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killer.
Witches were mortal, even the good ones.
Bottom line, he would protect her whether she wanted it or not.
Forcing the thought of Brenna to the back of his mind, he sought the tracks that had
led him onto her land. Finding them, he followed them toward the pond, which was now,
with his presence accepted as unthreatening, alive with insects, amphibians and fish.
The strange animal prints suddenly disappeared, replaced immediately with two
adult males' tracks.
Shaking his head and muttering about lack of sleep, he retraced his steps and
followed the animal prints once more. Stunned, he stood and stared.
The conclusion he reached, the only one supported by the evidence of his eyes and
his innate ability to track anything on two or four legs, was inescapable: two men began
running away from the pond with Star at their sides and Brenna trailing, and at this point
of the glade they'd somehow turned into four-legged creatures of a canine nature.
"Holy hell," he whispered. "Shapeshifters."
The damn Russians were shapeshifters. While he'd heard such tales around the
campfire at his father's and grandfather's knees, he'd never encountered any before.
"So, you figured out our little secret, Sheriff." Brenna's voice preceded her into the
opening in the forest. "Will this go into your report, or will you keep this on a need-to-
know basis, also?"
Ty turned to face her. His eyes raked her petite but womanly form. She wore the
same jeans and t-shirt she'd changed into last night. His spell ending the protection barrier
must have pulled her from her bed. Her hair flowed around her shoulders, still disheveled
from sleep. Her shirt was wrinkled and looked as if she had slept in it. Her jeans were
partially zipped, held up only by the snap closure at the top, as if she'd hastily thrown
them on. Her small feet, with their red-painted toe nails, were bare. A part of him wanted
to see her in the previous evenings' ritual garb. Or, better yet, nothing at all.
He fought the primal instincts screaming at him. The thought of her naked almost
defeated the power of his mental chain mail. Mentally cubing prime numbers, he beat
back the urge to strip her and throw her to the soft grass where he could make love to her
in the misty morning sunshine. It was a hard battle, but the thin veneer of civilization he
wore like armor kept him where he was.
"Sheriff? Ty?"
Her voice sounded anxious. And near.
Startled, he abandoned his higher math computations and noted she was close to him.
Too close.
He could see the blue and grey specks in her forest-green eyes and the small
scattering of freckles across her elegant cheekbones, so pale that they would be
unnoticeable from a distance.
"Will you tell?" she whispered. Her eyes reflected the fear she fought to keep out of
her voice.
Fear for whom? Herself? Or the shifters?
Anger chased across his conscious mind like a tornado across the plains. He knew as
sure as he knew his name that she feared for the Russians more than herself. He didn't
want her thinking of other men
 even in a protective way. He wanted all her thoughts to be
for him.
"Alemwa!"
His spirit guide appeared beyond Brenna's shoulder. The white wolf stared at him
with blazing cold eyes.
"What?"
"She is of the Great Mother, the one she calls the Goddess. She is, by nature, a
protector. I hope I need not remind you of what that means."
"No." Ty closed his eyes, ashamed. "I will control my anger ... my jealousy. But, I
cannot believe that she is meant ... for me."
The white wolf shook his head. "Alemwa. It is written in your stars. I have told you.
Look around you. Observe. Remember."
The wolf faded away.
"Ty!" Brenna held his arm and shook it. "Answer me! Will you tell about Boris and
Igor?"
"No," he said, his voice rusty as if he'd just awakened from a sound sleep. He cleared
his throat, and repeated, "No. I won't tell as long as they had nothing to do with the
murder of Bob John Roebuck. No one will hear about them from me."
A smile broke over her face like the sun breaking through dark rain clouds. She
stood on her tiptoes and brushed a kiss across his jaw. "Thank you. It would not be easy
to explain. Poor Igor and Boris have enough to deal with being Russian in a strange
land."
She stepped away. He felt cold and almost reached out to pull her back, to bask in
her womanly warmth.
She continued, "You're an excellent tracker. Did they teach you that where you
trained to be a police officer?"
"Alemwa, look around. Observe. Remember."
Ty reached for Brenna's hand, which she gave without hesitation. The cold that had
stolen over him was banished in a split second. He trembled in response.
"Sheriff? Ty? Are you all right?" Her tones were those of someone who cared. Cared
a lot.
He scanned the glade, as his spirit guide had instructed.
The sunlight burned through the morning mist. A glistening rainbow marked a spot
beyond the small pond, a spot he recognized. Not because he'd physically been there
before, but because he'd seen it every night in his dreams and the vision last night when
he first met Brenna. That spot. At this particular time of day.
They'd made love on that grassy mound overlooking the pond, highlighted by
shimmering refractions of color and surrounded by flowers.
Sniffing the air, it even smelled like the place in his vision.
"Last night," he paused to swallow the emotion threatening to choke him. "Hell, even
before last night, I've had visions, dreams of you and me here."

"Here?" Her voice was so low he had to strain to hear her response.
"Yes. On that mound, with the sun as it is now. We were ... um, naked," he finished,
his voice husky with the memory of her skin dappled with sunlight.
Sighing, Brenna stepped away. He almost cried out at the loss. Was she leaving him?
The glade once more went still. Not a sound could be heard.
Brenna didn't go far. Boldly holding his gaze, she pulled her T-shirt over her head,
baring her breasts.
He exhaled, and the creatures of the glade came alive with sound as if they too had
held their breaths.
Removing her jeans, Brenna stepped out of them, kicking them to lie beside her
discarded shirt.
Wearing only a tiny pair of bikini panties, she held out her hand. "It is as the
Goddess has spoken. We are meant to be together." Smiling with a mixture of innocence
and womanly power, she said, "Show me. Show me what you saw in your vision."
Ty took her hand and pulled her closer. Fate, Goddesses and spirit guides aside, this
was the twenty-first century for God's sake. He had to be sure. "But you don't even know
me..."
"Ah, but that's where you are mistaken, Ty," Brenna whispered into his ear as she
brushed her bared breasts against his chest. "I've known you in my visions, and obviously
the Goddess has chosen this spot for us to join together in the flesh."
He stared into her smoky green eyes. "You've seen us making love?"
She smiled and nodded.
"Here?"
"No, in a bed. Your bed, I would imagine, since it looked nothing like mine."
"Jesus."
"I don't think he was involved in any of this j
 ust the Goddess." Freeing her hand from
his, she leaned into him and began to unbutton his shirt. "It's our fate, you know." Her [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]