not many guys could make me feel delicate and
feminine. Add that to the ease with which he’d carried me, and it was no wonder
I was drooling and creaming. Now that we were mashed together under the blanket,
I could smell him, too, and that was just the last straw for my libido. Arousal
crackled through me like summer lightning, echoing the thunder that rolled
outside. I gave into the urge to nibble on his collarbone.

“Don’t.” His voice was a husky rumble. I felt
the vibrations through his chest. His hair-roughened legs shifted restlessly,
rubbing the plump head of his engorged cock against the tender skin of my
belly.

He tasted of rain and salt and male musk.
Delicious. I wriggled my breasts against his chest. The blanket only allowed
for minimal movements. His coarse hair rasped on my sensitive nipples and made
them harden and swell even further.

“Stop it.” His words were muffled by my
hair. “We’re trying to get you warm. Don’t do anything now you’ll regret when
you feel better.”

“Are you married?” Cool, my teeth had quit
chattering. Just to prove it, I nipped at his neck then soothed the bite with
my tongue.

“No.”

“Diseases?”

I felt him shake his head. One of his hands
slid down to cup my ass. “No.”

“Then what’s to regret? I’m protected.”

His chest heaved as he gasped in a breath.
“Damn it, Hannah…”

How did he know my name?

It didn’t matter. All that mattered was the
fire that raged between us. I shifted upward just a little so I could reach his
ear. “I need this,” I whispered with a soft puff of air. “I need to feel safe,
to feel alive.”

Like I hadn’t for the last three months.
I’d come up to the cabin to be alone, to wrestle with the demons that haunted
me. Suddenly, I understood loneliness had been a big part of my problem. What I
needed right now wasn’t to be alone with my thoughts but to connect with
another human being on a primal level friends and family just couldn’t reach.

BOOK: Cindy Spencer Pape - [Guardian Investigations 01]
6.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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