Authors: Lynn Red
Tags: #werewolf romance, #cowboy romance, #werewolf, #paranormal romance, #pnr, #werebear, #alpha male romance, #werebear romance, #shapeshifter romance
Also by Lynn Red
Jamesburg Shifter Romance
Bear Me Away (Alpha Werebear Shifter Paranormal Romance)
The Alpha's Kiss
Change For Me (Werewolf Romance)
Shift Into Me (Alpha Werewolf Romance)
Howl For Me (Alpha Werewolf Shifter Paranormal Romance)
The Jamesburg Shifters
Bearing It All (Alpha Werebear Shifter Paranormal Romance)
Bear With Me (Alpha Werebear Shifter Paranormal Romance)
Bearly Breathing (Alpha Werebear Shifter Paranormal Romance)
To Catch a Wolf (BBW Werewolf Shifter Romance)
The Alpha's Kiss Complete Series (Alpha Werewolf Fated Mate Romance)
Watch for more at
Lynn Red’s site
For my readers - without you, Jamesburg would be a ghost town.
lena St. Claire let out a long sigh and leaned back in her chair. The floor creaked, her back creaked, the chair she sat on creaked, and then from outside, the tree near the window creaked.
She twisted her back left, then right, popping it in either direction before settling back in and clicking on the next review.
“Listen to this, Paul,” she said. Paul was her partner, and usually doing this was
job, but somehow, he weaseled out of it this month. “From Yelp user SAINTSSUCK2215.”
“Ha! If he’s already mad at us, let me guess. We caught him with his pants down?”
Elena smiled and pulled one of the pens out of her hair bun, and chewed on the cap. “Listen. He says, and I’m quoting verbatim here. I’m not the dumb one. He says: I am very dissapoint with Saint Detective because they are illegal lyres.” She spelled the last word out loud.
“Isn’t that some kind of thing the guys at Medieval Times play? The sorta-guitar?”
“I think that’s a lute. Anyway, he keeps on: They are very illegal and they are unlickeable.”
Paul snorted a laugh. “Not only are we illegal, we’re downright mean! Did they really put un
“Yep. This is the shit people read on the internet to help them make decisions. Let’s see, this one got posted June the... sixth. Let me check something.”
She clicked a couple times to check her fee schedule. “Ha, yeah here it is. Pants down is right. This is the guy we found out back of The Tavern rogering a badger-shifter while his wife was waiting inside.”
Paul laughed again. “Man, remember the way that wolf howled? God he was pissed. He chased you halfway down the road,” he had to stop to keep himself from screeching. “Holy shit, he was running after you, and his, his,” he couldn’t control himself. Paul went all red-faced.
When he laughed, his bulldog jowls get to wobbling, and they make him make a certain sort of noise, and then he laughs harder, and then Elena starts in, and everything goes to hell.
“Flopping around all over the place?” Elena finished for him, before she cracked up.
The two of them took a few moments to get themselves back together.
“I kinda want to vote this one up,” Elena said. “I mean, what better way to advertise for a detective agency than to have a bunch of pissed off philandering mates bitching about us online?”
Paul shook his head, smiling, and relaxed his hands on his stomach. “If only,” he said.
Elena clicked, typed out a quick report message, and hit send.
“We need a new case,” she said.
“We’ve got six. Six active ones right now, what more could you want? All of them are gonna pay, we don’t have anything to worry about. We’re not gonna get rich, but we’re not going broke either. You got any idea how many investigators would kill to say that?”
Elena shrugged. “I guess, yeah, you’re right. I just mean we need a case that’s more, meaty? Something to really break us into the big time.”
“Big time?” Paul chuckled. “What do you want with the big time? This way, we keep paying the bills, we keep making enough to go out every Friday, and we don’t get on any radar. No attention, you know? That’s the life for me. Calm, predictable—”
“Nothing wrong with a little boredom. If you’re bored, nothing bad’s happening. Get those reviews done and let’s get out of here. I feel like a pent up pit bull. We can check up on a couple creeps and then maybe stop off for a drink?”
“I thought you said you
bored,” Elena said, reporting another review. “That was the last one, let’s hit it.”
As Paul’s large, thick-fingered hand tugged on the old handle of the ancient Buick they drove, he realized what Elena had just said.
“Hit it?” he asked as he opened the door and sat. “What is this,
? You got an alligator somewhere you haven’t told me about?”
“Alligator’s at my house,” she said, hopping through the open window and sliding in beside him. “And yep,” she flashed him a grin. “Pretty much. Now hit it.”
Paul pumped the gas pedal four times, like he always had to do, then he turned the key in the ignition, and ‘hit it’ which involved a lot of sputtering and some squeals from an angry fan belt.
“Or something like that,” she said, laughing as the tires whipped up a dirt storm.
he scumbag tail-chasers had run dry.
Three weeks since the last case was closed, there weren’t any signs of another one coming down the pipe.
