Read Red And The Bear (Grimm Bears 1) Online

Authors: Natalie Kristen

Tags: #Paranormal, #Bear Shifter, #Romance, #Contemporary, #Fiction, #Forever Love, #Adult, #Bachelor, #Single Woman, #Grimm Bears, #Series, #Short Storys, #Fated Mates, #Fairy Tales, #Bedtime Stories, #Redcape Grove, #Secrets, #Great-Grandmother, #Half Wolf, #Mating Heat, #Trust, #Remote Town, #Monsters, #Attracts Danger, #Devastating, #Loss, #Grief, #Mourning, #Supernatural

Red And The Bear (Grimm Bears 1)

BOOK: Red And The Bear (Grimm Bears 1)
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RED
AND THE BEAR

By

Natalie Kristen

GRIMM BEARS

Red and the Bear (Book 1)

Copyright
© 201
6
Natalie Kristen

ALL
RIGHTS RESERVED

No
part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic
or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval
systems, without written permission from the author, except for the
use of brief quotations in a book review.

This
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are
used fictitiously or are the products of the author's imagination.
Any resemblance to actual locales, events, establishments or persons,
living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

About
this Book

Rose
Redwood has always known that some fairy tales weren't just bedtime
stories. They were true.

Living
in the small town of Redcape Grove with her great-grandmother, Rose
manages to keep her name and her secret out of the spotlight.

But
being half wolf, Rose is fast approaching her first mating heat.

Her
ripe scent attracts danger to her, but Rose is determined to protect
herself and her Nan from the monsters that are coming for her…

Jack
Grimm is coming off a devastating loss. Refusing to take the time to
mourn and grieve, Jack is spiraling deeper into a darkness that is
threatening to tear him and the people closest to him apart.

The
last thing he expects when he stops at a small, remote town is to
meet a brave, feisty redhead who awakens both his bear and his heart.

But
Rose is harboring some grim secrets of her own.

Can
Jack and Rose trust each other with their past, and create their very
own happy ending?

*
* * * *

CHAPTER
ONE

Rose Redwood waltzed into the
kitchen, pirouetting like a ballerina before setting the laden trays
down on the counter top. She heard a sharp intake of breath behind
her and she chuckled.

“Don't pile so many
plates and cups onto your tray. There's no need for these
gravity-defying stunts. This is a restaurant, not a circus,”
Nan tsked and stirred the bubbling pot on the stove furiously.
“Just carry one tray at a time. Be more careful, Rose. One of
these days...” Nan clucked her tongue, narrowing her eyes at
Rose over the top of her glasses.

Rose laughed. “Don't
worry, Nan, I can do this with my eyes closed! Watch!”

“Don't you dare,”
Nan scolded, but Rose heard the laughter in her great-grandmother's
voice.

Rose had been helping Nan in
her little restaurant, The Cottage In The Woods, since she was a
little girl. She knew everything about running the restaurant, and
she knew every inch of the cozy little establishment like the back of
her hand. She could cook all the dishes on the menu, and she knew
all the regulars who frequented their restaurant. Some of the
sturdy, antique furniture in the restaurant was as old as her. After
the close of business each day, while Nan cleaned up in the kitchen,
Rose would tidy up the restaurant and polish every piece of well-worn
furniture with tender, loving care.

Rose glanced at the kitchen
clock. Lunch time was almost over. Most of the customers had
finished their meal and left, and only old Mr Grayson remained at his
usual table by the window, slurping his soup and reading the papers.

Redcape Grove was a small,
sleepy town. Rose had grown up here, and she had never left Redcape
Grove in all her twenty-one years. Nan was her only family, and Rose
loved Nan with all her heart. Nan was the only one who had opened
her heart and home to Rose's mother when everyone else shunned her
and turned their backs on her.

Rose turned to stare at the
back of Nan's head. Nan and Rose used to have the same wild, flaming
hair, but now Nan's hair was completely silver. Nan wore her hair in
a long braid which reached down to her waist, and she stood straight
and proud in front of the stove, like a maestro conducting an
orchestra of simmering, sizzling pots and pans.

Rose went to her and took the
ladle gently from her hand. “I'll take over,” Rose said.
“You go sit down and have a nice cup of tea. Or you could go
chat with Mr Grayson and catch up on the latest gossip.”

“All right then.”
Nan huffed and wiped her hands on her red apron. “I'll go out
and straighten up the place a bit. We can open early for dinner
today if we get everything ready by four o'clock.”

Nan ambled out of the
kitchen, and Rose turned her attention to the stove. Stirring
slowly, her eyes drifted to the shelf by the back door of the
kitchen. There was a thin book lying on the shelf. The book cover
showed a girl in a bright red hood and a big bad wolf.

Little Red Riding Hood.

Rose blew out a breath.
Little Red Riding Hood was a well-known, well-loved story.

Everyone thought that the
story was just an innocent fairy tale, a cautionary story with a
happy ending.

But Rose knew the real ending
of Little Red Riding Hood.

Only Nan, Rose and a few of
the older inhabitants in Redcape Grove knew the truth behind the
fairy tale.

It wasn't just a fairy tale.

It was the story of Rose's
mother.

Little Red Riding Hood, the
innocent girl in the story, was Rose's mother.

Nan had never lied to Rose
about her background. Rose's mother had died giving birth to Rose,
but Nan kept her granddaughter's memory alive by telling Rose all
about her beautiful, brave mother.

