Authors: E A Price
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Genre Fiction, #Horror, #Occult, #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Mystery, #Supernatural, #Werewolves & Shifters
Foxy On The Run
, Supernatural Bounty Hunter 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.
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.
Table of Contents
yes just like the detective on TV
) felt like her head was being crushed. The pounding literally felt like there was a ton of bricks being poured onto her head. She was awake...
. But the pounding made the idea of trying to move disagreeable. She lay as still as possible not daring to move a muscle, not even daring to open her eyes, willing the throbbing to stop.
Gingerly she sniffed the air; she had a good sense of smell.
She was a fox shifter, although her fox didn’t seem overly keen to wake up either
. She immediately regretted it. The almost toxic alcohol fumes and sour body odor made her want to retch.
Could she be hungover? No, she didn’t drink
a lot.... usually. Okay so she got tipsy every now and again but usually not so bad that she suffered memory loss. Could last night have been an exception? She couldn’t remember.
What was happening?
She was lying on something soft and comfortable, obviously a mattress. She was in bed,
. She could hear the faint noises of yelling, motor vehicles and the strange hum of someone using an old and worn out vacuum cleaner with something akin to mania. She was home. That was her neighbor Mr De Ita. She’d been woken up too many times by that man’s obsessive need to vacuum not to recognize it.
So, she was home and in her own bed.
. She just couldn’t quite remember how she ended up there.
Her mind sifted through the events of yesterday. She went to work. She listened politely to her work colleagues as they recounted the tedious things they had done at the weekend. No, she didn’t consider shopping for a teething ring and having to go to five shops to find the right one an exciting past time, but she had listened and nodded politely like she always did.
Then she ate her lunch in the park whilst reading a book. Okay so far no normal.
But wait, at the end of the day something different had happened. Her boss, well technically her boss’ boss
, had approached her after work. Dr Carlton Levine had caught the eye of every hot blooded woman in the building, and quite a few of the men too for that matter. He was shamelessly flirty and in no doubt of the effect his good looks and easy charm had on people.
He was six fe
et tall with a lean trim figure topped off with a pretty boy face, beautiful golden blond hair and bright blue eyes. And he was a lynx shifter.
. She was short, plump and had bright red hair that generally did whatever it wanted. She was quite pretty, but had no illusions that she was the type to turn the head of someone like Dr Carlton Levine.
She was a lowly receptionist/secretary and he was a doctor, one of the researchers who were ‘
endeavoring to push the boundaries and enrich people’s lives with groundbreaking discoveries’. Or at least that’s the blurb that Ryntech Pharmaceuticals had used on their latest ad campaign. Truth is Ryntech mostly worked on sex enhancement drugs and serums for making hair grow.
They catered to the middle aged male market
. As far as Carly was concerned it was enough that the pay and benefits were good.
She had worked a little later than usual and apparently so had he. She had just been switching off her computer when he startled her.
“Working late Carly?” She spun round clutching at her chest trying to appear like she hadn’t almost leapt through the air.
was smiling. Although it seemed a little forced and didn’t reach his eyes. Usually he had a dazzling smile that blinded anyone that got in its path. She was staring at him, and she realized he was waiting for an answer.
Words would be good Carly
“Ummm yes, I just had a couple of things to do. You know we’re hiring a new night guard...all the applications come
to me and then I send them on. We had a few late ones so I thought I would get them sorted, they’re due in tomorrow....”
That’s it, bore him to death Carly
He nodded a couple of times, like he hadn’t noticed that she finished talking.
“So, you’re working late too Dr Levine?”
“Yes, yes but I’ve just finished, and call me Carl please.”
Carl and Carly – hah!
Carlton forced another smile on his face, it looked almost painful.
Usually he looked immaculate, but right now his mega expensive sui
t was rumpled, his face unshaven and stubbly and his hair was messy. His hair was always artfully messy but she suspected that he got out of bed early in a morning to tame and tease it in such a way that it looked completely natural.
The silence fell
I better go.” Said Carly. “I came on the bus today. I don’t want to miss it”.
He stared at her and then looked around the empty office. “I’ll drive you.” It was more of a command than an offer.
Carlton moved towards her and took her left elbow; before she knew it he was practically dragging her at top speed to the exit. “Ummm that’s really not necessary, I don’t want to put you out...”
Her breathless protestations were summarily ignored by complete silence. She glanced up and saw that his face was stony.
Carly trotted along beside him panting. The security guards at the front desk called goodnight to them but Carlton ignored them and didn’t even break stride. Soon enough he was stuffing Carly into the front seat of his tiny, flashy sports car and setting off a truly magnificent speed.
cast him nervous sideways glances. “Don’t you want to know where I live? Since you’re driving me home and everything...”
“Hmmmm? Oh right yeah, let’s go get a drink first. Are you thirsty? I’m thirsty.”
Without waiting for an answer Carlton pulled off the freeway cutting off several drivers, their horns blared angrily.
Carly forced herself to breathe. Okay so technically he was kidnapping her, but she just needed to remain calm, play along then when the opportunity presented itself kick him in the crotch and run like hell.
