A Bear's Protection(4)

By: Roxie Noir



“People who turn into animals.”

“So?”

“So shifters are just a little... uncivilized. It’s the wild west out there.”

Cora shook her head. “You know how you’re always bitching about diversity in your teaching staff?” she asked. “It’s because you say shit like this.”

Amelia was the principal at an elementary school, and she looked pissed.

“I’d never say that at work. I’m not an idiot,” she said.

“But you think it,” said Cora.

“I’m worried about you!” Amelia said. “You’ve had a stalker for months, and now you’re moving to a place where the normal relationship is one woman with two men.”

Cora had to laugh. It was either that, or yell at her sister.

“I promise that getting involved in a triad is the last thing on my mind,” she said. “I’m ready to swear off men forever, frankly.”

“Oh, Cora, I didn’t mean it that way,” Amelia said. She moved her hand across the table and took Cora’s hand in hers, looking down. Cora realized that she could see tears start below her sister’s eyelashes.

“I just don’t want you to leave,” she said, quietly. “I could kill him for taking you away from me. I really could.”

“I know,” Cora said. “I promise we’ll still see each other. He can’t make us stop being sisters.”

Amelia squeezed her hand, but before Cora could say anything, the waitress arrived, carrying two plates of food.

“Blueberry pancakes, extra bacon?” she asked.

Amelia pointed at Cora, and the waitress set the pancakes in front of her.

“I ordered for you,” Amelia said. “I hope you don’t mind.”

Blueberry pancakes and bacon were Cora’s favorite.

“Of course not,” Cora said.

“What are you going to do without me?” Amelia asked, tucking into her eggs and sausage.

“I have no idea,” Cora said truthfully.





Chapter Two





Ash





From where he was sitting in his patrol car, Ash could see the Welcome to California state sign, maybe a quarter of a mile away. He felt a little bit dirty setting up a speed trap just inside the state of Cascadia, but the county needed money, and the speed limit went down from 75 in California to 70 in Cascadia.

Besides, everyone who drove this road with any regularity knew that he was there, sitting in the perfect spot, behind a rise, hidden by the dense pine trees. He only ever caught people from out of town in his speed trap, and they weren’t going to come dispute him in court.

Pay attention to the speed limit, he thought to himself. How hard is that?

Just then, a small blue car zoomed past him. He didn’t need to look at the readout on his radar gun to know the car was doing at least ninety.

Finally, he thought, as he turned on his lights and pulled out onto the highway, pressing the gas pedal almost to the floor to catch up. The moment the car heard his sirens, the brake lights flashed and it slowed down to about fifty, wiggling a little in its lane as the driver panicked. Finally, the driver pulled over into a turnout surrounded by evergreens.

Following protocol, Ash radioed back to the station that he had pulled someone over. Traffic stops rarely broke bad in these parts, but one never knew.

He walked toward the driver’s side, his right hand on his belt near his gun, just in case, when the door to the car flew open and a short girl with curly brown hair popped out of the car, a wild look in her eyes.

Right away, Ash’s bear roared.

His ears rang. His vision went blurry. He could tell that there was something wrong — this girl was afraid of something.

He reeled.

What the hell is happening? he thought, stopping in his tracks for split second.

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