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) (3 page)

BOOK: Red And The Bear (Grimm Bears 1)
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“Thank you,” Rose
stuttered.

He smiled, and he suddenly
looked younger, almost boyish. Rose thought he was in his
mid-thirties at most.

“I'm just here for a
nice dinner,” he said with a grin. “What the chef's
recommendation?”

CHAPTER
SIX

Jack smiled easily at the
pretty, curvy redhead, and kept up the chatter to put her at ease.
She was visibly shaken and she kept glancing at the door as she
scribbled down his order.

“You're not from around
here, are you?” she asked as she took the menu from him.

“No. I'm just passing
through the town. My name's Jack,” he told her.

“I'm Rose,” she
said with a shy smile. “My great-grandmother and I own this
restaurant.”

“You have a lovely
place. And I'm sure the food here is exquisite.”

“We use the freshest
ingredients,” Rose said proudly. “And Nan is a great
cook. I learned from the best.” Rose glanced down at his
order. “Hmm, just one Cottage Pie? You can't stop at one. Mr
Grayson always has at least two when he's here.”

“I'll just have one for
now.”

Jack stared at her retreating
back as she hurried to the kitchen. Only when she was gone did he
allow his eyes to flash to the door.

That wolf would be back. He
was sure of it.

He wondered if Rose knew that
the man was a wolf shifter. She should. Rose was a half shifter
herself. Jack had scented that she was half wolf. Her wolf wasn't
dominant, so she probably would not be able to shift, but she
definitely had wolf blood in her.

Jack had originally intended
to just grab a quick dinner and be on his way. He didn't intend to
stay in Redcape Grove. There was nothing for him in this little
town.

But that was before he walked
into The Cottage In The Woods.

When he first saw the
exterior of the quaint little restaurant, Jack thought that the name
was very apt indeed. The restaurant did look like a small cottage
nestled in the woods. Clusters of trees flanked The Cottage and
partially hid it from view.

Jack liked the name and the
location of the restaurant. It was charming and homely. He always
could spot a business with promise and potential. As the CEO of the
Grimm Group, Jack had made many successful and lucrative acquisitions
for the Group. He always encouraged the original business owners to
stay on and continue running the business. The Group only bought
shares in the business and injected much needed funds for expansion
and growth. Some of the owners cashed out altogether, but many
remained at the helm and took their businesses to new heights with
the support of the Grimm Group. It was a win-win situation for all.

Jack was just making a mental
note to have a chat with the owners of The Cottage In The Woods when
he pushed into the restaurant.

He certainly never expected
to see the owner herself standing right in the middle of the
restaurant aiming a shotgun at a wolf shifter.

Jack had instantly scented
the wolf's rage and lust. The ravening wolf was closing in on Rose,
and Jack had let his bear rise to the surface as he strode to the
corner table. He knew the wolf would scent his bear, and he had
growled real low to convey a warning to the wolf. His growl was too
low to be heard by human ears.

He hoped the wolf would come
after him, but he doubted the coward would dare clash with a powerful
bear shifter. He would probably go after Rose and her Nan.
Defenseless women were much easier targets. Through from what he
saw, Rose wasn't defenseless at all.

She was gutsy, tenacious and
she could handle a gun.

He also saw that she was
fiercely protective of her Nan. She had held her ground and handled
the situation herself, instead of yelling and screaming for help. No
doubt her Nan would drop everything in the kitchen and rush out to
aid her great-granddaughter, but Rose didn't want that. She wanted
to keep her Nan away from the ugliness and the danger.

Jack glanced out the window.
It was still pretty early for dinner, but he was hungry after his
long drive. And he was real glad he stepped into The Cottage In the
Woods when he did.

As he glimpsed Rose coming
out of the kitchen with a tray, his heart clenched and he felt his
bear stirring just beneath his skin.

He would stay, he decided
right there and then. Just until he was sure that Rose wasn't in
danger.

As Rose leaned in to serve
him his meal, Jack folded his arms across his chest to stop himself
from reaching for her. He had this insane, almost irresistible urge
to touch her, pull her to him and smooth that stray strand of red
hair away from her face.

“Enjoy your meal,”
Rose said, her gray eyes eager and expectant. She hovered beside his
table, waiting for him to take the first bite.

Jack dug into his pie and his
eyes widened. “This is the best pie I've ever tasted,”
he said with his mouth full.

“Really?” she
beamed.

He nodded. “Yep, and
you're absolutely right. One isn't enough. I'll have another two.
Wait, make that three more.”

Her eyes and mouth rounded.
“You're joking. You can't possibly finish them all!”

Jack smirked. “Wanna
bet?”

Rose laughed and shook her
head. “Nope.”

“Why not?” he
teased.

Rose cocked her head at him
and said, “Something tells me that you're a man who always
finishes what he starts. And—you never, ever lose a bet.”

CHAPTER
SEVEN

Rose busied herself attending
to the other customers in the restaurant and helping Nan in the
kitchen. Once all the food was done, Nan sashayed out to chat with
some of their regulars. The place was about half full, and quite a
few diners had come and gone.

But Jack was still here. He
had been sitting at his table for a full five hours now.

Rose had observed Jack
chatting amicably with old Mr Grayson earlier at the next table, and
when Mr Grayson left, he let Jack have his copy of the newspaper.

Rose was sure Jack had
finished reading every page and every line of the whole paper by now.
He sipped his coffee and ordered more dessert as he read the paper
leisurely. He seemed in no hurry to leave. In fact, he seemed quite
intent on staying till closing time.