He surprised her by pulling into the car park of a family restaurant called Sunny’s. “Come on, we’ll get a drink at the bar.”
With that he bolted out of the car, leaving Carly blinking after him.
When she finally caught up to him she found he had already ordered her a martini.
“You like m
artini’s right.” He thrust the drink at her before concentrating on his own scotch. It wasn’t really a question.
No! But she really wasn’t sure that it was safe to argue with him
. “Ummm yeah sure.” She started gulping it down.
The moment she slapped the empty glass down on the bar Carlton ordered her a new one. After her fourth she decided that she actually really did like martinis and couldn’t quite remember why she had been so nervous before.
In fact Carly was having trouble remembering much of anything. After that moment everything started to get a little blurry.
Flashes of drinking a few more martinis as well as some table dancing and starting a game of truth or dare with the waiters
flitted through her mind.
God she hoped she was misremembering everything.
One of the dares was to sing ‘You Give Me Fever’ whilst belly dancing on top of a table,
the family sitting at the table didn’t looked thrilled...
After that everything seemed to go black. She couldn’t even remember seeing Carlton again once the dares started getting wilder and wilder.
Had he just left her to fend for herself at Sunny’s?
was a little put out by that. He was the one who forced her to go there, and the one who got her drunk. Where had the little toad run off to?
She spread out her arms and connected with something solid. What the heck was that? She turned her head to see.
Carlton hadn’t gone far. He was lying next to her, his glassy dead eyes staring at her. She screamed and instantly the room was flooded by men and women in black uniforms pointing guns at her. She screamed again and vaguely heard the words ‘Miss Columbo, you’re under arrest’. Her fox was wide awake now.
Jackson Carr stomped on the cigarette, his boot pounding it into dust. He should quit. He’d smoked pack after pack for years and until recently had pointedly ignored the effects it might have on his health. He was a wolf shifter, he healed quickly and didn’t get sick, but there was only so much punishment his body could take. He was disturbed when he woke up coughing and hacking two days ago.
he didn’t have a woman with him. He didn’t sleep with women who wanted a mangy wolf coughing up crap. They wanted the big powerful indestructible alpha; they wanted the thrill of just once being dominated by the big bad wolf before returning to their sedate normal lives and marrying accountants named Jeremy or Mark. He gave them what they wanted -
a walk on the wild side.
He snorted and absently took another cigarette out the packet and lit it. It had been almost a month since he had felt that kind of release. Normally his wolf pushed to the forefront and fought for dominance with Jackson, demanding to fight, demanding to fuck. But for over three months now the beast had been quiet and reserved. For all the years he had struggled to keep control of it he was annoyed to find he was missing the fight.
He took a long drag and blew the smoke out slowly. He really should quit. Maybe after this packet he just wouldn’t buy another. He’d quit, just like that. How hard could it be? Humans did it all the time.
He put out the cigarette and sauntered back into the office. He nodded at his friend Logan who was folded into an ancient pea green arm chair
, he grunted in return. Jackson sat on the battered brown leather sofa in what was generously called a waiting area. It let out a hideous groan at his weight.
Maybe if he wasn’t so bored he wouldn’t smoke so many cigarettes. It was 9.15am and he had already smoked six. He had to find something to take his mind off them. Maybe he could go to a bar and get a drink, although part of him worried that replacing cigarettes with alcohol wasn’t exactly the best option.
What he needed was something to do. He was a flight recovery agent, translated: he was a bounty hunter.
He worked for one of the few bond agents in
Playa Lunar who would bail out shifters and other supernatural beings. Marcus Blau, a boa constrictor shifter, was the bond agent who owned and ran Blau Bail Bonds. He had opened the agency with the vision to taking on all clients, but had soon found a niche market in dealing with cases that human bond agents refused to touch - supernatural beings.
Which was why all the bounty hunters he hired were all supernatural creatures
“Anything new?” Jackson growled the question to Alma, the lithe black haired Latina witch currently painting her nails purple. She was the office manager. She decided who got the work. She was a witch with a fiery temper and the ability to carry a heavy grudge for a long, long time.
Nobody pissed off Alma
. He really ought to watch who he growled at.
She raised an eyebrow at him but
didn’t miss a stroke of varnish. “No, but it’s still early, court’s barely in session.”
While the beast in him seemed to be hiding the man just seemed to be more and more restless. He sighed
; it was just his luck that at the moment he needed something to do the Supes had decided to go on the straight and narrow.
He flicked his attention over to Logan, a
Kodiak bear shifter and fellow bounty hunter. Jackson stood at six feet two inches and sported some serious muscle but even he felt dwarfed by the bear. Logan was seven feet tall and built like a juggernaut. He radiated concealed power, and even sitting perfectly still it was like his muscles were quivering waiting to be released. The fact that the bear appeared to be leafing through a dog eared copy of a bridal magazine almost made Jackson bark with laughter.
Maybe he should have another cigarette
A delicate cough brought him out of his reverie. It was Mia the new receptionist. Damn he’d almost forgotten she was there, his senses were way off. Then again rabbit shifters tried their best to go unnoticed by other shifters, survival of the fittest and all that.