“She loved you,”
Nan had told her. “Your mother held you in her arms before she
died and she gave you your name.”

Rose looked away from her
great-grandmother's yellowed copy of Little Red Riding Hood.

Nan was the grandmother in
that story. But Nan never encountered the big bad wolf. Rose knew
that Nan sometimes wished that the wolf had come for her instead.
“If the wolf had swallowed me whole, like in the story, he
would have left my granddaughter alone,” Nan would shake her
head and sigh.

Rose blew out a heavy breath.
She was the daughter of Little Red Riding Hood. She was Little Red,
but she would never make the same mistake as her mother.

CHAPTER
TWO

Jack Grimm closed the trunk
of his car and turned to glance at the palatial mansion behind him.
The house used to ring with happy voices, laughter and the pitter
patter of small, running feet. But now, it was just a big, empty
house.

Jack turned away, feeling his
heart clench. Everywhere he looked, every corner of the house,
reminded him of his little boy. Alex's toys could be found in almost
every room, and the sweet smell of his son pervaded the air, making
it hard to breathe.

Jack turned at the sound of a
car roaring up his driveway. He stood and watched his brother's
Ferrari pull up just behind his car. His two younger brothers, Hans
and Derek, spilled out of the car even before Hans's car had come to
a complete stop.

“Jack,” Hans
said, jogging up to him. Hans tucked his shades in his shirt pocket
and glanced at the house. The curtains had been drawn over all the
windows and the front door was locked. “You're really
leaving,” he said grimly.

Jack nodded. “Yes.”
Jack threw his house keys to his brother and Hans caught it neatly
in his large palm. “I know the company is in good hands.
You're both capable of running it well.”

His youngest brother, Derek,
stepped forward and said, “You're not really leaving, are you?
You're the CEO of the Grimm Group. The company needs you, Jack.
We...”

“I'm stepping down.
Hans is the new CEO,” Jack answered evenly.

“The hell I am,”
Hans snapped. “I will remain as the Chief Operating Officer,
and your second-in-command. I am not taking your place, Jack.”

Jack faced his brothers
squarely and sighed. “I'm leaving, and I don't know if and
when I'm coming back. I need...I just need to get away and get my
head straight...”

“There is nothing wrong
with your head,” Derek said firmly. “It's your heart.”
His tone softened as he put a hand on his eldest brother's shoulder.
“We loved Alex too. He meant the world to us. I miss the
little guy so much.” Derek swallowed and Jack realized that
his brother was fighting to keep his voice from breaking. “You
need to grieve. We understand. If you need to get away from all
this for a while, then go. But come back, Jack. You are not
disappearing on us. You hear me?”

“I won't disappear,
baby brother,” Jack smiled. “Not on you guys.”

“Then you're still the
CEO,” Hans said matter-of-factly. “There's no need for
me to take over anything.”

Jack opened his mouth then
shut it. “Fine.” He understood that his brothers were
worried for him. They had always been close. Jack had thought that
it was better for the company and fairer to Hans and Derek if they
were promoted to the CEO and COO positions respectively in his
absence. His brothers worked damn hard for the Grimm Group and they
deserved the promotion and the recognition. At present, Hans was the
COO while Derek was the Chief Financial Officer.

His brothers grinned finally
and Jack went to clasp them to him in a fierce hug. He would miss
them.

“Take all the time you
need,” Hans said, gripping his shoulder. “We'll take
care of your house and keep an eye on the business while you're
gone.”

“Let us know where you
are, okay?” Derek scowled to prevent his face from betraying
his feelings.

“I will. You will
always know where to find me,” Jack promised. He squinted into
the distance and studied the road ahead. “I'll be taking a
long, winding journey I guess. I'm thinking I'll head south and stop
at one of the towns along the way.” With a lopsided smile, he
added, “You know, I've flown to almost all the major cities but
I've never really visited the small towns in our own backyard. I
think this trip might prove rather interesting and rewarding.”

“Maybe you'll chance
upon the perfect location for our newest resort or theme park,”
Derek quipped.

“Yeah. Maybe,”
Jack laughed.

Jack got into his car and
snapped on his shades. He had sold his Bentley and bought a hardy
Range Rover.

Saluting his brothers with
two fingers, Jack pulled away from the gleaming mansion. He looked
into the rear view mirror and saw his two brothers standing at the
front steps of his huge, imposing house, staring after his car.

Jack grimaced and cut his
eyes to the road ahead. The mansion was grand and impressive, but it
no longer felt like home.

It felt like a tomb.

CHAPTER
THREE

Rose straightened the stack
of menus at the counter and filled all the pitchers with iced water.
She refolded a napkin and adjusted the cutlery on the corner table as
she made her way to the door. She flipped the sign to Open and
yelled to Nan, “We're open! Get ready to feed the hungry
horde!”

“Bring 'em on!”
Nan hollered from the kitchen. “We're ready!”

Rose shook her head and
laughed. There was no horde of hungry diners stampeding their way to
The Cottage In the Woods. If there was, they wouldn't be able to
cope. The restaurant was usually just half full during dinner time.
They had only ten tables, so it definitely wasn't a big crowd. On
some nights, the place filled up pretty quickly. There weren't many
restaurants in the tiny town, so there were more than enough
customers to go around. They were doing all right, and the business
kept them busy and happy.

They'd opened early for
dinner today, so Rose expected the customers to start coming in about
an hour later. They'd be lucky if anyone walked in now.

BOOK: Red And The Bear (Grimm Bears 1)
2.09Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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