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Authors: Charisma Knight

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Pearl’s Protector

By

Charisma Knight

Book One, Raven’s Falls Series

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews. This is a work of fiction. All references to real places, people, or events are coincidental, and if not coincidental, are used fictitiously. All trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks, and registered service marks are the property of their respective owners and are used herein for identification purposes only.

Pearl’s Protector Copyright © 2014 Charisma Knight

Proof read and edited by Shannon Wil iams

Cover Art: Charisma Knight

Dedication

To the readers who are anxiously awaiting my next book, I’m forever grateful for your continuous support. Thank you for having faith in my writing and inspiring me to create worlds filled with hot men and strong heroines to take you away from your troubles if only for a little while.

Welcome to Raven’s Falls, a fictional mystical town hidden within a waterfall of

Queensville, Maryland. Both towns were founded and settled by a witch, Clara Rose

McQueen and her Native lover and raven shifter, Mica Ravencloud. Raven’s Falls is home to witches, dragons & wolf shifters, and an occasional vampire or two.

Chapter One

A loud crash jarred Pearl Gordon out of her sleep. Heart beating loudly, she glanced over at the clock to see that it was almost three in the morning. She jumped when she heard the sound of shattering glass.

Fearing for her life, she leapt out of bed, crept over to the bedroom door and locked it, then did the same with the second entrance leading from her bedroom, through her large walk-in closet, and into the bathroom. With shaky hands, she picked up her cell phone from the nightstand, slipped into her large walk-in closet and dialed 9-1-1.

“Raven’s Falls Emergency, what is the nature of this call?”

“There’s an intruder in my house,” she whispered into the phone. “Please hurry!”

“What is your name and address ma’am?”

“Pearl Gordon. 69 Wolfbane Terrace.”

“Please try to remain calm ma’am. Are you alone?”

“Yes. I’m so scared.”

“I’m dispatching a car out to you right now. I’ll remain on the line with you.”

“Thank you.”

“Is there anyone else in the home with you ma’am?”

“No.”

“Where are you?”

Another loud noise struck terror in her heart. Her blood ran cold because the intruder sounded like he was now downstairs in the living room. “I’m in my closet.” she whispered.

“Someone’s in my living room. Before it sounded like they were in my basement, but, oh my God, they’re coming to get me.”

“Ma’am.” The woman’s soothing voice filtered over the phone. “Please listen to me and try to remain calm. Don’t say a thing.”

Scared to move, Pearl sat huddled on a pair of her shoes. She wiped her sweaty palm on her nightgown.

“How long?” she whispered into the phone.

“An officer will arrive on the scene in approximately ten to twelve minutes.”

Pearl squeezed her eyes shut. She probably didn’t have twenty minutes and wished she were in any situation but this one. Her breathing intensified when she heard the stairs creaking.

Pearl shivered at the increasingly horrific images of being murdered that rushed through her mind and wished she hadn’t left her wooden baseball bat in the corner of the dining room.

She’d have no problem cracking someone else’s skull open to save her life. She reached down to grip one of her stilettos she was sitting on. If the police didn’t make it in time, she’d put the intruder’s eye out.

In an effort to be perfectly quiet, she’d actually forgotten to breathe. Apparently, she was being robbed. If she had taken a vacation like she’d planned, she’d be safe in Cancun instead of preparing to meet her maker.

As tears streamed down her face, she clamped a hand over her mouth to muffle her sobs.

When she heard the doorknob jiggle, she thought she would die. Thank God she’d locked both doors. The intruder seemed pissed because he was now trying to break the door down.

“Ma’am, we have two cars approaching your home.”

She heard the person walk slowly through the hallway to the bathroom door, which led into her bedroom. Cold chills settled over her body when he jiggled the lock and, discovering that he couldn’t get in, began banging on the door.

The intruder growled. Next, she heard the sound of a zipper opening. Pearl wrinkled her nose in disgust when she heard what sounded like him pissing on the bathroom door.

In the distance, she heard the approaching of the police car. He must have heard it, too.

Cursing, he quickly zipped his pants. His rapid footsteps carried him back the way he came.

“Ma’am, are you still with me?”

“Yes,” Pearl said breathlessly. “He’s gone.”

“The police officers are right outside your home.”

“Thank God,” Unable to move, she began crying out loud as a sudden wave of relief swept over her. The officers began yelling her name. A sliver of light suddenly filtered beneath her door.

“Ms. Gordon?”

She managed to crawl out of the closet. Legs feeling like lead, she limped over to the bedroom door and unlocked it.

“Ms. Gordon, are you okay?”

She shook her head and passed out.

* * *

When she came to, Pearl was greeted by several police officers. Immediately, she started shaking uncontrollably.

“It’s going to be okay, ma’am,” an officer said as he tried to calm her down. “Is there anyone you want us to contact?”

“No, not at the moment.” Pearl sat up slowly and glanced at the officers. “Did you catch anyone?” She glanced at the tall bald-headed officer with light blue eyes standing next to her flat screen television.

“No ma’am. By the time we got here, the intruder fled the scene.” He held his hand out to shake hers. “I’m Officer Shapiro.”

“Nice to meet you.”

“As you know, there has been a rash of burglaries in Raven’s Falls, but oddly enough, nothing was stolen from your home.” Office Shapiro admitted with a frown.