Or survival of the quietest as far as rabbits were concerned
. Somehow she was Marcus’ niece, but he didn’t really want to get into what a boa constrictor was doing mating a rabbit so he tried not to think about it.
“Would anyone like a coffee or a danish?
I’m going over to Henrys Diner.” She said tentatively. Her voice was so quiet he doubted normal humans could hear her, good job she was in a room full of natural born predators....
Cappuccino and a cruller, use petty cash.” Alma snapped. The witch wasn’t exactly kind to new office staff, maybe because they generally only lasted three weeks and she didn’t like to waste too many smiles on them. Alma figured that if anyone could put up with her being a bitch for a month it meant they were worth something. It was how she auditioned both friends and boyfriends.
“I’ll come with you.
” Logan rumbled, unpacking his massive body from the small chair and stretching.
He was a one man crowd
Jackson raised his head to look at the bear
. “Coffee. Black. Two Sugars.”
Logan nodded and strode to the door and held it open, he flashed a lopsided smile back at Mia. She flushed and scampered after him. She didn’t hide her crush on the bear very well. Jackson bit back a grin at the idea of a rabbit and a bear mating.
Although no worse than a snake and a rabbit he thought with a shudder
He watched the mismatched pair as they headed to the diner, Mia trotting to keep up with Logan’s massive strides. Jackson sighed.
Alma rolled her eyes. “You gonna be like this all day? ‘Cause you can take it elsewhere, ‘kay?”
Definitely rhetorical questions
The ticking of the clock was becoming unbearable. He jumped up off the sofa suddenly startling the witch who painted a line of purple all the way down her pinky. She glared at him.
He went over to the open files, people who had been bailed but still had their court date in front of them. People who he might potentially have to chase... but knowing his luck they would all become born again Christians and would go to court demanding to be locked up for their crimes.
He looked through the files. Nothing seemed too irregular, although business was slow. There was a domestic dispute between two beavers, a
cheetah shifter who had trashed her boyfriend’s car... whilst she was a cheetah, burglary by a coyote, arson by a witch, fraud by a psychic or alleged psychic and finally murder. It was the last one that caught his eye. He leafed through the bare bones file.
Columbo, age 28, five feet five inches, arrested and charged with the murder of her boss. He looked at her arrest photo. Her eyes were huge and she was biting her lip. Probably surprised she’d been arrested. She was pretty, not out and out beautiful but there was definitely something appealing about her...
She had pleaded not guilty at the bail hearing. Jackson was glad. He didn’t know why, it wouldn’t have bothered him if she had killed someone but the idea of her being locked away in a jail disturbed him.
Out of reach.
His wolf was suddenly interested in what was happening. Or rather he was interested in Carlotta
Columbo. She was not his usual type. She was shorter, plumper and a red head to boot. Normally he went for tall brunettes, but he certainly wouldn’t mind having this little fox in his bed. He imagined he would throw her face down on the bed and plunge right into her....
. His wolf was practically wagging its tail – fickle bastard.
He was aroused just from looking at her photo. He adjusted his jeans, trying to make the swelling less uncomfortable.
. At his age and after all the women he’d fucked he ought to be able to control himself better than this!
He turned the picture over, but the details of her were hard to forget. L
ogan and Mia were still at the Diner.
The last thing he needed was the bear scenting his arousal.
It was 9.45.
. He could easily go home and take a cold shower... or two and be back in time for any potential skips.
The phone rang shrilly. Alma answered in her usual bored way. After a few muttered words she put the phone on hold and
swiveled her neck round to look at the closed door to the boss’ office.
If anyone asked Marcus was in there co-coordinating the skip chases, in truth Alma did that and Marcus used his office to... actually Jackson had no idea what Marcus did all day.
“Marcus! We got a live one, bull shifter caught stealing his
neighbor’s underwear, two grand bail you want it?”
There was some shuffling in
the office before Marcus came gliding out.
Whilst Jackson lumbered, Marcus glided.
Marcus was in his early forties, a couple of inches shorter than Jackson and a hell of a lot more slender. A first glance at Marcus would show you a skinny guy you could snap like a twig. The second glance would show you a wiry guy, packed with lean muscles and a tenacious, hard demeanor. No matter how big or strong you were, you should always think twice before getting into a fight with him and above all else never turn your back on Marcus Blau.
Marcus buttoned his suit jacket and smoothed back his slick pale blonde hair, dark green eyes shining.
He nodded shortly at Jackson.
quickly answered in the affirmative and slammed the phone down. She handed Marcus a piece of paper with the details, an even more bored expression on her face. She waited until Marcus left and then went back to her nails.
Jackson returned to the file. He read through every detail twice, committing it to memory, before just staring at her photo.
The phone shrilled again, he almost leapt out of his skin. Alma said a few terse words and then hung up.
Alma clucked her tongue.
“Good news for you, one of our ‘bondees’ has missed their court date. It’s that one you’ve been reading for the last half hour – the fox. Good news for you and for me – now you can get out of here and quit bugging me, take the file and shoo!”
Jackson smiled and walked out the door with the file in hand waving a goodbye to Alma as he went. She ignored him.
Apparently today was going to be a good day.