Rose saw that Nan had been
studying Jack quietly even as she chatted with the other customers.
Her great-grandmother was very observant, and she was generally wary
of strangers. But she seemed to warm very quickly to Jack. In fact,
she saw Nan sneak into the kitchen and come out with a big bowl of
soup.

“On the house,”
Nan whispered to Jack. She waved away Jack's protest and said, “It's
good for you. It keeps you warm, here and here.” She pointed
to his tummy and his heart.

Rose raised a brow at Nan
when Nan walked past her with the empty tray. “On the house?”
Rose mumbled.

“He's a good chap,”
Nan sniffed. “And a fine-looking fellow. I have a soft spot
for pretty boys.”

Rose coughed, choking on her
soup. She was drinking a bowl of that fine soup at a table near the
kitchen.

Nan patted her on the back.
“I can appreciate a fine male specimen, can't I?”

“Nan...”

“I think I'm going to
invite him home tonight.”

“Nan!” Rose
spluttered, spewing soup from her nose.

“Tsk, tsk. That's a
splendid idea, don't you think? I spoke to Jack, and he told me that
he hasn't found any lodgings for the night,” Nan said in a
conspiratorial whisper.

Rose was too busy dabbing at
her face to answer.

Nan hummed happily and
disappeared into the kitchen. “I'm going to start cleaning up
the kitchen now. You handle the last few customers, and then you can
start tidying up the front,” Nan called out.

One of the customers signaled
for the bill and Rose jumped up, still frowning. Surely her
great-grandmother was joking about bringing Jack home.

What was Nan thinking? Nan
had a quick mind, and she was perceptive and a great judge of
character. She obviously liked Jack. Well, Rose liked Jack too. In
fact, she felt a lot safer with him around. She honestly didn't want
him to leave, but she didn't want to set herself up for
disappointment and heartbreak.

He was just passing through
and he would probably be gone by tomorrow.

Her Nan knew her better than
anyone else. Did her astute great-grandmother see her sneaking
glances at Jack the whole evening? What else did Nan and Jack talk
about when Nan stopped by his table? Nan was chatty but she always
listened more than she talked. And she listened carefully to all the
answers, both spoken and unspoken ones.

Rose had a feeling that Nan
had already found out everything she wanted to know about Jack in
that few minutes of conversation.

The door closed with a
musical tinkle as the last two customers left the restaurant. Rose
smiled at Jack as she went to clear his table.

“Can I get you anything
else?” she asked.

He folded up his newspaper
and stood up. “No. But I'll wait until you and your Nan are
ready to go.”

“You don't have to do
that,” she said quickly.

“Don't worry. I won't
get in your way.”

“That's not what I
meant.”

“I don't have anywhere
else to be, so I'll just hang around till you ladies are done.”
He sighed and added softly, “Helps me pass the time. At least
the night won't seem so long.”

She detected a flicker of
pain in his eyes before he turned away.

“Okay,” she said,
touching his arm. She just wanted to comfort him, soothe away his
hurt and pain.

They both jerked at the
contact. The air seemed to sizzle between them and Rose felt the
heat spread from her fingertips to ignite every nerve in her body.

She was suddenly conscious of
the fact that they were standing too close to each other and she
could feel his breath on her cheek. Her traitorous eyes moved to his
lips and she could see the stubble on his strong jaw. How would that
feel against her soft, bare skin? What would it be like to kiss him
and feel his mouth and hands all over her?

Rose's hand flew to cover her
mouth, as if she was trying to stop herself from voicing her lustful
thoughts out loud.

“I...I should help Nan
in the kitchen,” she muttered breathlessly and stumbled away.

CHAPTER
EIGHT

Jack walked out of the
restaurant into the cool night air. He needed to clear his head and
pummel his bear back down.

With his bear all worked up
and highly aroused, he couldn't trust himself to be around Rose. He
wanted to be near her. He wanted to touch her so bad, but if he did,
he wasn't sure if he could stop.

He had wanted to protect Rose
and her Nan, because on some instinctive, primal, bone-deep level, he
knew that they were his. More accurately, Rose was his. Nan was her
family, which made her his family as well.

He had been kidding himself
earlier when he decided that he would leave Redcape Grove once he was
sure that Rose and Nan weren't in any danger. There was no way he
could leave Rose.

His bear would never allow
him to leave Rose.

“Ah,” Jack swore
under his breath as he paced in front of The Cottage. He should be
happy that he had found his mate. Rose was beautiful, feisty, and
she had a protective streak a mile wide. She was perfect.

She would be a wonderful
mate.

But—he couldn't say the
same for himself. He wished he wasn't so broken, so messed up. If
he had met Rose when Alex was alive, he would have proudly courted
her and claimed her. He was confident, capable, rich and successful.
He would have been able to give her the life that she deserved. But
he was no longer the man he used to be. His confidence was in
tatters and his wealth no longer mattered to him. He hadn't even
been able to protect his precious little boy.

He didn't deserve a
beautiful, pure, loving woman like Rose. She deserved much better
than him.

Jack walked to his car and
got in. There were only two vehicles parked in front of the
restaurant. The small pickup truck that was parked parallel to his
Range Rover probably belonged to Rose and Nan.

Jack kept his eyes on the
door of the restaurant. He couldn't trust himself to go back into
the restaurant. He could barely keep his beast under control as it
was. But he needed to know that Rose and Nan were safe. He would
wait out here until they came out. Then he would make sure they got
home safe.

Jack didn't know how long he
sat in his car, watching and waiting. Finally, the door opened and
Rose and Nan appeared. Rose was carrying a covered basket while Nan
held a pot in both hands. Rose locked the door and checked it twice
before guiding Nan towards the pickup truck.

BOOK: Red And The Bear (Grimm Bears 1)
6.44Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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