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Authors: Rebecca Airies

Tangled Bliss

BOOK: Tangled Bliss
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Tangled Bliss

 

Rebecca Airies

Copyright
© July 2015 Rebecca
Airies

 

All rights reserved.

Cover art by Sarah-Jane Lehoux http://sarah-janelehoux.com/

 

This work may not be reproduced or used in any manner,
except in the case of short excerpts for reviews or articles. No part of this
book may be scanned or transmitted by any means without the permission of the
author.

 

This is book is licensed for your personal enjoyment and may
not be resold to another person.

 

Tangled Bliss is a work of fiction. All characters and
events within this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to persons living or
dead is coincidental.

Tangled Bliss

 

Chelsea Ash healed plants, but she can't fix her own
problems. Alexander Woods, a gorgeous, new deputy in town and her boyfriend,
refuses talk about part of his past, leaving her wondering what he's hiding. On
top of that, a stalker is sending her creepy gifts and stealing her sense of
safety.

Alexander is building a new life in Alden Glen. He wants a
home after years of hunting the tainted. Chelsea is sexy, sweet and the sensual
hunger explodes between them. He's not walking away from her. Even as they
untangle the mess of their relationship, the stalker escalates his attacks.
Alex will have to use all his skills to protect Chelsea and claim the future
he's always wanted.

 

Content Note: This book contains scorching sex scenes and
adult language. It’s intended for Adults 18 and over.

Dedication

 

To Ron, Deb, and Carla: Thank you for the encouragement and
simply listening. You three are the best!

A Note from Rebecca

 

I’d like to introduce you to the Aelfir. They’ve lived
beside us, walking among us for millennia. Our legends call them fairies,
brownies, and elves. They’re more though.

They’ve been gifted with extraordinary abilities. Calling
fire, molding metal, healing a bleeding wound, healing a damaged plant and more.
With those talents comes a higher responsibility.

Among the Aelfir, there is a special group, the Hunters, who
protect the Aelfir from those who’ve become tainted and other more deadly
creatures.

Welcome to Alden Glen! Have a look around and enjoy your
stay. If you get in any trouble, head toward the local police station. You’ll
find a lot of retired (gorgeous) Hunters among the officers.

Rebecca

Chapter One

 

Alden Glen, Georgia

Chelsea Ash tapped her hand against the steering wheel in
time to the music pulsing from the sound system. The warmth of the sun
streaming through the windshield tempted her to get out of the car and enjoy
the sweet air. The day was much too beautiful to stay inside a vehicle.

She always savored being surrounded by light and air. Then
again, her particular Aelfir gifts led her to that environment. An Aelfir could
have more than one talent, but one type would be stronger. Chelsea’s only
focused in one area.

She was of the branch associated with plants. Her abilities
pulled her to flowers and trees, but extended to plants in general. She enjoyed
watching them grow and helping them reach their full potential.

The confines of a vehicle made her a little antsy and always
had. In most cases, she loved to walk and soak up the sun. She couldn’t do that
though. The distance between her family’s floral fields and her home was too
far to walk. Not to mention, she had to be aware of the danger posed by her
stalker.

The window was down though, letting in the fresh air as she
drove home. The scent of fresh cut grass, peaches, and honeysuckle drifted in,
helping her relax.

Today had been a good day. No, it had been a great week. She
hadn’t found any strange notes or little gifts in the previous six days. With
the work day over, she’d made it a week without one of those creepy gifts
appearing for the first time in months.

She had no idea who sent them. With a week of silence, she
had a little hope the gifts would stop permanently. A little excitement bubbled
inside her at the thought of the stalker leaving her alone.

She was cautious in that belief and had been warned it
probably wouldn’t be that easy.
Is Alexander right about the man being
dangerous?

At first, the little presents hadn’t seemed so bad. She
found them creepy and curious, but she hadn’t worried. Alex, a police officer
and the man she was dating, thought the person behind them was fixated.

The gifts and notes came without a signature. Sometimes two
to three times a week. That made her uneasy.

As best as she could, she ignored the presents. She didn’t
want to feed the stalker’s interest by giving him a reaction. Other people had
noticed the boxes, though.

Without fail, the gifts appeared at her desk. No one saw who
put them there or even once in the insulated lunch box she kept in her car. The
amount of time and risk involved in placing that gift raised her concern. He
had to learn her schedule and find a moment when no one would see him.

She worked in a building where the desks faced each other.
Everyone in that small outbuilding worked in the fields more than indoors, but
someone always stayed in the office. People came and went with messages and
products off and on during the day. It wouldn’t be easy.

