Dr. Cole MacDonald didn’t count on stumbling upon a dead woman’s body while he was out running as a bear. He did the right thing and called 911 but wonders if that might put him and his fellow shifters in some sort of predicament. The homicide detective assigned to the case is Samantha Hardy who’s got all the attributes Cole likes in his women, well, apart from being human.
Sam also takes special note of Cole, especially when bear and not human footprints are found close to the victim’s body. Should he be a person of interest or should she, for once in her life, let her guard down, and let this hunk of a man romance her?
Sam had no idea where she was. Was she at home or at work? The room was spinning or was she twirling around? She tried to focus and saw Cole. Yes, it was Cole, sitting close to her.
“You back with us now?” he reached out and touched her hand. He was a bear. She’d seen him as a bear. She put her hand on top of his. It felt like a human one, but she’d seen him and Liam covered in fur and down on all fours.
She was pretty sure she was going to throw up. Yep, she couldn’t help herself, didn’t know where the bathroom was so she just vomited where she sat.
“It’s okay, Sammy.”
Sammy, she’d learned to love that name and the way he said it.
“Just rest back on the pillow and we’ll get you cleaned up.”
He saw Lucy hand him a wet washcloth. Was she a bear too?
Cole dabbed it around her mouth. It felt comforting and soothing.
“Sam, can I get you a soda, ginger ale maybe to settle your stomach?” It was Lucy standing over her.
“Sure, thank you.”
“You feeling better?” asked Cole. “You cut your head when you fell. Nothing too bad. I’ve cleaned it up and put a dressing on it.”
She raised her hand to her head and felt the edge of the dressing. Lucy returned with the soda and handed it to her.
“I’ll leave you two alone to chat. Liam and I are out here if you need us.”
She walked out and shut the door.
“Am I at your place?” asked Sam before taking a sip of the soda.
“No, Liam and Lucy’s spare bedroom.”
She rested her head back. “I’m not crazy in thinking that you and Liam were the two bears I saw am I?”
Cole shook his head. Sam bit her bottom lip.
“And Lucy?” she asked.
“Not a bear shifter.”
Shifter, that word again. “Cougar Crafts, the owners are cougar shifters?”
“Shit, is the whole town full of people who morph into animals or what?”
Cole moved up the bed closer. “I was about to tell you about me. When you told me you trusted me I knew I had to, but you found out before I could sit down and chat.”
“Don’t you think you should have said something as soon as we started going out and having sex?”
“I know and I’m sorry but it’s just… I thought if it didn’t work out there wasn’t any need for you to know something that might be a burden to keep a secret.”
“So I’m the only person in town who doesn’t know some of our neighbors are animals half the time?”
“Nope, just the opposite: very few know about us and that’s why we’re close knit.”
“Just how are you able to do it?”