The Truth in Love
by K.C. Stewart
K.C. Stewart is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Hailey Holloway series and most recently, the Adirondack Pack series. All her life she had fantasized and day-dreamed on a regular basis but it wasn’t until she began writing short stories that she made those fantasies a reality. She has graduated to novels but still dabbles in the occasional flash fiction and short story. Because of her love for reading and the written word, K.C. is currently continuing her education at Clarion University for Library Science. When she isn’t taking photographs, studying or writing, she is supporting a very real gummy bear habit. Currently, she lives with her boyfriend, german shepherds and cats in central Pennsylvania.
Mailing List: http://www.authorkcstewart.com/mailing-list/
Bear shifter, Emilie Williams is a Virgo through and through. Not only is she reliable, intelligent, and modest, but she’s also overly meticulous, cautious, and cranky at times–all qualities that tend to get her in trouble. After relocating to keep her identity a secret, she never expects to fall for a rugged, gorgeous wolf, who happens to have a delicious bite.
Carter Bennett has never met anyone like her. As a cop, his job is to keep the peace, but all he wants is a piece of Emilie. And when Emilie’s past slaps him in the face, Carter knows it’s time to walk away. But walking away from the one woman who sets him on fire is harder than he ever imagined. Now, it’s up to him to break down the walls Emilie builds around herself–even if it’s the last thing he ever does. However, he just might need a sledgehammer to do it.
She was passing by a sandwich shop when someone called her name. It startled her since no one knew her here. Emilie looked behind her and found Carter walking towards her. That uniform she had just been thinking about was now staring her straight in the face. The tips of her ears turned red as he approached.
“Good morning, Emilie,” he said with a grin so big she wondered if it hurt.
“Sergeant Bennett, it’s good to see you.”
The amused expression he liked to wear around her was back. Carter raised a brow at her and shook his head slightly. “We are doing formalities now? Must I remind you that I’ve seen you naked.”
Emilie’s eyes bulged. Why did he always have to bring that up? She looked quickly around to judge the distance between them and the other people on the street to see if they could have heard him. When she grabbed his arm and pulled him over to the corner of the street to an alley, he was laughing.
“Do you like embarrassing me or something,” she asked still looking around.
Carter grinned, big, wide, open. He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against the side of the building. “Kinda. If you were a cartoon you’d have steam coming out your ears right now. It’s cute.”
Emilie pulled her eyes from those on the street to gape at him. He was serious. Carter actually thought her annoyed face was cute.
“So what are you doing out on this fine day?” he asked completely ignoring the look she was giving him.
“Looking for a job.” Why was she telling him this? For that matter, why was she still talking to him? She needed to keep going, there were twelve other businesses to look at before she headed home. Her leg was about shot. Walking in heels limited the amount of time she had before the pain started and she was limping and begging for a bath.
“Which I need to get back to. Nice seeing you Carter.” Emilie stepped around him and almost made it back to the street when he grabbed her arm and turned her.
“I’m sorry,” he said but he was still smiling like he found this whole thing funny. “I didn’t mean to embarrass you. You can hit me if you like. I can tell that you want to. Your hand is twitching.”
Damn him but it was. Had this been Dean, she would have smacked him upside the head already. “It’s called assaulting a police officer and I am not going to be cuffed and frisked because you baited me.”
“It was worth a try,” he said with a wink. “How about I make it up to you?”
“No thanks.” Emilie began to walk away again but Carter was right there with her. He snagged her hand and rested it in the crook of his arm. Emilie looked at him like he was crazy. Her side eye was that of legend.
“What are your qualifications?” When she didn’t answer he added, “I know everyone in town. I can help.”
“Seriously, Emilie,” he said pulling her to a stop at the curb just as a car ran the stop sign. “I can help.”
Emilie was too busy glaring at the kid, who probably still had his learner’s permit and shouldn’t have been driving without a parent or guardian, race down the street to notice that Carter was still at her side and looking at her, not the stupid kid, but her and the way she was gripping his arm. God, what was he, solid muscle? His bicep was hard under her hand. Emilie had to let go or risk having him bring up the whole naked thing again.
“Aren’t you going to ticket him?” He was a cop, right? Had she mistaken his uniform as a real one?
Maybe he was a stripper.
Uniform said cop, abs said stripper.
Carter shrugged. “I know his mom and his alpha. He’ll get worse from them than he would from me. Besides, I’ve got a pretty lady on my arm who needs some showin’ around town.”
This man was going to give her a complex. She had to shut this down right now. “Seriously, Carter, you don’t want to date me. I’m reclusive and weird around people. I much prefer a night home with a book than out at a bar. I’m a fastidious, independent, chronic worrier. Your attention is flattering but I’m not interested.”
He pulled her along, not saying anything as they crossed the street. Emilie wanted to pull away but his silence, plus the smirky smile on his lips, perked her curiosity.
“Yes, you are,” he said half a block later.
“I am what?”
Her shoulders stiffened. “I am not.”
He laughed. “Yeah, you are.”
“Stop saying that!”
She slipped her arm from his but Carter was right there to grab her hand and link their fingers. Emilie pulled to a stop, her arm outstretched since Carter wouldn’t let go. He turned and walked back to her, his eyes happily drifting over the features of her face.
“Darling,” he began and her cheeks flushed. His eyes crinkled at the corners. “If you weren’t interested, then your palm wouldn’t be sweaty right now, your face wouldn’t go red when I look at you and you wouldn’t spy on me when I go to work from your window.”
“If you couldn’t tell, I’m interested too.” He touched her jaw and closed it. She had no words at the moment. This open chase was new for her and she didn’t know how to react. “Now, let’s go inside and see if Mr. Lasek has a job for you.”
Emilie looked at the building where they had stopped. He had brought her to the library. Her pulse fluttered. The man had brought her to the library. All she could do was gape at him.
She was going to be in trouble if he kept this up.
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