At first, her family had taken the stalker more seriously
than she had. She might not have reported the incidents until the one in her
lunchbox. That one almost panicked her. Her family called the chief of police
in to take a look at the notes and gifts when the fourth appeared on her desk.
To her surprise, the chief became worried as he heard the details.

Maybe, since there had been no gift this week, the stalker
had moved on with his life. She hoped. She’d like time to relax and think. At
some point, she needed to handle the other stressful matters in her life. She
hadn’t had the energy to deal with much when strange gifts and notes kept
appearing.

The whole Alexander thing loomed. She didn’t want to face
what seemed inevitable. Not that it would be easy.

“Definitely can’t forget him.” She took a deep breath. If
she walked away from him, it would be like ripping off a part of her.

She was beyond attracted to Alexander Woods. Had been from
the first time she’d seen him walking into the local diner. Any time Alexander
came near her, her thoughts raced to the carnal as well as the possibility of a
future with him.

The man was gorgeous. His honey gold hair hung a little past
his shoulders, but he kept it confined when on the job as a police officer.
Muscles rippled on his shoulders and arms. She loved running her hands over his
chest, but she hardly ever stopped there.

His ripped stomach drew her. After that, she couldn’t stop
without exploring his hips and strong thighs. It wasn’t simply his looks
though.

She didn’t even have to see him for the hunger to stir. His
light Italian accent sent excitement curling through her belly. Then there was
the way he smelled. Alex’s scent though always gave her a thrill. A woodsy
scent, like the forest right after the rain, seemed to rise from his skin.

Even with all that, she had a problem. She knew little more
about the man than she had the first day they met. He didn’t like to talk about
the recent past. He’d told her some stories about his mother and his childhood
in Italy. There had even been a few stories about his early twenties.

Anything within the last ten or so years, he avoided. His
past might contain things he didn’t want to relive, but there had to be good
moments. She hoped to discover more of who he was.

He didn’t have to talk about all of it. Any answer would
have been better than ignoring that portion of his life. If he’d just said
something about it, she’d accept it.

Alexander hadn’t done that. He kept her at a distance. Not
physically, but emotionally. She couldn’t have a long term relationship with a
man who didn’t let her close. Now, she faced the problem of deciding if she
could walk away from him. She wanted this relationship to work so much.

The desire and attraction flared so hot that she found
herself making excuses. She should give him time. Maybe he’d open up. She
sighed and bit her lip.

How long could she wait?
If he’d only say a few words.
It would make things so much better. As it was, her mind went crazy with the
possibilities from benign to horrifying.

Chelsea turned into the drive leading to her little cottage
in the trees. Bright pink, blue and yellow flowers bordered the driveway. She
stopped at the side of her cream-colored house.

Even as she gathered her things, her mind already focused on
the long, hot shower she planned. It was good to be home. She looked forward to
a great date with Alexander tonight. The thought that it might be one of the
last dates she had with him did depress her.

Unless the man began revealing more about himself. With a
sigh, she shook her head. She didn’t see that happening without some drastic
intervention.

She got out of the car and walked up the flower-lined path.
The scent of roses surrounded her, making her feel at home. Just before the
front step, a sudden wave of nausea hit her. She took a deep breath. The sick
sensation continued, but it didn’t come from within her.

She stopped and focused. The troubling impressions came from
her left. She looked at a rose bush near the corner of her porch. Something
different about the feel of the plant pulled her toward the bush.

She strode over to it. Her hand lifted, but she stopped
before she touched the plant. The odd sensations coursing through her body
caused her to hesitate.

She frowned when she saw the problem. The leaves drooped.
Yellow blotches discolored the vibrant green foliage. The energy pulsing from
it wasn’t normal, even from a sick plant. Something was off.

What the hell happened to it?

The leaves had been fine this morning. They’d been vibrant
green. Several buds had stood tall, reaching for the sun. She’d looked forward
to watching the petals unfold.

Now, those same unopened flowers sagged. The sepals, which
protected the petals, had withered. This was not normal.

Especially for the home and surroundings of an Aelfir gifted
with the ability to heal and grow plants. A brush of her fingers could open
closed blooms. The transfer of energy into the plant could help mend disease or
breaks in stems and branches.

She itched to heal those plants, but the sudden withering
struck her as strange. She wanted it checked by someone who could detect the type
of energies within the plant.

Maybe she was being too cautious. On the other hand, maybe
not. After the weird letters and gifts sent to her, she didn’t want to take the
chance.

Chelsea would call as soon as she made sure that was the
only thing wrong. She headed into her house, passing through the living room
and into the dining room. One step into the room, she stopped. She stared at
the dining table. Her breath caught in her throat.