“What are you saying?” Pearl rose from the couch, glaring at the mess that had once been her immaculate living room. She gasped and then cursed at the unsightly holes in her walls.

“What the hell? It looks like a cyclone struck my home and nothing was taken?”

“No, ma’am.”

“I thought I was going to die tonight,” Pearl said angrily. “I mean, he was so damned close to getting me. He came after me because once he discovered he couldn’t break into my bedroom, he started pounding on the doors.” She rose from the couch and walked over to the basement and ran downstairs, with Officer Shapiro right behind her. The sight of her basement brought her to tears.

She turned to the police officer. “But, why would he do this?” Someone had spray-painted her walls in red. Clothes that had been neatly packed away were strewn across the floor.

Bottom lip trembling, she picked up her favorite emerald green sweater that was now

shredded.

“Ma’am, come back upstairs,” Officer Shapiro coaxed. “You need to get yourself together.

These things can be replaced. You can’t.”

Tears stung her eyes and the fresh smell of piss assaulted her nose. “Who would do such a disgusting thing?” she asked as they ascended the stairs and returned to the living room.

“He came into my home like he was marking his territory or something. ”

“We saw that, Ms. Gordon. Are you enemies with any shifters living in Raven’s Falls?”

Officer Shapiro asked.

“What? What’s this got to do with someone breaking into my home?”

“Because the perpetrator was alone and indeed a male wolf shifter. And from the behavior exhibited, we figured it might be someone you know.” The second officer stated coolly.

“This is Officer Matriano, and he’s a wolf shifter.” Officer Shapiro said with a smile.

“Have you seen anyone suspicious lurking around the neighborhood?” Officer Matriano

asked.

“Oh, well no, and I do know many shifters on a personal level. I’ve known them for years.

Hell, I grew up in this town. There’s Mr. Lester at the grocery store. Celestine, her daughter sells Raven’s Falls cookies. But other than that, I don’t know of any shifter or human who would try to hurt me. My ex, Danny was sort of a maniac.” She continued. “But, I don’t know why he would do this now, we’ve been divorced for a year.”

She watched as both officers lifted a brow. “Is there any information you’d like to

provide?” Officer Shapiro asked.

“Sometimes it’s hard for a jilted ex to move on.” Officer Matriano suggested.

“Danny was abusive.” She shuddered and rubbed her arms. “I had to file a restraining order against him, but I don’t think he would do this after all this time.” she added.

“Where is he now?” Officer Shapiro asked.

“He lives outside of Raven’s Falls and Queensville in Houston. He hasn’t given me any problems in a while.” Pearl said with a soft sigh.

“We’ll run his name.”

She gasped. “I don’t want him involved.”

“We’ll need to check anyway. You can never be too sure in situations like these.” Officer Matriano stated.

Officer Shapiro gave her his card. “If there’s anything else you can think of, please contact us.”

She nodded while walking the officers from the living room, down the foyer and to the front door. She glanced around the house, feeling unsure about remaining alone, but what else was she to do?

“You’ll need to come down to the station and file a report,” Officer Matriano told her.

“Will do a few hours from now. I just need to get this house into some kind of orderly fashion,” she admitted as the officers strolled out the door and to the parking lot. “Thank you again.”

“You’re welcome, Ms. Gordon,” Officer Shapiro called over his shoulder.

A few hours after the police officers left, Pearl was determined to return things to somewhat of a normal state. Grabbing large garbage bags, she tossed out all the shredded clothes and painstakingly scrubbed the areas with bleach where the intruder marked what he thought was his territory.

As she cleaned, she gritted her teeth, determined she wouldn’t let anything scare her, but who was she kidding? After cleaning, she ventured down to the police station and filed a report even though she felt everything was in vain. All she had to go on was that the intruder was indeed a shifter and at the moment she was drawing a blank as to who it was.

When she returned home, the sun was up and she flopped on the couch. Sleep evaded her and she needed to keep busy. She wondered if she would ever feel completely safe in her home again.

Flicking on the television, she decided to invite her best friend Renee over because right now she really needed someone to talk to.

Chapter Two

By noon, after Pearl and Renee ate lunch, Pearl surveyed the damage to the basement

furniture before they began scrubbing the paint from the walls. The unsightly claw marks in her leather sofa drove her insane.

“This crap is going to cost me a pretty penny,” Pearl complained as they scrubbed the paint from the walls. She stopped and put her hands on her hips. “This isn’t coming out.

Everything needs to be freshly painted. Thankfully, the floor is tile and not carpet.”

Renee rubbed her back reassuringly. “This too shall pass. At least we got the piss smell out of the house.”

“Maybe Danny
is
fucking with me.”

“If he’d had his way, you’d have seven kids and would have been a housewife instead of a successful real estate agent.”

Pearl cringed as she remembered how Danny had verbally chastised her for taking real estate courses. He wanted her home cooking and cleaning for him. It pushed him over the edge when he discovered she had her own bank account with money in it.

“How about some ice cold sweet tea? A girl could go thirsty around here.” Renee joked.

“You got it, sis. Can you recommend someone to repair my basement?” Pearl asked as she retrieved a pitcher of the cold liquid from the refrigerator and filled two crystal glasses almost to the rim.

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