It always happened at the beginning of the sweltering, nasty, Jamesburg summer when the oppressive mugginess sapped all the energy they’d normally spend trying to cheat. And when the cheating assholes dried up, so to speak? So did business.
Paul kept taking calls, Elena kept fielding emails, but they all ended up either non-starters, or pranks. In the end, there just wasn’t a damn thing going on.
Until late June, when the whole world turned around, all at once.
A request came in overnight. Someone went to the website, apparently liked what they saw in the Yelp reviews, and submitted an investigation request. Paul read through it, and then e-mailed it to Elena. After going through the first couple of pages, she closed her eyes, pinched the bridge of her nose, and intertwined her fingers behind her head, sighing.
have to take this one?” Elena St. Claire asked. “This just seems... I dunno, crazy?”
Paul St. George dabbed at his forehead. The summer had been going on too long already, and it was only just started. The thick, almost wet, forest air manifested on his forehead as beads of sweat. “We won’t make the bills if we don’t start taking more cases, El. And by that, I mean
We can’t be so picky. And by that, I mean we can’t be picky at all.”
Elena reclined dramatically, her old, cracked, faux-leather office chair creaking as she did. She threw the manila envelope onto the scratched-up table that functioned as her desk. “Can’t we just say no to one of these damn things for once?”
Turning her head and looking out the glass, office park door, she stared past the “SAINTS, PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS” sign and into the street. Someone – someone huge, and riding a motorcycle, sped past the front door and Elena’s stomach quailed. That wasn’t a particularly noteworthy event. Someone was
going past the front door on a motorcycle in Jamesburg, and Elena’s stomach was
getting all wiggly. The only thing that stood out about this one was just how enormous the guy was.
Dark brown hair streamed behind him, and then he vanished out of sight. She shook her head, and Paul laughed. His jowly, bulldog-like face wobbled as he did. “You need to get laid, El,” he said.
She pursed her lips into a frown. “You can’t tell me that, I’ll sue you,” she said, even as she laughed under her breath. “Who the hell has time for hunting down dates and mates and whatever else? You’re telling me I’ve got to root out another idiot who can’t keep himself in his pants.”
Paul shrugged, then shot his eyes down at the glass desktop where his phone rested, buzzing. He groaned with effort, pushing himself up on his chair and grabbed the phone. “Hello?” he asked, shooting a sidelong glance at Elena, who was balancing a sharpened pencil on her finger by the lead.
He was getting insistent, but Elena was getting bored waiting for him to say something to eavesdrop on. She couldn’t help how her arctic fox ears picked up all kinds of things she wasn’t supposed to hear. When she was shifted, she could hear a mouse a hundred feet beneath a snowcap. Since she came to Jamesburg though, hearing through snowbanks wasn’t much use.
Snooping on phone calls though? Hell of a thing to be able to do for a private dick.
Watching Paul dab at his forehead again, she couldn’t help but go back a little in her own mind. She was just a kid, more or less, when they started the agency. Paul was older, but his maturity level didn’t show it much. Starting a detective agency in a place like Jamesburg didn’t make a lot of sense, admittedly, but after a failed restaurant, they were up against a wall, and besides, they both thought
They weren’t hyenas anyway. Jamesburg’s police were traditionally the town’s hyena packs. They were tenacious, itchy, and constantly alert. Over the years, a couple bears had joined the force, but so far, no foxes and no bulldogs, either.
Oh, and they were best friends. Through thick and thin, the good times and the shit times, she and Paul had been there for each other.
He hung up and began furiously scribbling things on a notepad. In her reminiscence, Elena had somehow missed snooping on him.
“Hey Bulldog,” she said. “Remember that restaurant we started? Maybe it’s time to go back to that. I’m getting tired of lying in the grass and taking pictures of nervous, middle-aged shifters with their zippers down.”
Paul held up a thick finger, telling her to wait. He finished whatever he was writing, set down the pen and smiled. “I don’t think Jamesburg is ready for another French, tamale-themed, fusion restaurant.”
“I was thinking something simpler this time,” she said, flicking her finger and spinning the pencil, then snatching it out of the air. Her bottom-left canine stuck out of her mouth just a bit – not enough to be noticeable unless someone really stared, but if they did it was enough to be cute if she was smiling and scary if she wasn’t. “Maybe a bean place? Just a bean buffet. Nothing else. You walk in, you get a bowl of beans. We can have three kinds – black beans, barbecue beans, and—”
“We’re gonna do that, why not open a washateria next door and capitalize on all the poor schmucks who need the smell out of their suits before they can go back to work.”
He laughed as a smile crept across Elena’s curled-up lips. Paul noticed the way she looked – he always had – but he also knew everything going on underneath the surface. Same with her and him. Friends that close couldn’t be lovers. They’d already had all the fights; they’d already had the makeups. They both knew each other too well.