Blue Moon (Chapter 22)
When I awoke we were both under the sheets. Someone, not me, had drawn the heavy curtains. I glanced at Cadotte. God, he was beautiful.
His skin was smooth and dark, darker still against my plain white sheets. I wondered what he'd look like with long hair. The shorn ends curled just a little, making my fingers itch to twine between them. His earring twinkled against the warm flesh of his neck.
I remembered kissing that neck a few hours ago, being startled by the cool metal brushing my lips. When he'd trailed his mouth all over my body, the earring had tickled me here and there, adding a new dimension to every embrace.
His hand covered my hip. My eyes jumped from his earring to his face. He smiled. "Morning."
I waited for the usual morning-after embarrassment to descend. Before it could, he shifted closer and kissed me. Just a gentle brush of his lips against mine and then he pulled back. Something between my belly and my heart stuttered.
"I'll make coffee," he said, and then he was gone.
I took advantage of the solitude to head for the shower. The totem caught my eye from the dresser. I glanced at the bedroom door through which Cadotte had disappeared. I could hear him banging around in the kitchen, see his shadow flitting against the wall in the hall.
I opened a drawer and dumped the wolf on top of my underwear, then scooted into the bathroom and locked the door. I had nothing against sex in the shower – with Cadotte I would probably be agreeable to sex just about anywhere – but right now I wanted to think.
What had I done?
Had sex. Big deal.
Actually it had been. And maybe that was the problem.
I knew better than to fall for a guy like Cadotte. He was gorgeous, brilliant, a little bit strange. We had nothing in common. We probably never would.
Why on earth he'd wanted me I had yet to figure out. But I couldn't believe he'd want me much longer. The best way to get out of this without getting hurt was to dump him before he dumped me.
This resolved, I returned to my room. The slant of the sun through the windows told me the time was long past noon. I threw on shorts and a shirt, tucked the totem underneath a pile of socks in a drawer, and walked barefoot into the kitchen.
Cadotte leaned against the counter, drinking coffee completely naked. He smiled as if he weren't and poured another cup. My gaze lowered. I could get used to this.
He turned and I yanked my gaze upward. Raising a brow, he handed me my coffee. "Would you like to go out for breakfast?"
The thought of walking into The Coffee Pot with him and ordering breakfast at… 2:00 p.m. was just too much for me. Besides, wasn't I showing him the door?
I took a sip, swallowed, nearly choked with shock. Cadotte made the best coffee I had ever tasted.
"What did you do to this?" I stared into the cup as if I could find all the answers to life's mysteries in the swirling black depths.
"A sprinkle of cinnamon mixed with the grounds makes all the difference."
"I have cinnamon?"
"In the back of the cabinet. Yes."
"Hmm. Wonder where that came from." I took another sip.
"Breakfast?" he reminded me.
The same emotion that had flickered in his eyes when I'd refused to meet him for dinner returned.
More coffee. That's what I needed. I gulped half the cup, let the heat bubble in my empty stomach.
Same lame excuse I'd used the last time. Unfortunately, it didn't work this time.
"Because I'm good enough to fuck but not to eat breakfast with?"
I spilled coffee on my shirt. "What?"
Having a serious conversation with a naked man was a new experience – and downright difficult. I kept getting distracted by the way his skin shone in the sunlight.
"I may not be from here, but I know how small towns work. If it got out you were screwing an Indian, there'd be trouble."
I was silent. There would be, but not the way he thought. I sighed.
"Will, I – "
He set his empty cup on the counter with a click and crossed the floor so fast he was crowding into my space before I knew he was coming. He captured my cup, set it aside, and took my hands.
"Don't," he whispered. "Why can't we just enjoy each other like we did last night?"
I frowned. "You want to do it again?"
He slid his fingers into my hair. "And again and again and again."
I hadn't expected that. Still, why risk my career on something that would never last?
He kissed me, his tongue teasing mine, his lips soft and warm. He tasted of coffee and cinnamon. I wanted to drink him in and keep him with me forever.
Lifting his head, he remained close enough that his breath mingled with mine. "Does this have to be complicated? I want you, Jessie. You want me. Let's just keep doing what we're doing. Okay?"
When a gorgeous naked man asks you something like that, what else are you supposed to say but –
We ended up back in bed, but before things could get good, the phone shrilled. Why had I ever plugged it back in?
"Don't answer," Cadotte whispered against my belly. The warmth of his breath trailed along the moistness left by his tongue. I shivered and forgot all about the phone.
Until my machine clicked in and Clyde's voice came out. "Jessie, you'd better get over to the hospital.
We got trouble."
I sat up, nearly knocking Cadotte off the bed in the process.
"Your victim from last night died."
I dived for the phone. "Clyde?"
"Sorry. I didn't mean to wake you."
"You didn't. I was just – " I glanced at Will. "Never mind. What's going on?"
"Mel. He died. Cherry is screaming blue murder. Said you told them to give him the vaccine and now he's dead. She's threatening lawsuit. It's a total goat fuck."
I blinked. Goat fuck was Zee's favorite term. Things must be very bad.
"I'll be right there."
I hung up. Cadotte kissed my hip. "Problem?"
"Can you tell me about it?"
I considered and decided that I could. The incident last night, and whatever had happened at the hospital since, would be public record soon enough. I filled him in.
He lay on the bed with his arm beneath his head and stared at the ceiling with a frown, I got up and pulled my uniform out of the closet.
"I don't like the sound of this," he murmured.
"You, me, and the rest of the Miniwa Police Department."
My gaze on the floor – my bra and underwear must be around here somewhere – I didn't see him get off the bed. I didn't hear him, either. The guy moved more quietly than a wolf.
"Here." I glanced up. He held what I was looking for in one hand.
I slipped into my panties. Why I didn't feel embarrassed I wasn't sure. Maybe Cadotte's ease with his own nakedness was starting to wear off on me. Although I doubted I'd be walking bare-assed in the woods anytime soon.
I was struggling with the hook on my bra when his hands covered mine. "Let me."
As I stood in front of the mirror, my eyes met his. He hooked the clasp, lowered his head, and kissed my shoulder; his earring brushed my skin. His hand slid across my belly – dark against light, slim against round. We were so different – and maybe that wasn't so bad.
My mind skittered away from the thought. "I've got to go."
He stepped back. "I know. Is it okay if I shower?"
"Sure. Just don't scare the hell out of me when I come home. Next time I might kill you."
"You and what army?" he threw over his shoulder.
I laughed. Not only did I want his body, but I liked his mouth – and not just on me.
Opening my sock drawer, I slammed it shut when Cadotte stuck his head out the bathroom door. "We should meet when you get done. I've got some ideas I'm going to check out today."
"Don't you have a little thing called class to go to?"
Huh. Where had the week gone?
"You don't have to help me."
"I want to." He tilted his head. "Maybe we should work together on this, Jessie. It couldn't hurt."
Clyde would hurt me if he found out about it. But right now, Clyde was the least of my worries.
"I don't know how much you can help, since you think I'm chasing werewolves."
I made an aggravated sound and threw up my hands. "Cadotte, you are certifiable."
"Maybe." He didn't appear concerned. "What time will you be home?"
"Morning most likely. Seven-thirty?"
"I'll be here."
He shut the door and the sound of the shower came shortly after. I waited another minute, opened the drawer, felt for the totem, then slipped it over my head and beneath my shirt.
What could it hurt for Cadotte to research his delusion? Who knows, he might even turn up something useful.