A wrapped gift sat on gleaming dark brown wood. A green
ribbon wrapped around the stark white box. An elegant bow perched on top of the
package.

Her stomach dropped. Nausea and dread rose.
Not another
one.
Fear sent a shiver skating down her spine. Someone had been inside her
house. Please let this be a surprise from her family or Alexander.

She backed out of the room. With shaking hands, she fished
her phone from her pocket. Although she suspected the mystery gift creep struck
again, she had to make sure. Her teeth worried her lower lip. She dialed Alex’s
number.

“Hi, Chels, did you get home from work alright? How are you
doing?” Alexander’s voice sounded cheerful. She could almost see him smiling as
he sat in his patrol car. He knew her schedule almost as well as she did.

“I got home alright. Did you leave a gift for me here?”
Please
say you did.
She waited.

Her nerves stretched taut. The moments plodded by as her
mind circled and worry gnawed at her. She grimaced and shuddered. Some strange
man broke into her house. He put his hands on her things.

He drew in a hissing breath. “No, I didn’t. Chelsea, I’m
sending someone there. I’m on a call or I’d come myself. Don’t touch it. Get
out of the house. Although the other gifts have been innocent enough, we don’t
know what this guy’s plans are.”

She backed out of the room and left the house, pausing to
grab her purse from the small end table where she’d dropped it. “Alright, I’m
outside. I thought he’d moved on. He didn’t leave anything at work or in my
car. I thought I wouldn’t have to worry about him. At least this week.”

She sighed and her shoulders slumped. The Chief and Alex
seemed certain the stalker was a male based on the directness of the letters.
The man wanted a relationship with her or perhaps believed they already had
one.

When she’d started dating Alexander, the letters had grown
more insistent. The messages became more demanding.

You will be mine. Don’t push me. Get rid of him.
Those words had scared her.

She’d thought of ending her relationship with Alexander at
that time. For his safety.
What would the stalker do if he thought someone
stood in his way?

Alexander wouldn’t hear of it. He’d been so angry. His face
had hardened as had his tone of voice. He’d insisted he could handle the
stalker. The hard set of his jaw and flat look in his eyes spoke of a history
with more than routine police work in the past.

She hadn’t been given time to think about it, though. The
Chief of Police agreed with Alex. He thought it could get them some information
about her stalker, that the man might make a mistake if he became furious over
Alexander being with her.

She waited at the edge of her yard. Her stomach clenched.
She rubbed her hands on her pants. Nervous energy pulsed through her making it
hard to stay still.

She looked at her house and licked her lips.
What is in
that box?
Another porcelain doll with black hair, maybe. A shudder ripped
down her spine. She hated those creepy, little things, but this present could
hold much worse.

Bomb or some sort of tainted spell. At least, a bomb could
be defused. A tainted spell would have to be triggered in some way. The person
behind this couldn’t be sane. Evil and insanity in an Aelfir resulted in a
taint to their magic.

Normally, Aelfir didn’t cast spells, but they could. Their
gifts tended to be focused on things they could do without that type of spell
work. There were a few instances when it might be necessary to use a spell. If
an Aelfir needed to provide protection to someone or something, they could
create a shield with their gifts, weaving their abilities with the magic which
flowed within them.

She stood there, waiting. She shifted on her feet, checked
the time. Only minutes had passed, but the fear made it hard to be rational or
patient.
When would they get here?

The wait reinforced the isolation of her home. She loved
being surrounded by nature, normally. Not so much now. At the moment, she’d put
up with noisy neighbors and concrete instead of fields and forest if she could
have help here in moments.

She folded her arms across her chest and stayed in the
middle of the yard. Standing in the open made her feel vulnerable and exposed.
Her eyes moved over the drive and across the green grass to the tree line. She
glanced behind her.

A shiver ran down her spine. She wanted to get out of the
open, but didn’t know where to go. He’d broken into her car.
Had he done
something other than take a few things?
She wasn’t so sure, now. She didn’t
feel safe.

She couldn’t go hide in the house. That damn box was in
there. Although it looked innocent with its green bow, she wouldn’t bet her
life on it.

When the police arrived, she goggled. Two squad cars pulled
up in front of her house. She’d expected one unit. After all, they didn’t know
if the box held anything dangerous. The officers guided her to one of their
cars and sat her in the back seat.

Three of the four officers present headed inside. The other
stayed near the car. She turned in the seat, pressing her hand on the door. Her
heart pounded in her chest. She leaned closer to the window, waiting. Her
anxiety grew. Her dry mouth and tight throat made swallowing difficult.

BOOK: Tangled Bliss
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