Bree saw the vampire stalk out of the store where she’d been headed, ground to a halt, and made a beeline for the nearest shop doorway. When the door was yanked open and Mason stepped out, he narrowed his eyes on her with a low groan, and Bree surrendered to the Goddess of bad timing.
The vampire one way and the alpha the other – her life had become – complicated. She bit down on a curse, but patted herself on the back for not being tempted to find a suitable hex to go with it and let one or the both of them have it – and bit the bullet.
“Trouble,” Mason said, in a tone that said he’d rather be talking to a nun than her, and she pushed all thoughts of doing wrong by doing right away, and took the higher ground.
“Good morning, alpha,” Bree said and noted the way the little vein under the man’s right eye twitched as he offered her a look of suspicion.
“What are you up to?” he asked and eyeballed her as if he was expecting Satan to jump out from behind her skirts and yell surprise.
“Nothing,” Bree said, and she had to force the muscles in her face not to pull down in a frown. Those muscles had twitched, but there was little to nothing that she could do about that.
“Then what have you done?” Mason would have folded his arms and assumed the position of lofty inquisitor if he wasn’t holding a bag full of chocolate bars to sooth the savage beast that was his mate. Apparently, once a month, she didn’t mean anything she said, and he was to duck when he felt it was appropriate.
He was planning to launch the chocolate bars onto the bed from the doorway, and make his escape – without challenging her feminine inner beast by meeting her dark gaze or responding to her growls – he certainly wasn’t going to miff her off until after her monthly friend had left town.
“Why do you assume…?”
If she could have, then she would have zapped him just for not letting her get her words out. But she was being a good witch – a nice witch – no non-meddlesome witch – a witch without a reason for living – such was life.
But, it annoyed her down to her last breath that she was being accused of something she hadn’t done. It made her want to do something just to get her own back.
“I’m not talking to you,” Jai announced as he stalked towards them.
“Me?” Mason frowned.
“Not you – little Miss car-wrecking, demolition derby,” Jai tossed back, and Bree rolled her eyes.
“I apologised for…”
“No!” Jai said, holding up his palm in front of her face, and she had the urge to use her magic to slap his hand back in his own stupid face, but she didn’t. “Bad witch!”
A good witch, a nice witch, she told herself. “It got away from me on the bend…”
“That is why females should not be driving real cars,” Jai said.
“Sexist,” she bit back.
“Sue me,” he snapped. “That car was my baby…”
“And now you have a mate,” Bree reasoned.
“And my baby is mangled.”
“It’s a car,” Bree bit back.
“A Lamborghini is not just a car,” he sneered.
“Okay, Mr Irrational,” Bree said. “Enlighten me.”
“It’s a work of art and a thing of beauty. It’s precision in motion. It’s…”
“A car. It’s not isn’t even metal,” Bree shrugged.
“It’s…” He sighed, rolled his eyes skywards and brought them down to the alpha – and found the man was trying to hold back a grin. “Really?”
“It’s a stupid car for the countryside.” Mason shrugged.
“Thank you,” Bree said motioning toward Mason. “The stupid car couldn’t even hug a bend.”
“It…” Jai bit down on pure disbelief. He huffed, and then stalked away without another word.
“Maybe you need a pickup truck,” Bree called after him and heard the alpha snort a chuckle. Then she turned to look at Mason, and the man did a double take at her.
“Gotta go,” Mason said on a scowl.
“Me too,” Bree tossed back. She didn’t, but she wasn’t about to admit that she had nowhere to be and lots of time to not bother getting there.
“Fix Joel,” Mason growled just a little as he sidestepped the witch and let her pass.
“Damn,” Bree bit out. She knew she was forgetting something in her – make Bree not be public enemy number one – campaign.
Sandy slammed the door on her old clunker and booted it all the way shut. She pushed her sunglasses up onto her head, and her little bob haircut spiked out at the sides like she’d been on the back of a bike with no crash helmet on.
She surveyed the town with a slow three-sixty and felt a big dollop of disappointment that there seemed to be no coffee shop. She needed leaded with a whole lot of sugar, or she was likely to fall asleep where she stood.
Maybe working clean through for twenty-three hours hadn’t been the best idea, but the hours were there with her co-worker off sick, and she could always use the extra money for her one day fund. One day, she would open up a bakery come coffee shop of her own. Until then – it was a case of taking every shift she could in the gas station and sleep – whenever.
But this weekend was for her. Once a year she treated herself to a long weekend away, and this was it. No beaches and sexy honed bodies lying around for her to trip over as she tried to blend in with the background. Nope, this time she was going hiking in the mountains.
Sandy was on a budget, and she needed somewhere to stay, but she wasn’t opposed to sleeping in the back of her car if things were pricey. She had a dream to save up for, and roughing it in other parts of her life was just part of the deal.
Life was good, life was fine – her boss sucked, her job stunk, but whose didn’t? Soon, she’d be her own boss, and when she had employees – well, she’d treat them nicely.
Sandy spotted the town bakery, and her heart skipped a beat. Maybe she could find something to add to her own collection of recipes to serve in her store. Maybe something with a country flavour would go down a treat in the big city.
She pulled up sticks and started across the street with a spring in her step and a happy heart. That was when the car horn blasted out and scared the bejesus out of her, and she froze in place like a deer trapped in the headlights as the car came at her at speed.
I’m going to die, and my cookies will never be tasted!